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Date: 17/11/2012

Top 5 European Christmas markets

Travel Insurance

Visit a Christmas market, smell the mulled wine, hear the Christmas songs, watch the sparkle and glitter and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Spending a few days at a Christmas market and maybe taking the time to explore some of the city, is a great way to get in the mood for the festivities that are approaching. The cities of Europe offer an increasing number of Christmas markets. If you visit one overseas, then investigate cheap travel insurance. Here are some of the best.

Vienna, Austria

The Christkindlmarkt is situated in front of the imposing City Hall. There are stalls selling gluhwein, gingerbread in all sorts of shapes, roast chestnuts as well as craft items. There are a lot of activities for children including craft workshops and celebrities sitting on angel thrones reading from their favourite children's books. Music brings romance to Vienna all year round and Christmas is no different. A visit to the old Viennese Christmas Market in Freyung is also worth putting on your Christmas list.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest's Christmas market offers folk art and crafts, Hungarian music and folk dancing. Enjoy the market stalls, with handicrafts and mulled wine and warm food such as sausages and strudels, against a backdrop of Vorosmarty Square. In the streets around the square, visit the Christmas shops. It might be very cold here so make sure you pack your thermals.

Cologne, Germany

Germany is the country with the most Christmas markets and Christmas shops. Cologne has six markets all within walking distance, although there is a small train which goes between them should your feet be weary. The markets include one in front of the cathedral; another by the harbour and the oldest, the Angels' Christmas Market on the Neumarkt. The Lindt chocolate factory is nearby and worth a visit too. There is an excellent range of handicrafts for sale, along with spiced wine, stollen and bratwurst. If you are buying expensive presents it is worth considering gift travel insurance.

Nuremburg, Germany

The Christkindlmarkt at Nuremburg is situated in the Hauptmarkt Square. On the Friday before Advent the Christmas Angel opens the market. There are handicrafts, tree decorations, fruit loaves and more gingerbread for sale. Save time to enjoy the medieval streets around the square.

Manchester, England

This is another city with a few markets spread around the centre. The traditional Christmas market is in Albert Square in front of the gothic Town Hall. Here are the stalls selling mulled wine and sausages, along with handicrafts while in St Anne's Square there are more stalls with an emphasis on arts and crafts. The city is alive with Christmas festivities.

The markets all have their individual character but they all bring that Christmas cheer home.