Christmas seems to start a little earlier every year. Whilst it once took up the entirety of December, it has now seemingly stretched all the way back through November and even into the tail end of October. Indeed, it would seem that once Halloween and Bonfire Night are out of the way, we’re effectively in the Christmas season. This has led to a dramatic increase in festive attractions popping up across Europe and perhaps the most popular attraction is the Christmas market.
But what are some of the best Christmas markets in Europe to explore this year?
Birmingham - One of the largest markets on the list and the UK market with perhaps the greatest heritage, this market in the city centre runs from the middle of November and draws festive families from across the country. At the weekend it will almost certainly be busy, but Birmingham is definitely a city with a lot to offer eager tourists. From the bohemian delights of Digbeth to the famous Bullring shopping centre and some of the best entertainment venues in the UK. So it’s the ideal market to plan a weekend around.
Budapest - The “Advent Feast” at the Basilica in the Hungarian capital is a truly gorgeous spectacle that is often ranked amongst the most beautiful markets in the world. A smaller market, perhaps, but so much more special for it - this dazzling display is set around a central ice rink and towering tree and a projection onto the cathedral itself.
Vienna - The City Hall Square in Vienna is always playing host to something special, but during the winter months, there Austrian capital’s main event space transforms for the “Vienna Magic of Advent,” which is so much more than just a Christmas market - it’s a veritable fairytale wonderland! Just one of many reasons to visit Vienna this festive season.
Bath - This UK Christmas market has been voted the best in the UK and is quite comfortably the most family-friendly on this list. Built around a 16th-century abbey, this traditional market of over 200 chalets offers everything from handmade crafts and home-cooked food to festive music.
Leipzig - The daddy of them all. The Leipzig market has been running in one form or another since 1458 and is arguably the market that all others on this list are trying to outdo. There is a distinctly medieval atmosphere to this market and the hundreds of glistening stalls represent the very best traditional German wares and culinary celebrations. If you are serious about your Christmas markets, this should be on your bucket list.
If you’re planning a weekend away this winter to see a number of Christmas markets with your friends or extended family, you’ll require some reliable and affordable transportation. If you’re unsure where to look you could try Allied Fleet, who offer a range of specially adapted vehicles that are ideal for families with younger and older members. So the whole family can get on board with the Christmas spirit.