It’s only 12 weeks till Christmas, so you best get booking your winter break to one of these magical European Christmas Markets. Which ever one you decide to visit, you’ll be surrounded by wooden huts selling handmade goods, freshly made mulled wine and, of course, local delicacies that’ll leave you wanting more.
We’ve recommended a few traditional treats from several European Christmas Markets you won’t want to miss out on.
Every year in December, Amsterdam puts on plenty of Christmas markets, festivals and events that draw in thousands. When visiting you’ll discover the 20-metre-tall tree in Dam Square, perfectly placed in front of the Royal Palace and surrounded by stalls selling ideal stocking fillers and oliebollen.
Oliebollen, which translates to oil balls, is a traditional Dutch food sometimes referred to as Dutch doughnuts or Dutchies in English. This variety of dumpling is made with raisins, sultanas and currents blended into the dough mixture. An ice cream scoop is used to get that perfect circular shape, before it’s dropped into the deep fat fryer and served up with powdered sugar.
There are over 70 Christmas markets situated in Berlin, so you’ll have plenty to choose from when visiting. Will you watch the glassblowers create glowing spectacles in the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market or hop on the amusement rides in the Opernpalais Christmas market? Whatever you decide,you’re sure to see plenty of German sausages.
The smell of bratwurst and rostbratwurst fills the air and will make your mouth water as you walk past - you won’t be able to resist it. Ask for currywurst and you’ll be served a chopped-up sausage with a tangy tomato sauce and a light sprinkling of curry powder.
Holiday markets are now a staple in the City of Love and provide the perfect location and setting for a romantic getaway during the festive season. Wooden chalets and white tents line the streets in front of the Eiffel Tower, all selling hand-made Christmas decorations and mugs of mulled wine to sip while watching the lights sparkle on the iconic monument.
If you fancy something light to nibble on, choose the famous Alsatian brioche cake, Kougelhopf, which is made with raisins and almonds mixed into the dough. Introduced to France by Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, it’d be rude not to give it a go.
From the end of November to the start of January, you can walk along the cobbled streets in Brussels and see snow-topped market chalets filled with Christmas souvenirs, bars bustling with both locals and tourists,and pop-up restaurants selling local delicacies.
One of these delicacies is carbonade flamande, a traditional Belgian beef and onion stew made with beer and mustard, and seasoned with thyme and bay leaves. Spiced bread and mushrooms can also be added if requested.However, if you have more of a sweet tooth, you may wish to try one of the Belgian waffles covered in strawberries, cream, chocolate or bananas.
Italians believe that the best way of getting into the festive spirit is to indulge in their local treats, one of the most popular being Panettone, an Italian loaf of sweet bread which is originally from Milan but is sold throughout Rome’s Christmas markets. It’s instantly recognisable due to its tall, dome shape, fluffy insides and chunks of orange peel and raisins that just scream Christmas.
Another sweet treat you can enjoy whilst wandering around the stalls that line Piazza Navona is Torrone, an Italian delicacy that’s a form of nougat filled with toasted almonds and pistachios. As well as a tasty snack, it makes for the perfect souvenir and Christmas gift.
Feeling a little more Christmassy now? Why not book your Christmas market break and try some of these delicious foods. You can call us on 0800 021 3237 or contact us via our website. Alternatively, you can visit our Woodbridge Travel Agents and speak to a member of our team.