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5 Reasons You Should Visit European Christmas Markets

It’s exciting to receive orders to Europe: the travel opportunities, the food, the culture. Europe offers so many new experiences. With the holiday season quickly approaching, Christmas markets are shifting into high gear. This is a magical time to be in Europe, especially Germany. Between the food, the fun, and the festivities, you really don’t want to miss it!

Here’s why:

1. They’re easy to get to.

For the most part, you can easily hop on the train for a short ride to a number of Christmas markets. Many are also within driving distance. I recently went to one market that was about 30 minutes from my house for 3 euros and a 20-minute train ride. It, like many others, was only a short walk from the train station to the market. Many markets are also free of admission or charge a very small fee.

2. The food and drinks are delicious.

Whether it’s Gluhwein, Kinderpunsch, hot chocolate, or other spiked beverages, it’s easy to find a warm drink whether or not you drink alcohol. Many of these drinks come in souvenir mugs, so you can keep them as trinkets from your trip. Food is also readily available with a variety of sausages, charred meats on spits, thick cut fries, pastries, potato pancakes, fish, cakes, cookies, chocolate, and more. No need to leave the market in search of a restaurant. On a recent trip, half of my spending money was spent on food and drinks, and I left with a full stomach.

3. Beautiful unique décor and gifts.

Christmas markets are a great place to find handmade items you might not find anywhere else. Woodworking, metalworking, woven sweaters, felted hats, glass ornaments, wreaths, handmade jewelry—it’s one of the best places to find unique gifts to send back to family or to keep for yourself! When you’re no longer living in Europe and return stateside, the treasures you find at these markets will be lasting reminders of the time you spent overseas.

This Regensburg Christmas Market was one of my favorites.

Romantischer Weihnachtsmarkt auf Schloss Thurn und Taxis zu Regensburg, Nov. 29, 2017

4. There’s an endless supply of beautiful markets.

Even if you were to visit every single market in, say, Germany, you would still have options in Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Austria, France, and more. You can combine a sightseeing trip to a city you haven’t yet visited and drop by the markets you find along the way. Some may be extremely crowded, while others are smaller. You’ll find plenty of beautiful lights and sights.

5. They are best enjoyed with friends and family.

Don’t feel the need to go alone. With all of the food, shopping, entertainment, and drinks, there is usually something for everyone. Some markets have carousels and special light displays for children. There’s plenty of food to keep children happy while you stop at numerous stalls. You can make a date night with your spouse and take in the lights while enjoying a meal. You could even take a break and simply attend with a group of friends. Or, you know, all three at various markets.

Me at my very first Christmas Market in Regensburg, Germany.

Met at my first Christmas market in Regensburg, Germany, on Nov. 29, 2017. I think I had on four types of shirts and two pairs of pants, but I was warm the whole time.

If you’re stationed in Europe and on the fence about the markets, definitely give them a try. Dress in layers, grab a pair of warm boots, and don’t forget a heavy coat, hat, and gloves. Take the chance to enjoy some of the culture and beauty of the holiday season overseas. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy traveling!

Author

  • Sarah Peachey

    Sarah Peachey is a journalist from southern Pennsylvania currently living in the Southeast. Previous adventures sent her to Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; Fort Meade, Maryland; Hohenfels, Germany; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and Fort Stewart, Georgia. She lives with her husband of more than 10 years, three children, one very spoiled Dachshund, and a cat who leaves a dusting of white fur on just about everything. She began a career in journalism with The Fort Polk Guardian, an Army installation newspaper, winning three state awards for her work. Her work has appeared on MilSpouseFest, The Homefront United Network, Military.com, SpouseBUZZ, and Army News Service. She consulted for MilitaryOneClick (now known as MilSpouseFest), and helped launch the site #MilitaryVotesMatter, providing up-to-date information important to service members, veterans, and their families in the 2016 election. When not writing for military spouse support sites, she is currently working on her first novel while also volunteering as AWN's Blog Editor. When she can carve the time into her schedule, she writes about parenting, travel, books, and politics on her website, Keep It Peachey. You can find her on Instagram @keepitpeachey. She has a passion for reading, writing, politics, and political discussions. She considers herself a bookworm, pianist, wine enthusiast, and crossword addict.

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