Amsterdam, The Netherlands
As people fill Amsterdam’s famous Dam Square and Leidsplein to have fun in New Year’s Eve, restaurants and night clubs provide special programs for this day. Colorful ornaments and lighting of Amsterdam’s fairytale houses from 16th Century create a visual feast as well during Christmas. Traditional Christmas products and tastes unique to Holland are exhibited around 30 Christmas Markets opened in various parts of the city between 26 November and 17 January. Do not forget to taste Spreculaas – Christmas cookies with cinnamon, Dutch cheese and Poffertjes – small pancakes in the Amsterdam Christmas Market. You can also find the country’s famous wooden shoes, porcelain and tulip bulbs at the markets. You can experience ice skating on open-air ice skating rinks established in various parts of Amsterdam during Christmas.
Vienna is another beautiful city that you can spend your Christmas vacation in Europe. Each street adorned with beautiful lighting and spaces from store showcases to the balconies of houses decorated with Christmas theme are enough to get you in the positive New Year mood. Music is also an important aspect during Christmas as it is always in the city. In addition to the streets, special concerts are organized in specific concert halls. The New Year concert organized by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra enjoys popularity all over the World. Another city transforming its streets into an open-air ice skating rink is Vienna. More than 20 permanent or temporary Christmas Markets are opened in the city between 17 November and 31 December. The Christmas Market opened in front of the City Hall is Vienna’s largest. You can spend a pleasant time in the markets by touring stalls selling souvenirs and tasting flavors unique to Austria.
Another city standing out during Christmas in Europe is London. Almost every part of the city with each street adorned enfolds in the Christmas spirit. The famous streets of the city; Oxford, Regent, Carnaby, Piccadilly are the places that should be visited during Christmas. London is also famous for its special fireworks show organized in New Year’s Eve. Embankment, Westminister Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and South Bank regions located alongside River Thames are the best places to watch the exquisite fireworks. You are required to buy tickets for this show in advance due to security measures taken in recent years. We recommend you to buy tickets for these shows on relevant websites before New Year’s Eve. In addition to all these entertainment options, you can take a River Thames tour and enter the New Year on these boats. Winter Wonderland Christmas Market opened in Hyde Park is well above expectations.
Although being just behind London when ranking the metropolitan cities, Christmas in Paris stands out with decorations and lighting on its most famous street, Champs Elysees. The Christmas Market opened on the street is the perfect gastronomical oasis. You should definitely try chocolate pancakes with banana, foie gras, French cheese and cinnamon cookies that you will encounter on almost every stall of Paris markets. In addition to the one on Champs Elysees, another Christmas Market opened over a wide are at La Defense region is where you can shop from the antique stores and take a close look at French lace products. Of course, you can experience unique French tastes here in this market as well.
Prague, Czech Republic
One of the most romantic cities of the World, Prag transforms into another experience during Christmas. Enfolded in a medieval fair mood, you can entertain yourself in the city until the late hours of the night accompanied by classical music. The Christmas Market opened in front of the Astronomical Clock between 1 December and 6 January since the 11th Century is a must visit place during this time. Czech crystals, Prague’s famous puppets and lace products are the shining jewels of the Market. Do not forget to taste carp, a traditional dish that you will encounter almost everywhere during Christmas.
With its Christmas Markets and brilliantly lighted streets, Berlin is among the European cities that you can spend a pleasant time to welcome the New Year. Having Europe’s most dynamic night life, we recommend you to make reservation in advance for the special programs at restaurants and clubs during Christmas in Berlin. You can tastes flavors unique to Germany and shop local products accompanied with music in the Christmas Market at Gendermenmarkt square. Berlin’s other Christmas Markets are opened at Rotes Rathaus, Alexanderplatz, Spandau, Kurfürstendamm and the garden of Charlottenburg Palace.
As one of the first places that come to mind when mentioning Christmas Markets, Germany’s Dresden region is quite ambitious in this regard. Although Christmas Markets are opened in various German cities, the oldest and the most diverse one is in Dresden. Opened for 600 years, local artisans fill more than 250 stalls with local products. There are 11 markets in the city, one is also an amusement park. Do not return without tasting Stollen, a fruity cake, at the Striezelmarkt opened at Altmarkt Square. You can purchase a Leipzig flight ticket or Prague flight ticket to visit Dresden.
Combining the traces of Medieval Ages with New Year’s colors, Brussels is one of the first cities that comes to mind when mentioning Christmas in Europe. Brussels is a city that you can breathe the Christmas air on every street accompanied with the alluring scents of Belgian chocolate and colorful decorations. You can buy various local products from hundreds of huts at Christmas Market established on the two kilometers long area between Saint Catherine and Grand Place dating back to the 15th Century. Do not return without tasting waffles with chocolate sauce, gingerbread named Speculoos and famous mussels where you can eat at restaurants and small restaurants at ever corner of Brussels’ streets.
Becoming more impressive with special lighting during Christmas, you can watch the city on the bridges over the Danube during your Christmas vacation inBudapest. You can shop while tasting traditional Hungarian flavors accompanied by special music at the Christmas Markets opened in various parts of the city, especially the one at the Vörösmarty Square.
Considered as the capital of Europe, Strasbourg awaits you with its Christmas spirit emanating from every street. With its illuminated historic buildings adorned with gingerbread scent, the city transforms into a fairytale landscape during Christmas. With its Christmas Markets dating back 500 years, Strasbourg becomes a magical destination beginning from November for those who want to spend their Christmas vacation in Europe. Christkindelsmärik, which has been opened since 1570, is one of the oldest and largest Christmas Market in Europe. Place Gutenberg, Place d’Austerlitz, Place Broglie and Place de la Cathedrale are the other markets. You can buy a Basel flight ticket or Stuttgart flight ticket for Strasbourg.
The first thing that comes to mind for Moscow in Christmas is the Red Square covered with white. Those who want to spend their Christmas vacation in Moscow wish for snow before they go. This city is impressive when covered with snow especially during Christmas. Fireworks show at the Square starting on midnight and illuminating the night sky leave its mark on every New Year’s Eve. The city’s most famous high street, Tverskaya, and some streets leading to it are closed to traffic for three days starting from 31 December. Mini concerts and workshops are organized on stages installed in these traffic-free streets.