With the festive season fast approaching, it’s finally time to wrap up in a soft scarf, wooly hat and explore Europe’s best Christmas Markets. As no Christmas market would be complete without plenty of warming winter treats, we’ve selected festive foods from across the continent not to be missed.
OSCYPEK: KRAKOW, POLAND
Though Krakow’s traditional Polish magnificent Cloth Hall in the Market Square are romantic enough with their gabled townhouses and Gothic spires, for many foodies it’s the local sheep’s milk cheese oscypek that really steals the show come Christmastime.
LEBKUCHEN: SALZBURG, AUSTRIA
Salzburg’s Christkindlmarkt is always a crowd pleaser. One of the oldest festive foods in Europe, you can’t visit Salzburg at Christmas without trying the local lebkuchen.
TRDELNIK: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
You can’t miss the market in Prague’s Old Town Square. A sweet, flaky cylindrically-shaped pastry topped with sugar and walnut mix, trdelnik is one of the most popular festive foods in Prague, and is best enjoyed alongside a glass of the svařák, the local mulled wine.
CHRISTMAS COOKIES: ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
The best festive extravaganza takes place in the grand hall of the main railway station in Zuric. From brunsli (a seasonal brownie) to chrabeli (an anise cookie) and zimtsterne (a cinnamon cookie), nobody can deny it has all the cookie bases covered.
CHRISTSTOLLEN, DRESDEN, GERMANY
Few things signal the coming of Christmas more than a giant three-ton fruitcake. Wheeled through the city of Dresden in early December and accompanied by a “Fruitcake Maiden”, the three-ton loaf winds its way over to the Striezelmarkt, where it’s chopped up for market-goers.