18 November 2022
With only a few days left until 2023, we are all starting to feel the energy of the New Year's spirit. It is only a matter of time before souvenir shops, historical churches and shops are decorated with colourful lights. One of the settings that best reflects this spirit is undoubtedly the Christmas markets. Christmas markets, which first started in Germany in the 15th and 16th centuries, still keep the spirit of the New Year alive all over Europe today.
In this article, we will touch on all the points you may wonder about when you think of Christmas markets. But first, let's take a closer look at the excitement of Christmas…
What is Christmas and when is it celebrated?
Christmas is celebrated on December 25, which in Christianity is considered the birthday of Jesus Christ. December 25 is also known as the Nativity and the Yule’s Day. Christmas celebrations continue throughout the same week. Pine trees are set up inside the house, public areas are decorated, streets are illuminated and of course Christmas markets are set up. People organise traditional Christmas dinners with their families and loved ones…
Why was the Christmas market established?
We know that the milestone of Christmas markets is 1298. On this date, the king of the period in Vienna allowed the people to establish a marketplace. As early as 1434, this tradition had turned into the Christmas markets we know today. It is possible to say that a Christmas market was established in Dresden, Germany, similar to today.
The Christmas Markets, which start setting up their stalls about a month before Christmas day every year, are famous for their entertainment that reflects the culture and history of the region. Its purpose is to celebrate the joy of Christmas with delicious food and varied entertainment; with festive tastes to be enjoyed together.
Christmas Market must-haves
This New Year's Eve, you can walk around the wooden stands of the Christmas markets, which will make you forget the cold weather with a hot drink, as you experience traditional flavours from different cuisines, buy wonderful gifts for your loved ones, watch concerts, plays and dance performances.
The best Christmas markets in Europe
Let's come to the Christmas markets that you must see... If you want to plan a trip abroad to experience the New Year's spirit in place, we say don't go without looking at our suggestions below.
More than 150 markets are set up every year in Germany, which is the center of the Christmas market tradition. The most historic market is, of course, in the city of Dresden. When you go here, you are first greeted by the huge Christmas tree in the market square. Then there are countless flavours you should try, such as fragrant cookies, fruit-filled scones, candied almonds on the stalls.
We can say that the Christmas market established in Amsterdam, the city of entertainment, is one of the must-see events of the season. The fairy-tale architecture of the city takes on a completely different atmosphere when decorated with colourful lights. The market is set up in the Museumplein in the last week of November. Christmas cookies with cinnamon, donuts, pancakes, and cheeses unique to the region are just a few of the most remarkable delicacies of the market. Of course, it is also possible to find many souvenir options here.
The Brussels Christmas market is set up on the Grand Place, one of the most beautiful central squares in Europe. Inside the market, just like in other examples, you will find ice skating rinks, delicious foods unique to the region and a sparkling ambiance.
The Vienna Christmas market, which dates back for centuries, is set up on Rathausplatz, where the town hall is also located. The most important feature of the market is that it has the most famous temporary ice rink in Europe. If you visit the Christmas market during this period, you will definitely see the liveliest version of the city. Also, don't forget to try the delicious Christmas cookies, fried chestnuts and Viennese sausages at the market.
Strasbourg, France's oldest Christmas market, has been established since the 1500s. The market is set up in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, the most central location in the city. The huge pine tree in the square is decorated with colourful ornaments and lights, as you can imagine. Inside the market, you will surely want to sample cakes unique to the region, mulled wine, cabbage dinner, Christmas biscuits.
Naples is generally one of the world’s favourite addresses for summer holidays. Still, it's a must-see at Christmas time as well. Because at this time of the year, the city takes on a completely different atmosphere with glittering decorations. In the Christmas markets set up in different streets of the city such as Via Donizetti, Via Luca and Via Scarlatti, you will find everything you are looking for, from delicious foodstuffs to souvenirs and traditional goods from the locality.
The last suggestion on our list is Stockholm, where the joy of Christmas is lived to the fullest. The city's most famous Christmas market is set up in Gamla Stan. It is possible to find your heart’s desire in the market, from delicious local foods and drinks to handmade souvenirs. Let’s also say that this is not the only Christmas market in the city, because there are also small markets to be found in different regions.