Discovering the Best Christmas Markets
The festive season is upon us and this is most definitely one of our favourite times of the year. The arrival of the Christmas markets, filled to the brim with mulled wine, quaint shops and delectable foods heralds the start of Christmas, but where to go for the best experience? Good question, here are our Top 5 recommendations…
Prague, Czech Republic
Set across five locations in the city and running from around mid-end of November (each location has a different start date, so check the times before arrival), the Prague Christmas markets are a haven of festive foods and drinks. Prague provides a vast array of entertainment also including carol concerts, performances, creative workshops and St Nicholas/New Year’s celebrations.
Top Tip: If you haven’t had your fill of pastries by the time you’ve finished for the day, Prague has much to offer those staying in the city, including two Michelin starred restaurants, La Degustation and Field. La Degu (as it’s affectionately known) presents a seasonal tasting menu of traditional Czech cuisine from their trusted farmers, foragers and hunters; well worth a visit whilst you’re in town.
If you spend your days dreaming of a crisp Winter evening spent wandering round the brightly lit markets with the enchanting scent of mulled wine, rum punch, roasted almonds and gingerbread filling the air, then you’ve most certainly come to the right place! Nuremberg’s Christmas markets launch on the 29th of November with a grand ceremonial event before running throughout December until Christmas Eve.
Top Tip: When you’re ready to explore what else Nuremberg has to offer, then Essigbratlein should be top of your list. A two Michelin starred restaurant in a quaint townhouse serving ‘spice cuisine’ by Andree Köthes’ and Yves Ollechs.
Dating back to 1570, the Strasbourg Christmas market is the oldest festive market in France. This year’s market runs from Nov 22nd until Dec 30th and sells a huge array of goods perfect for Christmas shopping. The cuisine is quite literally mouth-watering including bretzels breaded pretzels, bredeles spiced stars and knacks sausages. The stalls themselves are spread across the town but mainly focused around the Cathedral Square (which coincidentally is worth a visit in itself as an outstanding masterpiece of gothic architecture).
Top Tip: The 1741 restaurant is located in the heart of the historic city and host to one Michelin star. The restaurant describes itself as ‘a showcase of French elegance and refinement, under the sign of the gourmet lifestyle.’ If you’re in town for a day or two, then get a table booked here for sure!
Crowned as the best Christmas markets in the UK, the Manchester markets are not only huge (300 trader stalls in total), it’s spread across the entire city and continues to grow year on year since they first began in 1999. The UK markets are a little different in that they invite a more varied cuisine such as paella and crepes amongst the more traditional bratwurst, hog roast and pretzels!
Top Tip: Manchester was recently awarded its first Michelin star in 40 years and it went to the truly fantastic ‘Mana’ which offers a delectable 12-16 course taster menu. The dishes are modern with a Nordic influence, best to book a table and taste it for yourself.
Last but by no means least, are the Copenhagen markets. You can keep yourself warm against the elements with a glass of gløgg (spicy mulled wine) whilst sampling the legendary æbleskiver (sugar dusted pancake balls). The markets are based all over the city (again, check the dates beforehand but roughly from around mid-November) and they’re passionate about taking the Christmas theme to the next level – think live reindeer and music.
If you want to go extra exclusive, then make sure you’re in the city for Dec 8th for the one-day only street market on Elmegade. There are boutiques, clothing, gifts, street food and music but be quick, it all disappears again by Dec 9th.
Top tip: If you’re after the creme de la creme of Denmark dining then look no further than Geranium which holds no less than 3 Michelin stars and is also ranked as the 19th best restaurant in the world in 2019!
If you’re planning on travelling to Europe for the festive experience then why not charter an aircraft with Vertis Aviation?
Contact Vertis Aviation today to arrange a bespoke aircraft charter:
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