City thinking, local knowledge

Feeling festive? Which are the best Christmas markets to head for?

By cfmaster

Slade and Wizzard on loop in every high street shop, the arrival of the John Lewis advert and the weather turning decidedly nippy – yes, Christmas has definitely taken hold at this point. If you’re looking for a way to get yourself into the festive mood whilst picking up some presents for friends and family, visiting a Christmas market can be a fantastic idea. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you could even turn your shopping trip into a winter break. Here are our top picks of Christmas markets both within the UK and beyond.

Nottingham, UK – As well as a wealth of stalls to tempt you with festive gifts and tasty treats, Nottingham Winter Wonderland on old Market Square and Long Row has plenty more on offer for youngsters and grown-ups alike. There’s a skating rink and helter skelter for kids and ‘big kids’, as well as an ice bar offering chilled winter drinks late into the evening.

Edinburgh, UK – Edinburgh European Christmas Market takes place in the centre of the Scottish capital, making it a great choice for anyone looking for an opportunity to take a city break in the run-up to Christmas. The multitude of food and craft stalls are all within walking distance of the city’s most famous landmarks, giving you plenty to explore over a long weekend or a short break.

Strasbourg, France – One of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe having first been held in 1570, Strasbourg’s market now offers 300 stalls across ten locations. Be sure not to miss out on seeing the Great Christmas Tree in the Place Keber, which is always an impressive sight to behold.

Krakow, Poland – Krakow’s Christmas market specialises in local delicacies such as spiced nuts and boiled sweets, as well as hand-painted bauble decorations. You can also pick up some unusual antiques and bric-a-brac for good prices. Krakow offers a good likelihood of a snow-covered shopping experience too, as the city usually gets a generous dusting of the white stuff every year.

Stockholm, Sweden – Stockholm’s Christmas market takes place on the island of Djurgarden in the heart of the city, with the stalls housed within the Skansen open-air museum. There are plenty of Swedish delicacies, craft demonstrations, decoration-making workshops and dances around the Christmas tree. Skansen also hosts a zoo of Nordic animals, giving the perfect opportunity to visit a reindeer before they return the favour on your rooftop on Christmas Eve!

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