It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year!
In case you can’t already tell, I CANNOT WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS MARKETS!! Halloween is almost here and that means that Christmas is almost here! Now, here in Europe, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving which thankfully means that Christmas season gets to start early and there are no grumps complaining about the Christmas season starting too early! Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. I can’t get enough of the holiday season. Today I want to share how I plan out my Christmas market trips!
How to Plan Christmas Markets
Step One: Reflect
The first thing I did was to think back about last year’s Christmas markets. I did not really plan anything out but luckily got to see some cool markets. I ended up being in London for the opening day of Winter Wonderland! Click here to read about my trip to London. I also went to Frankfurt’s Christmas Market which was my absolute favorite (click here), Aschaffenburg (click here) and, of course, Krakow’s. Apparently, becauase I live in Krakow I didn’t feel the need to take any photos and I can’t show you how awesome it was. These were not intentional, to say the least. This year I wanted to be intentional with my Christmas Market planning.
Step Two: Research & Brainstorm
Next, I started googling to find some Christmas Markets that interested me. As I researched I jotted down important information: where the market was located, when the market started and ended, and I tallied how many times certain markets popped up.
This was the list I came up with after reading 18 articles:
- Vienna, Austria 16 votes
- Strasbourg, France 14 votes
- Prague, Czech Republic 13 votes
- Brussels, Belgium 12 votes
- Copenhagen, Denmark 11 votes
- Berlin, Germany 10 votes
- Budapest, Hungary 7 votes
- Dresden, Germany 7 votes
- Nuremberg, Germany 6 votes
- Tallinn, Estonia 5 votes
- Kraków, Poland 3 votes
Step Three: Get out the Calendar and Plan
After this quick list, I had to get out my calendar to plan out the dates. While I would have no problem traveling every weekend my wallet would have a rather large problem with it. I decided that traveling every other weekend would be the best bet. That way I could also take time to enjoy Krakow’s Christmas Market! I swear I will take photos this year.
Just one more word on Krakow’s market- it has the strongest mulled wine of any market I have ever been to. The lines are super long but it is one, very strong and two extremely delicious. In my opinion, it is well worth the wait.
The 2017 Christmas Market List (in no particular order)
- Krakow- (obviously) We will probably visit this market many times. I highly recommend taking a trip to Krakow to visit our market.
- London- I just have to go back to Winter Wonderland. It is such a magical place and they have so many magical foods.
- Prague- I visited the city of Prague over the summer and I cannot wait to see it all decorated for Christmas. I know it is going to be absolutely gorgeous.
- Dortmund- The flights on Ryanair were really cheap and even though this didn’t show up on the list, why not go? I’m sure it will be great. Can you really go wrong with a Christmas Market? I’ll let you know in December.
Now, you might notice that I am not going to many on the list… so why do the research? It isn’t that I didn’t want to go, I did. But, travel is expensive and if I want to visit several markets I need to spend my money wisely. If I don’t get to it this year, there’s always next year!
Step Four: Wait Patiently
Now that I have my list of Christmas Markets and my flights and hotels booked I just have to wait patiently. Anyone who knows me in the real world knows that patience is not my strongest attribute. I’m doing my best by lighting my Christmas scented candle and listening to Christmas music. Yes, already. I just can’t wait! Get ready for many beautiful and exciting posts about these markets!
A Word on Safety
Many people ask me if I’m sure I want to travel around Europe because it is so dangerous. I won’t lie, I did get an alert for Americans living in Europe to use extreme caution at Christmas Markets because they could be the focus of an attack. The thing is, you can’t predict these attacks. They can literally happen anywhere and at any time. This means you can live two ways. Option 1 is to stay where I am and go nowhere. Option 2 is to continue to travel and take a risk. I’m not saying everyone needs to agree with my opinion BUT I think, take the risk. You can’t live your life in fear of the what if… You can use common sense and be careful while in a crowd but there are only so many things you can do. Attacks happen anywhere in the world and I don’t think it should slow down your travels. Travel smart, be aware of your surroundings, and live life to the fullest!