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Published on : Thursday, November 21, 2013
Agoda.com has set up great hotel deals in popular European cities to help travelers experience traditional European Christmas Markets, a winter tradition going back hundreds of years.
The annual Christmas market tradition started around the early 14th century in Germany in the leadup to 25 December, the celebration of the birth of Jesus as told in the traditional Nativity story. Usually held in the town square – the center of the village or city most often used for various community events – the markets were places where people could stock up on food and winter supplies, meet with friends and catch up on the latest news and gossip. In that regard, they haven’t changed much in the ensuing centuries, although no one could have foreseen their emergence as a global tourist destination.
Although they originated in Germany, the tradition has spread to other European countries, and today can be found in most any big town or city throughout the region, usually beginning in late November.
No matter which market you visit, you can expect to see roughly the same thing – stalls set up selling local souvenirs, hot chocolate and mulled wine for sale, lights, music, carols, red cheeks and plenty of smiles and laughter. That being said, each market takes great pride in the individual touches and unique celebratory elements they’ve added over the years. For example, Nuremberg’s market is known for the Christkind, a girl chosen by a jury to represent the town during Christmas celebrations; Budapest’s market only allows objects handmade by local craftsmen to be sold at the event; and the market in UNESCO World Heritage Site Weimar is known for its unique Thuringian grilled sausages.
Below is a list of five of the most popular cities for Christmas markets in Europe, as well a few hotel specials that will place you close to the action. Don’t forget to bring your warm clothes!