Christmas markets with a magical atmosphere

Here we are with the first appointment for November, and sostravel.com has many surprises in store for you, taking you on the discovery of the main European protagonists of the most magical time of the year. You already know what we’re talking about, but we’ll give you a clue! Close your eyes and imagine the streets of your city with lights and decorations, the shop windows, the joy in the eyes of children … Now you can open your eyes: Christmas is on its way!

Sostravel.com will accompany you on the discovery of ten of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe, one the best ways to experience the magical atmosphere of Christmas. Let’s start our journey through sweet melodies, traditional objects and a thousand lights, admiring these first days of cold.

Sostravel.com’s journey starts from Germany, the home of this touristic phenomenon. Did you know that the first market was organized back in 1434? Yes, this tradition brings with it hundreds of years of history. It all started in some areas between Germany and Alsace, which in those years became protagonists of the first exhibitions held by local artisans showcasing their products that recalled the events of Christmas. At first these were reserved exclusively for the bourgeoisie due to the high price of the products, eventually the interest grew throughout the country and in all social classes. In particular in the last twenty years Christmas markets have begun to spread throughout Europe, becoming part of the tradition of the holidays. Sostravel.com’s journey starts from these territories and in particular from Dresden, the city where the first market was born in 1434 and that today attracts over 2 and a half million visitors every year.

The Striezelmarkt market in Dresden
The Striezelmarkt market in Dresden

In Dresden the market takes the name of Striezelmarkt and begins with the cutting of the first slice of Stollen, a typical sweet bread stuffed with candied fruit and nuts, made in a remarkably huge size for this occasion. The atmosphere that reigns in the city during this period is among the most beautiful, thanks to its typically medieval appearance. The red tiles of the stands, the hundreds of stalls and lights that illuminate the soft colors of the houses will deliver a unique experience to Christmas lovers.

Christmas market in Zurich, the festively decorated central station
Christmas market in Zurich, the festively decorated central station

Continuing in the top 10 of the most beautiful markets we fly to Switzerland and precisely to Zurich. In this city there is a small market that deviates slightly from tradition: everything takes place indoors. In this time of the year, the central station of the city turns into a real village among decorations, Christmas lights and over 140 stalls offering products of all kinds, from gastronomy to local crafts. The absolute protagonist is the Christkindlimarkt, a large Christmas tree that exceeds 15m in height decorated with Swarovski crystals: the perfect background for your photos!

Christmas tree in the center of Innsbruck
Christmas tree in the center of Innsbruck

Third place of our ranking goes to Innsbruck, an Austrian city that offers a unique and enchanting scenography. On the occasion of Christmas markets, Innsbruck turns into a real fairy tale. Walking through the streets of the city you will notice that the balconies of the houses host characters from the fairy tales, from Der Struwwelpeter, to Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood. A visit to Innsbruck during the Christmas season will take you back to childhood for a moment, making you feel like inside of a fairy tale.

Bruges, Grote Markt
Bruges, Grote Markt

The fourth city of today’s appointment is Bruges, the romantic Belgian town declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. One of the most beautiful and enchanting medieval villages in the world. A flea market is held in the Grote Markt under the imposing bell tower of the city which lights up for the occasion, taking advantage of the magical atmosphere enjoying a hot chocolate and a walk among the chalets hosting special products ready to entertain you in this festive atmosphere. A unique and unforgettable atmosphere will envelop the narrow canals and medieval architecture of this enchanting city in Flanders.

Entrance to the Christmas market in Strasbourg, the capital of Christmas
Entrance to the Christmas market in Strasbourg, the capital of Christmas

Last stop for this appointment is Strasbourg: the home of the Christmas tradition of Alsace, a region that has always been the border area between Germany and Switzerland and that in 1570 hosted its first market around its huge Cathedral. Sixty wooden houses each year host hundreds of merchants and artisans ready to offer their Christmas decorations, handmade products crafted with attention to the smallest details, and many gastronomic specialties from gingerbread to mulled wine and many other traditional desserts. Completing the fairy tale are concerts, exhibitions of Christmas scenes and the theatrical representations that animate the city during this time.

Here are the top five cities, part of the Top 10 selected by sostravel.com. Well, you may be wondering, what the other five locations are. To find out you just have to keep following us. Sostravel.com sets the appointment for next Friday to continue this wonderful Christmas journey!