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European Christmas Markets: Food, Drink, Presents and Cheer all in One Place!

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December 22, 2014 / Austrian / By
Nicola

'Christmas market' by Miia Ranta via Flickr

For hundreds of years, markets have been popular as places to go to prepare for Christmas. Traditionally speaking, they mainly existed on the European mainland, but slowly, as their popularity has been growing, they have started to spread further and wider.

Nowadays, Christmas markets have become a bit of a Mecca for Christmas enthusiasts, with thousands of tourists flocking to European destinations to get some festive cheer. Many people use Christmas markets as an opportunity to buy some truly special, unique gifts which are often hand-crafted, while others just visit to soak up the experience and the atmosphere.

Pretty much every big city in Europe now holds a Christmas market in the run-up to the big day. However, by far the biggest and most popular is the Salzburg Christmas market in Austria, which sees thousands of visitors each year. These markets are always busy, but if you don't mind the crowds then the festive atmosphere is magical.

A large number of the stalls at these Christmas markets sell handmade, traditional wooden Christmas gifts and decorations. Whether you're looking for a bell to hang on your tree or a brightly coloured Nutcracker figure, you'll find it! The quality and workmanship of these items is outstanding, and is worth all the expense and travelling!

However, it isn't just wooden items that you can find at Christmas markets. Many of the stalls sell various forms of traditional food and drink; as you walk around, the smells are magnificent! The foods that are on offer can vary from city to city, depending on local specialities, so it is worth looking around to see what you can find.

In England, roast chestnuts are a popular traditional Christmas market snack, while Glühwein is a must-have if you're visiting the continent. Of course, don't forget all the mouth-watering chocolates that you can get in Belgium and Switzerland, so stock up on plenty of those before making the trip home!

The food and drinks that you can buy at these traditional Christmas markets are out of this world, and you're right to want to take some home with you. The only thing you have to be aware of is customs laws for your country, so double check what you're allowed to take over the border before you go shopping.

It's not too late to visit a Christmas market this year, but if you're feeling a little pushed for time, then add it to your itinerary for next year. Visiting a beautiful Christmas market and experiencing all its charm is something that you must do before you die, and it's just the best opportunity to try all the fantastic local Christmas delicacies that are on offer!

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Country: Austria

Province/State: Salzburg

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Address: N/A

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Price Guide:$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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