Dresden's Christmas market at night with the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) in the background.

Dresden’s Christmas market at night with the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) in the background.

One of our favorite times to visit Europe is in late November and December. The crowds are gone, the prices are a tad lower, and we can tour the magical outdoor Christmas markets. There’s nothing like being outside, enjoying the snow (rain…not so much) and crisp air while walking through a town square filled with people shopping, drinking mulled wine, snacking on cinnamon-scented almonds, and watching for Santa Claus.

Most larger towns in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, and northern Italy have a Christmas market where vendors sell their items from wood huts decorated in lights and fresh greens. The shopping is great, but we just like the people watching and listening to the holiday music, too.

 

I almost shipped this set of wheels home—the Dresden Stollenmobile. Sweet!

I almost shipped this set of wheels home—the Dresden Stollenmobile. Sweet!

My favorite Christmas market is in Dresden, Germany. Just for the size of this market and the fact that Dresden bakeries produce some of the tastiest (and most calorie-laden) stollen I’ve eaten. Yum!

This year, EuropeanMarket, will be displaying our products at our first Christmas market in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, November 23-24. I’m hoping any snow misses our state that weekend. Come out and see us. If you bring me a flask containing a warming beverage, I’ll be sure to give you a discount.

If you have the opportunity, take a vacation to Europe in the early winter and stop at the Christmas markets. I think you’ll cherish them as much as we do.

Take a quick tour to some of these Christmas markets. Share your favorites or others I’ve missed. Would love to know about them.

1. Dresden, Germany—http://www.dresden.de/dtg/en/veranstaltungen/weihnachtszeit/weihnachtsmaerkte.php

2. Eisenach, Germany—http://www.thuringia-tourism.com/travel-hotel-holiday-tour/christmas-markets-128154.html

3. Strasbourg, France—http://www.otstrasbourg.fr/article.php?id_article=248&lang=en

4. Vienna, Austria—http://www.wien.info/en/shopping-wining-dining/markets/christmas-markets

5. Oconomowoc, Wisconsin—http://germanchristmasmarket.org/