Christmas Markets in Europe
Christmas Markets spice up the winter holiday season with an extra dose of spirit and cheer. Outdoor markets celebrating Advent and the Christ child pop up in many towns from the first weekend in December right up until Christmas Eve. In German speaking regions they are known as Christkindl Markt or Weihnachtsmarkt. Our English translation is “Christ Child Market” and “Christmas Market.” However, they are not limited solely to Germany and Austria… Christmas Markets are a longtime tradition in many areas associated with the spread of Christianity in Europe under the guidance of the medieval church and the Holy Roman Empire.
My first experience at a Christmas Market
I fell in love with the “Christmas Market experience” several years ago when Charlotte and I visited Vienna and Prague. We had some airline miles to use before the end of the year, so we took off for a winter escape from the Florida heat. My luggage (and heavy winter coat) had been “lost” in flight, so my first experience was walking around Vienna’s markets in nothing but a thin cotton blazer. I assure you I had my fair share of glüwein trying to keep warm that night! I was impressed with the focus on Christmas and Christ, the hand-made unique crafts, and the general festive atmosphere.
Later, we visited Prague and experienced some of the most amazing foods. Locals were roasting huge hams on spits over open wood fires. All you had to do was walk up and they would whack off a piece, slap it on a slice of crusty bread and hand it to you. Many towns specialize in their own variety of sausages, sweets, breads, and chocolate covered treats. I can promise you’ll not go hungry! There is a fair amount of drinking too. Countless local varieties of glüwein (a piping hot mulled wine), pünsch, kinderpüncsh, schnapps, hot chocolate, and coffee are available and served in their own souvenir cup representing the Christmas Market and year.
All this, combined with chilly weather, caroling choirs, brass bands, millions of lights, and festive decorations are sure to supercharge your holiday travel experience. It is totally different traveling in the winter and being immersed in the Christmas cheer. Even if you’ve visited these destinations before in the spring or summer… this winter Christmas Market experience is like making it all fresh and new again.
Why not join us?
This year, why don’t you join me in experiencing the Christmas Markets of Germany and Austria? I guarantee you’ll catch the Christmas spirit, get in some fine shopping, eat well, experience the sights, and still be home in time to celebrate Christmas with your usual traditions.
We leave the USA on December 6 and return December 14. A few seats are still available and we are keeping one warm for you!