Mercatini di Natale-Europa,Europa
Christmas markets have become a symbol of the holidays, embodying places full of magic and tradition ready to accompany us from the first Sunday of Advent to the Epiphany. The squares of small towns and large cities throughout Europe are brought to life by traditional and festive stalls, where you can find all sorts of local crafts and nativity inspired decoration. And of course, they are a place where you can taste local food and wine products.
Here are some of the most original and famous Christmas Markets in Europe.
Christkindlimarkt Zurigo, the largest covered Christmas market in Europe Located inside the central station of Zurich, this market has 160 stalls, all sheltered from the cold. An obligatory stop for those arriving or departing by train from the city, it is impossible to resist the scent of mulled wine and cinnamon that pervades the exhibition spaces brought to life by Christmas sounds and melodies. Admire the majestic and sparkling 15-meter spruce decorated with over 7,000 Swarovski crystals.
Leiden, the floating Christmas market The Dutch town of Leiden, accessible just 45 minutes by train from Amsterdam, dresses up arouhd the holidays by welcoming its visitors with a hundred picturesque floating kiosks, set up on the waters of the Nieuwe Rijn Canal. It is the only "floating" Christmas market in the country. Among the countless stalls it is possible to find gift ideas, hot drinks and various delicacies, all accompanied by pleasant background music that animate many live performances. The historic center of the city, with its floating ice rink and the inevitable house of Santa Claus, is transformed into a complete winter experience.
Valkenburg, the Christmas market inside a cave The market in the Dutch municipality of Valkenburg aan de Geul takes place in the "Fluweel" cave and is considered the largest and oldest underground Christmas market in Europe. This enchanted world is made even more interesting by the walls of its centuries-old corridors decorated with murals from the Roman era, sculptures and an eighteenth-century church. In addition to the 50 food and wine stalls, local crafts and original Christmas decorations, the cave also houses a "gift room", a large space inhabited by Santa Claus himself, complete with a sleigh pulled by his beloved reindeer.
Pilatus Kulm, the highest Christmas market in Europe Located in Switzerland, on top of Mount Pilatus, on the highest peak of the Lucerne Pre-Alps is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. At an altitude of 2,132 meters above sea level, it is Europe's highest Christmas market and stretches around a luxurious hotel with a breathtaking view. The Pilatus Kulm has over 45 stands set up by the inhabitants of the area, and welcomes its visitors with handicrafts and delicious freshly baked Christmas specialties. The event can be reached via the cable car that leaves from Kriens station and takes place over just 3 days. A short event, but capable of offering a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Santa Pauli, the most transgressive Christmas market in Europe In Germany, St. Pauli's Reeperbahn boulevard, known as Hamburg's red-light district, once a year is transformed into a rather unusual holiday market. Taking advantage of the Christmas holidays, in a purely commercial and non-religious spirit, it opens a night market of about 40 erotic objects kiosks, surrounded by striptease shows, live music and projections of porn films. The event lasts for a month and every year, despite protests from the Catholic community, it continues to receive more and more visitors.
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