Europe's Top Christmas Markets Are A Surefire Way To Get Into The Holiday Spirit

Depending on your workload heading into the holidays (or the degree to which 2017 has thoroughly bummed you out), getting into the Christmas spirit might be easier said than done this year.

A guaranteed solution? Planning a trip to one of Europe's spectacular Christmas markets. Dating back as far as the late 1200s in the German-speaking part of Europe and the former Holy Roman Empire, these great and glittering holiday street markets are as abundant as they are dazzling; offering visitors home-made Christmas treats and trinkets, belly-warming cups of gluehwein, and more Christmas cheer than you'll know what to do with.

If you still aren't convinced, check out our list of Europe's most coveted Christmas markets.

1. Frankfurt, Germany

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Dating back to 1393, this sparkling Christmas village on the Römerberg in Frankfurt, with its decked out chalets and scenic backdrop, is one of Europe's largest. Get in the celebrating spirit with a spontaneous Christmas concert and a mouth-watering plate of roasted chesnuts.

2. Cologne, Germany

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The intoxicating aromas of mulled wine, sausages and traditional Dutch desserts like poffertjes fill the air for a majorly festive feel at Cologne's many Christmas markets; take your pick and stroll under a canopy of lights with a cup of toasty gluehwein for a guaranteed Christmas spirit boost.

3. Brussels, Belgium

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The bustling Christmas market in the heart of Brussels is arguably the most fun-focused in Europe, featuring a glittering ferris wheel, a range of holiday-themed street activities and even a giant skating rink. Shop for dazzling ornaments and intricate crafts at one of the many illuminated chalets around the Bourse (Stock Exchange), Place Sainte Catherine and the Marché aux Poissons.

4. Strasbourg, France

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Founded in 1570, the Christmas markets in Strasbourg are considered to be the oldest in France and some of the most beloved in Europe, earning the city the title of "Capital of Christmas." With markets in 12 locations across the city, the charming Christmas village found outside of Strasbourg Cathedral is the city's most picturesque.

5. Nuremberg, Germany

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Considered Germany's most famous Christmas market, visitors to Nuremberg's holiday markets can enjoy flavorful mini bratwurst, blueberry mulled wine and twinkling hand-made trinkets. Check out the largest and most celebrated market in the city's center, a stone's throw away from a more intimate Christmas market built into the city's old medieval wall. 

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