This is my first year living in Europe and of course I had to venture out to some of the famous European Christmas Markets. Each one I visited was unique and charming in its own way, but my absolute favorite one of the season was Luxembourg City.
What Luxembourg lacks in size, it made up for in Christmas spirit. My ears were treated to the sounds of Christmas carols, my eyes alighted to millions of Christmas lights sparkling throughout the city. The scent of Christmas trees and woodburning fires danced on the breeze. My taste buds rejoiced at the flavors of gingerbread and glühwein and my feet were energized as I glided across the ice-skating rink.
Side note: Glühwein is a mulled wine served hot. It is a traditional drink at European Christmas markets and usually comes in a festive mug unique to each market. I already have a Christmas market mug collection, which could pose a storage problem in the future. They are too fun to pass up.
My family and I have decided that visiting Luxembourg’s Christmas markets will be one of our new family Christmas traditions. The Christmas market consists of three individual markets situated within three separate squares that are within walking distance of each other. Each square has its own unique offering.
The first of the markets that we visited was the Place d’Armes. This old town square offers the market that is most like a traditional European Christmas market and is perfect for eating, drinking and getting into the Christmas spirit. Within the square are many traditional local food and glühwein booths, as well as, a stage for Christmas carol performances. The atmosphere was lively and festive. My daughter’s favorite part was a section where she could roast marshmallows over a small bonfire. The architecture of the buildings that border the festivities is quite stunning and a perfect backdrop to the holiday celebration.
Place de la Constitution
The next market we visited was Place de la Constitution. As we waited to cross the street to enter this market square the excitement and anticipation were almost too much to contain. The millions of colored lights and holiday themed rides invited us to enter and made this market a truly magical Christmas fantasy. My daughter’s jaw dropped and she was stuck in a loop of “Wow! Look at that!” In addition to the rides, this market offered food, craft, and game vendors…and of course, glühwein. We whirled through the air inside one of the ornaments on the giant Christmas tree ride and marveled at the Ferris wheel. My daughter won a stuffed animal at one of the carnival style games and enjoyed a ride on the carousel. It was a festive experience.
Place Guillaume II
The final Christmas market we visited was a short walk away from the Place de la Constitution in Place Guillaume II. The main attractions were ice-skating and eating/drinking. The ice-skating rink was next to a large wooden structure where people dined on traditional food and warmed themselves with glühwein and hot chocolate…mostly glühwein. In this market, the lights were stunning and the music was loud and vibrant, a great compliment to the ice-skating and party atmosphere. I’m sure you can guess that we went ice-skating. We must have glided around the ice rink more than a hundred times because before we knew it two hours passed. Time speeds while playing tag and twirling on the ice. My daughter thought it was the best. Later that night while I was putting her to bed, I asked, “What was your favorite part of the day?” Without hesitation, she said, “Ice-skating.”
So, if you’re ever traveling in Europe near Luxembourg during the holiday season, I highly recommend you visit the Luxembourg Christmas markets. You won’t be disappointed. If you’ve been to the Luxembourg Christmas Markets, please let me know your favorite part in the comments below.