Visiting Europe over Christmas? Or maybe you’re currently living in one of the cities known for dozens of Christmas markets and you wonder which one to pick? Check where to go and what to try to experience the true magic of Christmas.
The tradition of Christmas markets was born in the German-speaking part of Europe in the Late Middle Ages. Before they were called December markets and the first one associated with Advent and Christmas was organized in Dresden in 1434. Currently the tradition spread to many European cities and German immigrants carried it even to the United States.
Christmas markets in Zurich
Although not as old as their German counterparts, the Christmas markets in Zurich have a lot to offer and you certainly find something to suit you. If you are looking for traditional, artisanal products, visit the Dörfli Christmas Market in Niederdorf or the Zürcher Wienachtsdorf, set up on the stairs of Zurich Opera House. If you prefer to stay indoors, try the Christkindlimarkt, located in the hall of Zurich Main Train Station. Its main attraction is a fifty-foot high Christmas tree adorned with thousands of Svarovski crystals. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Zurich for Christmas, check the offer of VISIONAPARTMENTS Zurich.
Zurich Christmas food
Staying in Zurich, you have to try Swiss cheese delicacies that will warm up both your belly and heart. The classic fondue is a mix of melted aromatic cheeses and white wine, which you dip bread into. Raclette, on the other hand, is a block of cheese, melted and scraped, traditionally served with potatoes and dried meats. You can also try it in a “raclette burger” or even a “raclette hotdog”.
Christmas markets in Lausanne
The Christmas market in Lausanne, called Bô Noël takes the traditional event and gives it a unique, modern twist. On the Creators’ Market, located on Place Pépinet, you will find stands filled with local artisans’ jewelry and clothes. If you’re looking for a unique gift, this is the place to go. A city like Lausanne could not celebrate Christmas without a wide selection of local foods and beverages. The winegrowers sell their produce under the Grand-Pont. Foodies also congregate on Place Saint-François, which has dozens of food stalls under a glass roof, perfect for snowy weather. VISIONAPARTMENTS Lausanne is located right in the city center, so it’s a great base to explore the city and Christmas markets.
Lausanne Christmas food
Staying on the Swiss Riviera, you have to try the local wines – either in the traditional form, or mulled wine to keep you warm and eager to explore the Christmas markets. You should also taste the local cheese delicacy called Malakoffs – a great appetizer, made with a mixture of Gruyere, garlic and wine, scooped on a bread and deep fried.
Christmas markets in Berlin
In winter, the map of Berlin is dotted with Christmas markets. Every year, the city center host over 70 Christmas markets. Do your research beforehand to find what interests you the most, because visiting all of them is virtually impossible. If you’re looking for size and a huge selection of stands, go to the Christmas market in Spandau. For the more athletically inclined, there’s the Christmas market on Potsdamer Platz, called also the “Winter World”. It focuses on winter sports, with a toboggan and an ice rink for skating and curling. For more diversity and a nostalgic experience, go to the Berliner Weihnachtszeit in the park in front of the Berliner Fernsehturm, This Christmas market is emulating the early 20th century Berlin, with stands offering traditional arts and crafts of that time. It’s a ten-minute walk from VISIONAPARTMENTS Berlin.
Berlin Christmas food
Berlin is a foodie’s paradise all year long. During the Christmas season, you will find that the city is full of stands with chestnuts roasted over open fire. Berlin is also a great place to try traditional German cookies, called the Lebkuchen, somewhat resembling gingerbread.
Christmas markets in Frankfurt
The main Frankfurt Christmas market is localized in the heart of the Old Town. It’s spread over a huge area, including the Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz, Hauptwache, Paulsplatz and Römerberg. The tradition of the Frankfurt Christmas market dates back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest such events in Germany. It’s also one of the biggest markets in Germany, both in terms of area and number of visitors. You can get there easily from VISIONAPARTMENTS Frankfurt on foot and it takes just 10 minutes.
Frankfurt Christmas food
Frankfurt is famous for its regional Apfelwein. During the wintertime, you can enjoy it with a Christmas twist – heated and served with cinnamon and orange, just like mulled wine. Frankfurt is also known for the local desserts and Christmas cookies. Staying there in winter, try the Bethmännchen – marzipan pastries with rosewater and almonds, and Frankfurter Brenten – made from similar ingredients, but shaped differently, often with a stamp from the local producer.
Christmas markets in Vienna
Every year, Vienna hosts over 20 Christmas markets. The biggest one, located at Rathausplatz, in front of the city hall, has dozens of stands with gifts, souvenirs and culinary treats. Visitors with kids will surely enjoy the huge ice rink and the carousel, and the beautiful light installations in the park and along the Ringstasse. Vienna’s palaces, Schönbrunn and Belvedere hold their own Christmas markets, with historical flair, handicrafts and traditional gifts. You can explore all of these Christmas markets from cozy VISIONAPARTMENTS Vienna apartments, located close to the heart of Vienna’s Old Town.
Vienna Christmas food
In Vienna, you have to try the Ingwer Glühmost (mulled cider). It’s also a great place to enjoy your roaster chestnuts. If you have a sweet tooth, you will enjoy the Krapfen, Austrian donuts filled with berry marmalade. Recently, a savory variant – with a sauerkraut filling – gained popularity too.
Explore these – and more – locations all around the world with VISIONAPARTMENTS. Check our offer here!