Magical Christmas Markets
Get into the festive spirit this Christmas and join us on one of our European Christmas market breaks. From mulled wine to unique gifts and tasty local delicacies, it really is the season to be jolly. Enjoy historical German Christmas markets as we head to iconic destinations such as the city of Cologne and the mighty capital, Berlin.
Take in Austria and its seasonal offerings in Salzburg and Innsbruck, or spend time in picturesque Prague, one of Europe’s most popular cities. Or, discover the delights on offer in the UK and enjoy the charming York Christmas Markets and Christkindlmarkt in Leeds, or relax on our Christmas river cruises docking to visit many magical markets.
Whether you’re looking for a short trip, a long weekend or slowing down and making a holiday of it, there’s something for everyone amongst our fantastic selection of Christmas market holidays. X really does mark the spot with these exciting x-mas deals.
We’ve all heard about the famous German Christmas Markets and one thing is for sure, you won’t be surprised when it comes to the food and drink on offer. You’ll come across fantastic German beer on tap quite easily and, of course, what could be more German than a Brätwurst sausage?
Mulled wine in Germany is known as Glühwein.
The traditions between Austria and Germany differ only slightly. You can get your hands on the traditional gingerbread hearts better known as Leberkuchen and even find yourself tucking into roasted chestnuts. Be sure to try the giant pretzels and the mulled cider known as Gluhmostt whilst in out enjoying festive Austria.
Mulled wine in Austria is also known as Glühwein.
If you’re heading to the Czech Republic you’ll probably be told to try the mead. Known as medovina in Czech, it’s a sweet, honey wine that you will find hot and spiced to perfection, and great for warming your hands.
If you’re looking for something filling, the hog roast also is something not to be missed. Got a sweet tooth? Try the trdelnik. A sweet pastry made by wrapping dough around a stick and grilled. Topped off with sugar and a walnut mix, it’s delicious.
In the Czech Republic mulled wine is known as Svařené Víno
Belgium produces 23 tonnes of Foie Gras each year, and the controversial delicacy is ever popular around Christmas in Belgium.
You can pick it up quite easily from the markets around the country but, it can come with a hefty price tag. If something more novel is to your taste, you can get your hands on a chocolate Sinterklaas, you’ll have to admire how festive this chocolate Santa is and how good it tastes is just a bonus. You will find a large selection of the famous Belgian beer and ales at the markets. It’s said that Belgians drink around 74 litres of beer per person (statistically) each year! So, we’d consider this perfect territory for any beer enthusiast.
The mulled wine in Belgium is known as Vin Chaud.
The Dutch have their own deep-fried tradition when it comes to festive treats, the oliebollen. You may know them as Dutch doughnuts, or literally translated to oil spheres.
You’ll have no problem coming across these at the markets, or poffertjes for that matter. Poffertjes are small pancakes made with yeast and buckwheat flour, giving them a more spongey texture than a traditional pancake. For something a little more warming, there’s the famous Dutch pea soup, erwtensoep.
You will find Mulled wine in The Netherlands to be known as Bisschopswijn.
If you’re heading to Austria why not pick up some porcelain? Traditionally made in Vienna, be it for a coffee lover or even a beer enthusiast, you can get your hands on a variety of porcelain gifts from mugs to steins.
If you’re looking for something iconic, Swarovski Crystals may be more up your street. You can pick up some authentic jewellery from the Swarvoski Kristallwelten in Tyrol, or you can find Swarovski in many boutiques and jewellery shops around the country.
If France is in your Christmas itinerary, why not treat someone, or yourself, to a nice bottle of champagne? If you’re heading into Strasbourg, pick up some traditional Alsatian wine.
If you know somebody with more of a sweet tooth, how about some macaroons for a perfectly French gift?
The Czech Republic is well known for its puppetry, you can pick up a marionette easily in many shops, especially around Prague.
They may not be the prettiest of items but they are packed full of personality and would make a great present for children and big kids alike.
Germany is the home of the nutcracker, so why not take one of these iconic figures back home with you? Or, is something more unusual to your taste?
You could treat someone to some Hamburg Elbkiesel, sweets that are made to look like gravel, or even a Schnapps pipe, a novel way of replacing the glass for their favourite tipple.
If they’re a bit far-fetched and you’re wanting to get tradition to a tee, how about some lederhosen?
When in the Netherlands, it will be hard to miss the Klompen, full foot wooden clogs traditional to the Dutch.
Approximately 3 million pairs of Klompen are made every year in the Netherlands so you should have plenty of opportunity to get your hands on some whilst you’re there.
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