Magical Christmas Markets on the Danube River
Twinkling lights, fragrant air, and holiday cheer are just a few reasons why Christmas in Europe is so magical. As the holidays draw near and the snow begins to fall, cities all along the Danube River transform into a glistening winter wonderland. Countries like Austria and Germany are known for their storied Christmas celebrations that draw global attention year after year.
This timeless holiday tradition is as enchanting as you'd imagine. Picturesque villages are decorated head to toe in lights and garland, with grand churches and cathedral towers topping off the decor. In city centers, hundreds of stalls have been set up in the large Christmas markets selling handmade crafts that make the perfect gift. The sweet smell of freshly baked goods lingers in the air, and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season fill the air with energy and excitement.
With so many iconic markets scattered all over Europe, the easiest way to explore them is by river. The Danube River cuts right through many capital cities that are known for their holiday celebrations. With stops in Vienna, Salzburg, and Budapest, you can experience the best of the holiday season all in one trip. Night after night, stroll the markets' stands while sipping mulled wine to keep you warm with the smell of sweet gingerbread and roasted chestnuts lingering in the air. Listen to the angelic sound of carolers in the streets as they sing holiday classics and local favorites. Walk along the quaint cobblestone streets that are trimmed to perfection, or don a pair of ice skates and glide around under the twinkling lights. Even if you've visited European cities before, you'll be amazed at their transformation during the holiday season.
When you cruise down the Danube River during the holidays, you have the unique opportunity to discover how different countries and cities celebrate the Christmas season all in one trip. Take part in local traditions as you immerse yourself in the culture before heading down the river for your next port of call. As you cruise, pick up handcrafted gifts from each destination that will make the perfect present or souvenir to remind you of your travels. Back on board, the festivities continue with beautifully prepared dishes, music, and entertainment inspired by the regional culture.
Experience the charm and splendor of Christmas in Europe with a cruise down the Danube River.