´Tis is the season to be jolly! There is nothing better than the smell of Glühwein, roasted chestnuts and Christmas carols to get one in the Christmas spirit. These, and so much more, can be found in our favorite Christmas markets in our destinations across Europe. Here, we have gathered some of our favorites and we hope that you‘ll be able to enjoy them as much as we do.
The city of Vienna is well known for its christmas markets andIt’s no wonder!. The christmas markets are an old tradition that can be traced all the way back to the year 1298!! Unsuprisingly, these markets have really changed since then (although still have a traditional vibe!) and nowadays you can find over 20 christmas markets in the city. Our favorite market is The Viennese Dream Christmas Market in front of the City Hall. Inside the City Hall you will find an area dedicated to children, where they can learn how to bake christmas cookies and make candles. Another great market is the Christmas Village in the Former General Hospital. This market is smaller and has a very traditional Viennese atmosphere to it and this is where you will find amazing Glühwein.
For more information on opening hours and markets: https://www.austria.info/uk/things-to-do/skiing-and-winter/christmas-markets/christmas-markets-in-vienna
In Prague, Christmas markets can be found almost everywhere across the city, from the famous Old Town Square to Náměstí Republiky. The biggest and the most popular market is by far the Old Town Square. There you will find daily carols being sung, stalls selling traditional Czech crafts and of course a huge Christmas tree. If you are a foodie and want to try Prague‘s festive food we recommend that you check out the market at Náměstí Republiky. Remember to try Becherovka, a herbal liqueur that is usually mixed with coffee, and Pražská Šunka, prague‘s famous Christmas ham.
For more information on opening hours and markets: http://www.myczechrepublic.com/prague/christmas-markets.html
This beautiful city transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. Our favorite Christmas market is The Basilica Christmas Market which is located on the square in front of St. Stephen‘s Basilica. You will find more than 150 stalls with beautiful hand-made products, especially those made by the skillful members of the Hungarioan Folk Artists. You will have to try a Hungarian delicacy called the Chimney Cake in English, which is sold in many of the stalls in the market and is wonderful to eat while you stroll through the market! Right in the middle of the market there is an ice-skating rink that is wonderful for the children to try and is free for those under the age of 14.
For more information on the opening hours and markets: http://budapestchristmas.com/budapest-basilica-christmas-market
If you are visiting Copenhagen in November or December you must visit Copenhagen‘s famous Tivoli Gardens. The theme park transforms into a winter wonderland and inside you will find a Chrismas market, incredible Christmas lights displays, trees covered in snow, Glühwein sold on every corner and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a reindeer or two! The market itself has over 60 stalls that sell gifts, decorations, arts and crafts and yummy snacks that will get you into the Christmas spirit. This year, the Nutcracker will be shown in the Tivoli Concert Hall and it is a show that is not to be missed.
For more information on opening hours, prices and events: https://www.tivoligardens.com/en/saesoner/jul
Budapest is a great city to explore by bike! The number of cycle lanes and cyclists have really grown in the last couple of years. Biking has become a fashionable and sustainable way to get around the city.
There are over 250 km of bike paths crisscrossing the city and bike-friendly areas are becoming increasingly common. Bike paths are usually detached from the sidewalks with markings or poles, and they are often separated from car traffic.
Where to bike
If you are going to rent a bike on your own, we recommend biking along the Danube, which is part of the EuroVelo route, stoping for a nice cup of coffee in one of the bike friendly cafés along the way. However, the Danube does split into two; Pest, fairly hilly trails in the west and Buda, a flatter terrain in the east. Pest is where you are more likely to find popular tourist sites, yummy cafés, and restaurants.
Some of our other favorite places to bike are Margaret Island (cars are banned from the island which makes biking a dream) and the City Park. Margret Island is a beautiful little green island where you can really enjoy the open space and escape from it all. We recommend that you take your lunch with you and enjoy a picnic.
If you want to bike away from the busy city we can recommend two paths to take. One of them goes along Szilas Creek and it will lead you to Lake Naplás, a stunning place which is home to a variety of flora and fauna, especially birds. Lake Lupa is another great spot to visit and you should absolutely take the ferry to Lupa Island. There you will find a quiet white sand beach, palm trees, parasols and cocktails.
If you are really into biking, you should follow the EuroVelo route even further and visit all of the 10 countries the route goes through…. just an idea :)
Nova Fairy Tales bike tours
Although beer biking has become increasingly popular across Eurpoe (who doesn’t like the combination of two such popular hobbies?!), but most districts in Budapest have now banned beer bikes). So we recommend that you try and keep beer and biking separate, for now, and join our bike tours! With us you can explore this fantastic city and at the end of your 3 hour adventure with us we can recommend some great bars to enjoy a beer or two…... or five! We always say: bike responsibly! Leave the beers till last!
On our 3-hour bike tour you will get to see many of Budapest’s main attractions that are difficult to discover on foot in one day. If you are not very comfortable about stepping on a bike in the city, not to worry! You guide will go over the bike rules and help you pick the right bike for you. It is a great way to enjoy the lovely city of Budapest. The tour starts off by riding along the Andrássy Avenue where you’ll find some amazing Hungarian architecture, at the end of the avenue you will reach Heroes Square and the City Park. You will also get a chance to see the Parliament of Hungary, the Opera House and the House of Terror museum. You will also get a chance to ride along the beautiful Danube riverside where you can admire and take pictures of the beautiful bridges and the thousand years history of the city. As well as the main sights of Budapest, our tours will also help you find some hidden gems that you might not otherwise stumble across.
Our bike tours will let you explore the best of Budapest in a fun (and fast) way!