I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again; tis the season.
December has arrived, bringing with it a host of gorgeous Christmas markets.
Dotted along Europe, the markets give some of the continent’s most popular sights a festive facelift. Think twinkling fairy lights, wooden alpine stalls, seasonal eats and loads of mulled wine.
Perhaps one of the best ways to get into the spirit of things, a trip to the market is usually top of the December bucket list. A great way to use up any remaining annual leave days too…if you’re lucky enough to have some leftover that is (mine are long gone, sigh).
European Best Destinations has compiled a list of the most beautiful markets for 2020, with it also appearing on Lonely Planet.
Naming the Advent Feast at the Basilica in Budapest as number one, it was so voted by more than 280,000 people from 116 different countries.
Seems pretty unanimous to me.
According to their website, the ingredients for a winning winter holiday comprise “beautiful Christmas lights, a gigantic Christmas tree, local and tasty food, mulled wine and gingerbread, a beautiful ice rink, original and handmade Christmas gifts, Christmas concerts”. Judging by that list they know us very well.
Budapest came out on top for many reasons, one being that it is the biggest 3D light show in Europe. Other special accolades awarded to the market include ‘Best Christmas market with the spirit of Christmas’ and ‘Best eco-friendly Christmas market’.
Second place went to Vienna which sees the City Hall Square turn into a shining fairy tale land, while Gdańsk in Poland was third. Hailed as the most romantic, the Polish market even features a special place for lovers to kiss under the mistletoe. Save this one for bae.
Brussels and Montbéliard came in fourth and fifth to complete the top five.
The full list is as follows:
1. Budapest, Hungary
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Gdańsk, Poland
4. Brussels, Belgium
5. Montbéliard, France
6. Basel, Switzerland
7. Metz, France
8. Cluj-Napoca, Romania
9. Valkenburg, The Netherlands
10. Novi Sad, Serbia
11. Trier, Germany
13. Govone, Italy
14. Winchester, UK
15. Amiens, France
16. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
17. Cologne, Germany
18. Leipzig, Germany
19. Bratislava, Slovakia
20. Bath, UK
How soon is too soon to start planning next year’s trip? Asking for a friend…