There are always so many options to celebrate a nice Christmas. Haven’t figured it out yet? We will help you to find your perfect destination for this special occasion!
In a city like Budapest you can experience a real life winter fairytale! What is more magical than ice-skating in front of a castle? In Budapest is it possible to skate on ice in the most magical way. In the city you have many places during winter time where you can ice-skate. The most popular place one is ‘’City Park Ice Rink’’. It is located between the heroes’ Square and the Vajdahunyad castle. Of course Christmas markets can’t be missed! In Budapest you have a lot of them but Vörösmarty is the biggest market in the city and one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe. On the Christmas markets you find typical Hungarian food, Christmas trees and decorated lights. Also the whole city is full with lights! These elements create a nice and cozy Christmas feeling!
* Children receive gifts twice during Christmas time.
* Families serves traditional dishes which are used for generations long. (The main dish mostly containts fish, but chicken or pork can be also served.
*Hungarians favorite candy during Christmas: ‘’szaloncukor’’ (Which is also a decoration for the Christmas tree).
London is known for its many Christmas lights. The entire city shines bright! You have many streets in London that are decorated with beautiful Christmas lights. It is a great beautiful view when the city is filled with lights and when it starts to get dark early. One of the most famous streets with Christmas lights is at the Oxford street but also the Regent street, which has more than 300,00 lights and 16 glowing spirits. A huge fun-fair (Winter Wonderland) opens in November. Since 1947, there always has been a large Christmas tree on the Trafalgar Square every year during Christmas time. Also there a lots of Christmas markets with a lots of food. Love to walk and explore the city? You have to walk along the” south bank to enjoy” to see the gorgeous riverside views.
* On 25 December, a swimming race takes place in the cold lake of Hyde Park’s Serpentine (Peter Pan Cup).
* The main Christmas meal is usually eaten at lunchtime or early afternoon.
When you’re going to Rome during Christmas time, it’s very memorable. Every year there is a huge Christmas tree on the St Peter’s square. The big tree reaches each year from a different position but it is always super huge! In 2016, the tree was at least 25 meters! It has a beautiful meaning behind it: The decorations in the tree are handmade by children in hospitals fighting a long term illness. The tree arrives in the Piazza at the end of November and it gets on the square around the 8th of December, because the date changes every year. But this is not the only tree in Rome. You can find Christmas trees everywhere at beautiful spots, for example in front of the famous Colosseum! In December, the most famous square of Rome (Piazza Navona) is transformed into a huge Christmas market. Beside the standard Christmas trees and markets, Rome has nativity scenes in a traditional Italian way. This takes place all over Italy and you can see the scenes at the Piazza Navona at the end of December.
* The traditional Christmas cake in Rome is called: Pangiallo.
* The navity Crib scene is very important for the Italians. It is very huge every year.
* La Befana is a Christmas witch who brings the children present and treats on the 5th of January.
In Barcelona there are many things you can do during Christmas time. Barcelona has Christmas fairs, markets, concerts, circus and fun-fairs for children. One of the most visited Christmas attraction is the Spanish Village Poble Espanyol. Experience the magic of Spanish Christmas while you are walking in the decorated streets and plazas of Poble Espanyol! The streets are overflowing with Spanish Christmas traditions and offers activities for the whole family. The ‘’Poble Espanyol Christmas festival’’ takes place on December 23rd until January 5th. The most important Christmas days in Spain are on the 5th and 6th of January. On the 5th of January it is the night of the three kings. In Spain it isn’t the Santa Claus who brings presents. On 6th January is it a tradition that the three kings of Orient brings presents for the children.
* Caga Tio: The Caga Tio is a small log with a smiley face on it. Children are supposed to take care about it for a while. When they took care of it, the log will ‘’poo’’ candies and presents at Christmas eve.
* Christmas dinner begins with a soup, known as Carn d’Olla.
* At New Year’s eve, people eat 12 grapes for good luck at 12 o’clock.
* Caganer: It’s a figure of a traditional Catalan man. The figures are always in a squat position with his pants around his ankles and pooing! It is maybe a weird idea but it is seen as a sign of good luck.
To get that magical Christmas feeling, you can already see the lights at the ‘Amsterdamse grachten’. Also every year there is a Amsterdam Light Festival. You can see bridges and boats all lightened up in colorful lights. It is spectacular. Go get that Christmas feeling! The ‘museumplein’ is worth to visit when you go to Amsterdam at this time. There is a Christmas market where you can find a lot of Christmas food and products. Every year there is a Christmas tree on the ‘dam’. The tree is 20 meters high and its lightened up with 40.000 LED-lamps. A nice place to ice-skating is on the ‘Rembrandt plein’.
– A typical dutch tradition: Sinterklaas
* Children don’t celebrate Christmas that big. In The Netherlands you have ‘’Sinterklaas’’. On the 5th of December, Sinterklaas is the one who gives presents to the children. So on Christmas they don’t celebrate it big with presents. The name Santa Claus comes from the name Sinterklaas.
* In the evening of December 5th is called ‘’pakjesavond’’. The children will always receive their presents during the evening. De pieten (Sinterklaas his helpers) may knock at your door and you might find a big sack full of presents!
Prague is incredible at Christmas time as for locals as tourists! The most popular and largest Christmas market is in the Old Town Square. A traditional snack from Prague are cinnamon rolls called Trdelník. For a traditional food tasting, you should go the market in Náměstí Jiříhoz Poděbrad. We all know the basic stuff: ice skating, Christmas markets, but Prague has something extra! Prague zoo has been voted for the 4th place best zoo in the world. The zoo is very well managed and there are a lots of activities and events. In the winter there is a special Christmas program. Each day you can do something different. You learn something about the Czech traditions and on the Czech Christmas Evening you can bring little gifts to the animals. A beautiful view can’t be missed! If there is even snow, it gives such a magic vibe to the city. For a nice sight you have the Charles bridge and visit the St. Vitus Cathedral.
* Children are very excited during the evening of the 5th December. St. Nicholas (Svatý Mikuláš) arrives and is accompanied by one or more angels and one or more devils. If the children been good all year, he gives them a basket of presents. St Nicholas’ Day is a more important holiday than Christmas, just like in the Netherlands.
* If you want to see the Mikuláš celebration, you can go to a Christmas market where it is staged. For example at the Old Town Square, the celebration begins on the evening of 5th December around 5 p.m.
* Want to try a traditional Czech snack? Try the Czech Christmas cookies!
The name says it already: The city of lights. Paris is shining and everything is bright. The Eiffel tower is sparkling. Also there are many Christmas markets in Paris. In French you say it as Seasonal Marché du noel. The wooden stands in het marker mostly have a ‘’Santa house’’ theme. At the market you can enjoy yourself with treats like gourmet and mulled wine. The markets are full of food, lights, gifts and other special delights. For a memorable and peaceful moment you can visit de Notre-Dame. The Cathedral has a special service at Christmas which includes stirring and a midnight choir which is open for everyone. Searching for that magical moment? Disneyland Paris is a great option to experience that. Disneyland is changed in a winter magical place from early November through early January.
* Children leave their shoes in front of the fire place, hoping that they get presents and treats from ‘’Pѐre Noёl’’ (Santa Claus).
* What’s on the menu for Christmas eve in France? The big Christmas meal in France consists mostly of a turkey stuffed with chestnuts.
* La Galette Des Rois: For the celebration of Epiphany (Three kings) people eat ‘kings’ cake. Inside the cake is a charm hidden known as a fève.
A beautiful place to begin with is the Belvedre Palace Christmas market. It is one of the newest and least commercial markets held across the city. The market takes place at the Upper Belvedre Palace with a lake in front. In the evening when the sky becomes blue and the lights are going on, you can see the beautiful reflection of the palace in the water. One of the famous Christmas markets in Vienna is the Christkindlmarkt. But these two aren’t the only one. There a plenty of them! The local people also love to ice skate during wintertime. There are ice rinks set up across the city during this time. During Christmas time there is going to be one big popular ice rink between the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Inter-Continental Hotel. For a few euro’s you can rent some ice skates.
* Children in Austria don’t believe in the Santa Claus but in Christkind (Christ Child).
* Austrians adore cookies and pastries. When it’s Christmas time, many Austrians bake cookies. The most common they bake are Vanillekipferl (Vanilla crescent cookies), spitzbuben (rascals), or ginger bread.
I think now you have so much choice to have a Christmas to never forget! So much to see, so much to enjoy! To have everything arranged you book your apartment in this cities at www.enjoyapartments.com ! Now you’re sure everything will be perfect!
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and the best in 2018!