In the past few years, the trend of visiting Christmas markets in Europe has gained immense popularity as a festive activity during the Yuletide season. These markets, located in charming old town squares, are filled with enchanting wooden huts that delight all your senses. If you're unable to travel abroad this year, this guide is your ticket to experiencing the joy of European Christmas markets from the comfort of your home. Let's get started!
Are you ready to create a European Christmas market vibe in your yard?
Beautify your yard with holiday decorations
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Setting the scene is essential when creating a European Christmas market ambiance in your own home. The best time to enjoy the market atmosphere is after sunset, so consider investing in a generous amount of outdoor lighting, such as LED globe lights or twinkly fairy lights. These can be strung across your yard to create a magical sparkle. Enhance the ambiance by hanging clusters of small lanterns and brightly colored baubles alongside the lights.
To capture the authentic feel of a European Christmas market, decorate with freshly cut branches of pine, fir, or spruce. The fragrance of these branches is undeniably festive. If sourcing fresh branches is difficult, you can opt for an artificial garland or even consider buying a potted tree instead. When it comes to seating, wooden benches are a fitting choice as European Christmas markets are known for their social atmosphere. Additionally, a fire pit is essential not only for warmth but also for the inviting aroma of wood smoke. Ensure you have an ample supply of logs and kindling for the fire pit.
Prepare a generous amount of traditional cuisine and beverages
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While sightseeing tourists explore the markets, locals gather at the numerous temporary bars and restaurants to socialize with friends and neighbors. The menu offers a surprisingly diverse range of food options. While most German markets serve bratwurst, in Nuremberg, you can enjoy three thin brats in a bun, known as Drei Im Weggla. In Poland, the popular dish is pierogi, which are small dumplings filled with potato, cabbage, cheese, or meat, and either boiled or pan-fried. Hungarians contribute lángos, a deep-fried dough topped with garlic, sour cream, and grated cheese. For those with a sweet tooth, candy canes are a must-buy. Additionally, recipes for lebkuchen and stollen, which are well-loved in Christmas markets across Europe, especially in Germany, are also recommended.
Hot beverages are also necessary, and naturally, the one most closely associated with Christmas markets is glühwein, also known as mulled wine. Prepare yourself with some packets of mulling spices and gather fresh oranges, cinnamon sticks, and, most importantly, red wine. It's not difficult to make from scratch. Simply prepare it in a large saucepan ahead of time, making sure not to let it heat beyond a simmer. For those who prefer non-alcoholic options, you can also add the mulling spices to fruit juice to create hot spiced apple cider or serve steaming mugs of hot chocolate.
Make a Christmas market-inspired playlist
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Europeans love to celebrate the festive season with a joyful sing-along, especially with the beloved carol "Silent Night." This popular song was first composed and performed by Schoolmaster Franz Gruber and Pastor Josef Mohr in the village of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. Another German favorite, "O Tannenbaum," was originally a folk song not related to Christmas. However, it has since become associated with the holiday and is now sung as a carol. You can find both of these timeless classics on Spotify's playlist called "30 Traditional Christmas Carols & Hymns."
Have the courage to invite the Krampus to join the festivities!
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Have you behaved well this year? Throughout the Alpine region, a frightening figure can rudely disrupt the festive atmosphere of the Christmas markets. The legendary Krampus is a combination of a goat and a demon, dispatched to punish misbehaving children while their well-behaved friends receive treats and gifts from St. Nicholas. Krampus processions have been an integral part of Advent celebrations for many centuries, although they can be quite terrifying. Participants don heavy costumes made of animal skins, adorned with jingling bells, and wear intricate masks, some of which are more than a century old. If you want to recreate the parade in your own neighborhood, you can order your own mask from the costume specialist Morris Costumes or go all out with this complete ensemble from Zagone Studios.
ParkingNearAirports.io: your smooth travel partner!
In addition to our ultimate travel guide, we would also like to provide you with one more helpful tip. This information will be handy for those who prefer to travel by air.
If you get to the airport by car, you always need to find a good parking space for your vehicle to leave for the period of a trip. In most cases, airports have special on-site parking for that purpose. However, such a parking lot is pretty costly most of the time, and people aren't ready to spend a lot of money at the beginning of a trip. So is there any solution?
The best way to solve this problem is to choose off-site parking. Why, you may ask? We will explain.
There are many reasons which can prove the benefit of this parking type. Here are some of them:
- Affordable Rates. Depending on the duration of your trip, you can choose between short-term and long-term airport parking. Anyway, an off-site airport is much cheaper, so you can save your money and spend the most considerable amount on things you really want to see or try while traveling.
- Fast Service. In contrast with on-site airport parking, which can take quite a long time, off-site parking offers you the convenience of driving directly to the entrance and having a staff member pull your luggage out of your vehicle and load it into the shuttle. Then they will park your car for you. After your baggage is loaded, you can take your seat in the shuttle, which will bring you and your bags to the airport. It is a hassle-free option that is usually faster.
- Convenience. When people travel, they may be stressed about making it to the airport on time. If you use off-site parking, you will definitely make your travel experience more convenient, as you use the service of a private company. Even though you may be able to park on-site at the airport in a short-term or long-term airport parking lot, consider using an off-site parking lot service.
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We are glad to say that our booking platform, ParkingNearAirports.io, offers travelers online reservations for parking just outside airports that are convenient and affordable. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing travelers parking options at over 100 airports in the US and Canada. The app allows customers to search and compare parking rates at up to 70 percent savings compared to the cost of on-site parking at all major airports.
With our platform, it only takes a few clicks in the app to reserve a parking spot. Guests receive a booking confirmation and a guaranteed parking space upon arrival at the off-airport parking. In addition, the app helps customers locate the most convenient lots to the airport. Cancellations are easy if plans change with hassle-free, refundable cancellations.
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