As the winter holidays edge closer (I can't believe Christmas is just over five weeks away), stores and restaurants are beginning to play Christmas music, decorations are being put up, and excitement is starting to buzz for this happy time of year.
If you're in Europe, you'll notice the Christmas markets scattered throughout many cities. From grand (the first "Christkindlmarkt" began in Munich, Germany, in the 1300s), to quaint (the one in Florence, Italy is small, but still worth going to if you're in Florence), be sure to stop by the Christmas markets in the cities you're in for holiday gifts and hearty food.
5 Reasons To Go To European Christmas Markets
1. Hot Spiced Wine and Special Mugs
Every Christmas market will sell hot spiced wine served in a special mug. For an extra fee (usually just a few euros) you can keep the mug! The mugs are unique to the market they came from, so if you'll be visiting multiple markets, you'll see different mugs.
2. The Food
Since the Christmas markets are traditionally German, you'll find stalls selling delicious German food, like sausages, soft pretzels, and beer. There are also typically stalls serving candies, chocolates, and other foods specific to the region you're in.
The markets will be alive with music, whether it's just playing through the speakers or a live group comes to perform.
4. Holiday Gifts
If you're doing your shopping anyways, you might as well take a look for gifts for your loved ones. You'll find dozens of stalls with toys, crafts, decorations, and clothing. You can't find these gifts in just any store! Plus, whenever they use their gift, they can be like, "Yes, isn't it nice? My friend got it for me in Salzburg."
5. Festive Decorations
The stalls are covered in festive decorations, adding to the cheer of the season. If you've been to the city at different time of year, you'll be dazzled when you see the town square transformed for the season.