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Christmas Markets UK & Europe (2014) [Help me find some fab ones please!]

(157 Posts)
ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 15:55:12

So, I am determined to find some good Christmas Markets this year! Please help me fsmile


We have a few days prior to Christmas (18th to the 21st) when I would like to go somewhere in Europe to a/some lovely Christmas Market/s.

Lots of pretty lights, mulled wine, atmosphere and preferably grapes in toffee grin (The ones in Bruges were A-May-Zing). I'm not looking for somewhere to 'shop' but a couple of nice decorations would be good (but definitely not a priority), I just want the atmosphere and to go somewhere new/different.

UK - I'd like to book up some weekends so we don't end up 'busy' & not able to fit them in!

I live in the SE & we'll be going to Winchester (flexible with this as we can either 'make a weekend of it' or just go for the day).

Happy to travel for the weekend as long as it's worth it fsmile

Where do you love/hate & why? Thank you x fgrin

MagpieCursedTea Sun 16-Nov-14 16:00:10

I love the Lincoln Christmas market. It's quite big, has a great atmosphere and is in the beautiful 'up hill' part of Lincoln where the castle and cathedral are, really worth the trip! I think it's 4th - 7th December this year.

Leeds2 Sun 16-Nov-14 16:14:39

Can't recommend it, because I haven't been yet, but we are going to the Berlin Christmas market this year.

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 16:19:31

Magpie that sounds nice - I'll go and google smile

When are you going Leeds? Next week would be handy - then you could tell me what it was like fgrin I read something on MN from previous years threads and someone said it was good, but there weren't many comments about it.

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 16:21:53

Magpie just realised that's the one weekend we can't do - we have a wedding sad It looks lovely!

TarkaTheOtter Sun 16-Nov-14 16:22:42

The Bonn Christmas market was pretty good for twinkly lights and gluhwein. Bonn itself was boring as he'll though.

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 16:24:25

Thanks Tara - I'll have a google of that one now fsmile

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Sun 16-Nov-14 16:28:48

The Prague one is nice. The Birmingham one is...erm...not.

IAmAPaleontologist Sun 16-Nov-14 16:32:56

Bordeaux is nice and it is a lovely city regardless.

I'd love to go do some of the properly traditional German ones though one year. Dh and I have a soft spot for Munich following some romantic shagfests weekends there many years ago. No idea what teh market is like but it has some great cake shops grin.

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 16:33:26

Ooh Prague Remus - I haven't been there in years...

AWholeLottaNosy Sun 16-Nov-14 16:38:22

Dusselldorf is lovely, very atmospheric and beautiful things to buy. You could also get to Cologne very easily from there which is lovely too.

Have also been to the Berlin ones which are very good, more crowded tho!

I love German Christmas markets!

Erm Birmingham has one which is ok, quite atmospheric when it gets dark but not a patch on the German ones IMO

gingerbreadmam Sun 16-Nov-14 16:38:53

Edinburgh edinburgh edinburgh! it is the most beautiful christmassy place i have been (although i must admit i am not well travelled).

They have a beautiful german market on in little huts open till late evening with a few german beer huts too that do mulled wine.

it really is amazing.

there is also a fayre and fun things for children plus a place called the dome which i havent even had the pleasure of visitng yet but apparently does a lovely afternoon tea and looks amazing from the outside.

there are some really upmarket hotels that make me think of 'home alone' it really is magical and i am just in the process of trying to arrange this years visit!

Pippidoeswhatshewants Sun 16-Nov-14 16:45:34

Oooh, ginger that sounds lovely! I feel a trip to Edinburgh is in order!

We went to the German Christmas market in London by the Thames last year, and it was rubbish.

St Albans Christmas market is quite small but very atmospheric and authentic!

Any old town in Germany has a Christmas market, big towns like Berlin, Hamburg or Munich have several. Berlin markets are great, but Berlin can be extremely cold and windy, so be prepared!

Nürnberg is overrated - much too crowded. Lübeck is lovely. Goslar is supposed to be very nice, but I haven't been myself.

gingerbreadmam Sun 16-Nov-14 16:50:19

it really is, i'm sure google will have lots of pics / vids on offer. it is quite medieval edinburgh too, cold dark and big high old buildings which really enhances the festive period i think.

ooh i am getting very excited just talking about it on here!

they also have a huge department store that has a christmas tree from the ground floor to the ceiling almost it is amazing.

if you do decide to visit edinburgh definitely look into the dome.

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 16:51:27

IAmA I have good memories of Munich as well fgrin I hadn't really thought about France. The Christmases I spent in France weren't very festive...but I love France, it's my 'default' jump on a plane destination!

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 16:54:44

AWhole which do you think was better Cologne or Berlin?

I've read such mixed reviews on the one in Birmingham. I have a friend up there <waves> so I might need to go and see for myself! If all else fails we can drink hot chocolate and talk the hind legs off of some reindeer!! fgrin

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 16:56:27

Gingerbreadman - do you think Edinburgh might be nice?


I have a cousin up there...might be able to squeeze a weekend in up there... Hmmmm

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 16:59:18

Pippi - I should have mentioned that. I do go to London every year - I love it at Christmas and it's only an hour on the train. I like the market just for a wander and some hot chocolate, then there's just so many other things to do! fgrin

St Albans & Lubeck...

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 16:59:53

Ginger can you remember which shop that is?

Clueing4looks Sun 16-Nov-14 17:01:49

There's a Victorian Christmas market at gloucester quays from the 18th of this month, not sure of the end date.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Sun 16-Nov-14 17:02:32

Bath is lovely. I am going in a couple of weeks, combining the markets with my daughters graduation

AWholeLottaNosy Sun 16-Nov-14 17:02:56

Hmmm Cologne is a very pretty place, nice to wander round, some nice restaurants and cake shops too. Berlin is.... Well it's a great city, vibrant, dynamic, lots going on. Depends what you want really. If you just want the Xmas market experience then maybe Cologne. Wrap up warm tho whichever one you go to and have a Gluwein for me!

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 17:18:46

Clueing that sounds nice, I'll have a google - have you been before? It's quite new isn't it?

amother I haven't been to Bath in ages either - wasn't too sure about the Christmas Markets there, have heard mixed reports>?

gingerbreadmam Sun 16-Nov-14 17:22:12

i think it was called jenners? haha yes it is definitely nice get on to your cousin.

one thing i was surprised about is that although it was busy, we went december both times i have been? it wasnt too busy if you get me. we go to york a lot and that is always stupidly busy, i kind of expected the same but it wasnt which is always a bonus.

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 17:22:48

AWholeLot I've just been looking at flights and hotels (Cologne). Where abouts do you think it would be good to look for a hotel? I can't quite work out where the markets are in relation to the hotels on

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