European Christmas markets bring on the holiday cheer


Christmastime in Europe is a magical travel experience, and the huge markets that pop up everywhere from Switzerland to the Czech Republic are known the world over for instilling wintry days and nights with holiday spirit.

The glittering markets take over public squares, parks and streets across the continent, often with extras such as ice-skating rinks, Ferris wheels, choirs and traditional music.

The main attraction is usually the food – smoked fish and meats, currywurst, bratwurst, potato pancakes, Raclette cheese and even fois gras, depending on the nation’s local cuisine. For dessert, there are filled pastries, stollen, waffles, cookies, cakes, gingerbread and candies galore.

And, of course, no Christmas market would be complete without a mug or two of mulled wine.

Although many of the markets were again cancelled this year in light of the ongoing pandemic, including some of the biggest in Germany and all in Austria, others opted to continue their traditions and spread some much-needed holiday cheer.

Fill up your holiday mug with these photos of European Christmas markets from years past:

Vienna, Austria
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Basel, Switzerland
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Frankfurt, Germany
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Prague, Czech Republic
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Strasbourg, France
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