It’s almost Christmas and while it might be too late for you to plan an overseas Christmas now, it’s never too early to think about next year. There’s lots of reasons why it’s a great idea to spend Christmas overseas, from getting to experience a new culture (and their often fascinating Christmas traditions), to exploring exciting Christmas markets and – of course – visiting friends and family overseas.
One of my favourite things to do when overseas is to check out the Christmas markets. Here’s some suggestions for next year:
Prague, Czech Republic:
Beautiful Prague. This city is often overlooked for some of the more cliched favourites, but it really deserves a visit. There are markets scattered across the city, but my favourite is in the Old Town Square where you’ll see a giant tree, beautiful lights and smell the wonderful scent of Czech baking and mulled wine. If you have time, go up the clock tower for an impressive view of the city.
This smaller town is often overlooked by travellers to Germany, but it is home to some of the best markets in all of Europe. Dresden’s Christmas market is also Germany’s oldest Christmas market and is scattered with odd traditions, such as parading their super size sollen through the streets. There’s some 240 stalls and lots of delicious treats to sample, so be sure to visit the Dresden Christmas market’s at least once in your lifetime.
Christmas shopping season opens relatively early in London, with things warming up in November. While the city itself is scattered with Christmas markets, there are a few extras that make London very special this time of year. From the ice skating rinks to the beautiful light decorations, London simply sparkles this time of year.
You’ll find Rome’s main Christmas market in Piazza Navona and here you’ll find carnival games, giant dinner plate sized donuts and a number of different types of peanut brittle. Beyond the markets, there’s an abundance of Nativity scenes scattered around the city, ensuring it really feels like Christmas here. It’s a wonderful place to visit especially if you have young children as there’s a very special feeling in Rome at Christmas time.
No matter where you choose in Europe, you’re sure to find yourself surrounded by beautiful displays of lights, music and smells during the holiday season. Christmas markets are the perfect place to enjoy local specialities and to pick up original gifts for family members back home.