Christmas market in Munich
The Christkindlesmarkt dates back to 1642.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Eat, Drink & Be Merry in These 5 European Christmas Destinations

The Holiday Spirit Brought to Life

It’s that time of the year again.

The shops are playing Christmas carols, twinkling lights are strewn across the streets and there is a crisp chill in the air. What if you treated yourself to a European getaway as your Christmas gift this year? Europe is packed with charming holiday destinations that will enchant you with their magical festive atmosphere.

Europe’s Christmas traditions date back many centuries. There’s nothing quite like walking along the cobblestone streets of a Medieval city while sipping mulled wine and listening to carolers, or shopping at a bustling outdoor Christmas market for unique artisan gifts and ornate decorations.

Here are a few of the best European cities for Christmas — just make sure you pack some warm clothes and a good pair of walking shoes!

Munich, Germany

Munich has one of the most famous Christmas markets in Europe, the Christkindlesmarkt, a huge celebration where you can gorge yourself on roasted nuts, spiced cider and juicy German sausage. This traditional market has a long history, dating back to 1642 — more than 200 years before Oktoberfest.

Make sure you look for the food and craft stalls that are frequented by locals, as that usually gives you an indication of which ones are the best.

Also, throughout the month of December the church known as Frauenkirche hosts a series of concerts, so you can get in the Christmas spirit by listening to a powerful organ recital or a Bavarian choir.

Christmas market in Prague.Indulge in delicious Christmas treats and pick up a gift or two for someone back home.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a city that feels like a Gothic fairy tale and it becomes even more magical at Christmastime. The gorgeous architecture of the city will be lit up with sparkling lights and the Old Town Square will host a huge Christmas market.

The festivities feature a stable full of goats, donkeys and sheep, many food, drink and handicraft stalls, live music and much more. You can try a traditional hot pastry coated in sugar or a spit-roasted ham, or pick up a unique handcrafted Christmas gift for someone special back home.

Allow yourself plenty of time to explore Prague and come with an empty stomach because you will want to sample all of the wonderful food and drink.

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Trees along sidewalk decorated in lights.Walk down festively decorated streets in a town surrounded by snow covered mountains.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck is a ridiculously pretty Austrian city, surrounded by snow-covered mountains. It hosts not one, but four different Christmas markets during the holiday season. Each one has a slightly different vibe, from the traditional Christmas market in the Old Town to the exciting and modern Christmas market at Maria Theresia-Strasse.

At the lovely traditional Old Town Market, you will find artisan market stalls with beautiful ornaments made from hand-blown glass, wooden toys, candles and much more. There’s also a spectacular sparkling Christmas tree and live trumpet music.

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