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Twelve Days of Christmas Markets

Twelve Days of Christmas Markets
What better place to eat, drink and merry-make than at one of our top European festive shopping destinations?
1 Prague, Czech Republic 28/11/2009-1/1/2010 Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, Havelske Trziste & Namesti Republiky A wintery wonderland of markets, all within walking distance of one another. Local food, Czech beers and svarené víno (hot wine) are on the menu, as are traditional food demos, nativity scenes, animals and an enormous Christmas tree ablaze with lights.
2 Dresden, Germany 27/11/2009- 24/12/2009 (Stollen Festival 5/12/2009) Dresden Old Town Germany's oldest market (held since 1434), home to the spectacularly restored Frauenkirche church- and of course the Stollen. Stalls abound with wonderful hand-made crafts, gingerbread, lace and glass- with producers demonstrating throughout. Don't miss the 14m Christmas Pyramid complete with the world's largest nutcracker!
3 Brussels, Belgium 28/11/2009- 3/1/2010 Place Sainte Catherine, Stock Exchange & Fish Market 240 gingerbread-house chalets fill the Stock Exchange, Place Sainte Catherine and the Fish Market, bursting with festive produce and all manner of traditional foods. Stop for a bite to eat in a pop-up brasserie, ride a ferris wheel, glide on the skating rink or check out brass bands and ice sculptures.
4 Madrid, Spain 28/11/2009- 31/12/2009 Plaza Major, Madrid Nativity scenes and 18th-century baroque figures set the scene for Spain's largest and most popular market. A favourite with locals, properly authentic Christmas food, crafts and decorations are all on offer. This year, artist Delia Piccarili's artwork adds to the convivial atmosphere.
5 Bath, UK 26/11/2009-6/12/2009 Bath city centre The gorgeous city plays host to a large, traditional-style market. There's plenty to eat and drink whilst shopping and soaking up the atmosphere of the Abbey and Roman Baths, heightened by the sound of carols. Decorations, gourmet treats and crafts are all given a South-West flavour, with many local traders.
6 Copenhagen, Denmark 20/11/2009- 30/12/2009 Tivoli Gardens amusement park, Copenhagen A fairytale craft market set in Copenhagen's 100 year-old amusement park, evoking a true sense of 'hygge' (Danish warmth). Sip warm gløgg and nibble æbleskiver (donuts) whilst taking in 4 miles of lights and spotting 'Nisser' (Christmas elves). There's an alfresco ice rink, too.
7 Berlin, Germany 23/11/2009- 31/12/2009 Berlin city centre Over 60 markets in one city- each with a unique vibe, from traditional to ultramodern. Carriage rides and lighting displays add to the drama, with markets located in the city's museums and castles. Graze as you browse to fuel you for a turn on Europe's largest mobile toboggan run, or take in 'Boccia on Ice' at the Sony centre.
8 Rome, Italy 26/11/2009- 6/1/2010 Piazza Navona, Rome The Piazza Navona holds a joyful market especially popular with families. Look out for tasty specialities like Italian torrone and traditionally made toys. In keeping with the traditional spirit, you'll see strenne- Christmas branches traditionally exchanged among Romans. Beautifully crafted nativity figures are the items to take home.
9 Strasbourg, France Strasbourg city centre 29/11/2009- 3112/2009 Now in its 431st year, France's oldest- and one of its largest- markets. The special draw is 'La Petite France'- a created neighbourhood stuffed with timbered chalets, shops and an enticing gingerbread bakery. The 'Forest of Delights' provides all manner of temptations- many of them gastronomic.
10 Gothenburg, Sweden 13/11/2009- 15/11/2009, 20/11/2009- 22/11/2009, 27/11/2009- 29/11/2009, 2/12/2009- 6/12/2009 and daily 8/12/2009-23/12/2009 Liseberg amusement park, Gothenberg It's the 10-year jubilee for the Liseberg amusement park market, and 2009's theme is 'Love'. Illuminated by a spectacular 5 million fairy lights and 3.5km 'Lane of Light', there's stalls galore. Amongst the wide range of street food and restaurants, be sure to visit the Ice Gallery and Bar, constructed entirely from the cold stuff.
11 Oslo, Norway 5/12/2009- 6/12/2009, 12/12/2009- 13/12/2009 Norsk Folkemuseum, Oslo The market at the Oslo Folk Museum sees 120 stalls scattered throughout the venue's wonderful collection of 155 traditional Norwegian buildings, really evoking a sense of a bygone era. Folk dancing, Santa's workshop, and services held within the C13th Stave Church add to the atmosphere of a proper Christmas.
12 Helsinki, Finland- Women’s Christmas Market 2/12/2009- 6/12/2009 Wanha Satama, Helsinki A rather special market with all the wares produced by local women. There's gifts, food and decorations to be had, with an added boon in the form of the indoor location! Along with lingon- or cloud-berry jams and pastries, keep your eyes peeled for unusual items made with reindeer hide or carved from antlers.
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23 November 2009
By: Zoe Perrett
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