Welcome to the magic of the European Christmas Markets! These markets are a living holiday dream for anyone traveling over the festive season. If you are intrigued by the idea of a European getaway during the magic of the holiday season, a stop by the European Christmas Markets are sure to make special holiday memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.
The European Christmas Markets are truly a timeless holiday tradition! The markets started in Germany all the way back in the 1600s. Today, multiple cities across the country turn their central town square into shopping booths filled with local one-of-a-kind artisans' crafts and gifts, making for a truly immersive and memorable Christmas present shopping experience.
You’ll love strolling the streets while taking in the view of inviting windows filled with wooden toys. While strolling, you won’t be able to resist embracing the aroma of roasting chestnuts in the air while warming up curled around a glass of Gluhwein - a delightful warm wine. You’ll be entertained by carolers both young and old as they sing traditional Christmas Carols - you may even find yourself singing along! It’s the perfect way to meet locals as they gather and visit around warming fires.
Christmas lights give everything a warm glow and create a magical holiday feeling that is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. One of my favorite things to do is wander around while admiring the care shop keepers take in creatively and intricately decorating their store windows, finding that each window is somehow even more unique than the last.
The Christmas Markets cruises are done on both the Danube and Rhine rivers. The Danube River takes you past countries like Austria, Romania, and Hungary, while the Rhine River passes through countries like Germany, France, and Switzerland.
These markets begin after Thanksgiving and end at the New Year. The temperatures can be chilly, though generally mild, and not a problem if you dress in layers and bundle up with your favorite holiday sweaters. It’s an ideal time to visit since many popular museums and palaces are significantly less crowded compared to other peak travel times of the year.
Traveling is easy on a river cruise. Upon arrival, simply unpack your suitcase just once and your floating hotel will do the rest of the work for you - bringing you to a new city to explore every day. Nothing beats the convenience of stepping off your ship and walking a short distance to the heart of the city for a day filled with exploring local shops, cuisine, sights, and history. Every day will feel like Christmas when waking up each morning to unwrap the gift of a new European city. Immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas this year by visiting the European Christmas markets along a European river cruise!