Unusual European Christmas Markets
Do you fancy going somewhere different this festive season? Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with amazing places to stay, wants to give you the chance to experience how truly unusual a good Christmas market can be. You might come back with the same gingerbread men and lollipops, but you’ll also get to experience unusual traditions, such as turkey parades and secret caves, along the way!
‘Fête de la Dinde’, Licques, France
This fun festival from 9th to10th of December in the town of Licques, just a short drive south of Calais, is a hidden gem. Try the town’s homemade liquorice liqueur, ‘Liquoise’ before the main event: the turkey parade. A seasoned turkey-wrangler guides hundreds of turkeys through the festively decorated town as the guests choose the best in show. When you’re stuffed full of turkey and liqueur, head back to the ‘Chateau de la Garenne’ in the nearby town of Guînes. This gorgeous B&B offers fantastic views of its manicured lawns and a shared lounge and terrace to relax in.
‘Christmas Avenue’ LGBTQ Christmas market, Cologne, Germany
From 27th November to 23rd December, this fantastic market is filled to the brim with wonderfully flamboyant stalls and activities. Whether you’re visiting for the daily music stand, weekly ‘Mr Avenue’ contest that culminates in the final on the 22nd or simply for the sweets and nutcrackers, you will be amazed. Why not stay in the equally fun ‘Hostel die Wohngemeinschaft’? This amazing hostel in the nearby trendy Belgian district features individually designed rooms each with a unique theme. With a café that turns into a popular bar with resident DJ in the evening, you’ll be able to carry on the festivities into the early hours.
‘Velvet Cave’ Christmas Market, Valkenburg, The Netherlands
From 17th November to 23rd December, in the small town of Valkenburg, you’ll find a Christmas market hidden inside a cave. This rustic market offers tours of the cave to explore the amazing murals and sculptures, as well as the impressive 18th century chapel. Find wonderfully original gifts for loved ones before relaxing in the cosy café just outside the cave. The town itself hosts Christmas parades every Wednesday and Saturday so make sure to stay at the ‘Château St. Gerlach’. The hotel boasts its own vineyard, expansive gardens, orchards and even a church. Take advantage of the wellness centre with pool, sauna and steam bath to fully relax after exploring the cave of hidden Christmas treasures.
‘Sirius Hundeweihnachtsmarkt’ Christmas Market for Dogs, Berlin, Germany
As the name suggests, this fun market on the 9th and 10th December is for all the dog lovers out there! In the expansive Grunewald forest in Berlin, your canine pal will have a fantastic time getting to try festive dog biscuits and other treats, as well as a selection of brilliant doggie gifts. Stay in the brilliant, animal friendly ‘Seminaris CampusHotel Lifestyle + Design Berlin’, a nearby 4-star hotel in a peaceful area of the city that offers a spa and gym. Plus, you can rent bikes to explore the forest or city in style.