As anyone who follows me on Instagram already knows, I just recently got back from Europe! A trip that included England, Wales & Paris to be exact. Not only was I beyond excited to get back to Europe again I was also thrilled to get to experience parts of Europe at Christmastime.
I wanted to see the cities all decorated for Christmas and I wanted to experience Christmas markets. I’m happy to say that both London and Paris did not disappoint.
Today as part of the 2014 Travel Advent calendar I’m going to take you on a walk through of a few different cities’ Christmas decorations. Once you’re done here you should go check out some of the other posts that are part of the advent calendar and explore some other amazing locations across the world!
London – Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
This was the first full out Christmas Market that I’ve ever experienced in Europe. It’s a big setup that covers a large portion of Hyde Park. There’s an ice skating rink and lots of rides similar to what you would see at a state fair.
There was a large assortment of stalls full of wonderful Christmas goodies! My favorite purchase was a customized Christmas ornament.
And of course there were food options galore. Chocolate covered everything, fresh donuts, hot chocolate or mulled wine, you name it. I was more than happy to partake in the holiday festivities by eating a few of those items!
I didn’t actually go to any official Christmas Markets in Harrogate or York but both cities were decorated for Christmas. I really enjoyed seeing Harrogate setup for Christmas because it was fun to see how a smaller town in England does Christmas. If I hadn’t been so jetlagged my first day there I would have done a better job photographing everything! Here’s one of the few pictures I took in York (it was a very merry singing Christmas tree no less!).
In Paris you could see touches of Christmas all over the city.
From the tree in front of the Notre Dame…
To the elaborate setup along the Champs Elysee…
In fact, the Champs Elysse hosts the largest Christmas Market in Paris. I made the mistake of waiting to visit it until my last night of the trip which also happened to be a Saturday night. To say the place was packed out would be an understatement. But I still had fun eating a Nutella crepe and drinking hot cider as I perused all of the stalls (and bought another ornament of course!). I liked that there were sections devoted to local artists in addition to all the manufactured goods. And of course, there was an ice skating rink there as well.
All in all I loved exploring parts of Europe at Christmastime! I hope to get to do so again in the future. Perhaps Germany next time? =D
Either way, I hope you enjoyed this quick look at Christmas markets in England & Paris! And now I’d like to know…have you been to any Christmas markets this year? Either local or via travel? Leave a comment below!