Festive-minded tourists are being urged to visit atmospheric markets in Stockholm, Copenhagen – and Prague.
Imagine sipping mulled wine to keep warm under dazzling Christmas decorations and fairy lights to the sound of sleigh bells and sing-along hymns… It’s the most anticipated celebration of the year in Europe. And now that the countdown to Christmas is underway – or at least as travellers are thinking about which festive locations to visit, buy presents and say hello to Santa – travel agents and journalists are starting to compile lists of the best Christmas markets to experience this year.
However, Hotel Resort Insider is not putting cities in Germany or Scandinavia first. It places Prague in the Czech Republic at the top of its list. Prague boasts two major Christmas markets, in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, which start on December 5 and continue until the day before Christmas Eve. Mulled wine (“svaree vino”) and huts filled with handicrafts and hot food are part of the city’s traditional past.
Dublin is next on the list, where the Christmas market comprises of “more than 100 market traders, seasonal food, stocking fillers, carol singers and bands to heighten the festive atmosphere”. It’s open from December 12 to 23. The Skansen Christmas Market in Stockholm is the oldest and arguably the richest Christmas market in Europe, at its most intense on December 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20. Pick up anything from sausages to linen, from gingerbread to children’s toys.
In Copenhagen, meanwhile, the Christmas market at the Tivoli Gardens held from November 20 to December 30 is as famous for its 150-year-old merry-go-round and artistic light show as it is for all the sweetmeats, seasonal gifts and handicrafts. Last but not least, the city of Berlin is characterised in late November and December by its abundance of Christmas markets. There are as many as 60 listed markets, most popular ones being at Charlottenburg Castle, in Gendarmenmarkt and on Alte Postdamer Strasse, where mulled wine, cinnamon stars, handmade presents and curried sausage are among the highlights.
Hotel Resort Insider