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.
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 Christmasmarkets.com, and to a ‘Top-10’ review that matches my own experiences at travelintelligence. And the Maastricht Market runs through New Year’s.