Exploring Europe’s Christmas Markets

Prague Christmas Market

While the go-to Christmas traditions are often trees, ornaments, and really good sales – Christmas in Europe is marked by a very different tradition. Christmas markets, or Christkindlsmarkt, are a very famous and popular tradition in European cities – and most widely known in Vienna, Prague, and Germany.

Centuries ago – Christmas markets echoed the year-round markets, selling local produce and handicrafts. The original tradition of purchasing gifts for family and friends at Christmas time began at these markets! While the first recorded markets were in Munich, today they have become a pilgrimage site for abroad students, fellow Europeans, and many more visitors from around the world!

As I sum up my time in Prague, my last month has been spent amongst the most famous sites of the city, filled with vendors, food, and nightly community performances. Prague hosts Christmas markets and stalls with hot wine, food, and any kind of holiday gift imaginable. Streets lined with twinkling lights and holiday decorations make the below-freezing temperatures much more appetizing.

Today, the streets are bustling with weekend tourists here to see the different sites lit up for Christmas. If you want to do serious shopping, come during the week and bring ample cash! (Prague, for example, does not use the Euro).

Finally, come hungry! Prague’s markets are  located all across the city, from the tourist haven Old Town Square, to residential neighborhoods. These markets attract locals and tourists alike—and allow tourists to try some of the best charcoal sausage, potatoes, and skewers in the world. Above all, every tourist must try a Trdelnik. These European pastries have variations sold across Central and Eastern Europe, but (biased) the Czech Christmas markets have some of the best.

via TravelBlog.org
You can also order these warm with Nutella!

Whether or not you find yourself in Europe this Holiday season – these markets, with slight variations are popping up all over American cities! Google your cities’ holiday plans, and you might strike gold!


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  • Reply December 15, 2013


    Love this! Christmas markets were one of my favorite parts of being abroad during the fall semester. Copenhagen and Stockholm also have great Christmas markets.

  • So lovely! xo