Best German Christmas Markets 2012

The Christmas Market is an ancient German tradition, originally the place where local toy makers sold their wares. The charming custom has since spread across Europe. Here’s a selection of our favourites.

Bremen, North Germany – Daily 10am-8.30pm from 29th November to 23rd December

 

 

Bremen is where Gisela Graham grew up. Its centuries old Christmas market  is considered to be one of the most attractive in Germany,  and undoubtedly the source of Gisela’s love of the festive season.

It takes place in the main square dominated by the magnificent 15th century  Rathaus ( Town Hall ).  Over  170 festively decorated stalls offer a wonderful variety of handmade Christmas tree decorations and gifts. It’s also a place to eat and drink seasonal specialities such as  mulled wine, spiced rum, cinnamon  biscuits and roast Bratwurst sausages.

Bremen Christmas Market

Bremen Christmas Market

 

Winchester Cathedral, England – Daily 10am–6pm Mon-Wed, 10am-7.30pm Thurs-Sat, Open 22nd November to 23rd December

 

Winchester Christmas Market is inspired by traditional German Christmas markets and attracts more than 350,000 visitors each year. The pretty wooden chalets are situated in the Cathedral’s historic Inner Close surrounding an open-air  ice rink.  You’ll find traditional German decorations (and some by Gisela Graham!)  alongside British craftspeople selling  hand made gifts and decorations.

The food and drink blends British and German traditions:  Stollen Christmas cake vies with our native mince pies.

Winchester Christmas Market

Winchester Christmas Market

 

Edinburgh – Daily Sun-Wed 10am-8pm, Thu-Sat 10am-10pm – Open 24th November  to 24th December

 

Explore Edinburgh’s renowned German Christmas Market for unusual gift ideas such as handmade decorations and unique craft items. Warm up with a mug of Glühwein,  with cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, lemon  and sugar, and try some delicious German fare including biscuits, sweets and venison burgers.

Edinburgh Christmas Market

Edinburgh Christmas Market

 

Lille, Northern France – Daily Sun – Thurs 11am – 8pm, Fri – Sat 11am – 9pm, Open 21st November to 30th December

Follow the irresistible aroma of cinnamon and roasted chestnuts to Place Rihour where, for over a month, you can find more than 80 chalets of the Christmas Market. Here, merchants and craftspeople offer original and delightful gift ideas: regional products, gingerbread and other delicacies to try on the spot or take away, nativity figurines and Christmas decorations, traditional toys, Russian, German  and Polish specialties, and much more.

The holiday spirit can be found in every district, with shop windows each vying to be the most original. Shopping becomes an immense pleasure in a city glowing with joie de vivre.

Lille Christmas Market

Lille Christmas Market

 

London Southbank Centre, UK – Daily Mon – Fri 11am – 10pm, Sat – Sun 10am – 10pm, Open 16th November to 24th December

 

London, Europe’s most cosmopolitan city, now has a Christmas market that stands comparison with the best of Germany. A ‘street’ of 80 authentically decorated wooden chalet stalls  at the Southbank Centre offer a wonderful range of handmade craft gifts, jewellery, wooden and soft toys , handmade soaps and many more Christmassy products in a magical winter atmosphere. Sip a warming “Glühwein” or  enjoy a Bratwurst or a gingerbread heart  and many other delicious treats. There’s also  carousel and traditional Christmas music.

Southbank Christmas Market

Southbank Christmas Market

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