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All across Europe towns are turning into Christmas Wonderland's as the annual Christmas markets pop up in the centre of historic cities creating the picture perfect Christmas scene.
As well as picking up artisanal Christmas gifts, Christmas markets are a hub of freshly cooked local food and delicacies and a great way to experience the culture of a region.
From the 'Capital of Christmas,' Strasbourg, to protected sausages in Nuremberg, we have the lowdown on four festivals where food is a major draw.
Regardless of which Christmas market you choose you're guaranteed a good time of conviviality, food, drink, traditional music and more. So, pick a market for a weekend break and get your bit of Christmas cheer in a winter wonderland.
Budapest Christmas Market
With around 150 stalls housed in small wooden huts this is an authentic Christmas market for picking up christmas gifts just as much as serious eating. Traditional food and entertainment take centre stage and there's plenty of outdoor seating to eat and drink in comfort from any number of the numerous food stands.
Visitors get to try a huge selection of freshly cooked local delicacies including everything from grilled hungarian sausages to goose stuffed cabbage and goulash and much more. Culinary novelties for 2015 include: goulash soup with prunes, Jerusalem artichoke cake/rösti, pulled pork burger, lamb sandwich with roasted red pepper paste, pumpkin braised in duck fat sprinkled with hot pumpkin seed and foie gras sausage.
Why not finish off with the traditional 'chimney' cake which is worth it for the novelty factor.
What Budapest Christmas Market
Where Vörösmarty square, Budapest
When November 13, 2015 – Jan 6, 2016
Web Budapest Christmas Market
Strasbourg Christmas Market
Photo: F. Badias / Cus
Known as the 'Capital of Christmas' it's a badge the city wears with pride. With some 300 chalets spread over 11 sites in the city centre, the Strasbourg's Christmas market it is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Not only will you find traditional arts and crafts and typical Alsatian Christmas decorations but plenty of food.
Don't miss the special “bredele”biscuits that come in all shapes, sizes and flavours. From hazelnut, orange and cinnamon to walnut, coconut and praline, try a selection, perfect to hang on the tree at home then devour.
What Strasbourg Christmas Market
Where Strasboug, France
When 27th November to 31st December 2015
Web Strasbourg Christmas Market
Trento Christmas Market
This South Tyrolean market held in the foot of the dolomites Piazza Fiera attracts around 500,000 visitors every year. Of the hundred wooden huts selling traditional artisanal goods a good number are dedicated to showcasing the edible specialities of Trentino, known as the "Flavours of the Christmas Market".
Taste apple strudel, "treccia mochèna" (plaited pastry cake), "polenta brustolada" (grilled polenta), traditional recipes (sweet and savoury) from the Trentino and the Tyrol regions and local dishes such as "tortel di patate" (potato cake), "goulash zuppe" (goulash soup), "canederli" (dumplings). Try washing them down with popular drinks including the "vin brulè"(mulled wine) of Trentino and "parampampoli" (hot toddy)
It's also a good chance to stock up on high quality local foods like organic cheese and goat cheese, "speck" (smoked ham)as well as sweets, pastries and hot chocolate.
What Trento Christmas Market
When Nov 21, 2015 - Jan 6, 2016
Web Trento Christmas Market
Nuremberg Christmas Market (Christkindelmarkt)
Nuremberg's Christmas Market, held in the Main Market Square is billed as one of Germany's oldest Christmas fairs dating back to the mid 16th century. A friendly and accessible fair in a historical location this is a great place to pick up some traditional souvenirs and enjoy local specialities.
Nuremberg is famous for its prized local speciality the “Rostbratwurst” sausage, which has been given European protection status and must only be produced within the city limits of Nuremberg according to the official traditional recipe. The markets are a pefect place to get your fill of this special sausage. They can even be bought in cans as a souvenir to take home.
If you have a sweet tooth don't miss out on the city's special take on the famous gingerbread biscuit, the glazed lebkuchen, known as Nuremberg Elisenlebkuchen. As well as the individual market stalls you'll also find specialised shops selling them in festive musical wind up tins.
What Nuremberg Christmas Market
When November 27th to December 24th 2015
Web Nuremberg Christmas Market