It is a special time of year in Europe, particularly in Germany, where you will find ornate stalls brimming with delights. Envisage glistening decorations, handcrafted figurines, and produce that is locally sourced. A feast for the senses, the sound of gleeful laughter and choir ensembles accompanied by the scent of gingerbread and toasted almonds will ignite nostalgia. Take a magical step back in time, as you wander through the Christmas markets, that have lit long winter nights for centuries.
There is a long history of Christmas markets, dating to the Middle Ages. It has been documented that in parts of the former Roman Empire, as far back as 1296, shopkeepers were given permission by the Emporer to hold markets. This allowed the townspeople to stock up on local produce that would see them through the cold winter months. Over time, families began to partake by selling an array of festive items, sparking the Century-old Christmas Markets traditions we enjoy today.
Century-old Christmas Markets In Germany
Munich, Germany, is home to an array of beautiful Christmas markets. Marienplatz, the larger of the Christmas markets can be found in the center of town, where its gigantic Christmas tree, adorned with glistening lights creates a joyous atmosphere. Indulge in a ceramic mug of Glühwein, a mulled wine, and custom at Christmas time in Germany, while strolling through the markets selecting the perfect gift.
Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg Baroque Christmas markets, other popular highlights on the calendar, are also worth a visit. From the oldest markets to the newer more modern ones, we can assure you that a festive time will be had by all!
Century-old Christmas Markets In Bavaria
Bavaria, a landlocked German state known for Oktoberfest, also showcases a handful of brilliant Christmas markets. One of Germany’s dreamiest Christmas experiences can be had at the Augsburg Christkindlesmarkt, a 500-year-long tradition. Enjoy the melodies of the angel figurines as they perform the Engelsspile from the balconies of the city hall and allow the cinnamon aroma to transport you back to a simpler time.
The quaint town of Lindau also boasts a charming Christmas market. Held along the harbor promenade, complete with whimsical views of Lake Constance and elaborately decorated huts, Christmas spirit is always in plentiful supply.
Nuremberg, also a top Christmas market destination, has traditions that date back to 1628. Spend hours browsing the array of handcrafted goods, from sculptures and lanterns to beeswax candles and toys.
Century-old Christmas Markets In Austria
Christmas markets also have their roots in fairy tale Austria. Follow the aroma of sweet and savory doughnuts or kiachl to the Innsbruck Old Town Square, where you will find a delightful selection of old crafts. The grand Christmas markets of Vienna, Austria’s capital, are equally dazzling, with a variety of boutique jewelry and ceramic stalls. Other Austrian gems include the Salzburg and Hellbrunn markets, where souvenirs abound.
Century-old Christmas Markets In Switzerland
Switzerland’s markets also boast a ceaseless supply of Christmas cheer! As the first snows fall, Zurich brims with spirit. Anticipate jubilant and spontaneous outbursts from a giant singing tree at the Werdmühleplatz market and another 50ft tree sparkling with Swarovski crystals at the railway station. Basel’s Christmas market, known as the prettiest in Switzerland, offers a glimmering plethora of activities for the whole family. Enjoy crafting candles and decorating gingerbread, while guzzling delicious hot chocolate.
In 2021, join Art in Voyage on their Christmas Market journey where similar experiences await, or you could create your own exclusive/private journey