Five Reasons You Should Visit European Christmas Markets

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!

Here’s why:

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.

Romantischer Weihnachtsmarkt auf Schloss Thurn und Taxis zu Regensburg, 29 November 2017

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.

Happy traveling!

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About Sarah Peachey

Sarah Peachey is a journalist from southern Pennsylvania currently living in Europe. Previous adventures sent her to the Mid-Atlantic, Deep South and Southwest. She lives with her husband, three children and one very spoiled Dachshund. She began a career in journalism with The Fort Polk Guardian, an Army installation newspaper, winning three state awards for her work. She has written for The Homefront United Network and consults for MilitaryOneClick. She is the writer behind #MilitaryVotesMatter, the sister site of MilitaryOneClick that was launched to keep service members and their families informed of their impact on the election and what the candidates would do for the military and those who serve it. When not writing for military support sites, she writes about parenting, travel, books and politics on her personal blog, Peachey Keen. She has a passion for politics and fiery debate. She considers herself a bookworm, pianist, wine enthusiast and crossword addict.

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