If your feeds weren't flooded this season with European Christmas markets, decorations, and Christmas lights - I highly suggest hitting up google - like now - to see what all of the hype is about. For the last few years I've lived in Chicago, the Chriskindlmarket were always a must no matter how snowy or ice cold it was. The air always smelled like sugar and warm, baked goods while the tiny square was packed with a hundreds of people just trying to get their hands on anything warm.
So, naturally, when I knew I was going to be spending December and Christmas abroad, I immediately began planning going to some Christmas markets and seeing as much of Christmas in Europe as I could.
I quickly booked a trip to Frankfurt, Germany for the beginning of December, because going to German Christmas markets were just an authentic must. The Frankfurt Christmas Markets are one of the largest markets in Germany, made up of about five different markets across the city, with the main market located in the center of Old Town. I ended up spending a lot of time at this market because it had everything - the food, the glühwein (mulled wine), the sparkling Christmas tree, and the charm of German architecture. Did I mention the GLÜHWEIN?
Some of the highlights for the best treats from the Frankfurt Christmas market included Glühwein - you pay for the wine and the collectable cup up front, but can return the cup for some money back, or return the cup for a clean one to keep, Lebkuchen - traditional German Gingerbread usually in the shape of a heart with message on it, Gebrannte Mandeln - flavored almonds you can smell a mile away, and so many different types of sausages.
Another trip I decided last minute to take was to London to take in all of the Christmas decor and delight. London is one of those places that feels like home, and if you can't actually go home - why not go someplace that feels like it for the holidays?
London is another one of those places in Europe that is decorated over the top for the holidays and it is absolutely picture perfect. You can walk around for hours just looking at all of the different and unique Christmas decorations and lights and never get bored (may be a little cold, but that is what hot chocolate is for).
There are the iconic must sees when in London - Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, Oxford Street, etc. But at Christmas time, there are some other destinations that are worth the travel time. Every inch of Covent Gardens is decorated, with a giant tree and vintage car ready for the season - with a decent crowd to match to take photographs with it for the insta. South Kennsington, Mayfair, and Chelsea all top the list as some of the most decorated neighborhoods with the best Christmas spirit. And, to top it all of, with nights coming as early as 4pm, you have to hit Regent Street and Oxford Street for some of the most magical lights you will probably ever see.
Well, as you can see from just a *coughs* few of the hundreds of photos I took in both Germany and London, Christmas in Europe is the place to be. Christmas is on a whole different level, from the decorations, to the lights and even the food. It makes the season even more exciting and festive, especially if you are celebrating it away from home.
xx, A Traveler's Bliss | Grace Anne
(hey - hey you. click the bliss above... do it.)