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Christmas Markets in Europe

Christmas markets have been gracing European cities since the late Middle Ages and are now commonplace across the continent, attracting visitors from around the world. With an infectiously Christmassy atmosphere, a visit to a market either at home or abroad is the perfect way to kick off the festive season. Below we look at some of Europe’s finest examples.
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ChristmasFestivalsBirmingham’s authentic Christmas market will be opening its doors on November 13th for a five week run. The ever-popular market is the UK’s largest, with over 180 stalls covering the city centre. The dedicated craft market in Chamberlain Square, is filled with artisan creations by local traders – the perfect place to find bespoke Christmas gifts for friends and family.  


Christmas FestivalsThe Marchés de Noël will be returning to the French capital from mid-November, with stalls lining the Champs-Elysées selling warming vin chaud and tartiflette. With an unrivalled light display along the world-famous avenue and around the city’s famous landmarks, a winter trip to Paris means the chance to see the City of Lights illuminated in a festive glow. 


Christmas FestivalsOfficially opening to the public on the 25th November, Frankfurt hosts one of Germany’s most beautiful Christmas markets, popular with tourists and locals alike. At street level, traditional biscuits and confectionary are in abundance, while the rooftop gallery of St Nicholas’ church gives a different perspective on the stalls below as well as an unequalled view of the city’s towering Christmas tree. 


Christmas FestivalsAlthough the Italian Mercatini di Natale may not be as well-known as their European counterparts, they offer an equally inviting display of hand-crafted gifts alongside a plentiful supply of panettone. Rome leads the way with large markets both in the central Piazza Navona, where stalls surround the square’s picturesque 17th century fountain, and in the Tor di Quinto, which also boasts an impressive ice rink.


Christmas FestivalsVienna’s annual Christmas markets are a tradition in the truest sense, with the original Krippenmarkt taking place in 1298. There are now twenty official markets in Vienna, transforming the entire city into a maze of festivity to celebrate the ‘Magic of Advent’. The central ‘Viennese Christmas Market’ is a striking focal point, with the beautifully lit Rathausplatz making for a picture-perfect backdrop to the town square’s market stalls.   
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