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December 2019

Xmas market cities

Christmas markets are nowadays as much a part of winter as Father Christmas and snowmen. And whether its Prague or Strasbourg, everyone has a favorite. Here are some of the most interesting to visit this year.

Prague: Good King Wenceslas
With its story about heading out into freezing snow, the English hymn starting “Good King Wenceslas looked out, On the feast of Stephen” invariably evokes special Christmas and winter feelings. Prague’s Wenceslas Square Christmas market does the same – people huddled together in warm woolen hats, sipping mulled wine, eating spicy gingerbread and Hungarian flatbreads, walking from stall to stall, checking out ornaments, ceramics and jewelry, all with the fantastic backdrop of the National Museum and the Opera House. Highlight: Head up to Prague Castle for its own Christmas market and great views of the cityscape.

Strasbourg: 1570 vintage
Tradition plays a major role in many of the best Christmas markets, and there are few across the world older than Strasbourg’s. With origins that date back to 1570, this is proudly proclaimed as the “oldest Christmas market in France.” Centered in Strasbourg’s Place Broglie and Cathedral Square, the “Christkindelsmärik” area includes an ice rink and more than 300 stalls enticing visitors for traditional Christmas ornaments, food and mulled wines. Highlight: The Off Market is labelled the city’s “alternative Christmas market,” which focuses on sustainability, organic food, vintage furniture and original art.

Barcelona: Christmas Barcelona style
Barcelona is perhaps not the first place that springs to mind when you are considering which Christmas market to head for this year. In actual fact, the city’s Fira de Santa Llúcia has been going in one form or another since 1786, in celebration of Saint Lucy on 13 December. Located next to the cathedral, the market begins at the end of November. Nowadays it’s one of many Christmas markets in the city and wider region, accompanied by various events, with local food and drink specialities. Highlight: Gaudí’s Basílica de la Sagrada Família is the spectacular location of one of the city’s (smaller) Christmas fairs.

See what Munich art market and the German Christmas Market in Birmingham have to offer in Connect Magazine from page 28.

Source: Connect Magazine Winter 2019, Author: Paul Wheatley


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