As the end of the year approaches, traditional Christmas markets appear just about everywhere in Europe. Originally intended to celebrate Advent, they are now the very expression of the magic of Christmas! When the cold sets in, you can find people warming themselves with mulled wine spiced with sweet cinnamon or treating themselves to a little gingerbread. The work of local craftsman can be admired while chiming bells poetically remind us that Christmas is not far off. With their small wooden chalets set up in our city squares, where all tradition is honoured, the Christmas markets have become an essential part of the winter atmosphere. From Strasbourg, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland to Austria, Relais & Châteaux offers you the opportunity to stroll through the most emblematic Christmas markets and stay in properties that also become part of your magical journey.
Strasbourg Christmas Market
Ever since the 16th century, the famous Christkindelsmärik has been held each year in Strasbourg (26 Nov - 26 Dec 2016), which honours Alsatian traditions at several locations throughout the city. As the largest Christmas market in Europe, it will captivate you with its authentic character. After enjoying the Strasbourg Christmas market, you’ll appreciate staying in the area at one of the Relais & Châteaux properties in Phalsbourg, Wingen-Sur-Moder, Baerenthal, Colroy-la-Roche or in the charming village of Kaysersberg, where illuminated façades and half-timbered farmhouses herald a magic-filled stay!
• Where to stay to see the Strasbourg Christmas market
Au soldat de l’An II
Villa René Lalique
L’Arnsbourg Hôtel K
Hostellerie de la Cheneaudière & Spa
Belgian Christmas Market in Bruges (Kerstmarkt Brugge)
In Market Square (Grote Markt) and Simon Stevin Square, one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Belgium is held (18 Nov 2016 - 01 Jan 2017), and it continues to be the most important end-of-the-year event in Flanders. It's the perfect excuse to visit the city that is commonly referred to as the “Venice of the North”! The Hotel Heritage near Market Square will welcome you to enjoy one of the most romantic stays at the heart of one of the most romantic cities.
• Where to stay to see the Bruges Christmas market
Christmas Markets in Germany
The Christmas markets in Germany are an institution. Each village has its own and celebrates a tradition observed in Germany since the 14th century. In Dresden, in the vicinity of Nuremberg and close to the renowned markets of Heidelberg and Stuttgart, Relais & Châteaux properties will be your base for strolling through the most emblematic Christmas markets in Germany.
• Where to stay to see the Dresden Christmas market (24 Nov - 24 Dec 2016)
• Where to stay to see the Nuremberg Christmas market (25 Nov - 24 Dec 2016)
Hotel Burg Wernberg
• Where to stay to see the Heidelberg (21 Nov - 22 Dec 2016) and Stuttgart (23 Nov - 23 Dec 2016) Christmas markets
Christmas Markets in Switzerland
Like its bordering neighbours, Switzerland celebrates the start of Christmas with multiple markets, the most renown of which are in Montreux (24 Nov - 24 Dec 2016), which for 22 years has received 550,000 visitors annually, and Neuchâtel (03 Dec - 11 Dec 2016), where a merry-go-round with wooden horses, shows for children and other surprises create an enchanting world that will delight young and old alike. Take advantage of these Christmas markets to stay at a Relais & Châteaux property in Montreux (Hotel Victoria, Grand Hotel du Lac in Vevey) or in Neuchâtel and vicinity (Beau-Rivage Hôtel).
• Where to stay to see the Montreux Christmas market
Grand Hôtel du Lac
• Where to stay to see the Neuchâtel Christmas market
Vienna Christmas Markets (Chriskindlmärkte)
Several Christmas markets are held in the Austrian capital, but the most authentic is at the City Hall square (Rathausplatz) (19 Nov - 26 Dec 2016). While staying at a Relais & Châteaux property in the vicinity (Hôtel Schloss Durnsteïn, Mörwald Hotel am Wagram, Taubenkobel), you’ll get to experience a true Viennese Christmas market and appreciate age-old traditions.
• Where to stay to enjoy the Vienna Christmas markets
Hôtel Schloss Durnsteïn
Mörwald Hotel am Wagram