Pre-Christmas Europe? These cities will put you in the right mood for the holidays!

Want to soak in a bit more Christmas atmosphere before the holidays? Here are three European cities where you are sure to get your fix! Ghent, Turin and Colmar are places definitely worth a weekend visit.

Team Umbrella Holiday   |   4. 12. 2018

Belgian Ghent: From Ferris Wheel to Hot Chocolate

Ice rink, huge Ferris wheel and beautiful Christmas markets held from 7th December until 6th January. Christmas time in Ghent in the north of Belgium will only amplify the fairytale atmosphere that is prevalent all year long in what is arguably Belgium's most beautiful city. Set out to tour the local historical monuments that can be found around every corner here (after all, the centre of Ghent is dominated by a medieval castle), stop by one of the stands offering traditional waffles, hot chocolate or seafood, visit the traditional flea markets at the Bij Sint-Jacobs square or peek into gourmet paradise, the Holy Food Market, located in a 17th century chapel. You can also combine your visit to Ghent with a tour of the nearby Bruges, which is a household name in its own right in terms of beauty!


The Ferris wheel is one of the major amusements found in Ghent


Italian Turin: City of the Festival of Lights

Pre-Christmas Turin lights up with the light show Luci d'Artista! While you wander the decorated streets, your path will be lit by installations designed by Italian and foreign artists. If you decide to take advantage of visiting Turin to do your Christmas shopping, the city offers a wide range of possibilities for all – from vintage pieces on the Saturday Gran Balon Flea Market to designer pieces in boutiques on the elegant Via Roma. Before shopping, you can refresh yourself with the local speciality called bicerin, consisting of espresso, hot chocolate and milk. And if you want to buy your loved ones something truly Turinese for Christmas, you have two choices – the famous Juventus store on Via Garibaldi or the no less renowned Venchi chocolate.


A visit to Turin before Christmas will be livened up by a light show


French Colmar: Fairytale Christmas

This city in the heart of Alsace looks like the perfect advert for Christmas! We recommend heading directly for the most beautiful neighbourhood in Colmar, called La Petite Venise a.k.a. Little Venice. Colourful, festively illuminated half-timbered houses lining a network of channels, decorated bridges and balustrades and an incredible atmosphere. The Christmas market in Colmar is renowned – it lasts until 30th December and holds a beautiful wooden merry-go-round, an animated nativity scene and countless stands with Alsatian specialities such as fresh pretzels or the traditional choucroute. When it comes to buying presents, you can visit a market with hand-crafted or artistic products in the former customs house, and definitely do not forget about the excellent Alsatian wine! Or you can ponder the true meaning of Christmas in front of the famous Isenheim Altarpiece, painted by Matthias Grünewald, which you can find in the Unterlinden Museum.


Photos of the Colmar might as well be an ad for Christmas




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