Christ­mas mar­kets in Europe.


1 / Vi­enna, Aus­tria RATHAUSPLATZ

The square in front of Vi­enna’s neo-Gothic city hall has hosted the an­nual Christkindl­markt since 1975, though the mar­ket’s roots ex­tend back to the 18th cen­tury. Ex­pect stands sell­ing roasted chest­nuts, pret­zels, and a spiced punch called

wei­h­nacht­spun­sch as well as the hand­i­work of artisans from Aus­tria and neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. The park ar­eas on ei­ther side fea­ture ice-skat­ing, il­lu­mi­nated trees, and more. Novem­ber 17 to De­cem­ber 26; christkindl­

2 / Cologne, Ger­many COLOGNE CATHE­DRAL

Sev­eral out­door mar­kets dot this Rhineland city dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son. The most pop­u­lar is held in the plaza fronting Cologne Cathe­dral, the largest Gothic church in north­ern Europe. Here, more than 100 tented booths ar­ranged around a tow­er­ing Christ­mas tree sell re­gional foods and trin­kets; warm up with a cup­ful of

glüh­wein (mulled wine spiced with cin­na­mon and vanilla) be­fore at­tend­ing an Ad­vent per­for­mance at the nearby Cologne Phil­har­monic Con­cert Hall. Novem­ber 27 to De­cem­ber 23;

3 / Copen­hagen, Den­mark TIVOLI GAR­DENS

Not that you need any ex­cuse to visit Copen­hagen’s famed amuse­ment park, but dur­ing

jul, the Dan­ish yule­tide sea­son, Tivoli hosts a Christ­mas mar­ket lit up by fairy lights and fire­works. At­trac­tions in­clude a 150-year-old dou­ble-decker carousel, a nat­u­ral ice-skat­ing rink, and per­for­mances of

The Nutcracker. To keep warm dur­ing walks among the 70-odd stalls, sip on the Dan­ish ver­sion of mulled wine, called glögg. It comes with a shot of liquor and is usu­ally ac­com­pa­nied by æbleskiver, pan-fried cakes served with sugar and jam. Novem­ber 18 to De­cem­ber 31; tivoli­gar­

4 / Prague, Czech Repub­lic OLD TOWN SQUARE

Over­looked by me­dieval tow­ers, this cob­ble­stoned plaza in the his­toric heart of Prague plays home to the city's big­gest trh (Christ­mas mar­ket). Ven­dors sell all man­ner of Czech sou­venirs—hand-painted mar­i­onettes, Bo­hemian glass­ware—along­side sweet treats such as Nutella balls and

trdel­ník, a hot sugar-coated pas­try best washed down with honey wine or mead. The city’s other big Christ­mas mar­ket, at Wences­las Square, is just a brisk stroll away. De­cem­ber 2 to Jan­uary 6;

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