Are you counting down to Christmas yet? Fancy planning a visit to a typical French Christmas markets? Or have you considered one of the most famous 'foodie' Christmas markets in England in York? We're lucky to have done both in the last 12 months, so here's our '5 Top Tips' to make it a memorable experience for your family too.
As we've found on our European Roadtrip Adventures, with so many cultures to show off — and so many centuries of practice — Europe knows how to throw a party. The array of fiestas, medieval fairs, music festivals, and national celebrations could light a fire under the most burned-out sightseer!!!! So how would York's Christmas Market fare compared to it's French counterparts such as Angers & Bordeaux?
So if you've decided to take a peek at what York's St Nicholas Fair has to offer this year, it's also worth checking out this comprehensive yuletide guide from this local guide 'York Mix'.
While Christmas Markets are open during the day (St Nicholas Fair runs from November 16-December 22), they are certainly the most beautiful at dusk and in the early evening. The dancing sparkling lights enhance the already festive atmosphere, giving the market a magical feel. For those who'd like to know beforehand, St Nicholas Fair features gifts and crafts from across Yorkshire and beyond as well as the very best in local food and drink produce.
York's Christmas Market is full of bustling stalls, whilst the carol singers and buskers will fill Parliament Street. Add in the mulled wine, brandy-laced hot chocolate and chestnuts roasting on the street corner. It all adds up to a very English festive feel!! However, you’ll find speciality food at all Christmas Markets. For instance, German's enjoy Christmas Markets with the famous Lebkuchen (gingerbread) from Nürnberg or the Stollen cake from Dresden.
Or if you're in France it might be layers of chewy nougat in Angers or Bretzels in the Alsace (see more here). In Portugal you can try local liqueurs like Gjnja (served in small thimbles of chocolate) One staple that you’ll find at all Christmas markets is mulled wine. So it's one to leave the car at home for unless you'd rather opt for the steaming mugs of hot chocolate instead.
If you're little ones are already counting down to Christmas too? You might be interested in showing them just how the Portuguese celebrate the coming of 'Pai Natal'... our visit to the Obidos Christmas festival last year was definitely one of our favourite experiences last year-> Find more here
If you’re looking to start planning another family experience, have you ever considered a visit to one of the famous Christmas markets in Europe. From Dussledorf to Salzburg, there’s plenty to choose from, so here's a useful guide to some of the best -->>
Find out more here
Every family loves making their own traditions, so why not start one of your own the year? Why not add a visit to a Christmas Market to your 'must do list' each year. Each Christmas Market has a different ambience and usually specialises in something different. In Munich alone, you’ll find 17 different Christmas markets, ranging from the largest and most traditional one to a medieval one, to a handicraft one. Whilst there are those that eschew gifts and become 'foodie favourites' like Angers or Strasbourg. But to get a feel for which ones you like, it's well worth trying a few. In fact the UK has even more than ever.... with especially good ones in Bath, Manchester and Exeter (see this guide here)
Christmas Markets become a place to hang out with friends and family. It's clear that a growing number of local people meet here instead of heading to their favourite restaurant or bar. Especially when the food options are so varied. They just have an easy ambience you only find once a year so it's worth the extra cost to go and celebrate it. Just dress warmly like Lottie above, because you'll get cold if you’re outside for a couple of hours and there's nothing worse than cold children is there???
It's time to wrap up warm and get searching for those perfect Christmas gifts for your loved ones. And where better to stock up on festive cheer than York's Christmas Market? Some Christmas markets are famous for certain things. For example, the Nürnberg Christmas Market is known for its gingerbread. Strasbourg for it's kouglof (brioche with raisins and almonds) or Colmar's wooden stocking fillers. These local specialities make great souvenirs and celebrate the regional differences. York had both local and international flavours..., with our favourite stall the recycling of old oak barrels from the Western Cape in South Africa into beautiful wooden platters!!
If you're still not sold on making the trip to see one of the UK's best Christmas Markets for 2017 in York. Then you might want to indulge yourself, and make a little Christmas wishlist to see one of these crackers across the channel. (see this Top 10 Christmas Markets article)
However, if you're considering a visit to York's Christmas Market but want to see if you can make a weekend of it, then here's a few 'tried and tested' family friendly ideas from our first hand experiences this month in Yorkshire. Most if not all are included within any family 'York Pass' which is well worth considering if you're looking to save a few pennies (further York Pass information available here)
Search by Categories
Search our blog articles
Search our Archives
Check out our contributions to
Follow us here