Scent of mulled wine and stalls with traditional Christmas knick-knacks, the Salzburg Christmas market is one of the most popular haunts. Said to go back as far as the 15th century, it’s located at the foot of the Hohensalzburg fortress. The Oberndorf Christmas Market, a village north of Salzburg, is where the world’s favourite Christmas carol, “Silent Night”, was written.
The German city offers eight Christmas markets with wooden pavilions that offer mulled wine and traditional foods – bratwurst, yeast dumplings with jam and vanilla sauce, crepes and chocolate. The city’s Floating Christmas Market on the River Rhine has culinary fare from all over the world and there are choir performances in the City Hall.
Covent Garden, UK
This one’s a visual fantasy! With striking light installations and giant chandeliers, the whole area around the Covent Garden Piazza and Market Building is stunning. There are live performances and events, Yuletide treats and cake-making workshops.
Prague, Czech Republic
Fairytale-like spires, cobbled streets, charming avenues, and stalls make for a pretty picture in this quaint city. A must buy are the bohemian-style jewellery and Trdelnik – the Czech equivalent of a cinnamon roll.
This one has been held around the town’s cathedral way back since 1570 and is the oldest in France. There are several different markets here with chalets selling everything from figurines to foods.
Set in the Tivoli Gardens, this market is almost like a winter wonderland with its lights and decorations, the concerts and the pantomime and ballet performances. There’s kiddie fun in store too, with an ancient rollercoaster and pony rides.
The chalet-lined streets here are packed with yuletide spirit – savoury treats and gifts like crafts and jewellry. You can sip on some hot chocolate as you wander about the stalls that sell home made wares in Albert Square. A charming, bustling atmosphere all right!