Top five Christmas Markets
- Credit: Archant
Get into the festive spirit with a cup of mulled win at one of these magnificent winter markets
1. Bremen, Germany
This breathtaking destination has one of the most atmospheric Christmas markets in Germany, if not Europe. With the grand town hall as its backdrop and over 170 decked-out stalls, you’ll be transported to a winter wonderland lined with log fires and torch lights. Smell the warming scent of brewing mulled wine and cinnamon as you head to one of the medieval-style taverns, and catch a melody or two from the carollers singing their hearts out.
Market Square and Schlachte Embankment, Bremen, November 21 - December 23
2. Colmar, France
If you’re looking for a truly mesmerising experience, then head to the French city of Colmar which is steeped in architectural history. Illuminations will link you to the city’s five markets through a labyrinth of small streets lined with half-timbered houses dating back a century. Each site champions the craftsmanship of its Alsace residents with unique products to buy and try. Wine-tasting, guided tours and toy exhibitions are also available so this unsung destination is a must.
Colmar town centre, November 25 - December 31
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3. Manchester, UK
You don’t have to book flights to witness the magic of Christmas as this northern city plays host to one of the best markets in the UK. The main site is located at the famous Albert Square, and every year the festivities are kicked off with nearly 350 intricately decorated stalls brimming with gifts, crafts, jewellery and toys. Taste the mouth-watering international foods on offer as you mooch around the different makeshift chalets, and take a seat at the bar and enjoy a German beer or two.
Manchester city centre, November 10 - December 20
4. Gothenburg, Sweden
Jump on a plane to picturesque Gothenburg. The Liseberg Christmas Market is the largest in Sweden, with more than 60 stalls selling local goods and a popular open air ice rink nearby. Sample delicacies such as smoked sausage, reindeer meat, glögg (mulled wine) and traditional sweets as you meander through the snow-topped wooden sheds. Make sure you pack a warm coat and woolly hat as temperatures often hit below freezing at this time of year.
Liseberg Amusement Park, November 18 - December 30
5. Copenhagen, Denmark
Why go to one Christmas market, when you can go to seven? During the festive season Copenhagen is awash with roasting nuts and steaming wine as various locations around the city put on a decorative display. The market in Tivoli Gardens is a favourite among residents with its white-tipped trees, Santa and his reindeer, fairy lights and a heavy dose of the Nordic winter atmosphere. Other popular spots include the Freetown Christiana yuletide bash, the beautiful Nyhavn harbour wooden chalets and the cosy markets at the renaissance castle Kronborg.
Tivoli Gardens, November 19 - December 31