There are few things that can match an accustomed Christmas back home with the friends and family. But after however many years of broadly the same thing, people are starting to want to branch out; some fly out to sunny Australia or to a ten-thousand strong party in Thailand. Yet more however seek the picturesque, storybook Christmas rooted in historical tradition of the sort that can only be found in Europe.
But when there are so many fantastic places to consider for a European Christmas, and not just in the famous capital cities but even in the smallest of towns and villages, it can be impossible to hone in on just one destination. However, although there are hundreds of places that do it well, few can evoke the magic of Christmas time in the Austrian capital, Vienna.
This is a time when the markets come out in full force, and the experience of a true Viennese Christmas market is second to none; the smells of spices, baked apples and a variety of delicious grilled meats permeate the air. Fairy lights and decorations are ubiquitous and enchanting in equal measure.
The joy of Christmas markets is the freedom in walking around with the delicious glühwein or even a nice hefty glass of beer (carrying around a full litre is always an interesting experience!) and picking various delicious places to eat. You’re spoilt for choice.
The most stunning attraction though is St. Stephen’s Cathedral at night, when it is lit up in full profile like a Disney castle, dominating the typically low buildings which are typical products of Viennese architecture and creating an unparalleled vista.
So, although there are plenty of places to go in Europe for the perfect Christmas atmosphere, there is one you should consider above all others. Vienna is different because it effuses the magic of the Christmas spirit so effortlessly, and is well capable of reducing even the most weary adult to the status of a child.