5 Christmas Markets Study Abroad Students Should Visit

 I absolutely love the holidays, especially Christmas. All of the lights, great food and happiness, what’s not to love? There can never be too much in my opinion, when others are getting tired of the same songs and flavors of the winter season, I’m sitting here like:

christmas markets study abroad - grinch

So, of course, living in Italy for the year I am very excited to be able to travel Europe and visit some Christmas markets. While being away from home will be hard in a lot of ways, I think visiting these markets is a great way for students who are studying abroad like me to feel the holiday spirit when our families are so far away.

Strasbourg, France

This city in North Eastern France had their first Christmas market in 1570 and now has multiple markets held throughout the city. At the “Christkindelsmärik” (market of infant Christ) there will be live demonstrations of different craftsmen each week. The “Village of Sharing” contains over 100 charity groups and organizations if you feel like sharing some Christmas cheer with those who are in need. There is also a section called the “Portuguese Village” which holds traditional food, cakes and stalls with embroidery, instruments, jewelry and more. Also, be sure not to miss the most exciting part, the Market of Christmas Treats, where you can find local bakers.

All of these markets and more will be running the 25th of November 14.00-21.00, The 26th of November to the 23rd of December 11.00-20.00 everyday and Christmas eve 11.00-18.00

 christmas markets study abroad - France 

Brussels, Belgium

 I am really excited about this one because I will actually be visiting it soon! The Christmas market of Brussels has crazy amounts of decorations, a ferris wheel, an amazing Christmas parade, an ice skating rink, a music and light show that is displayed on the grand palace and over a mile of stalls full of gifts and treats and all things Christmas! It’s also open for a LONG time – it runs from the 25th of November until New Years.

christmas markets study abroad - brussels

Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig’s “Old Medieval Christmas Market” has been held in the city since 1458 and is one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany. The city center is filled with over 250 stalls of gifts, food and crafts. A ferris wheel offers great views of the festive city. This market will be open the 22nd of November until the 23rd of December and will be open 10.00-21.00 daily except for the last day when it will close at 20.00.
christmas markets study abroad - Germany

Zagreb, Croatia

The capital of Croatia was voted the best Christmas market last year. The city is beautifully lit up and decorated and stall after stall will be filled with Christmas trinkets and treats. This market also offers an ice skating rink, stages for live music, and a lantern lighting event. This Market begins the 26th of November and goes until the 8th of January, so there is plenty of time to go see it!

christmas markets study abroad - Croatia

Vienna, Austria

Vienna has multiple Christmas markets held throughout the city, so they’re not hard to come across. Stalls sell Christmas decorations, food, jewelry, ceramics and more. Friday-Sunday entrance is free to City Hall to see choirs singing Christmas Carols. The different markets have different dates and hours. The earliest opening day is the 12th of November and the latest closing is New Years day. Their site gives exact days and times for the various markets.

 christmas markets study abroad - Austria 

I hope this list gave you some inspiration for this year or next and that your holidays are full of cheer, good people and amazing food!

Buon Natale e Felice Anno nuovo!!! (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year)

images: giphy (1), unsplash (1), (1), (2), (1) 

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Emily grew up in California and is enrolled at CSU Monterey Bay where she majors in Human Communication with a concentration in Pre-Law. Emily's current adventure is studying abroad in Florence, Italy for nearly a year.

One comment

  1. Follow up: I just got back from my trip to Brussels yesterday and besides some travel issues it was AMAZING! I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a place to go for the holidays.

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