It’s exciting to receive orders to Europe: the travel opportunities, the food, the culture. Europe offers so many new experiences. With Christmas quickly approaching, the markets are shifting into high gear. This is a magical time to be in Europe, especially Germany. Between the food, the fun, and the festivities, you really don’t want to miss it!
They’re easy to get to
For the most part, you can easily hop on the train for a short ride to a number of Christmas markets. Many are also within driving distance. I recently went to one market that was about 30 minutes from my house for 3 euros and a 20-minute train ride. It was only a short walk from the train station to the market. Many markets are also free of admission or only charge a very small fee.
The food and drinks are delicious
Whether it’s Gluhwein, Kinderpunsch, hot chocolate, or other spiked beverages, it’s easy to find a warm drink whether or not you drink alcohol. Many of these drinks come in souvenir mugs, so you can keep them as trinkets from your trip. Food is also readily available with a variety of sausages, charred meats on spits, thick cut fries, pastries, cakes, cookies, chocolate, and more. No need to leave the market in search of a restaurant. On a recent trip, half of my spending money was spent on food and drinks and I left with a full stomach.
Beautiful unique décor and gifts
Christmas markets are a great place to find handmade items you might not find anywhere else. Woodworking, metalworking, woven sweaters, felted hats, glass ornaments, wreaths, jewelry — it’s one of the best places to find unique gifts to send back to family or to keep for yourself! When you’re no longer living in Europe and return stateside, the treasures you find at these markets will be lasting reminders of the time you spent overseas.
There’s an endless supply of beautiful markets
Even if you were to visit every single market in, say, Germany, you would still have options in Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Austria, France, and more. You can combine a sightseeing trip to a city you haven’t yet visited and drop by the markets you find along the way. Some may be extremely crowded, while others are smaller. You’ll find plenty of beautiful lights and sights.
They are best enjoyed with friends and family
Don’t feel the need to go alone. With all of the food, shopping, entertainment, and drinks, there is usually something for everyone. Some markets have carousels and special light displays for children.
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If you’re stationed in Europe and on the fence about the markets, definitely give them a try. Dress in layers, grab a pair of warm boots, and don’t forget a heavy coat, hat, and gloves. Take the chance to enjoy some of the culture and beauty of Christmastime overseas. You’ll be glad you did.