It goes without saying that the UK is home to a host of fantastic Christmas Markets – but if you’re seeking authentic, immersive and colourful Christmas experiences, then you really must head on a European river cruise for all of your festive fancies. We love Christmas here at ROL Cruise, so we have picked some of our favourite European Christmas Markets, so all you need to do is clear room in your luggage for all the Yuletide yummies and handmade gifts that you’ll be bringing home!
1. AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Anyone who’s anyone knows that vibrant Amsterdam is the place to be at any time of year – but come Christmas time, this eclectic capital amps up the excitement by introducing its Christmas market to its squares and centre. With a 20-metre-high Christmas tree set against the Royal Palace, you’ll feel truly festive when browsing the festive ware here. Speaking of festive ware – when here, be sure to visit the Museumplein where a Winter Market is set up for you to peruse. So look forward to strolling the winding streets of Amsterdam full of festive cheer and sipping on mulled wine – alternatively, be sure to visit the ice rink – but watch your step!
2. BERLIN, GERMANY
It’s true that Christmas is the ‘most wonderful time of the year’, and Berlin is incidentally one of the most stunning capitals to enjoy all of your festive frolics in. With the smells of Christmas all around including cinnamon, nutmeg and roasting chestnuts, you’ll soon get into the festive spirit as you wander the stalls. With a number of locations available, the Christmas Markets here range from behind Alexanderplatz, to the Schloss Charlottenburg where the market is held in the grounds of the famous former royal palace! Little can compare to having more than 60 Christmas Markets to choose from! So what are you waiting for?!
3. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
Christmas markets (Vanocni trh) are an important part of the festive magic in the Czech Republic, and the Prague markets are the most impressive in the country. Open every day from 2nd December to 6th January, you can visit these magical markets even after Christmas is over! With plenty of stalls home to handmade festive goods such as lights, lace, wooden toys, ceramics, scarves, and puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costume, you’re bound to find something to take home to the family for Christmas! Not only this, but the food available is exquisite – from large hams roasted on spits, to cakes and pastries prepared in front of you and traditional barbequed sausages, there’s no way you’re going hungry!
4. COLOGNE, GERMANY
Cologne’s Christmas Markets are as beautiful as they are extensive! Ranging from the larger markets held in downtown Cologne which host live music performances as well as a spectacular skating rink, to the smaller Christmas Markets which have plenty to offer including local handicrafts and a thriving festive atmosphere! As you stroll the Rhine, the smell of baked apples, gingerbread, cinnamon, biscuits and mulled wine will surely warm your cockles as you celebrate this festive season in an exceptionally beautiful destination. Not only this, but you can also look forward to a maritime atmosphere at the Harbour Christmas Market – something truly unique!
5. NUREMBERG, BAVARIA
Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt is truly incomparable – and you should let yourself be enchanted by the wonder found here. Combining history and tradition with everything that you love about Christmas, you’ll be able to sample Nuremberg’s famous sausages and sweet and sugary Lebkuchen, meet the Nuremberg Christkind, browse for memorable Christmas decorations and even join a stagecoach tour horse and coachmen tour which will really get you in the festive spirit!
Whichever European Christmas Market you choose to visit, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!