Christmas in Europe; The five cities that will make you ho ho ho
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In our previous blog post we started with the magnificent Paris and London and what to expect when traveling in Christmas/winter time. In this blog post we continue with the countdown of the five European cities that will make you ho ho ho.
The temperatures in Berlin can go below zero in winter; but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this great city. You might be surprise to learn there are sledding hills, one of them in Spandau’s Hahneberg and the other one you can find in Teufelsberg hill. Those who love to ice skate will be very pleased by the variety of ice rings since they are popping up all over the city.
After all that chilling activity, you can warm up in Museum Island. On the island itself, you can pick from five museums; the Old Museum, Old National Gallery, Bode Museum and Pergamon Museum.If none of them interest you, check out the other two hundred museums Berlin has to offer.
Berlin is full of Christmas markets; here are the ones you
need to check out:
A non-commercial market is at the Bröhan Museum. Local
artist selling their unique artwork.
9 & 10 December 2017
For a more traditional market go to the old town of Berlin-Köpenick. Find the Christmas market at Schlossplatz and in front of the Baroque palace. Christmas handicraft, foods and live shows of Christmas songs and storytelling.
15 - 17 December 2017
Fri 14:00 - 21:00
Sat 12:00 - 21:00
Sun 12:00 - 20:00
The Weihnachtsrodeo Christmas market inside Kühlhaus is an offbeat Christmas market. Electronic music accompanies you while you shop for Christmas decorations, art, food, fashion and more.
2 & 3 + 9 & 10 December 2017
In the Eco Christmas market at Sophienstraße near Hackesche Höfe, there is organic bratwurst, pies, waffles, vegan dishes and mulled wine along hip and trendy designer items. All organic products and in fair trade.
2 & 3 + 9 & 10 + 16 & 17 December 2017
Enjoy the best Christmas light shows in Europe
The Amsterdam Museum Square (Museumplein) is the center of all Christmas events in Amsterdam. The pond in the square becomes an ice ring. You can rent ice skates or bring with you and join the thousands of locals enjoying the ring. Try the local Dutch Christmas food to travel like a local! Similar to other European cities, they also have special Christmas markets all through December.
In Amsterdam, they take the light festivities to the extreme and have a light festival around the city.
Starting from the end of November until the end of January, you can watch beautiful light sculptures, interesting projections and captivating art installations along the roads, squares and even on the water of the canals. You can take a special walking route or get a special view by taking a boat ride.
This year for the first time, Amsterdam is having its own winter park and even a parade! It will take place in the south of the city, in the convention center called RAI. The winter park will have food market, a Ferris wheel to see the whole city from above, music and you can even roast your marshmallows to the crackling fire.
For beer lovers a special treat – Beer village! The Beer Village entertains a big winter party with the best DJs & live musicians. Get a seat in one of the long wooden tables and meet other beer lovers as you. As the evening goes by you can enjoy cool cover bands and Amsterdam's most popular party concepts.
Another cool thing to do in winter park is watching Christmas classic films on the rooftop. Get cozy in your winter jacket sitting in loveseats or armchairs in which you sink away near to crackling fire pits, Christmas trees and beautiful decorations. A tasty snack and drink provide a completely new film experience. During the day, the latest Christmas films for the whole family are shown and in the evening favorite Christmas classics.
Opening hours (winter park):
12.00 – 02.00.
Closed on Christmas Day (25 December).
Entrance: from €7.50, free for children under 13.
Madrid offers a more spiritual celebration, being a Catholic capital of a Catholic country. However, no need to worry; you’ll get a fair share of lights and festivities.
Christmas markets starts in mid-November and ends in January. Most of them are open around 12pm and close at 9 pm. For vintage lovers it’s a MUST! Buy beautiful antiques, artworks, collectible items and more. Feel part of the community and try the local Christmas foods. Our favorite is Churros with a cup of hot chocolate.
Ice skating is a popular sport in Madrid as well in other major European cities. Not falling behind, it too has several pop up rings in different plazas around town.
Experience the light fiesta all around you! The mesmerizing lights are eco-friendly and they’re spread all over the streets.
The best places to see the illuminated fiesta in city center are Gran Via, Puerta del Sol, Paseo de la Castellana and the big department store El Corte Inglés.
You can take a walk or hop on the special Navibus, a seasonal bus that’ll take you all around town so you won’t miss any light show. It cost 2 euro per person, the tour is about 45 min of light fiesta. Catch his first stop in front of the Jardines del Descubrimiento in Plaza Colon.
The light fiesta starts in 29th of November and continue up until seventh of January.
There’re a few nativity scenes reproducing Bethlehem as authentic as possible. In Spanish they’re called belenes. Find them by the line of people wanting to look. Some of the places you can find them in are city hall, Plaza Mayor, Museo de Historia de Madrid and Museo de San Isidro.