7 Christmas Markets You Have To Visit Before You Die
It's the most wonderful time of the year after all...
Christmas is such a special time of year...
Everywhere is sparkling with fairy lights and baubles, the air is thick with spices and people are at their merriest.
Visiting a Christmas market has become a tradition over the years, but many of us have not ventured too far from home in our search for the best hot chocolate, candy canes or Christmas cookie vendor.
So, what have you been missing out on?
1. Zagreb, Croatia
Croatia is an absolutely stunning country, and their capital is a great example of that.
Voted Best Christmas Market 2016, Zagreb's market is something we all need to experience. The winding city streets and sprawling squares invite any Christmas lover to really get into the festive season with singing, dancing, and other kinds of entertainment for family and friends.
You can also sample traditional delicacies alfresco or enjoy a vast array of activities which take you down memory lane, straight back to your childhood.
Check it out from November 26 to January 8.
2. Strasbourg, France
The oldest Christmas market in Europe is definitely something work checking out.
Traditionally called Christkindelsmärik, the very first market was held in 1570! Fast forward to 2016 and the market hosts over 300 stalls, spread out over 12 locations in the city centre.
Market goers rave abouts the authenticity, warmth and generosity of Strasbourg Christmas market, and fall in love with the Alsatian traditions, which span decades.
Head to Strasbourg between November 25 to December 31.
3. Aachen, Germany
Just before Christmas, the streets and squares of Aachen town are transformed into a paradise of lights and colours, festive sounds and seductive smells, all in honour of their annual Christmas market.
There is an enormous choice of goods and yummy treats, which are sure to make anyone's Christmas dreams come true.
To experience the best Aachen Christmas Market has to offer, visit between November 18 and December 23.
4. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Another classic German Christmas market, but this one might be a little less well known.
Imagine this... breathing in the smell of ginger bread and roasted almonds, while strolling under thousands of fairy lights as you listen to brass bands play festive music.
Every festive season Rothenburg ob der Tauber transforms itself into a fairytale winter wonderland and the market has changed little over the last 500 years.
Visit the medieval town from November 25 to December 23.
5. Vienna, Austria
One of Vienna's prettiest squares transforms itself into a magical Christmas wonderland for the festive season. Smells of Christmas baking completely flood the square while you sip hot punch, what more could you want?
Vienna's Christmas market, known as Vienna Magic of Advent, offers gifts, decorations, sweets, warming drinks, carousels, craft workshops and amazing Christmas lights.
You don't want to miss out on all of that.
The festivals runs from November 13 to December 23.
6. Birmingham, England
This one is a little closer to home for someone who might not be looking to travel too far, but still experience everything an amazing Christmas market has to offer.
Birmingham has the largest authentic German market in Europe, except for Germany and Austria of course. The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market and Craft Market has grown from just 24 stalls to 180, which sell everything your festive heart desires from decorations to handcrafted jewellery.
Fill your belly with traditional German food and drinks, like sausages, beer and pretzels. You can also enjoy the popular ice rink and ferris wheel.
Visit Birmingham from November 17 to December 22.
7. Barcelona, Spain
The Fira de Santa Llúcia is Barcelona's biggest Christmas market. It is a Spanish market so it doesn't have a typically German feel that many of us have come to associate with Christmas markets.
There is also a section of the market named Artesania, where you can shop a wide range of stalls selling various handmade and artisan products, from jewellery, toys, leather goods and ornaments.
Visit the market from November 25 to December 23.
'Tis the season!
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