There is no place like Europe during Christmas time. The beauty and magic of the Christmas season comes alive in the streets, markets and homes. No matter what country you visit, you will be sure to find festive decorations, delicious food and drink, and holiday cheer. From the stunning Christmas markets in Germany and Austria, to the beautiful lights and displays in France and Italy, a European Christmas is an unforgettable experience. Here are the top 15 ways to fully experience this magical season yourself.
1. Spend Christmas in a charming European city like Vienna, Prague, or Budapest. Marvel at the festive decorations, listen to holiday music in the streets, and savor traditional Christmas meals.
2. Visit the beautiful Christmas markets in Germany, Austria, France, and other countries. Browse for unique gifts, sample delicious holiday foods, and soak up the festive atmosphere.
3. Attend a Christmas concert or performance. From grandiose operas to intimate choirs singing in picturesque churches, there’s bound to be a concert that will get you into the holiday spirit.
4. Go on a festive foodie tour. Tasting traditional holiday dishes is a great way to learn about other cultures and get into the Christmas spirit.
5. Join in the fun at a local Christmas festival. Many European towns and villages host special events leading up to Christmas, with parades, carol singing, and other festivities.
6. Visit a charming European castle decked out for Christmas. Many castles open their doors to visitors during the holiday season, and some even offer special Christmas tours.
7. Go ice skating in a picturesque setting. Ice skating is a popular pastime in Europe during winter, and there are often beautiful outdoor rinks set up in central squares and parks.
8. Sip on some festive mulled wine. This delicious spiced wine is popular in many European countries and is the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter’s day.
9. Sample traditional holiday sweets and treats. From German lebkuchen to French pain d’épices, there are so many delicious Christmas sweets to try.
10. Take a scenic winter hike. Europe is home to some beautiful mountain ranges and forests, which are especially stunning when blanketed in snow.
11. Go skiing or snowboarding in the Alps. Skiing and snowboarding are popular winter activities in Europe, and the Alps offer some of the best slopes in the world.
12. Visit a European Christmas market by night. Many markets are open late, and they’re often even more festive when illuminated by twinkling lights.
13. Attend a traditional European Christmas mass. Christmas is a religious holiday, and attending a mass is a great way to experience the solemnity and joy of the season.
14. Go on a festive river cruise. Many European cities offer holiday-themed cruises down their picturesque rivers, complete with twinkling lights and festive decorations.
15. Experience a European Christmas Eve. Many European countries have unique traditions for Christmas Eve, from feasting on special dishes to attending midnight mass.