The 2017 Guide to the Best Christmas Markets in Austria, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom

Christmas market is on the Marienplatz in Munich

By Christian Stampfer on 21 November 2017
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MUNICH—You haven’t truly experienced Christmas unless you’ve been to a Christmas market in Europe. They can be found in every major city and town in many European countries and the best are found in Austria, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

At every market you’ll find stalls stocked with fine handmade traditional holiday crafts and stocking stuffers along with food and drink including beautifully decorated Lebkuchen, a gingerbread-like baked Christmas treat.

Indeed, the smells of a Christkindlmarkt are addictive: Glühwein (spiced mulled wine), scented candles, heiße Maroni (roasted chestnuts) and a variety of savory food beckon, as do live music, carolers, and festive decorations.

Munich's Rathaus, the site of its largest Christkindlmarkt

Munich’s Rathaus, the site of its largest Christkindlmarkt

Today’s markets have their origins in Vienna’s December Market, which dates back to 1294, and which was followed by Christmas markets in Munich in 1310, Bautzen in 1384, and Frankfurt in 1393.

Most well-known markets are found in German-speaking areas, and those found outside of these regions often have a German theme. Popular ones in Germany include the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, which is considered by many to be the preeminent example in Germany. It takes place in the Hauptmarkt, the central square in the city’s old town, between December 1 and December 24.

Click here to continue to Page 2Christmas Markets in Austria, Belgium, and the United Kingdom

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