Tis the season 🎄

Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! Putting aside how hectic the holiday season can be, do you love the festive decorations, traditions, and feeling the spirit? Do you crave a more authentic experience than the usual hustle and bustle? If so, you’ll love Europe during the holiday season (late November to New Year’s Day).

Read on for the short scoop about Christmastime in Europe and follow along the Hidden Gem Travel Facebook and Instagram pages for some live pics from Austria and Germany next week (links below)…

The Christmas Market Experience

Every holiday season, Christmas markets throughout Europe bring sparkling lights, festive music, and decorated wooden chalets where vendors sell hand-crafted ornaments and tasty treats in local town squares.

The holiday tradition began in medieval Germany with a more practical focus: allowing townspeople to stock up on goods for the winter. However, in the mid-1400s, the markets took on their Christmas associations and today many towns celebrate the start of Advent with the markets’ opening.

There’s delicious food (and drinks) at Germany’s famous Christmas markets. Some of the best are maronen (roasted chestnuts), gebrannte mandeln (burnt almonds) and lebkuchenherz (gingerbread heart). I’ll have yummy pics to share from my trip this month. Strolling, snacking, sipping, and shopping – what’s not to love 😊??

In Germany, be sure to visit the Christmas markets in Munich, Nuremberg, Cologne, Dresden, Frankfurt, and Berlin.

💎Hidden Gem Tip: Note that most Christmas Markets close on Christmas Eve.

Best Christmas Markets

Beyond Germany, some of the most festive European Christmas Markets include…

  • Vienna, Austria
  • Strasbourg & Paris, France
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Zagreb, Croatia
  • Basel, Switzerland
  • Milan, Italy
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Edinburgh, Scotland

Also, these cities and their hotels are wonderfully decked with holiday cheer and festivities. I can build a holiday-themed experience around any of these beautiful destinations for you next December.

Austria & Germany – I’m there this year!

If you follow the Hidden Gem Travel Facebook and Instagram pages (scroll down for links), you know that I’m visiting Vienna, Austria to explore this gorgeous, festive city this December.

Next, I’m hopping on a Christmas market river cruise through Austria and Germany. I’ll end my trip in Munich before heading back to the US for Christmas. Be sure to follow along!

Follow my Facebook and Instagram pages this week for more travel inspiration!

Make your own Wanderlist for 2023! As a reminder, Wanderlist is an online portal where you can research, explore, and create shareable lists of destinations and experiences. Share your list with me so I can make it happen for you. Check it out here!

Wishing you and your family continued good health.

Inspired? Reach out to me now for 2023!


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Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


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