Temperatures are dropping, Halloween is around the corner, Thanksgiving plans are being set, and Christmas will have arrived in no time! For some, the holiday celebrations begin November first, and for others, the day after Thanksgiving, but regardless, the Christmas spirit is in the air all winter long. From the first snow to the twinkling lights, mulled wine, and Christmas markets, what's not to love about the holiday season? For those looking to go the extra mile this holiday season, and visit a Christmas market or two out of the USA, take a look at the top five best holiday markets Europe has to offer!
Yes, there are plenty of Christmas markets in the U.S., but it seems that Europe does it best. The traditional sites began years and years ago and, over time, may have turned into a total tourist trap, but there really is nothing more magical. The endless lights, massive Christmas trees, delicious mulled wine, and unlimited chimney cake contribute to the ultimate winter market experience. And although each market has its specialty, let's take a look at the top 5 per Travel Off Path.
The oldest known Christmas market dates back to 1434, the Striezelmarkt in Dresden, Germany, and sets the bar for all markets to follow with its authentic and old-time holiday feel. However, suppose you are in search of Europe's best Christmas trees. In that case, The Basel Christmas Market in Switzerland is home to hundreds of brightly lit and decorated trees lining up to the market, with the main tree sitting above the market declared by a local artisan, Johann Wanner. For the top Christmas Carollers, take a trip to Salzburg, Austria, where you'll hear your favorite carols all night long at the famous Chriskindlmarkt.
Now, if you're looking to feel like you've truly been transported to another magical Christmas universe, Advent Feast at the Basilica in Budapest, Hungary, is your destination. Basilica is known for having the brightest of Christmas lights, according to Travel Off Path, to give you the ultimate Christmas feel. But, at the end of the day, the award for the most charming market in Europe goes to the Strasbourg Christmas Market in France. The fairy-tale city transforms into a true winter wonderland, giving all its visitors an experience unlike anything they've ever experienced before. Time to pack our bags!