My Top 5 Beautiful places to visit for Christmas in Europe
Winter has just started, and the Christmas ambiance is still present beneath my warm winter coat. It may be weird to share this, but I’d love to share my Top 5 Beautiful places to visit for Christmas in Europe.
Europe has been one of the continents that have attracts not millions of tourists from around the world. It might be people from Africa, Antarctica, Asia, North America, Australasia or Oceania, and South America.
Though Asia distinguished for it’s the longest period of Christmas Celebration, Europe, however, stand out with its way of celebrating it through creating Christmas Markets on each city, decorating Christmas lights on streets, buildings, and even light shows.
Why Christmas Market special?
During Christmas holiday season Europe people were asked from all over the world to vote for their favorite Christmas markets, best sunny Christmas markets, and most beautiful Christmas lights in Europe.
Some of the most enchanting Christmas markets are found in different countries. The famous one would be in France, Austria, Germany, Croatia, Hungary, United Kingdom, Belgium and many more. These countries are mostly known for setting up their most beautiful wooden chalets and Christmas decorations.
But wait here’s more, In this European cities, Craftsmen are selling their own exquisite handmade Christmas products like knitting woolen sweaters, hats, bonnets, gloves and scarves. Others are cooking gingerbread, meat, sausages, serving warm mulled wine, and many more.
Nonetheless, Europe has been radiantly attractive when it comes to its stunning Christmas cities. Personally, you should never miss it.
Enough with all my explanations and now, I will reveal my top 5 Beautiful places to visit for Christmas after all these years that I have spent here in this outstanding country.
Top 5 Berlin, Germany
Since it’s my first time to visit Berlin’s Christmas season. It was still a gorgeous place to spend your holidays. There are around 100 Christmas Markets in Berlin this includes the small stalls installed in the middle of almost every street.
Compared to other Christmas cities in Europe, Berlin also possesses the same characteristics. The unique activities that it offers is the rides. Aside from Ferris wheel most of its Christmas market have roller coaster (Wilde Maus) or a free fall from the Voodoo Jumper.
Another activity that it offers is the giant Rodelbahn (Luge) in Winterwelt. You can slide down a large snowy mountain sitting on a tire with two persons at a time.
Berlin would be on the 5th spot since I haven’t explored that much yet. I have only visited 2 of its Christmas Markets. But for sure I will recommend you to visit the Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus.
Eat some Crepe (German version) and drink some gluhwein (hot wine).
TOP 4 Brussels, Belgium
One of my top 5 Beautiful places to visit for Christmas is my little wonderland city of Brussels. Winter Wonders or Plaisir d’hiver as we call it here in Belgium.
What makes it special? well, knowing that it has 2.5 million visitors it is surely the unmissable end-of-year event in Brussels.
The Winter Wonders event takes place before and during the Christmas holidays, at the Grand-Place in Brussels and around the Bourse, the Place de la Monnaie, the Place Sainte-Catherine, and the Marché aux Poissons.
Featuring the great Christmas tree and sound and light show on the Grand-Place light and festive parades, Place de la Monnaie’s covered ice rink for skating. Other features of Winter Wonders are the 200 chalets (like a small wooden house/hut). It also has fairground attractions: Ferris wheel, merry-go-rounds, etc.,
Best thing to do
Enjoy the skating with family or friends, drink some vin chaud or hot wine, and don’t forget to eat choucroute (bread, sausage, & cabbage)
Top 3 Prague, Czech Republic
Second on the list would be the magical city of Prague. The first time I visited I saw some of Prague’s Vanocni trhy (Christmas markets) especially near the Prague Castle and the ambiance was indeed vibrant.
My second visit was just recently, and I mostly spend my time in the Old Town Square. Which filled with Christmas Markets, and decorated wooden huts stocked with local handicrafts. Such as ceramics, jewelry, embroidered lace, wooden toys, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, and many more.
You can check my second visit adventure story about My Christmas Night Market visit to Berlin & Prague.
What special about the Christmas season in Prague is its food. My favorite one is the large hams roasted on spits (Pražská Šunka). But be careful where to buy these hams, choose those stalls that are outside of the big square.
You can also try Trdelník (a hot sugar-coated pastry). If you are curious to know its taste but this is not a traditional Czech food.
For drinks, try one of the famous Czech beers: Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen or Budvar.
Never miss visiting the Christmas markets in one of the Beautiful places to visit for Christmas. They can be found at Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square (5 minutes walk from each other).
If you opt to visit smaller markets, there’s Republic Square, at Havel’s Market, on Kampa Island, and on the square in front of St. George’s Basilica at Prague Castle.
Are you a foodie then, check out my post about Prague Food Tour by the Geeks
Top 2 Vienna, Austria
Visiting Vienna in winter was intense, the city itself is very charming but adding its Christmas markets make it more engaging. I put it on number 2 spot because of its beauty and seductive Viennese charm to its visitors.
I’ve visited five Christmas Markets in this city, and all of them resembles each other. I have tried their different Viennese food, and drinks and it was a really fun discovery.
Vienna’s Christmas Market filled with more than 40 festively decorated market stalls offer traditional handcrafted goods, baroque lifestyle, and special culinary delights.
The popular Christmas Village and my favorite the Belvedere Palace is set against the glorious baroque backdrop of the world-famous residence, one of Vienna‘s most beautiful and significant sights.
Try the traditional delicious Glühwein and never miss the Goulash soup in bread.
Read about my post about Vienna Food Guide in a Budget
Top 1 Cologne, Germany
Finally, we’ve come down to the number 1 on my list of the Beautiful places to visit for Christmas. As I have mentioned often on my blog posts that I have visited several times Cologne especially on Christmas season.
It is the fourth largest city in Germany who offers a variety of Christmas markets. The most popular one is in front of the famous Cologne Cathedral who has over 4 million visitors each year to the 150 stands/stalls.
The reason why I chose Cologne is this city has a lot to offer to its visitors. Though it has almost the same theme regarding on its quaintly designed huts or Buden.
It also has a big stage in the middle of the square where children do the caroling, and there’s music, singing, and dancing, and much more entertaining program.
My most memorable experience here was when I received free speculous or gingerbread.
They are making this gingerbread on the spot, and they are still warm if you eat them. I never thought that gingerbread from Germany was that good I mean really tasty better than the one from Belgium. (Shh be quiet don’t tell it to my Belgian friends)
If you are planning to spend your Christmas in Cologne, make sure to book your hotel at least 3 months in advance so you’ll get a good location nearby the Cathedral.
Visit the Christmas market early in the afternoon before crowd comes in from 5 pm and above.
So there you go, ladies and gentlemen, you have seen my top 5 Beautiful places to visit for Christmas. As I’ve said, I will explore other Christmas cities to compare and see the distinction between them.
There’s one thing though that I have learned that every city has its own identity, its own specialty either on food, handicrafts, or others. Each city represents its originality and uniqueness on how to celebrate Christmas.
Top 5 Beautiful places to visit for Christmas in Europe