Craving an escape from the shuffling crowds of Oxford Street?
Then start planning your festive getaway. These are the Christmas markets festive dreams were made of – where you can truly immerse yourself in the seasonal atmosphere – glowing lights, tantalising aromas and an air of cheer and anticipation that’ll bring out the Christmas spirit from even the most cynical of hearts.
Prague, Czech Republic
Held in the enormous King Wenceslas Square, Prague’s Christmas markets are a sight to behold. Locally made toys, crafts and artwork – from traditional embroidery and wooden toys, to delicate glass baubles – can be found in the many little wooden huts that fill the market square. By day it buzzes with a lively atmosphere, and as the nights sparkle with glowing lights, it transforms into a magical wonderland. If you’re looking for authentic, old fashioned Christmas appeal, here’s where you’ll find it.
Once you’ve stocked up on decorations and timeless gifts, you’ll want to indulge your appetite – no doubt already well stoked by the mouth watering aroma of roasted hams, warm, flaky pastries, and richly spiced mulled wine.
Germany’s Christmas markets are the stuff of festive legend, and Christkindlesmarkt is one of the country’s most beloved. A visit to the market easily shows you why – shimmering with lights and beautiful traditional decorations, here is a special space where Christmas is truly savoured and celebrated.
Enjoy the charming wooden stands that brim with beautifully crafted toys, and indulge in some traditionally made gingerbread. If you’re lucky enough to come the week before Christmas, you’ll get to see the awe-inspiring sight of the local children’s lantern parade, as it passes through the market square.
Orchard Road, Singapore
If you’re inclined to try a less traditional Christmas, then head over to the tropical climes of Singapore, to sample a very different festive market.
In the run up to Christmas, the length of Orchard Road is filled with stalls, lights, street food and a vibrant atmosphere – not to mention the annual Best Dressed Building competition, which sees the area decked up in all its most spectacular finery.