The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, in Europe, it is made more enchanting with the tradition of outdoor Christmas markets. Most towns and cities offer up these beloved winter wonderlands each one a sensory sensation. Twinkling Christmas lights illuminate the many vendor stalls while the scents of evergreen boughs and bratwurst mingle with the aroma of hot, spicy wine to the tune of local choirs and concerts. One of the best ways to enjoy a variety of cities and their markets are on a river cruise. Plan-ahead, these sailings sell out a year in advance. Riverboat cruising has the advantage of letting you enjoymany ports of call, effortlessly travelling while you sleep, with the simplicity of unpacking only once. Bring an extra suitcase because these fairy tale markets offer irresistible holiday shopping treasures.
Vienna, Austria is a European masterpiece, offering 12 main markets geared towards families and children, and others towards the hot and spicy wine loving crowd. Be sure to try this spicy wine, mulled slowly overheat, then mixed with orange flavours and a variety of spices. Pair it with a warm cup of roasted chestnuts and you are set!
Nuremberg, Germany hosts one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets, originating in the 1600s. A great souvenir is the Nuremberg Prune Man, a traditional figurine made from dried prunes and figs. This is one of the most well-known symbols of Christmas in Nuremberg.
Prague, Czech Republic offers two of their best-known markets on a five-minute stroll apart. Enjoy Prague’s famous roasted ham served straight off the spit. For a traditional gift, pick up a homemade sack of potpourri and handmade soap.
Regensburg, Germany makes it easy with four Christmas markets that can all be visited within a day! Keep your eyes peeled for Princess Gloria of Thurn and her family when visiting The Romantischer Weihnachtsmart market. This market is located beside the St. Emmeran Palace, and the Royal family often frequent this market set up outside their home.
Passau, Germany is a quaint community with charming Italian Baroque style architecture, open squares, strolling promenades and winding lanes. Their annual Christmas market is simply enchanting, with a backdrop of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Try the Sengzelten, a flatbread made from rye that is cooked in a wood-burning oven and served with sour cream and ham or cheese.
Set sail on a European Christmas market cruise and get swept up in the enchantment of the holidays you thought were only possible in fairy tales.
Stop by and chat with one of the knowledgeable Travel Specialists at Kaleidoscope Travel & Cruise, and they would be happy to set you up on your perfect River Cruise!