Christmas markets in Europe: concepts for a festive road-trip

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The build-up to Christmas has effectively and really began: the Introduction calendars and seasonal merchandise are showing within the grocery store, there’s a Christmassy chill within the air… and it’s time to plan a December tour to discover Europe’s atmospheric Christmas markets!

Why accept seeing only one, when you’ll be able to go on a road-trip of the very best that Europe has to supply?! Seize the chance of low-season costs to check out motorhome or campervan rental.

After all, you would additionally take the automotive, or trains, from place to put and keep at a comfortable chalet at a campsite. Whichever your mode of transport, the return of Christmas markets is an efficient excuse to go to a number of nice winter locations.

Learn on to seek out out about a number of the lesser-known and finest Christmas markets in Europe and sensible info you would possibly want to go to them in a campervan.

Why make your Christmas market break right into a road-trip

After we consider road-trips, be it in a campervan or a automotive, our creativeness tends to take us alongside sunny roads and campsites within the mountains or close to the seaside. But a winter road-trip deliberate round Christmas markets is a superb thought too. Right here’s why:

  • Flexibility: with a house on wheels, you’ve the liberty to remain for as lengthy or brief a time at every vacation spot as you want.
  • Expertise: journey by street means that you can absorb a number of markets in the identical journey, and likewise uncover lovely winter landscapes alongside the best way, together with native traditions, meals and cultural sights in a couple of nation.
  • Financial savings: accommodations within the Christmas and pre-Christmas interval will be fairly costly, so selecting to park your camper or hire a chalet at a campsite can cut back prices considerably.

Christmas markets in Italy

You could not discover these within the normal Prime 10 Christmas Markets lists, however let’s start our journey into the magical world of Christmas markets in Italy, as a result of, in any case, it’s a nation of world-renowned culinary delights and romantic places. Pannetone is in fact the culinary image of the festive season in Italy – however, from chestnuts to chocolate, there’s far more to style and take residence as Christmas items that no one will wish to regift!

Verona Christmas market

The “metropolis of affection” par excellence turns into much more romantic with the lights and decorations of the Christmas season. The Verona Christmas market, open from 18 November to 26 December, gives cute crafts, native meals and wine, workshops and actions for kids, one of many largest nativity exhibitions in Europe, music and far more.

Youngsters should go to Father Christmas’s glittering home within the Cortile Vecchio, whereas adults would possibly think about lacing up their runners for the Christmas Run, a funrun with 5 or 10 km choices.

Go away your camper van exterior the town and head into the historic metropolis centre on the devoted shuttle bus, to discover stress-free. Be sure that to choose up a Market Passport on the vacationer info centre: for those who go to each attraction in your passport, you’ll obtain a particular memento of your go to to Verona.

Bolzano Christmas markets

Open from 25 November to six January, the Bolzano Christmas market is a feast for younger and previous. Amidst cinnamon drinks and home made sweets, the town lights up and fills with decorations and wood huts, Christmas carols and conventional delicacies.

There are many actions for kids, for instance an ice-skating rink in Piazza Municipio, a mini world of ice sculpture in Capuchin Park, and a carousel and little practice in Piazza Walther. Grown-ups, however, can take pleasure in literature, on the ‘A Christmas of Books’ occasion, the place numerous (Italian and German-language) bestsellers might be introduced.

Reap the benefits of your break and keep at a campsite within the surrounding valleys to discover not solely the town’s markets, but in addition the encompassing lakes and mountains, having fun with a number of bracing winter walks, adopted by warming scorching sweets. We are able to suggest Tenting Vidor Household & Wellness Resort, within the spectacular coronary heart of the Dolomites but lower than an hour from Bolzano. In addition to campervan pitches, you’ll discover one, two and three-bedroom flats in typical Alpine homes and chalets.

You may also go to the Christmas markets of Trento and Levico Terme out of your base right here (they’re about an hour and half’s drive away) and even the one in Innsbruck, with loads of stops to benefit from the snowy mountains en route.

Trento and Levico Terme Christmas markets

Get two for the worth of 1 with the markets of Levico Terme and Trento, staying a number of nights at one of many campsites within the space that keep open in winter.

The Levico Terme market is held from 20 November to six January within the Secular Park of the Habsburgs. On the opening day, spectacular re-enactments of the Habsburg interval are held with parades and courtroom dances in costume. The market gives conventional flavours and household occasions like a small animal farm, Father Christmas and the Elves’ Village. Within the centre of Levico, however, you’ll see native crafters and sculptors in motion, reworking wood logs into characters, for the town’s nativity scene.

If that’s not sufficient Christmas for you, hit the Trento market too. It’s open from 19 November to eight January in Piazza Fiera and Piazza Battisti. Mix the markets with exploration of the enchanting metropolis centre and get your fill of Christmas environment.

People at the Christmas tree at Aosta Christmas market |persone di fronte all'albero di natale illuminato del mercatino natalizio di aosta

Aosta Christmas markets

The Aosta Valley is the proper place to benefit from the Christmas markets, with fairly mountain villages and enjoyable within the snow to occupy the remainder of your time. As a base, take a look at Tenting Tunnel Worldwide, within the coronary heart of the mountains of the Aosta Valley, surrounded by 3000m peaks, but solely half an hour from Aosta city. In addition to pitches, you’ll be able to hire cosy little glamping pods, basic caravans or sensible cell houses.

As for the markets: from 19 November to six January, the city of Aosta’s three principal squares come to life, amidst evocative lights and wood chalets promoting typical native gastronomic and craft merchandise, reminiscent of candles, ceramics, handmade wood objects, soaps, boiled wool and felt garments, and far more.

Christmas markets in Austria

Innsbruck Christmas market

Some of the atmospheric cities within the Austria is the Tyrol city of Innsbruck. It hosts a picturesque Christmas market specializing in folks artwork from 15 November to 23 December. Along with the 70 stalls, accompanied by conventional trumpeter music from the Golden Roof, a viewing platform gives a view over the rooftops and the light-flooded sq..

The town can be residence to quite a lot of different markets: the household market on Marktplatz, the panoramic market perched within the Hungerburg district, the artwork market on Wiltern Platz, and the smaller market within the quieter and extra genuine St. Nicholas district.

With the youngsters, take a stroll down Kiebachgasse, reworked for the event right into a fairytale alley with many characters making appearances on facades and gables. And when you’re at it, take the chance to additionally discover the previous city, Ambras Fortress and take one of many funicular railways that overlook the mountain panorama all the best way to the Italian border!

Market stall at Inssbruck Christmas market |bancarella illuminata con babbi natale in vendita nel mercatino natalizio di innsbruck austria

Salzburg Christmas market

One of many oldest and most conventional in Austria, Salzburg’s Dom and Residenzplatz market attracts massive crowds yearly, with its romantic cathedral backdrop and native merchandise. For a panoramic view of the town, you’ll be able to as a substitute go to the Hohensalzburg Fortress Market, that includes choral music, native handicrafts, delicacies and 100 spectacular ‘Herrnhuter’ stars that gentle up the courtyard in a hanging method.

Reap the benefits of being on a road-trip to additionally go to different smaller markets in Austrian villages, benefit from the snowy landscapes and fairly villages. Select a quiet campsite exterior the cities.

Our lodging decide in Austria is Campingplatz HOC Hoben in Mallnitz in Carinthia. Located at an altitude of over 1,200 metres, in the course of the Hohe Tauern Nationwide Park, probably the most spectacular mountain climbing areas in Europe, this campsite has beautiful trendy wood chalets with each consolation you would possibly want, in addition to campervan pitches. Be sure that to plan a day or two right here on both aspect of your market visits!

Christmas markets in Switzerland

Montreux Christmas market

Overlooking scenic Lake Geneva, the Montreux Christmas market is among the most uncommon and underrated we’ve got come throughout. In addition to strolling alongside the lakeside, dotted with over 170 chalet-style stalls, seeking the very best treats, Montreux has a number of fantastic occasions in retailer for you and your loved ones.

Take the youngsters to the Elf Village, full of interactive workshops together with actions reminiscent of candle making or chocolate adorning, earlier than boarding the little cogwheel practice (reservation required) that may take you to Santa’s Secret Grotto and Santa’s home itself.

One other market to not be missed in Montreux is the one held within the medieval fort of Chillon, which appears very just like the fort of Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid…. The fort is reworked right into a veritable medieval citadel, with craftsmen, inns, minstrels and storytellers.

In Switzerland, we will counsel staying at Tenting Lac des Brenets, which gives caravans and cell houses to hire, for those who’re sans campervan. It’s within the lovely Jura space, about two hours’ drive from Montreux, alongside the shores of Lac Leman and Lac Neuchâtel. Be sure that to go away further time to cease off at pretty Lausanne and maybe for a lakeside stroll.

An alternative choice is to decide on a campsite on the French aspect of Lake Geneva, only a few kilometres from Montreux, and even to go to this energetic lakeside village out of your base on the campsite within the Aosta Valley in Italy, described above (about 90 minutes’ drive).

Christmas markets in Germany

Munich Christmas market

You’ll be able to simply mix a go to to the Austrian or Swiss markets listed above with Munich’s Christmas market. This market provides an uncommon twist to custom. Aside from the market par excellence at Marienplatz, don’t miss:

  • the mini-Christmas Village contained in the Royal Palace
  • the Tollwood Winter Pageant, another market devoted to road theatre, natural meals and environmental actions
  • the Wittelsbacher Platz medieval market, the place you should buy horns and drink from clay goblets
  • the fairytale bazaar, for daydreaming and shopping for uncommon items for the entire household
  • admire the illuminated principal sq. with its Christmas market stalls from above.
View from above of a main square in Munich at Christmas |vista dall'alto della piazza princiale illuminata con le bancarelle dei mercatini natalizi di Monaco di Baviera

Christmas market in Cologne

Cologne takes its title of “Cathedral Metropolis” severely and places on an excellent present of festive decorations and leisure, all with the spectacular cathedral as a backdrop. There are a number of markets inside the metropolis, every dedicated to a distinct theme and providing each arts and crafts and culinary delights. There are additionally smaller neighbourhood markets exterior the centre, within the numerous metropolis quarters or “Veedel” . Some showcase items from native companies, others solely promote culinary specialities, and so forth.

Whereas there, take a journey on the Rhine to benefit from the Christmas lights from the water, go to the Christmas Backyard at Cologne Zoo, and e-book a circus or live performance efficiency. The Cologne Christmas markets 2022 run from 21 November to 23 December.

To benefit from the underrated German countryside in your journey too, you would keep at Hof Biggen, about an hour away, in a valley by Lake Biggesee with lovely views. Should you’re not travelling in a camper, you’ll be able to hire a caravan onsite.

Christmas markets in France

Christmas market in Colmar

Enchanting at any time of yr, when it attire itself up in Christmas lights and decorations, Colmar turns into merely irresistible. Its 6 markets, brightening up the Outdated City with colors and flavours, unfold like mini-villages, every with a distinct theme. Let’s check out essentially the most uncommon ones:

  • the Place de Dominicains market is devoted to the arts and crafts of Alsace. Right here you’ll due to this fact discover works by grasp glassmakers, jewellers, painters and far more
  • the Place Jeanne d’Arc market is all about typical Alsatian food and drinks merchandise: from biscuits to conventional grappa, from cured meats to wine
  • la Petite Venise (Little Venice), the kids’s market alongside the banks of the river, boasts an assortment of toys, workshops and drinks designed particularly for the little ones
  • the Koïfhus lined market hosts the works of native artisans and craftswomen. Uncover the creation course of behind the actions of potters, glassmakers, hatters, cabinetmakers, to call however a number of.

Very close to Colmar, you’ll be able to keep at Tenting Verte Vallée year-round. You’ll be able to select from an unlimited vary of on-site lodging choices together with cute eco-pods in several sizes, tipis, spacious safari tents, sensible cell houses and caravans – in addition to in fact pitches for campervans.

Strasbourg Christmas Market 2021 Christkindelsmärik

Christmas market in Strasbourg

Strasbourg has one of many oldest Christmas markets in France, courting from the Center Ages. The primary market (known as Christkindelsmärik: market of the child Jesus in Alsatian) passed off in 1570 in Place Broglie. It was the place to get your gingerbread, herbs, candles, and all the things else you wanted for Christmas. It nonetheless is, however right this moment you will discover tons extra typical meals and drinks and native and artisan merchandise too.

There are in reality 11 markets, all positioned on the Grande Île. You’ll be able to stroll from one to the opposite in only a few minutes. In addition to the markets themselves, don’t miss:

  • the Promenade aux étoiles illuminations: A route of greater than 600 stars highlighting the historic and architectural heritage of Strasbourg, throughout the Grande Ile. This route begins in Louise Weiss Sq. and ends on the Sainte-Madeleine Bridge.
  • the crib on the cathedral: This 18-metre crib courting from 1907 is enchanting. You’ll be able to admire it in Strasbourg’s Notre-Dame Cathedral, at Place de la Cathédrale from the tip of November till early January.
  • the well-known tree and ice rink at Place Kléber: One of many principal squares in Strasbourg hosts the well-known 30m-high Huge Fir Tree yearly and an ice rink.

Visiting the Alsace Christmas markets by camper van may be very simple, because of the well-equipped campsites within the space which are open in winter. We suggest specifically staying at Tenting de Strasbourg, in an distinctive location within the coronary heart of the town’s City Nature Park. This campsite has lovely trendy, wood cell houses and cabins of various sizes, in addition to glamping tents and pitches.

Lyon Pageant of Lights

Though it doesn’t actually fall into the normal Christmas markets class, Lyon’s competition, which normally takes place within the second week of December, is among the most eagerly-awaited festive season occasions in France. It’s a four-day competition throughout which the town is lit up by all kinds of various creations: lighting, video and graphic artists, designers, architects and road efficiency troupes all play their half. Learn our full article in regards to the Lyon Pageant of Lights.

You may keep at Tenting de Lyon, in an old-style wood caravan, cabin, glamping tent or pitch on your campervan, or at Tenting des Barolles, with trendy cell houses and pitches. Each are lower than 10km from the town centre.

Properly, we hope to have intrigued you with our recommendations for the very best Christmas markets to go to by campervan and impressed you to plan a magical winter vacation within the nice open air! Hire a campervan, e-book one or two of the campsites and plan your route between them. Don’t overlook to share images and movies of your magical winter expertise with us on social media 🙂


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