Are you a keen traveler? Do you want to soak up the atmosphere of Europe during Christmas? Then you are sure to find our post interesting.
Europe is synonymous with time-honored traditions, snows, melodic choirs, charming medieval square and Gothic churches brought to life by dynamic Christmas stalls. The countries of this beautiful continent are finest during the Christmas. Each country celebrates Christmas with panache with its peculiar customs, rituals and of course, decoration. And each city looks delightful and attractive, just like a fairy tale during Christmas.
But the question is where you should spend the big day? Europe is huge and deciding on which places to visit can be time-consuming. But fret not, as we have done the job for you. From the Christmas markets of Cologne to the carols of London, here are ten vibrant places in Europe that you can consider visiting during Christmas.
The time comes to a standstill in Prague during winter Holidays. This 700-year-old city will blow you over with its celebration. Tourists from all over the world flock to this place to enjoy its wonders during Christmas. The Christmas Wonderland is unleashed within the lanes and streets of Prague starting December. The main attractions of Prague like Bethlehem Chapel and Wenceslas Square indicate how festive Prague can be during Christmas. The Christmas market located in the Old Town Square is filled with lovely wooden stalls selling handmade toys and gifts. If you arrive here early in December, then you can also catch the arrival of Czech Mikulas, the Czech Santa Claus. You should also catch one of the nativity plays here. And if you want to enjoy a memorable Christmas with your beloved, then you must take a romantic boat ride. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
There can be no Christmas without Santa, and we all know that. But where you can you find Santa when not in his house? Well, you can find this jolly fellow in Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa. Rovaniemi is quintessentially Christmassy. It appeals not just to kids, but adults too. Here, you can take a ride on a reindeer, get the postcard stamped at Santa’s own post office or can learn to bake gingerbread with Mrs. Santa Claus. If you want to try out something interesting activities with your child, then you can sleep in an igloo hotel, where you can also try fly-fishing. A husky safari is another thing to experience here if you have enough money in your pocket. (The husky safari will cost you 150 euros per adult and 100 for kids). And if you are fortunate enough, you can get the opportunity to see the northern lights.
London is the perfect Christmas city. It has lots of lights, decorations, ice rinks, Christmas markets, British traditions and beautiful Christmas trees. If you are visiting London during Christmas, then you must start your tour from the Trafalgar Square, where you’ll find a stunning Christmas tree. The 60-year-old and 20 meters high Christmas tree here is presented very year from Norway. Every Christmas, the ice rinks appear all over the city. The Ice Rink at Somerset House is the most glamorous ice rink in London. It is set in the spectacular 18th-century courtyard. The Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink near the banks of River Thames is another popular ice rink here. “Nutcracker”, an English National Ballet is another Christmas tradition here.
Vienna is the cultural capital of Europe and honestly, it’s hard to find a place that celebrates Christmas with so much elegance and grace. People here are very particular of their customs and tradition. The elegant Christmas markets, the old world charm of the streets and the cafes give this city a magical appeal. Vienna is also a haven for foodies. You must indulge in sausages, freshly baked pastries here. Do not forget to go skating on Rathausplatz. You must also visit the Snow Globe Museum here. Another interesting thing to do in Vienna during Christmas is attending the Christmas concert held in the city’s church.
Germany is another place worth visiting in Europe during Christmas. In fact, it is the continent’s most festive country. And the festivity is not just limited to one city. All the cities, town and villages of Germany are equally enthusiastic during Christmas. Nuremberg in Germany turns into a fairy tale during the Christmas season. In Dresden, you must visit the oldest Christmas market. The market dates back to 1435. The Tollwood’s Winter Festival, Munich’s Marienplatz and Berlin’s Christmas market is equally popular here. You should also try out Lebkuchen, the delicious spiced gingerbread. The Am Dom market in Cologne is another excellent spot here.
There could be no other place to spend Christmas than in Paris, the most romantic city in the world. Paris totally lives up to its expectation of “City of Lights”. The bright buildings, animated window displays at Galeries Lafayette, the departmental store, and the illuminated Eifel Tower make the city look like a shimmering disco ball. Here, you can visit any of the Christmases themed markets, go ice-skating, take a ride on the Ferris wheel or shop for gifts beneath the iconic Eiffel Tower to get the essence of Christmas. You can also enjoy a moving mass with coral in Notre Dame Cathedral. Or stroll down the Champs-Élysées that is lined with trees shining in hundreds of lights. Everything is just beautiful here during Christmas.
What can be the better place to celebrate the birth of Christ than Rome? Rome celebrates the real, spiritual origin of Christmas. Even if you’re not a regular churchgoer, you will be bound to visit the local church for the midnight mass service. You can also celebrate the Christmas Eve with Pope Benedict himself in the Vatican City. Make sure you book your ticket in advance if you don’t want to miss it. The churches of Rome also hold nativity plays. Santa Maria Maggiore and Santi Cosma e Damiano are few of the churches that hold his service. Or gather at St. Peter’s Square with thousand other Romans to listen to the Pope’s Christmas message that he delivers at noon from his apartment window. Do not forget to try out the pandoro and panettone cakes here.
Christmas is the most atmospheric times to explore the Budapest. The buildings of Budapest shimmer with lights during the winter months. There are many activities you can do in Budapest during Christmas. You can warm up at the steaming pools at the city’s famous bathhouse, enjoy homemade strudel and toki pompos in the city’s Christmas market; go sledging with the locals at the Normafa Park or ice skate one the Varosligeti To Lake. While absorbing the Christmas essence of Budapest, do not forget to take a tour of the city. There are hundreds of attractions and tourist places to enjoy in and around Budapest.
Switzerland, with its excellent ski resorts and the snow-covered Alps, is made for winter and Christmas. And just like Germany, you cannot single out a particular city or town to visit in Switzerland during Christmas. All the cities, towns and villages capture the true spirit of Christmas. You must explore the glittering Lake Geneva here that holds Christmas Markets every year in Geneva. There is also a mountaintop Christmas village that hosts a Santa’s grotto. The reindeer park in Monteux is another place worth visiting here. Alternatively, you must also check out the Europe’s longest street of Christmas decoration in Basil. Visit Zurich’s five Christmas market to purchase Nidelzältli toffees for your family at home. If you are after spectacular views, then you should visit Mt. Pilatus Christmas Market. This Christmas market is Switzerland’s highest market located at 2,133 meters.
Copenhagen brims with lights and festive spirit during Christmas. It radiates a particular kind of atmosphere that you won’t experience in any other kind of city. Head to the cozy cafes and bars of Copenhagen to enjoy the snow flurrying outside. The Tivoli amusement park located in the heart of the town is a delight to visit during the Christmastime. It transforms into a winter wonderland with its exciting rides, spectacular lightning and stalls selling gifts and traditional goods. The body warming mugs of Glogg and heartwarming illuminations will delight your senses. You can also take a stroll along the Nyhavn canal or take part in Copenhagen’s Christmas table tradition. Visitors also recommend splashing on a meal at Noma restaurant. It is considered one of the world’s best restaurants.
Christmas is one of the best times to visit the charming villages and grand metropolises of Europe. Contrary to what most people think, Europe is pretty affordable during the Christmas season. The accommodations are also wallet friendly this time. And you can explore the countries of this stunning continent via Europe’s train network. Which is your favorite European country to visit during Christmas? Tell us by leaving a comment below.