are something that truly has to be seen to be believed. Being a legitimate dream come true experience for both young and old, these places are also providing a good reason to always have your camera in arm's reach. My-Picture.co.uk
has done a little tour through some of the most visually striking Christmas markets around the world, places where the joy sparkles, the air is filled with the vapor from the mulled wine, and the aroma of bratwurst and freshly-baked gingerbreads muddle your senses!
The Christmas market idea actually originated in Germany during the late middle ages, so, only naturally, the annual Frankfurt Christmas Market
takes the cake as the first one. Looking directly like a passage from your childhood's favourite Christmas tale, it's the oldest Christkindchesmarket in Germany, and is one that boasts some of the most historically authentic and visually appealing architectural backdrops. It starts off on 23rd November and makes the world a better place till December 22, so there's plenty of time for you to attend!
The Highest one
Yes, geologically speaking, Mt. Pilatus
is your only chance to enjoy the Christmas market bustle 7000 feet (2132 metres) above the sea level. Situated in the Swiss Alps, this Christmas market is another example of postcard scenery becoming reality. The trip to the place alone is worthy of a Hollywood Christmas epic since you have to take a train that literally cleaves the clouds to get to the mountain top. It may be a rather costly option, but it's definitely worth the wonder. This may also be the best place to exercise your photography skills.
The Small OneTallin Christmas Market
might be slightly less than its Western European counterparts size-wise, yet what it lacks in scope, it compensates for with an unrepeatable atmosphere. Positioned in the town hall square of Tallin, it might as well be the brightest of all Christmas markets in the world. The buildings surrounding it are mainly of the white-beige end of the colour spectrum, and if you're lucky enough to visit the place when it's actually snowing, you can prepare yourself for an experience of an unprecedented tranquility! Additional value? Real reindeers right beside Santa's house, snow sculptures and, did we mention, Santa's house. Also, free candies for the younglings!
The even smaller one
The Wernigerode Christmas Market
is another example of Christmas light-covered awesomeness packed in a relatively small space, yet without any sacrificing. First off, Wernigerode itself is an old picturesque village-like town that looks spectacular even without the aid of several hundred meters of string lights. Another of Wernigerode Christmas Market's qualities is its ability to combine the traditional Christmas market assortment (gingerbreads, mulled wine) with all kinds of creative activities which allows one to create hand-crafted objects of art. On the top of the cake, there's also an attraction that's called "Living Advent Calendar
". Basically, it's a chance to acquire special offers for some of the greatest spots in Wernigerode, including scenic sights, shops, hotels and many other points of interest. And be assured, there're plenty of them!
Not Your Usual Christmas Market
There exists a weird kind of stereotype that Christmas markets are distinctively a Western European thing. To topple the stigma, Zagreb
turned its town square into a real-life Christmas town and grabbed the award for the best Christmas market of 2015
. A lot of effort and a bit of a flagging economy (for motivation), and you have a Christmas market that easily surpassed all of its centuries-old contemporaries. It boasts a massive skating rink and brass fanfares blasting your favourite Christmas tunes all over the place. It's also a rather extensive Christmas market (or, to be frank, town). Croatia is also a wallet-friendly tourist destination. There's nothing to not love here!
Over the Atlantic
Leavenworth, on the other hand, is the Christmas town coming straight from the golden age of Hollywood. However, despite being separated from continental Europe by mountains, deserts and at least one ocean (depending on your perspective), it's really just another Christkindlmarkt, albeit situated in the United States. Whole avenues are laden with half a million lights, and there's the strong possibility of an occasional old time carriage crossing your path. Offering a marvelous cuisine with a beautiful soundtrack provided by the ever present choirs, bands, and carolers, Leavenworth will be perfect for those with a penchant for Pacific North-West sceneries where everything seems to be worth a look through the lens!
With 5,000,000 Christmas lights, 700 (according to some sources, - up to 900) Christmas trees, Liseberg Christmas Market
somewhat encompasses the best of each entry mentioned above. Boasting 80 rustic market stalls, an ice-skating rink, and a 125 meter tall central Christmas tree, Liseberg is all about scale, atmosphere, and statistics - 850 kg of sausages, 51,000 eggs, 8,500 gingerbread hearts (the big ones), 5000 litres of Gluhwein (hot mulled wine), 1,550 kg of Christmas sweets in the buffet... and that's only for food and beverages. In the whole Gothenburg
there's no building or tree in sight that wouldn't be somehow enhanced with Christmas decorations. Liseberg Christmas Market is where the disappointment probability is close to zero. There's everything for everybody, and it's also a relatively cheap option to pick!
Deep into the Mountains
Not to shy away, there's another power player in the Christmas market category, and that's, of course, Italy. Developing the tradition alongside Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, Italy has kept the staple Christkindlmarkt appearance whilst infusing it with a more prominent Southern European ambiance (most of them take place against a backdrop of Romanesque or Gothic architectural marvels). The Christkindlmarkt
is profound in its atmosphere and is taking place in a village that's actually surrounded by mountains. Once you see the sun coming down to spare every Bolzano rooftop with a shade of bright orange, you know what it truly is to be at the right place at the right time!
Thanks to Gvido Grube
for the amazing article.
Have you put that camera we mentioned in the first paragraph to some good use? Have tons of Christmas postcard-worthy images on your SD card? My-Picture.co.uk
will be more than delighted to provide you (or your loved ones) with a personalised photo souvenir featuring the most precious photo memories!
Images sources: de.fotolia.co
, www.christmasmarkets.at, ingejohnsson.photoshelter.com, www.fashionthroughtravel.com, mercatini.merano.eu, expat explore.