Best Christmas markets in Europe: Mulled wine, smoked sausage and handmade gifts

From Berlin to Birmingham, the festive season is upon us

Every December we wrap up warm and venture out to festive markets to guzzle Glühwein, cram Currywurst, and fill our stockings with hand-made gifts.

Manchester Christmas Markets were recently voted some of the best in Europe by tourism organisation European Best Destinations, beating rivals such as London to take the ninth spot on the list alongside Brussels and Vienna.

Markets in Birmingham and Belfast are also popular if you want to stay close to home. Berlin travel website GoEuro recently listed these two markets first and second in their list of Europe’s top ten Christmas markets.

It’s still worth venturing abroad to immerse yourself in the real thing, though. No two markets are the same and each reflects the history, culture, and traditions of the region.

In Prague, the streets are lined with tubs of water filled with carp, the traditional Czech Christmas dish; and in Stockholm, market stalls sell hand-dipped candles and Christmas fare such as smoked sausage, eel, salmon, and saffron buns.

Many travel companies offer Christmas market breaks too, which means you can spend an entire weekend soaking up the festivities.