& # 39; The world's best 15 Christmas markets

There is nothing like surfing a Christmas market to create that festive feeling.

But with markets that pop up everywhere, it is difficult to know which are worth visiting.

Here we present 15 of the most exciting, including three excellent British offers.

Austrian allure: the central square in Salzburg, pictured above, with its chalets with snow tops selling festive treats

Austrian allure: the central square in Salzburg, pictured above, with its chalets with snow tops selling festive treats

Leipzig Germany

Why is it special? With advantageous flights, Leipzig gains a reputation among young people as the new Berlin, thanks to great beer stalls and chic hotels that do not cost a fortune. The city is home to one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, all against a Gothic background. Music and art are also part of the call – Bach has lived and worked here and the Museum of Bildenden Kunste has works by German expressionists, Munch and Cranach.

Do not miss it: Nativity scenes with real animals.

Nice starts: November 27th.

Jingle Bells: Lepizig hosts one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, all against a Gothic background

Jingle Bells: Lepizig hosts one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, all against a Gothic background

Jingle Bells: Lepizig hosts one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, all against a Gothic background

Stay: A single ticket costs just £ 9 with Ryanair (Ryanair.com). The Hotel Furstenhof (marriott.com) has rooms from € 145 a night – around £ 127.

Stockholm, Sweden

Why is it special? The Swedes know how to celebrate Christmas, and stalls are scattered around the city. And at Skansen (a 15-minute tram ride from the city center) you will discover stalls with tasteful Scandinavian handicrafts.

Do not miss it: Smoked reindeer and lussekatter – saffron rolls.

Nice starts: November 22.

Stay: A four-night B & B break starts from £ 425pp, including flights, with Best Served Scandinavia (bestserved.co.uk).

LUCERNE, Switzerland

Why is it special? Lakes, mountains and raclette – Lucerne does Christmas markets in a typically Swiss way. Mount Pilatus, reached by cog railway, makes for a great trip.

Do not miss it: A department store turned into a gigantic Advent calendar, with a new window every day.

Nice starts: November 29.

Stay: A two-night B & B holiday in Hotel Des Alpes, with flights, starts at £ 440pp with Switzerland Travel Service (stc.co.uk).

CHICAGO, USA.

Christkindlmarket takes over Daley Plaza, with strudel and schnitzel stalls. On the photo is a food stall in Chicago

Christkindlmarket takes over Daley Plaza, with strudel and schnitzel stalls. On the photo is a food stall in Chicago

Christkindlmarket takes over Daley Plaza, with strudel and schnitzel stalls. On the photo is a food stall in Chicago

Why is it special? The city of Midwest has a strong German heritage and the Christkindlmarket takes over the Daley Plaza, with strudel and schnitzel stalls.

Do not miss it: Cute heart-shaped souvenir mugs with Ich liebe Christkindlmarket & # 39; given away with a hot drink.

Nice starts: November 16.

Stay: A three-night break starts at £ 359pp with flights and room-only accommodation with Thomas Cook (thomascook.com).

SALZBURG, Austria

Why is it special? The city is seriously beautiful and thanks to the proximity of the ski slopes, it probably has snow to enhance its charm. Temperament for sentimentality, Salzburg's other specialty is Krampus parades, returning to a devilish figure who was looking for bad children to punish.

Do not miss it: Mozart was born here and his status means that there are festive choirs at every turn.

Nice starts: November 22.

Stay: A two-night break starts at £ 218 pp, including flights and two nights at the Markus Sittikus hotel with British Airways (ba.com).

Antwerp Belgium

Antwerp has the best Christmas market in Belgium, according to Sarah Turner of the Daily Mail. On the photo is a stall with Gluhwein

Antwerp has the best Christmas market in Belgium, according to Sarah Turner of the Daily Mail. On the photo is a stall with Gluhwein

Antwerp has the best Christmas market in Belgium, according to Sarah Turner of the Daily Mail. On the photo is a stall with Gluhwein

Why is it special? With stalls swaying around the 16th century cathedral, Antwerp gets my vote as the best Christmas market in Belgium. Antwerp also has a strong fashion background – go to the Nationalestraat for designer outfits.

Do not miss it: The tastiest waffles – you will wonder what their secret is.

Nice starts: December 6th.

Stay: A three-night stay starts at £ 568 pp, including B & B accommodation at the T & # 39; Sandt hotel and Eurostar travel with Kirker (kirkerholidays.com).

FREIBURG, Germany

Furnished: The medieval city of Freiburg has a lot of charm, especially during the holidays

Furnished: The medieval city of Freiburg has a lot of charm, especially during the holidays

Furnished: The medieval city of Freiburg has a lot of charm, especially during the holidays

Why is it special? Germany is still the beating heart of the Christmas markets, and the Black Forest has a lot of natural beauty and charm. Track specialist Ffestiniog Travel offers a break that takes you to the heart of this medieval city.

Do not miss it: To brush up your skills in a workshop for candlelight workshops.

Nice starts: November 22.

Stay: A four-night journey starts from £ 890 pp, including all travel and B & B accommodation, with Ffestiniog Travel (ffestiniogtravel.com).

STRASBOURG, France

Donations abound: Sarah recommends you try the pizza-like flammekueche as you browse through the stalls in Strasbourg

Donations abound: Sarah recommends you try the pizza-like flammekueche as you browse through the stalls in Strasbourg

Donations abound: Sarah recommends you try the pizza-like flammekueche as you browse through the stalls in Strasbourg

Why is it special? Strasbourg has had a Christmas market since 1570. Place de Marche aux Poissons has the most food stalls – try the pizza-like flammekueche.

Do not miss it: Vintage finds at Place Grimmeissen.

Nice starts: November 24.

Stay: A three-night trip starts from £ 275 pp, including flights and room accommodation at the Maison Rouge Hotel with Easyjet Holidays (easyjet.com/holidays).

AARHUS, Denmark

Why is it special? On your way to Aarhus you can dig out that ragged Afghan coat and work your way to a Christmas from the 70s. Den Gamle Bay is an open-air museum with themes from different historical periods (you can also visit the 1920s and 1880s), while at Tivoli Friheden you will find a number of tasteful fairground attractions and sculptural fire pits.

Do not miss it: Buy the traditional Danish Madam Bla coffee pot and homemade schnapps.

Nice starts: November 17.

Stay: Flights with Easyjet cost from £ 23 one-way (easyjet.com). The rooms at Scandic The Mayor Hotel start at £ 95 per night, including breakfast (scandichotels.com).

LUXEMBOURG

Why is it special? This small country lies at the crossroads of Europe, so you can easily make trips to France and Germany. On a guided journey that begins on November 29, you can explore the markets at Place d 'Armes and Place de Paris, followed by trips to Trier in Germany with its Roman remains, and Metz in France.

Do not miss it: Street food such as gromperekichelcher – potato cookies.

Nice starts: November 22.

Stay: A four-day break starts from £ 695pp, including all travel and mixed accommodation at the Novotel Kirchberg Novotel with Great Rail Journeys (greatrail.com).

PALMERMO, Italy

Why is it special? Christmas markets are a more recent addition in Italy, but the Sicilian city of Palermo has a lot of Catholic fervor and nativity scenes. The Fiera di Natale runs from mid-November and combines Christmas decorations and food, including torrone and candied fruit. However, if you can limit yourself to December 16, Piazza Unita d & # 39; Italia will be a showcase for local artists and craftsmen.

Do not miss it: Cots in all shapes and sizes – it's the thing to buy here.

Nice starts: Today.

Stay: A three-night break starts from £ 488 pp, including flights and B & B accommodation at Hotel Villa Igiea with Citalia (citalia.com).

Zagreb, Croatia

Why is it special? There are annual prizes for Christmas markets and Zagreb has won the first place last year. The hip capital of Croatia has a large student population and offers festive value. Ban Josip Jelacic Square and European Square are two of the most important places to gather and Zrinjevac Park combines local specialties with live music performances.

Do not miss it: Foodies will love fried strukle – a warm pastry dish with soft cheese.

Nice starts: December 2.

Stay: A two-night break starts from £ 326 per person, including flights and room accommodation at the Westin with British Airways (ba.com).

AND THREE HOME-GROWING OFFERS

Here in the United Kingdom are the power plants of the Christmas market Birmingham, which takes the German bratwurst and gingerbread approach, and Bath, with an ice rink, a Victorian carousel and the cave of Santa. But why not view these emerging markets too?

CHATSWORTH, Derbyshire

Why is it special? Probably the most visually stunning Christmas market in the UK. On the ancestral pile of the Duke of Devonshire, a mix of aristocracy and seasonal goodwill is present from mid-November. The food and gifts are of a high standard and the house has twilight sessions with singers and minced pies.

Nice starts: November 16.

Stay: The Devonshire Arms (devonshirebeeley.co.uk), owned by the estate, is a short drive away. Rooms start at £ 177, including breakfast. chatsworth.org

CHESTER

Why is it special? The half-timbered houses come to life with a series of stalls scattered throughout the city. Food is a particularly strong draw and includes Welsh cheese makers and delicious charcuterie.

Nice starts: November 16.

Stay: Only room-stays at the Pied Bull (piedbull.co.uk) cost from £ 74. Visitchester.com

ABERDEEN

Why is it special? Aberdeen is connected to Stavanger in Norway and has the giant Christmas tree to prove it. The market will double in size this year, and the old quater of the Marischal College will have food stalls in abundance.

Nice starts: November 23.

Stay: B & B at the Atholl Hotel in Aberdeen (atholl-aberdeen.co.uk) costs from £ 65. Visitabdn.com.

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