Christmas Markets become magical places that attract every year millions of tourists from all over the world, who, at least for a short time, relive the thrill of childhood with the smell of cinnamon and orange.
This year we visited several such fairs both in Romania and abroad. The common denominator for all of them was carols, mulled wine, culinary treats, the light show and the beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
My recommendations are:
A capital city without much publicity, but with an incredibly beautifully designed fair in the old city center. You can find punch, mulled wine, traditional Slovak food as well as many traditional desserts everywhere. Prices are very affordable: a glass of punch starts at €2.5. It will be a real pleasure to stroll through the town’s historic streets. And the surprise in Bratislava was the next day when we woke up and it started snowing. I wrote here more details.
2. Vienna Christmas Markets
Vienna doesn’t needs any introduction when it comes to Christmas Fairs, as it is a city with tradition and have not one but 5 Christmas markets.
I found the most beautiful one in front of the Town Hall, Rathausplatz where everything is fairytale. They have an incredibly beautiful carousel, a wheel from which you can see the fair from above, a little train to the delight of the children, and of course gingerbread houses, handicrafts and mulled wine. Here, you can also read about other Christmas fairs visited in Vienna.
3. Christmas Market in Sibiu
The Christmas Fair in Sibiu was extremely beautiful but incredibly crowded. Packed to the brim with people, you have to arm yourself with patience, because it’s jam-packed, long queues for anything you want to buy and very expensive. A glass of mulled wine is 25 lei. Have similar prices with the Vienna Fair.
Kids gather to Santa’s Workshop, a Ferris wheel dressed in thousands of lights is sure to draw you in, and for ice sports enthusiasts, there’s a very nice ice rink.
4. Budapest Christmas Market
One of the most beautiful Christmas fairs in Europe is the one in Budapest. Although we had booked 3 days for Budapest, this year we got stuck with Airbnb and saw part of the Christmas Fair on the run. However, I couldn’t help but notice the fairytale atmosphere in the city.
Filled with lights on buildings, trees, artwork, everything is decked out for the holiday. On the famous Vaci Street you will find the festive shops set up, but it is very crowded. Make sure you organize your visit before 9pm, because the Christmas Fair at the end of the street closes then.
5. Christmas Markets in Bucharest
Even though I live in Bucharest, paradoxically, I still haven’t made it to the city’s Christmas fairs. Fortunately, I have friends who have visited them and told me they are very nice, especially the one in Drumul Taberei Park, “West Side Christmas”, organized by Untold.
I hope to get there before Christmas, because it closes on December 27th. Another fair you can visit is the Christmas Fair in Constituției Square, where there are various artistic programs during the weekend and which is open until 26 December.
6. Timisoara Christmas Market
Without much planning I arrived in Timisoara late at night , but I was struck by how beautifully and tastefully all the ornaments and lights were arranged in the city.
Besides all the little houses selling donuts, kurtos kolac and mulled wine, you’ll also find homemade chocolates, cakes, as well as handmade artisan products.
If you’re in Timisoara and looking for a breakfast/brunch spot, I recommend Jack’s Bistro. It’s a really nice place with great food and big portions.
Travel, live, love…in the magical spirit of Christmas!