Goblins are not particularly fond of Christmas holidays, but we love Christmas markets. Here are some of our favourites.
One of the most famous ones is in Cologne (Koln), Germany
This one is so big, you have to take special mini train from one venue to another. You can also collect different mulled vine cups. Hence I have a lot of them. After a while, we had to switch to hot chocolate only to get more cute cups with dwarfs and angels. Sadly, big crowded places with lots of happy people having fun also attract thieves. What makes it different from all other markets? Cologne also has Gay and Lesbian Christmas market. It is open to everyone, but goods on display are a bit different. If you are searching for a chocolate penis, this is a place to be.
Go underground in Valkenburg, Netherlands
I found out about this one from my German friend Peter. And Germans know their Christmas markets, so we had to check it out. Goods sold on the market were nothing special. But the location of the Market was spectacular. Stalls are set in an underground cave. Town is the right size to make Santa Claus procession look great.
Magical Maastricht, Netherlands
We went to this one by mistake, because we mixed two very similar sounding names of towns together. So by total luck we visited this great mix of stalls, Ice skating ring, Ferris wheel and food. Dutch people know how to make their sausages. And the choice of food was so big it became a problem. We had to come again in a few days to try other stalls too.
In 2016 Brussels had a lot of problems and gained negative publicity. But that doesn’t make their Christmas market any less glorious. It is stretched across centre and so big, you will need a map. They have a new Ferris wheel (55m), stalls with seasonal gastronomic treats like French Tartuflette, which tastes best eaten on the street, in good company. Sadly, this year they had to use extra security measures, so event closes at earlier hour and there is a lot more police present.
Monschau Christmas Market, Monschau, Germany
Picturesque medieval town of Monschau looks great in any time of year, but in the winter it is magical. Hence it was called the most romantic Christmas market in Germany. As I said before, Germans know their Kristkindl markets, so you can imagine it is pretty special. But, since it is also very popular tourist attraction, plan ahead and book a bus tour or check where to park in advance. If you can’t go, not all is lost. House of Christmas in Monschau is open from March to December, so next season of Xmas fun starts soon.
Christmas market in Zagreb, Croatia
It has been on my list since last year. I have heard only good things about it. Is it really so good or only good PR? I hope to find that out soon. Zagreb is a fun place to be in any time of year, so I have no reason to assume Christmas would be any different.
Before leaving be sure to check ending dates, since some markets close their doors soon after Christmas and some in January.
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