Saturday, November 29, 2008

‘tis the season for Christmas Markets

Christmas market 2The Maastricht city Christmas market opened today, a collection of huts filling the main square.  The best part will be the big Ferris Wheel that can be seen from all over town.

Christmas Markets are a tradition in many cities across northern Europe, and well worth taking a day to visit. I’ve been to the big markets in Koln and Brussels, and wish that there was time to drive to some of the more distant ones in Nurnberg or Prague.  Markets generally feature lots of food and drink stalls, an assortment of crafts and small gifts for sale, holiday trimmings, and entertainment (ice rinks, carousels, and sky wheels).

Each has it’s own personality. The Koln Market, for example, is scattered over a half-dozen venues around the city, and focuses  on crafts.  The Brussels market follows a long, winding path through the streets across the old city center, featuring more food and gluhwijn.  There is also a spectacular light show splashed across the city hall and synchronized to opera.

Christmas market 1 The Markets get into full swing in the coming days: here are a couple of pointers to a good index of locations, dates, and attractions at, and to a ‘Top-10’ review that matches my own experiences at travelintelligence.  And the Maastricht Market runs through New Year’s.


Unknown said...

These markets are one of the biggest highlights from my years here so far! I love them!

Dave Hampton said...

I really enjoy them as well; I have several US friends with requests for particular craft items that I have to find as well. A pleasurable hunt ! (I wonder if I can get them to cover my expenses :) )

Finally, Jul is doing a wonderful series of reviews of markets in the Munich area over at her "This Non-American Life" blog.