Christmas markets (Vanocni trh) are a key ingredient of the festive magic throughout the Czech Republic. The Prague Christmas markets are the most impressive, lighting up the city centre, and bringing locals and tourists together to share the holiday spirit in a true ‘winter wonderland’ setting.
The main markets are located at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, with smaller ones operating at Republic Square and at Havel’s market. All lie within a few minutes walk of each other.
The Prague Christmas markets are open daily, including on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Book your Prague Christmas Market trip now at www.lowcostholidays.ie
The unique Christmas markets (Christkindlmarkt, sometimes called Weihnachtsmarkt or Adventmarkt) are very popular in Vienna during the advent season. Most of the markets open up mid-november and last until Christmas.
These romantic street markets enjoy a long tradition, with a history in Austria dating back to the Middle Ages.
Indulge yourself in Lebkuchen (gingerbread), gebrannte Mandeln (toasted almonds), Waffeln (waffles), Maroni (sweet chestnuts), Bratkartoffel (baked potatoes), Bratwurst (fried sausages) and – last but not least – hot Glühwein (mulled wine) and Punsch (glogg) of various kinds.
Book your Vienna Christmas Markets trip at www.thetraveldepartment.ie
The beautiful city of Krakow is usually draped in snow during the festive season, making Krakow Christmas Market an even prettier sight for visitors.
The Rynek, which is the huge market square in the old town’s centre, provides the setting for the Christmas Market and is largely filled with wooden stalls offering a variety of gifts. The Rynek is dominated by the ancient majestic Cloth Hall, which makes for a splendid backdrop for visitors shopping at the Christmas Market.
From mouth watering delicacies to traditional items such as woollen clothes and locally-crafted jewellery, your are sure to find your perfect Christmas gifts here.
Book your Krakow Christmas Markets trip at www.citiescapes.ie
Each year, from the end of November to the end of December, Vörösmarty Square is transformed into the annual Budapest Christmas Market. Visitors can browse over 100 stands offering unique Christmas-themed arts and crafts. Each day, between December 1st and 23rd a new window is opened in the giant Advent calendar on the facade of the Gerbeaud building accompanied by light and music shows.
The scent of traditional Hungarian foods like lángos (fry bread with a variety of toppings), kürtöskalács (a cone-shaped sweet hollow pastry), roasted meats, fried sausages and other delicacies like home-made strudels, töki pompos (oven-baked dough) and roasted chestnuts wafting in the air is sure to whet your appetite for the season ahead.
Book your Budapest Christmas Market trip at www.travelcheaper.ie
Berlin shines in a festive blaze of lights every year in the period before Christmas. There are about 60 Christmas markets to wander round and enjoy set everywhere from grand boulevards and squares to small side streets and in museums. Some should not be missed such as Potsdamer Platz Christmas Market which has an impressive toboggan run 12 metres high and 70 metres long – perfect for relieving any shopping related stress!
Another market you shouldn’t miss is set alongside the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtniskirche beside the war-shattered remnants of a 19th century church. Whichever market you visit make sure you keep warm with a tipple from one of the many gluhwein stalls throughout!
Book your Berlin Christmas Market trip at www.arrowtours.ie