Europe’s top Christmas fairgrounds
Let’s be honest that for most the attraction of visiting a Christmas market is often more about enjoying the festive atmosphere they
deliver than the gift shopping opportunity they provide.
Across Europe, there’s a plethora of Christmas markets to choose from but there are some that go that one step further and offer a real fairground element. No longer do fairs consist of just a carousel at the end of some traditional wooden stalls. They’re often the star of the show – which is ideal for kids, and big kids alike, who have less interest in shopping than they do in the thrills and spills of fairground rides.
So if you are keen to get into the Christmas spirit while enjoying all the fun of the fair, here’s where the Flexicover team recommend heading to.
Berlin, Germany3 November to 31 December 2017
The fairground game is strong at Winter World, Potsdamer Platz. Alongside Austrian-style handicraft stalls and bars serving mulled wine and hot drinks, there’s a spectacular array of rides to choose from. Top of the list is the largest mobile toboggan run in Europe, at 12 metres high and 70 metres long, which has the magnificent Brandenburg Gate as a backdrop. Alongside this star attraction is a magical ice rink. At 500 square metres in size, skaters will be able to glide around the rink on even the busiest days. Just one of many locations for Christmas fairs in Berlin, Germany’s capital is arguably the go-to destination for Christmas lovers.
Winter Wonderland, London17 November 17 to 1 January 2018
The biggest fairground of them all is in Hyde Park, London, which attracted a massive 2.5 million people last year. It shows no signs of slowing down in 2017, as there are plenty of new attractions like Cinderella on Ice and the nifty walk-through experience of Deep Sea Adventure, which takes explorers on an enchanted journey into the depths of the sea, discovering a mermaid grotto and Neptune himself along the way. These join established favourites like the big wheel, rollercoasters and Santa Land, where Saint Nick will take requests from good girls and boys. As ever, Winter Wonderland is free to meander around, though rides and attractions cost extra.
Copenhagen, Denmark18 November to 31 December 2017
Being an ice-cool design city, Copenhagen does Christmas a little differently but just as emphatically. When it comes to fairground rides, the first stop is Tivoli Gardens, a city centre theme park throughout the year, but a particularly Christmassy one in November and December, when 60 stalls, fireworks displays, light shows and live music join in to make it a real magical experience.
Brussels, Belgium24 November to 31 December 2017
As the unofficial capital of Europe, Brussels is a magnet for Christmas festivities. It doesn’t disappoint: across the capital, the Christmas feel is liberally employed, from extravagantly-decorated local shops to the trio of central fairs at Grand-Place, Place Sainte-Catherine and Marché aux Poissons. Between them, they offer impressive antique merry-go-rounds, a large ice rink, fairground games and a Ferris wheel that provides delightful views of the city – go in the evening for a view of the Christmas lights and light shows that dot the city.
Leipzig, Germany28 November to 23 December 2017
Given Germany is the spiritual home of Christmas markets, it’s only right that it gets two entries in the list. Leipzig is not only one of the largest markets in Germany, but one of the oldest as it dates back to 1458. Assured that it’s well-established, we can expect a good breadth of activities over the festive period. While the heart of the festive action is in Marktplatz, the compact city finds its centre taken over with Christmas fun. In Augustusplatz, where a Scandinavian-style village resides, there’s a 38-metre high Ferris wheel for a bird’s eye view of the beautiful city. Or amble over to Thomaswiese for the Fairy Tale Forest: it’s an immersive experience depicting many scenes from fairy tales.
Wherever your travel plans take you it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.