Going away for Christmas is a popular option to take during the festive period and taking a trip to a skiing resort or to the far reaches of Greenland or Lapland tend to be the more common choices, but a great idea is to embrace Christmas from the point of view of a different culture.
Europe offers so many different cultures for you to get a taste of and Christmas time can be the perfect opportunity to see how the likes of Spain, Germany and Hungary celebrate this special time.
The Fira de Santa Llúcia in the heart of the Catalan capital is Barcelona’s most well-known Christmas Market and puts on a strong effort to get into the spirit of the festive period, with many stalls selling Christmas trees, decorations and other festive goodies including jewellery, toys and ornaments. With so much tempting you, it is imperative to buy currency before you go so you don’t run out of cash in the middle of the market!
This is one Christmas market, however, that doesn’t take the typical German style and is very Spanish in nature, making for a very unique experience. This means then, that those after mulled wine and bratwurst will not find what they’re looking for here.
One place those looking for a typical German market will obviously find more than they could hope for at the Kaiser Wilhelm market in Berlin. There are more than 100 stalls offering their fair share of mulled wine, German meat and cinnamon based treats, as well as refreshments and amusements.
The Berlin Christmas market also features plenty of live music to top off the festive feel, with the likes of trumpet ensembles, choirs and jazz players. Situated in front of the Kaiser Wilhelm church, the location is more than suitable for the seasonal environment.
From the end of November to the end of December, the Vörösmarty Square takes on a dramatic transformation to offer visitors over 100 stands and stalls in the heart of the Hungarian capital. A culmination of entertainment, exhibitions and a giant advent calendar on the side of the impressive Gerbeaud building makes for one of the most delightful Christmas markets on the continent.
The Budapest market takes on its own traditions to offer the likes of traditional Hungarian food, including lángos (fried bread with numerous toppings) and kürtöskalács (a sweet, hollow pastry). Look out also for a great choice of handmade gifts to take back with you for everyone back home and give them a delightful piece of Hungary.