Before you know it, Christmas is right around the corner and well, you can't come home empty-handed. For the real shoppers, the days around Christmas are probably the best of the year. Stores beautifully decorated, shop windows that shine with lights and Christmas decorations and shopping streets that are decorated so magically that they look like a book by Roald Dahl seem to come. Of course you can just go down the local shopping street in search of nice gifts for your family and friends. But of course you can also choose to to celebrate Christmas in Bali or experience an unforgettable weekend and travel to one of the nicest Christmas cities in Europe† Which ones are they? Let's get that right for you! Happy Christmas shopping!
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There is simply no way around it: London. Throughout the year, this city is already one of the best shopping cities in the world. But around Christmas, London is really a mecca for the shopaholic† In December, the English capital transformed into a shopping metropolis where you say 'you' to. The range of shops is huge, the Christmas atmosphere is phenomenal and the shopping possibilities endless. Sure, it's busy and no, London isn't the cheapest city. But everywhere you feel the magical Christmas jitters. Thousands of lights twinkle towards you.
Oxford Street and Regent Street are absolute must-sees. Isn't your budget huge? It doesn't matter, window shopping alone makes the trip to London more than worth it. Harrods is overwhelming, with 330 departments and 74.000 m2 of retail space. The real London Christmas can be found in Hyde Park, because here is the Winter Wonderland Christmas market every year. An abundance of stalls with gifts and delicious treats. For the kids, it's best to visit Hamley's, the world-famous toy store and largest in Europe.
Do you prefer it a little more casual and smaller? Then Bruges is in Belgium might be the perfect option. Around November and December, this cozy Belgian town turns into a small Christmas village with gleaming Christmas lights and fragrant Christmas trees on every street corner. The city has a beautiful, authentic city center with nice shops and small stalls full of delicious food.
The ice rink is of course not missing! Be sure to stop by Simon Stevinsplein and the Grote Markt in the center for the best Christmas bargains. Do you also want to see something of the city? Take a ride through the city with a horse and carriage!
Düsseldorf is without a doubt the coziest Christmas city in all Germany† This city is completely different in winter time than in other seasons. Dusseldorf therefore fits Christmas like a perfectly fitting winter coat. This cozy metropolis on the river Rhine features the historic Altstadt, the old part of Düsseldorf. This part is the bustling center in December. Shops and markets are everywhere, the Christmas decoration sparkles at you from every street. Be sure to walk to Königsallee, Flinger Strasse and Schadowstrasse, here you will undoubtedly succeed when it comes to Christmas shopping. Glühwein is a matter of course, such a warm glass in the cold winter months is part of it. Düsseldorf is a romantic city where you can still really taste the nostalgic Christmas atmosphere. In the center you will find, in addition to the genuine Christmas shops, also huge department stores, small boutiques and large fashion stores. So plenty of choice!
Punctual November 15 starts in the most beautiful city of Austria the Christmas party. Then a gigantic Christmas tree is placed in the middle of the city, in front of the beautiful old town hall. It is the day that the Wiener Christkindlmarkt starts. Christmas as it should be! Real Christmas has been celebrated here for centuries. For shoppers there is a great diversity of shops, Christmas markets and department stores to browse. In Vienna there are more than 20 Christmas markets every year with stalls brimming with special Christmas gifts, delicious winter food and souvenirs. Punch is here what mulled wine is in Düsseldorf, you will find it everywhere and nowhere. The alcohol percentage can be quite high so don't be surprised if shopping seems a bit more difficult at the end of the day. The coziest Christmas markets are the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt, the market at Schönbrunn Palace and the markets at Karlskirche and Belvedere.
Edinburgh is absolutely magical during the Christmas months. You might not expect it from a cold city in Scotland, but Edinburgh only radiates warmth in December. The ultimate Christmas atmosphere is present here throughout the city. Princes Street is the most famous shopping street. These weeks the street is beautifully decorated and the Christmas lights shine day and night, dazzlingly beautiful. Princes Street is home to the Christmas shops of Santa and Selfridges. A skate ride at Princes Street Gardens gives you all the right Christmas feeling. The traditional Christmas markets can also be found throughout the city. Christmas officially begins here when the lights are lit on George Street, a happening in itself. A fun diversion from shopping: a challenging ride in the 60 m high Star Flyer!
Perhaps the biggest surprise in this list is the Christmas city of Lille in France† Of course, you can opt for chic Paris, but believe us, Lille is an excellent and perhaps more fun alternative to Christmas shopping. The shops are all very elaborately decorated so if you want Christmas you will definitely get it here. The city is idyllic and bustling at the same time during the Christmas months. In the cozy streets that wind through the entire city, you will find no fewer than 3900 boutiques and Christmas shops. The old part of Vieux Lille is the perfect setting where you will discover designer shops next to quirky stalls and many delicatessens. The large Furet du Nord market simply has to be visited, as is the Euralille shopping center. Trust me, Lille is a Christmas fairytale come to life!
Would you like to stay close by?The Netherlands) and do you think Belgium, France or Germany are just too far away? Then Maastricht is the ideal solution. This Burgundian city in Limburg knows how to transform itself like no other into a true Christmas paradise. The city is lit up all night long with the Vrijthof as the radiant center. Do you want to discover Maastricht while shopping? Then follow the Magical Light Route during Christmas that will take you to the Entre Deux shopping center via Wyck, Plein 1992, Mosae Forum and the Market. The light show at the Lieve Vrouwenplein is amazing! More than 200 twinkling mistletoes are the icing on the cake at this unique Christmas party. There is a lot of music in Maastricht, the Christmas terraces are pleasantly full and you can smell the crispy oliebollen from miles away. A round on the Ferris wheel is the perfect end to a day of Christmas shopping in beautiful Maastricht. Merry Christmas!
Is Christmas shopping not enough for you? Looking for more great cities to do your shopping spree? Then read the blog 'Shop till you drop! Top 10 shopping cities'.