FFE Magazine

2013 Christmas Markets in Europe Part II

Christmas is once again in the air! For many of us, the season is never complete without a trip to some of Europe’s biggest Christmas markets: the centres of joy, abundance and warmth that brightens up the holiday.

Christmas markets are Europe’s longest and most popular traditions during the months of November-January. They attract both locals and tourists alike, fostering a global community of festivity.


Dine, drink, shop, walk, play, and meet and greet friends and family in some of 2013’s most awaited Christmas markets:


Copenhagen, Denmark




Where:TivoliGardens, City of Copenhagen, Denmark


When: Thursday 14 November – Tuesday 31 December 2013


TivoliGarden is one of Europe’s oldest amusement parks, and this season, Copenhagen is dressing up its famous landmark to the nines. Enjoy 50 stalls selling hot drinks, food, sweets and gift items to bring home.


What to do:


  • Enjoy a few of Tivoli’s 28 Christmas rides like the Siberian Lantern Ride
  • Catch Father Christmas at the Pantomime Theatre
  • Watch the annual Fireworks Festival on 26-30 December and on New Years’ Eve


Manchester, UK




Where:Albert Square, City of Manchester, North WestEngland, UK


When: Friday 15 November – Sunday 22 December 2013


If you’re looking for a cultural melting pot to spend your Christmas in, look no further than Manchester. The Christmas markets in this city will be themed: King Street will have French products and treats, St Ann’s Square will feature German crafts and goods. Brazennose Street will be devoted to ‘World Christmas,’ with items from Nepal to Mexico. The Albert Square Christmas market is the city’s crown and will feature European gifts and fare.


What to do:


  • Visit Exchange Street for hand crafted artworks
  • Enjoy top-class entertainment in Exchange Square
  • Sit and enjoy a warm cup of coffee in any of the cafes at Corporation Street


Cologne, Germany




Where:Cologne Cathedral, City of Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


When: Monday 25 November – Monday 23 December 2013


The World Heritage Site Cologne Cathedral with its towering spires and Gothic architecture creates a powerful backdrop in Cologne’s biggest Christmas market. 160 festive wooden pavilions fronting the Cathedral also surround a giant Christmas tree, the largest in the Rhineland.


What to do:


  • Visit Santa Claus’ grotto at the Alter Markt with the kids
  • Skate at the CologneOldTown ice rink open from 10am to 10pm until 5 January
  • Are you a fan of the brothers Grimm fairy tales? Visit Rudolfplatz as it borrows its theme from the world of fiction this year


Lille, France




Where: Place Rihour, City of Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France


When: Wednesday 20 November – Monday 30 December 2013 (except Christmas day)


Lille becomes the centre of joie de vivre (exuberant joy in life) come Christmas with its annual market. Around the tall Christmas tree, around 80 chalets bearing gifts, food and Christmas decorations will be open throughout the season. Also featured are crafts from Russia, Poland, Quebec and from Native American groups.


What to do:


  • Ride the Big Wheel, a 50m high Ferris wheel until 12th January from midday way into the night, at Grand Place and experiences Lille’s sights and sounds from above


Brussels, Belgium




Where: Winter Wonders (city centre), City of Brussels, Belgium


When: Friday 29 November – Sunday 5 January 2014


The Grand-Place gets transformed once again into a magical wonderland with Winter Wonders. This 2-kilometre Christmas market will feature around 250 chalets. Enjoy classic Winter Wonders rides and attractions like the Ferris Wheel, Slalom, ice-skating rink and the Iceberg this year alongside the park’s latest attractions.


What to do:


  • Watch the lights show at the Grand-Place every day from 6 to 10 or 11pm
  • Play with Iceberg, the brand new interactive sound and light installation
  • Listen to the young singers choir Les Pastoureaux as they sing timeless Christmas songs on 17 December


Vienna, Austria




Where:ViennaCity Hall square, City of Vienna, Austria


When: Saturday 16 November – Tuesday 24 December 2013


Today’s Christmas market in Vienna traces its roots to the December market Krippenmarkt granted by Albrecht I in 1298. With the massive City Hall as its backdrop, the Viennese Christmas market offers workshops and performers alongside traditional treats and gift shops.


What to do:


  • Watch as your kids make Christmas cookies and candles in a workshop held inside the City Hall
  • Listen to international choirs as they fill the square with their angelic voices every Fridays to Sundays
  • Listen to celebrities reading their favourite Christmas story on these dates


Discover other Christmas markets with their own activities and events before the season ends.


Merry Christmas!





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