Best European Christmas Markets

It is that time of year again.  Some say the most magical time of year, but certainly, a time when the best Christmas markets are being held all over Europe.  With air travel so easy there is no reason why you cannot book a last minute trip and see some of these outstanding offerings for yourself.  Here are the top three in our opinion and some general travel tips.

Zagreb, Croatia

Twice in a row, Zagreb has been voted the European Best Christmas Market and with little wonder.  It offers a massive range of stalls offering local produce and festive treats and has an impressive atmosphere to boot. Expect a riot of colour with dancing and singing in the streets, and don’t forget to take a well-earned break at one of the street cafes and enjoy some local warming delicacies.   This year the market begins on December 2nd and runs until January 8th.

Colmar, France

This one has already started but never fear the market lasts right through to New Year’s Eve, so there is still plenty of time to enjoy all that is on offer.  What is unique here is that you are actually attending five different Christmas markets within the city.  Expect to do a fair about of walking between the various town squares, but the whole area has a real winter wonderland vibe with lights and music.  The stalls offer stunning crafts from local artists as well as food and drinks.  It is well worth a visit.

Aachen, Germany

With the stunning cathedral as a focal point, this is a beautiful location for a Christmas market.  Another myriad of colour and light this is an unforgettable setting, and you will find huge choices of gifts on offer including the all-important local, seasonal foods.  Whatever you are shopping for you are sure to find something that appeals to you here.  This market also opened on November 24th and will run until 23rd of December.

 Travel Tips

Remember that this is a hectic time of year for travellers.  Visiting Christmas markets tends to be a tiring and intense short break, but something that many people will agree is well worth experiencing at least once.  With so many people moving all over the world at the same time you may experience some travel delays.  As you are likely only to need hand luggage you are well advised to check in early and make sure you are prepared to be waiting around.  That said this is also the time of year when flights can be delayed – more so than usual, so have a plan B.  It is possible for flight delays to extend to hours and this can be intensely frustrating if you only have a limited amount of time at your destination.  It is an excellent time to make yourself aware of the European flight delay compensation rules as if your flight is delayed by more than two hours you are entitled to various levels of compensation depending on how long the issues take to be resolved.