Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
From amazing Christmas markets to historical city centres made even more magical by Christmas lights, to ice rinks and Christmas processions, European cities have a lot to offer when it comes to celebrating Christmas.
Over the years, Britannia has been all over Europe helping people move abroad
even during the Christmas period. Here’s our list of favourite cities. Whether you are already living abroad or are only planning to relocate next year, it is really worthwhile to visit any of these cities. And if you are already living in one of them, count yourself lucky, and tell us about your Christmas experience by leaving a comment below.
Walking around on the streets of Berlin is a unique experience in any season and wintertime has plenty in store for visitors and residents alike. Whether you want to prepare for Christmas by walking around in one of the city’s 60 winter markets, attending a concert or theatre premier, going to the opera, or a new exhibition, or shopping for even more presents for your loved ones, Berlin has a lot to offer. To get into the Christmas mood, it is perhaps best to visit one of the city’s Christmas markets. The Charlottenburg Castle Christmas Market held in the castle’s parks in front of the magically lit Charlottenburg Castle, with over 150 different vendors selling everything from handicrafts to culinary specialities is perhaps one of Berlin’s most exciting markets.
Prague is a popular destination with many tourists and an increasing number of expats, and Christmas is certainly one of the most wonderful times in the city. The warm Christmas lights and the city’s crisp, often snowy weather, make Prague’s stunning architecture and cobbled streets even more magical. You will also find the typical Christmas markets opening around November on the Old Town Square and Wencelas Square. And if you’ve explored all the Christmas wonders of the city, it is time to have a filling meal in one of the city’s excellent restaurants.
If you are keen to explore a historical but at the same time hip city and eat great food, Brussels is a great choice. To start off, visit the traditional Christmas market, with over 200 vendors from all over Europe selling handicrafts, Christmas ornaments, and great food including Belgian waffles, doughnuts, chocolate and beer. Many people also visit the magnificent Grand Place adorned with Christmas lights, and with a huge Christmas tree in front. Brussels is also a great place for Christmas shopping, where you can find anything from antiques to designer jewellery and artisan chocolates. If you are looking for some winter activity, visit the outdoors ice rink or the sledge track.
4. Madrid, Spain
If you are spending your Christmas in Madrid, Spain’s capital, you’ll also experience your share of the festive spirit when walking around the city. Madrid’s magnificent buildings and avenues are decorated with Christmas lights, and nativity scenes and public Christmas trees are set up all around the city. While Christmas markets are not as widespread as in some other European cities, there is a Christmas market each year in Plaza Mayor. A white Christmas is not as likely in Madrid as in Vienna or Prague, but walking around in the city, Madrid’s largest park, the Retiro, or visiting the outdoor ice rink are great ways to get into the Christmas mood. The Christmas period doesn’t end in Madrid with the New Year’s celebrations, but lasts until the 6th of January. On the 5th of January, Madrid holds one of Spain’s best parades, the Three King’s Parade (Cabalgata).