With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s officially time to move on to the holiday season. In the town squares of Europe, this means one thing: Christmas markets.
Generally I’m not one to get overly excited about markets. I have nothing against markets, but I’m not a big shopper, I don’t particularly like browsing, and haggling is not my forte.
That all said, I do like Christmas markets in Europe, especially at night. As I’ve mentioned in this blog before, I lived in Prague for a couple of years, and there was a nice little Christmas market in Náměstí Míru, the small town square up the street from our apartment. There was something about the decorative lights and wooden stalls and folky Central European music and warm mulled wine and medieval setting and small figurines and little grilled meats that made me feel like I was in a storybook. And it’s nice to feel like you’re in a storybook every now and then.
The Christmas market tradition is huge in German-speaking Europe, where the custom originated hundreds of years ago. Wikipedia has a bunch to say on the subject. And this feature on the Time Out website offers a nice rundown of Europe’s best Christmas markets. Whether it's a huge market in the city's center, or any of the countless smaller markets in the little medieval town squares, I give a thumbs up to the Christmas market experience.