Europe turns into one big party for the month of December as the Christmas markets open up. If you've never been on the European continent during the Christmas season than you may not know about their tradition of having elaborate, outdoor Christmas markets where food, sweets, crafts, and holiday cocktails are sold. Christmas markets are typically open for the entire month of December and part of January. There are over 2,000 markets in Germany alone.
We've put together some ideas for how to get a bargain, make friends, and where you can find the best markets.
Know the Lingo:
Knowing the lingo is half the battle. Knowing some simple words, phrases, and what people are ordering will be really helpful in navigating these markets. If you come in knowing them, you'll be less worried about what is going on and with your mind at ease you may make a few new friends!
Weinachtsmarkt (used in northern Germany): Christmas market
Christkindlmarkt (used in southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland): Christmas market
Glühwein: German mulled wine
Frohe Weihnachten: Merry Christmas
Wieviel kostet das?: How much is it?
Pfand: Deposit of a few euros for a drink in a real mug. If you return the mug, you can get some money back.
Now that you know a few words to sling around while at these markets. Here are our top three picks for the best markets in all of Europe:
1) Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt in Berlin
For the most loved market by locals in the city of Berlin, visit Rixdorfer. Featuring pony rides, homemade crafts, and local fare.
2) HC Andersen Christmas Market- Copenhagen
For a true fairytale experience, you will find nothing better than HC Andersen Julemarkedet (Christmas market) in the Odense neighborhood of Copenhagen.
3) Tollwood Winter Festival- Munich
Tollwood Winter Festival in Munich has been around since the 1980s and with cornerstones of tolerance, internationality and openness it is one of the largest multicultural events in December. It is an eclectic combination of a Christmas market, a hip hangout with live music and entertainment and exhibitions of cultural, political and scientific significance.