For most people, Christmas is one of the most beloved holidays, which turns our life into a real fairy tale and makes our thoughts bright and joyful.
In December, we are constantly thinking about getting ready for Christmas, finding gifts for the dearest people and waiting for the real Christmas miracle. However, we recommend you not to wait, and just get car rental, and go on holiday to one of the European countries. Then miracles will happen right before your eyes.
Christmas is a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends, to enjoy a cozy homely atmosphere and delicious Christmas treats. So, let’s look at 7 European cities, where the celebration of Christmas will bring you unforgettable emotions…
7 Greatest European Destinations
The reasons to go to Paris don’t need to be searched or invented – they always exist. The French capital is the first destination in our list, as it gives the most obvious answer to the question: “Where to go for Christmas?” In addition to the enthusiasm from the wonderful illuminations and festive decorations, the City of Love provides guests a generous portion of romantic impressions.
If you arrive a couple of days earlier, there’s a chance to arrange an unforgettable Christmas shopping, interspersed with beautiful decorations of the main shopping centers of Paris, including the famous Galeries Lafayette. In addition, the traditional Christmas market offers everyone a truly French variety of festive treats, including mulled wine, gingerbread, and sausages, as well as traditional dishes from the most remote corners of the country. The largest Christmas market stretches along the Champs Elysees, since a dozen others are easy to find on the city map.
The main attraction for a winter visit to Dresden is the oldest in Germany and one of the most famous in Europe Christmas market called the Striezelmarkt, which was firstly arranged in 1434. The name comes from the word Hefestriezel – the traditional fruit-nut cake, which today is often called Christstollen. With its shape and white color, this sweet masterpiece should resemble a baby Christ wrapped in a diaper.
The market is open for a whole month – from November 26 till December 24 and closes on Christmas Eve. Townspeople go to feast with their families, and numerous tourists celebrate the holiday with a glass of burning mulled wine, sausages and stollen, as well as admire the wonderful Christmas tree in the fairground and stroll along the shining fairy-tale lights.
Christmas is a great time for exploring the snow-covered Prague with lyrical pauses for a glass of spiced ‘svařené vino’ – local mulled wine. The city is decorated with festive firs, shimmering festoons and, of course, Christmas fairs – they are especially impressive in Wenceslas Square and on the Old Town Square from November 28 to January 1. The center of attraction for tourists is the Christmas tree, brought from the slopes of the Krkonoše Mountains in the north of the Czech Republic. A luxurious tree shines with lights illuminating the dark gothic Prague with a truly magical glow.
The air of the Hungarian capital at Christmas is literally saturated with the aromas of honey-cinnamon cookies, mulled wine and elegant Christmas trees. Wooden rustic-style kiosks and two open scenes of the pre-holiday market occupy one of the most beautiful sights of the city – Vörösmarty Square. This is an excellent reason to spend Christmas Eve there and, having walked enough around the beautifully illuminated city, go to the hotel to continue the holiday in the traditional home format.
Christmas is especially beautiful in old cities, and the Swiss capital is not an exception. When choosing where to go for Christmas, we advise you to think about Bern: the time of the winter holidays is a great time to explore the 800-year-old city, decorated with shining garlands and festive Christmas trees. The city filled with old houses with tiled roofs is the perfect setting for a festive weekend.
During Christmas, the capital of the Danish kingdom shines with festive lights, and the aroma of sugar-baked almonds, round ebleskiver donuts and glögg (hot wine with spices) hovers in the air.
Townspeople buy Christmas trees and gifts, and restaurants provide a Christmas menu. Despite the winter wind and rare snowfalls, most cafes and restaurants offer guests to enjoy a cup of tea, glögg or beer right in the open air. Of course, warm blankets are also offered. Tourists who choose Copenhagen to celebrate Christmas are fond of Christmas celebrations in Tivoli Gardens. Special chic is to stay for a weekend at the Nimb Hotel, which looks like a fairy-tale palace located right in the famous gardens. In addition to the traditional fun on the Christmas market, you can admire the city decorated with twinkling lights, fabulous illuminations on the alleys and unique light shows on the fountains.
The most delicious Christmas markets are waiting for you in the Belgian capital. Locals also know that New Year’s entertainment is not limited to family gatherings at home. If you like parades and concerts, you should go to the city fair, which is open from November 27 till January 3. In addition to delicacies and souvenirs, the observation wheel, carousel and even the ice monster instead of the traditional snowman are provided.