Chocolate Santas in Zurich!
They say there’s no place like home for the holidays, but Europe certainly tempts travelers to tell the relatives to not expect them for gifts and good cheer. It would seem the entire continent turns into a giant Christmas market wonderland, where mulled wine and handicrafts are never hard to come by. If you need that extra push to leave home for the holidays, consider following this tour through Europe for these notable Christmas market scenes.
Dusseldorf’s Christmas markets tend to fly under the radar in Europe. However this city on the Rhine puts on quite the show for the holiday season. The air fills with whiffs of that Christmas spirit, usually in the form of scents of roasted almonds and mulled wine. The city’s main Christmas Market actually encapsulates several themed fairs with plenty of decorated huts. From the end of November up until Christmas, travelers can frequent the Dusseldorf Christmas Market. A good place to start is the Christmas Market on Marktplatz. This mini-market sets up its stage in front of the City Hall. Aside from featuring a 100-year-old restored merry-go-round, the Christmas Market on Marktplatz is also a good spot to watch craftsmen and craftswomen show off their skills.
Other Christmas market subplots transpire throughout Dusseldorf, including the Little Angel Market on Heinrich-Hein Platz and the Christmas Market on Gustaf-Gründgens Platz. The latter features an ice rink in between all of the mulled wine and savory dishes.
Vienna’s Christmas markets are an integral part of the season. Running from mid-November until Christmas, the markets transform many of the city’s squares into winter wonderlands with a happy helping of glühwein. Beginning with the first Christmas market in Vienna over seven centuries ago, visitors now practically stumble over the many Christmas markets taking place in town.
Two of the biggest transpire in some of the city’s grandest locations. Schönbrunn Christmas Market appreciates a regale setting, right in front of the imperial Schönbrunn Palace. With heaps of stalls selling all manner of Christmas goods and a giant Christmas tree at the center, the Schönbrunn Christmas Market is one of the city’s most attractive Christmas markets. Rivaling the scene at Schönbrunn is that of Vienna Magic of Advent in Rathausplatz. Right in City Hall Park, 150 stalls set up shop with gifts, sweets and more glühwein. Other popular Christmas Markets in Vienna include the Spittelberg Christmas Market and the Christmas Village on Maria-Theresien Platz.
Zurich is perhaps one of the most convenient cities for Christmas markets. Right in the city’s main station, a Christmas market regales passersby with their luggage in hand. This Christmas Market is one of the largest indoor Christmas markets in Europe. It features a giant Christmas tree with 7,000 lights making it glow. Stalls selling all sorts of Christmas goods camp underneath the tree, lending travelers one of the most accessible Christmas Markets in Europe.
Zurich also features several other markets throughout the city. The Christmas Market in the Old Town fills Hirschenplatz, Niederdorfstrasse and Rosenhof. It is easily the most traditional and oldest of the Christmas markets in Zurich. If you want to see a singing Christmas tree, you can head to the Christmas Market at Werdmühleplatz. The market highlight is its singing Christmas tree, really, children singing carols from a podium shaped like a Christmas tree.
Want to take part in this Christmas Market European Tour? Airberlin offers flights to Zurich, Vienna and Dusseldorf on Cheapoair.
photo: Suzy Guese