These European Christmas Markets Will Make You Want To Change Your Holiday Plans

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December is a good time to fly to Europe. If you didn’t catch a deal on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you can still catch some off-season dates before Christmas and New Year’s. That means cheap flights, less people, and affordable accommodation. (Also, has anyone noticed how strong the dollar is to the Euro right now?)

One of the best reasons to hit up Europe this month is the proliferation of Christmas markets across the continent. You’ll be able to gorge yourself on mulled wines, spicy cakes, fire roasted salmon, and an endless array of cured meats.

Below are some of our favorite Christmas markets around the continent that are worth the short daylight hours, cold weather, and a 6-9 hour flight across the Atlantic.

Innsbruck’s Christmas in the Mountains — Innsbruck, Austria

In every small village dotted through the valleys of the Austrian alps, you’ll find a Christkindlmarkt. They are joyous, festive affairs featuring plenty of mulled wine and the best spaetzle (think mac & cheese) that you’ll ever taste. Oh, and there’s also a pack of f*cking terrifying monsters called Krampus rampaging through the streets (mostly on Dec 7).

Innsbruck ups the Christkindl game dramatically with not one but six markts. The central market is right in the middle of the medieval town center, where crowds have been gathering to celebrate the season on the same cobbled streets for hundreds of years. Less than a mile away, the Market Square bazaar features a 46-foot-tall Christmas tree, bedecked with Swarovski crystals (the company is based just out of town and their trippy museum at the factory is an unexpected highlight).

If you go, try the winter punsch, the glüwein, and the aforementioned spaetzle — you’re sure to feel the holiday spirit warming you from the inside out.

Bath Christmas Market — Bath, England

Bath is the England of yore. It’s medieval. There are cathedrals. The pubs are quaint and full of black puddings and endless pints by the fire. You get the picture.