Experience the Christmas Markets of Europe!
Experience the Christmas Markets of Europe!
Experience an Old World tradition and embrace the magical essence of Europe's Christmas Markets. The magic of the season is demonstrated with concerts, traditional local foods and beautiful hand crafted trinkets.
Step into the joy of the holidays with the beautiful streets of Vienna as your backdrop. Punch and chestnut stands draw customers with seasonal treats and stallholders get shoppers in the holiday spirit with handcrafted goods. The Christmas Markets in Vienna truly are an age-old tradition. The forerunners of the present-day events date back to the Middle Ages when in 1298 Albrecht the First granted Vienna's citizens the privilege of holding a December Market, or Krippenmarkt.
The Prague Christmas markets are held at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, with smaller markets at Republic Square and Havel's market. The markets consist of brightly decorated wooden huts selling traditional handcrafted products such as intricate glassware and jewelry, embroidered lace, wooden toys, beautifully dressed puppets and dolls, Christmas tree ornaments, and an array of other seasonal gifts and treats.
The largest Paris Christmas market, with wooden huts where local traders sell their homemade handicrafts and trinkets, stretches from the Champs-Elysées around to the Place de la Concorde. See the atmospheric Christmas market at La Défense near the Grand Arche, and at Montparnasse Tower you will find a quaint market that specializes in regional French delicacies. Don't miss a visit to see the beautiful Place des Abbesses Christmas market, which is nestled in the heart of the charming Montmartre neighborhood.
Berlin’s Charlottenburg Castle Christmas Market is immersed for 35 days in a special romantic light, and a unique ensemble is created with approximately 150 vendors from all over Germany, as well as abroad. At Munich’s famous Marienplatz, travelers can enjoy traditional Bavarian goodies while surrounded by historic buildings including the New and Old Town Halls. Frankfurt offers handmade trinkets, crafts and local culinary specials including hot apple wine and Bethmännchen cookies in the historic old square of Römerberg. Dresden’s markets date back into the 15th century and the Striezelmarkt offers unique features and events such as the Plaumentoffel – a doll likened to a chimney sweep made out of prunes – and the largest Christmas Pyramid in the country.
The Christmas markets of Budapest offer an authentic Hungarian experience with folk art and handcrafts. Stalls offer gifts including glass blown works, knitwear and traditional Hungarian embroidery. Visitors can drink mulled wine, eat traditional streets foods such as sausage and enjoy pastries know as chimney cakes. They'll be dazzled by the beautiful main markets in Vorosmarty Square and near St. Stephen's Basilica, plus smaller markets throughout the city.
Rome's Baroque square, Piazza Navona is transformed into the city's most traditional Christmas market. Browse beautiful stands selling handicrafts, nativity figures and decorations or enjoy a real Italian yuletide delicacy such as biscotti or roasted chestnuts. Father Christmas and a fantastic carousel will delight the children and a large nativity scene add an extra festive touch. Plus, on the eve of January 5th, La Befana (the good witch known in Italian stories) visits, leaving gifts for all the children.
You will visit the following 14 places:
Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country offers many diverse destinations – relatively low mountains in the north-west, the Great Plain in the east, lakes and rivers of all sorts (including Balaton - the largest lake in Central Europe), and many beautiful small villages and hidden gems of cities. Top this off with Hungary's great accessibility in the middle of Europe, a vivid culture and economy, and you get a destination absolutely not worth missing if you're in the region. The country's largest city and busy capital, Budapest, is an elegant, stylish and lively city made up of two separate settlements clustered on either side of the Danube River: hilly Buda has a wealth of graceful Habsburg and neoclassical buildings, while sprawling Pest is its commercial centre with a generous scattering of art nouveau architecture and an ad-hoc party scene.
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. The city of Paris, within its administrative limits largely unchanged since 1860, has an estimated population of 2,193,031, but the Paris metropolitan area has a population of 11,836,970, and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe. In 2009 and 2010, the city has been ranked among the three most important and influential cities in the world, among the first three "European cities of the future" according to a research published by Financial Times and among the top ten cities in the world in which to live according to the British review Monocle. The city is the home of the most visited art museum in the world; ''the Louvre'' as well as the ''Musée d'Orsay'' noted for its collection of French Impressionist art, and the ''Musée National d'Art Moderne'' a museum of modern and contemporary art. The notable architectural landmarks of Paris include Notre Dame Cathedral (12th century); the Sainte-Chapelle (13th century); the Eiffel Tower (1889); and the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre (1914). In 2014 Paris received 22.4 million visitors, making it one of the world's top tourist destinations. It is also known for its fashion, particularly the twice-yearly Paris Fashion Week, and for its haute cuisine, and three-star restaurants. Most of France's major universities and grandes écoles are located in Paris, as are France's major newspapers, including Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Libération.
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it serves as the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2010, Budapest had 1,721,556 inhabitants, down from its 1980 peak of 2.06 million. The Budapest Commuter Area is home to 3,271,110 people. The city covers an area of 525 square kilometres (202.7 sq mi) within the city limits. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the river Danube with a unification on 17 November 1873 of right (west)-bank Buda and Óbuda with left (east)-bank Pest. Budapest is one of Europe's most delightful and enjoyable cities. Due to its scenic setting and its architecture it is nicknamed "Paris of the East".
The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is a nation state in Central Europe. Although the country may not be large it has a rich and eventful history. From time immemorial Czechs, Germans, Jews and Slovaks, as well as Italian stonemasons and stucco workers, French tradesmen and deserters from Napoleon’s army have all lived and worked here, all influencing one another. For centuries they jointly cultivated their land, creating works that still command our respect and admiration today. It is thanks to their inventiveness and skill that this small country is graced with hundreds of ancient castles, monasteries and stately mansions, and even entire towns that give the impression of being comprehensive artifacts. The Czech Republic contains a vast of amount of architectural treasure and has beautiful forests and mountains to match.
Misunderstood by many, Germany is one of the most unique and charming countries on the continent. Since reunification Germany has at last gained a higher profile as a place to visit, thanks partly to the remarkable resurgence of its capital, Berlin, one of the most fascinating and exciting cities in Europe. It's no surprise at all that today’s Germany is more diverse and cosmopolitan than old stereotypes suggest; mixing time-honoured nationalism and tradition with multicultural modernism and self-confidence.
Austria is a German-speaking federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.66 million people in Central Europe. It is characterized by its mountain villages, baroque city architecture, Imperial history and rugged alpine terrain. Vienna, its Danube River capital, is home to the Schonbrunn and Hofburg palaces, and has counted Mozart, Strauss and Sigmund Freud among its residents. The country’s other notable regions include the northern Bohemian Forest, Lake Traun and eastern hillside vineyards.
Prague, is situated on the Vltava River in central Bohemia. It is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. The city proper is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million. It has been a political, cultural and economic center of Europe and particularly central Europe for the over 1,100 years of its existence. For centuries, during the Gothic and Renaissance eras, Prague was the permanent seat of two Holy Roman Emperors and thus was also the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. The city played roles in the Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years' War, and in 20th-century history, both during the two World Wars and during the post-war Communist era.
Italy is a country in Southern Europe. It is home to the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Much like its food, this country is an endless feast of experiences. It is famous worldwide for its delicious cuisine, its trendy fashion industry, luxury sports cars and motorcycles, diverse regional cultures and dialects, as well as for its beautiful coast, alpine lakes and mountain ranges (the Alps and Apennines). There is also the country’s enormous cultural legacy: Tuscany alone has more classified historical monuments than any country in the world; there are considerable remnants of the Roman Empire all over the country, notably in Rome itself; and every region retains its own relics of an artistic tradition generally acknowledged to be among the world’s richest.
Berlin is the capital of Germany. Berlin is also one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.5 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union. Located in northeastern Germany on the banks of Rivers Spree and Havel, it is the centre of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, which has about six million residents from over 180 nations. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes.
Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main, commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2009 population of 672,000. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,295,000 in 2010. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5,600,000 and is Germany's second largest metropolitan area. In English, this city's name translates to Frankfurt on the Main (pronounced like English mine or German mein). The city is located on an ancient ford on the river Main, the German word for which is "Furt". A part of early Franconia, the inhabitants were the early Franks. Thus the city's name reveals its legacy as being the "ford of the Franks".
Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.7 million (2.4 million within the metropolitan area, more than 25% of Austria's population), and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 10th-largest city by population in the European Union. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, such as the United Nations and OPEC. The city is also known for its Imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence. Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud.
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in 1,285.3 km2 (496.3 sq mi). Rome's metropolitan area is the second largest in Italy Milan, with some 3.7 million residents. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy. The historic centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With wonderful palaces, millennium-old churches, grand romantic ruins, opulent monuments, ornate statues and graceful fountains, Rome has an immensely rich historical heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it one of Europe's and the world's most visited, famous, influential and beautiful capitals.
Munich is the capital city of Bavaria (Bayern), Germany. It is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. It is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. There are about 1.35 million people living within city limits, while the Munich Metropolitan Area (including the urban areas of Augsburg, Ingolstadt, Rosenheim and Landshut) is home to over 5 million people.The city is a major centre of art, advanced technologies, finance, publishing, culture, innovation, education, business and tourism in Germany and Europe, and enjoys a very high standard and quality of living. Munich's cultural scene is second to none in Germany, with the museums even considered by some to outrank Berlin in quality. Many travelers to Munich are absolutely stunned by the quality of the architecture. Although it was heavily damaged by allied bombing during World War II, many of its historic buildings have been rebuilt and the city center appears mostly as it did in the late 1800s including its largest church, the Frauenkirche, and the famous city hall (Neues Rathaus).
France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years. It received 83 million visitors in 2012, although these figures are highly skewed by the number of people who frequent the country for the weekend, particularly to visit Disneyland Paris, Europe's most popular visitor attraction. All these people come to France for many a reason: its cities contain some of the greatest treasures on the continent, its countryside is prosperous and well-tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions. France is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe, containing areas as different from each other as urban chic Paris, the sunny French Riviera, long Atlantic beaches, the winter sports resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, rugged Celtic Brittany and the historian's dream that is Normandy. The country seduces travellers with its unfalteringly familiar culture, woven around cafe terraces, village-square markets and lace-curtained bistros with their plat du jour chalked on the board. France citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and the country performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, civil liberties, and human development.