Source: Schengen Visa Info
There is a little over a month left until Christmas, which means that now is the perfect time to book a trip for anyone who is planning to reach another country, especially a European country.
After almost two years of a limited celebration of Christmas, people are excited to plan ahead for a very jolly Christmas holiday and we can’t blame them. Following last year’s and this year’s top recommendations by the European Destinations, SchengenVisaInfo.com suggests visiting these cities to have a really magical Christmas.
1. Basel, Switzerland
The Swiss city has a long tradition of celebrating Christmas, gaining the name of being the most beautiful and largest Christmas city. There are tall pine trees around the city, with the tallest ones, which are also the Christmas trees of the city – found on Barfüsserplatz and on Münsterplatz squares.
The beautiful city was the favourite Christmas market of British and Italian travellers, making the market among most-voted throughout the past decade.
2. Budapest, Hungary
The Hungarian capital is being acclaimed as one of the most favoured destinations for 2022, which has a lot to offer to tourists, regardless of their age. Around 120 craft exhibitors, gastronomes and other performing Christmas songs and entertainment pieces will gather in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica, which is situated in one of the most popular squares in the country.
Budapest was the favourite destination for American and British tourists back in 2021, and the third-most favourite of Italians. Altogether with Basel, Budapest is one of the most-voted Christmas markets in the last ten years.
3. Metz, France
Known as France’s most beautiful Christmas market, Metz offers a unique experience with many activities to be held throughout the city. Some of the most fun things to do include shopping for crafted gifts, trying out the finest gingerbread and going ice skating or getting a hot chocolate in the cold weather.
The city is attractive to travellers for its lantern trail and many products offered by the locals, as well as creators, hotels, entrepreneurs and businessmen.
4. Brussels, Belgium
Although there are many other cities in Belgium to celebrate Christmas the capital is the ultimate choice, which altogether with Strasbourg, Budapest and Vienna have been among the top most visited destinations in Europe for years.
Great sound and light performances at the Grand Palace, a beautiful tree, skating rinks, and a rich and diverse Christmas market. The food is another story in Brussels – one cannot visit this city and not visit the “Brussels Chocolate Tasting Tour”, which is a delight.
5. Vienna, Austria
The city turns into a magical Christmas market in the middle of November and it looks like a shining fairy tale land. Children can ride a carousel, while adults can enjoy warm drinks while looking at festively decorate trees.
Moreover, tourists are advised to visit Schönbrunn Palace, which is the most popular Christmas market in the city. There you can find traditional handicrafts, Christmas concerts, children’s programmes and traditional handcraft. Like many other cities, Vienna also hosts Christmas workshops, held by locals.
6. Govone & Asti, Italy
This destination aims at becoming the largest Christmas market in Europe with a total of over 130 workstations of artisans, and food and wine producers from all around the country.
In the castle of Govone will be held live musical performances in different rooms, ending with the meeting of Santa Claus, with many other musical pieces being played during this time. A total of 448 performances will be held, repeating the show 32 times.
This year’s main focus will be the tradition of the Christmas tree, which will be a great protagonist in Asti, too. Two light installations that appear like tall trees will be set up in Piazza Roma, in addition to Christmas installations in recycled plastic, showing alternative Christmas trees, in order to avoid cutting off sixty real trees.
7. Prague, Czechia
This year, celebrations for Christmas in Prague will begin on November 26 to later end on January 6, 2023. During this time, the Old Town Square in the Czech capital will be visited by millions of people, which has a lot to offer, including wooden stalls, merchants offering Christmas goods and a unique tree. The festive Christmas tree of Prague is decorated with traditional Czech blown glass balls, where visitors can take a picture, to fill the book with this year’s memories.
As per food, Prague set a high bar among all European countries. Visitors can enjoy mulled wine, hot roasted chestnuts, gingerbread biscuits or the typical food in Czechia – Christmas cookies or Czech grilled sausages.
8. Craiova, Romania
With over one million led bulbs, Craiova has become the best Christmas Lights Destination in Romania and one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe. This year, Craiova Christmas Market opened on November 11 and will last until January 8, 2023.
Christmas will be celebrated with different events such as markets, concerts, ice rinks, workshops, and food stands in different squares along the city.
9. Leipzig, Germany
Leipzig Christmas market is one of the oldest in Europe and it has more than 250 twinkling stalls in its historic centre, making it also one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany.
The main area of the Christmas market in Leipzig is Marktplatz, where visitors can gaze at the twenty-metre-tall Christmas tree and enjoy different performances at the square. On Augustusplatz square a 38-metre-high Ferris wheel offers seasonal views from a lofty height.
10. Zagreb, Croatia
The Croatian capital is the ultimate destination for 2022 for a very happy and adventurous Christmas. The city has been named as Best Christmas Market in Europe for three years in a row, and that’s how you know that you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in this city at least once.
Local delicacies mulled wine and one of the biggest Advent programmes make the city very attractive to tourists. For those uncertain about their trip, choosing a free cancellation option gives out more flexibility before deciding to visit Zagreb for Christmas.