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Christmas! It’s a celebration that brings out the best in people in Europe and the America and finds its finest expression in its Christmas Markets. There is a festive touch to everything, from the grand décor to the sumptuous spread of food. However, the one thing that makes these markets unique is shopping. And it’s shopping with a subtle difference for here you are looking for presents for loved ones.

 

Not planning to buy anything? No issues. Christmas Markets have that magical quality that is so infectious that just strolling through them fills you with a sense of wellbeing and joy. Tag along as we discover the magical, mesmerizing Christmas Markets of Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain…

 

Strasbourg, France

One of the world’s oldest Christmas Markets, the Strasbourg market started in 1570. The place was then called, Christkindelsmärik or the Market of Infant Jesus. The unique aspect of this Christmas market is that it has not lost its authentic, traditional ambiance and appeal. Visitors get to experience the true Alsatian Christmas in all its glory. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Strasbourg is called the “Capital of Christmas” even today!

Strasbourg, France

When: The Strasbourg Christmas Market is held from the 27th to the 31st of December each year.

 

Aachen, Germany

Christmas transforms the streets around the historic Cathedral in Aachen to a paradise of colors, lights, tempting smells and festive sounds. Locals erect a grand fair in the Christmas City with great sentiments and care. Known to fascinate both the young and the old, the Aachen Christmas market has the perfect blend of the originality and style. And some of the precious goods sold here are often known to make dreams come true.

Aachen, Germany

 

When: The Aachen Christmas Market is held from the 20th November to 23rd December each year.

 

Vienna, Austria

The forerunners of the present day Christmas Markets has been held as early as the Middle Ages when it 1298, Albrecht I granted the privilege of holding a Christ Market to the citizenry. Known as “Krippenmarkt,” the character of the markets has changed a lot over time. Today, there are over 20 official Christmas Markets that sell a wide variety of seasonal gifts and many amazing festive delicacies.

Vienna, Austria

When: The Vienna Christmas Markets are held from 13th November to 26th December each year.

 

Brussels, Belgium

The Brussels Christmas market promises you five joyous weeks of festive shopping. From really tempting perfumes to enchanting encounters; from amazing gifting ideas to colorful stalls; from the joy of glowing, sparkling stalls to the flavors offered by original tasting sessions, there is all this and more! There’s even an ice-skating rink, a really gorgeous Christmas tree and the traditional Christmas Ferris Wheel and the merry-go-rounds to complete the festive fair.

Brussels Christmas Markets

When: The Brussels Christmas Market is held from the 27th November to the 3rd January each year.

 

Prague, Czech Republic

It’s said that no other city lends itself to the Christmas Season better than Prague. The city has two big Christmas Markets, one in the Wenceslas Square and another in close proximity, at the Old Town Square. Both have the signature wooden huts that are found across all European Christmas Markets but the way the Czechs treat them is what makes them unique. Visitors here can devour a klobasa (Czech Sausage) and wash it down with the Pilsner Uruquell during noon and then hang around awaiting the main Christmas tree to be lit up in the Old Town Square.

 

Prague, Czech Republic

When: The Prague Christmas Markets are open from 25th November to 6th January each year.

 

Manchester, United Kingdom

The original and by far one of the best Christmas Markets in the UK, the Manchester Christmas Market will enter its 17th year in 2016. Known for its larger than life grandeur, this market not only has really good offerings for shopaholics, it also has a delectable array of dishes on offer for both meat lovers and vegetarians alike. Visitors can buy amber jewelry, leather handbags, local handicrafts and top-notch Bonsai Trees. Or enjoy some traditional bratwurst or Spanish Paella, Hungarian Goulash, Dutch Pancakes, French Profiteroles and more! For spirit lovers, there is Spanish and German Beer’s as well as French Wine!

Manchester, United Kingdom

When: The Manchester Christmas Market is held from the 10th November to 20th December each year.

 

Montreal Canada

Inspired by the European Christmas Markets, Montreal’s Grand Christmas Market has entered its 2nd Year now. Held on the pedestrian thoroughfare of the Ste-Catherine Street, the market has about 60 wooden houses plying their wares which include essential Christmas Handicrafts and Nativity figures to warming festive drinks. Kids are sure to love this market for there’s a Santa’s Sleigh, an Igloo and even an Elves’ workshop out here. While the market closes for Christmas Eve, it throws open its doors again a week later to welcome the New Year.  Local as well as International DJ’s provide entertainment till the mark of dawn.

Montreal-is-a-festival-of-light-at-Christmastime

When: The Montreal Grand Christmas Market is held from 2nd December to 24th December.

kunal

kunal

Kunal Shah is the editor at large of MyWanderlust.com, He's an avid traveler, biker, writer, and lover of all things Spirit'ual and D'Wine.

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