Top Continental Christmas markets

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

The over-50s are ready and willing to dive into the festivities of the season, with an estimated 5.25 million people in this age group planning on visiting a Christmas market this month.

compare travel cardsA fifth of over-50s seek out their Christmas food and drink at the markets and over two fifths (45%) take the opportunity to find unique gifts for their friends and family. Half of respondents simply said the markets bolster their Christmas spirit and make for a fun day’s shopping.

Around 5.2 million over-50s will be heading off to Christmas markets this year, with 4.6 million enjoying what the UK has to offer and 630,000 jetsetters travelling to Europe for a Continental Christmas market experience.

If you want to immerse yourself in a traditional festive market overseas, here are the top picks.

Prague

This Czech city is absolutely stunning in winter as it is, and the Christmas market only adds to its charms.

The cold isn’t the only thing that will take your breath away: the Christmas market takes place in the idyllic Baroque-style Old Town Square and is framed by striking architectural delights, which are likely to be carpeted in snow around this time of year.

Unusual food and drink abounds, with inquisitive visitors going to peruse the huge tubs of hot water filled with carp (a traditional Czech Christmas dish) and sample traditional beverages such as grog and honey liquor.

Berlin

Berlin is home to 50 Christmas markets around this time of year, but the 4 million visitors it attracts each year makes the market at Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche the biggest and most popular.

Those seeking a truly traditional market will be delighted with the chestnuts and mulled wine; and visitors are free to browse the jewellery, decorations and artwork on sale.

Brussels

At an impressive 2 kilometres long, just one visit to the Brussels Christmas market promises to pack a lot of memories into the shortest of stays.

In addition to the 240 stalls, there is a 35m toboggan slope, a 200-foot long skating rink and a big wheel decorated with an astonishing 18,000 lights.

Make sure you start organising your travel money as soon as you can after booking your trip, as this gives you time to compare the market to find the best deals.

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