I had no idea what to expect on my first trip to a European Christmas Market.
What do you do at a Christmas Market?
So here is a quick run down of things to do at Christmas Markets.
1. You go to the markets at night so that you can be under the twinkling Christmas lights.
2. Each city has their own mug for the hot wine, otherwise known as Glu Wine in Germany or Vin Chaude in the Brussels one where I visited.
Be careful because some are not from that area and are cheap. We wanted that city’s name on our mugs.
Some visitors collect Christmas Market mugs; I did not want one…until I experienced the magic.
3. Travel Tip for Christmas Markets:
Stay closeby so you can do a travel outfit change if it gets colder or rainy. And to give your feet a break.
The trick is to switch your thinking.
4. You are going to visit that part of Europe and just walk through the Christmas Market at night.
It does not take long to walk through a market each night.
So book tours for the morning and afternoon (maybe one a day). This is the second time we have used With Locals, where you get a private walking tour with a local person.
Here is what else you do at Christmas Markets:
5. Find the cool things to do once you have walked through that market.
For example, we learned curling. Laughed so much!
6. You also visit other city’s Christmas Markets.
We planned around weather. Leave your train station around 3 so that you can be at the market by dusk and back at a decent hour.
We also noticed that one market was closed an HOUR before heading to the train. Whew!
Travel Tip for Christmas Markets:
You will want to stay within walking distance of the train station so you can visit other city’s markets. We visited Bruges, Antwerp (have you SEEN that train station), Liege and this next picture is from what we did at Gent.
7. One other travel tip I learned about visiting Christmas Markets
is that you have to look for the authentic items. Some things are really cheap, and you might just find many things that are hand made and just delightful!
Do not forget to pack those essential items for a Christmas Market from my list but take it from me, sometimes you do forget (I completely forgot my winter waterproof coat!!!).
As a pilot’s wife of packing in only a carry-on bag for 20 years, it still happens to the most seasoned travelers.
Grab my European converter / adapter freebie below and Merry Christmas!