Best 2013 Christmas markets in Europe

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Christmas markets are an ancient tradition originally from Northen Europe. Nowadays diffused across all countries and regions, Christmas markets are generally held outdoors, in the town centres, and provide great opportunity for a taste of local culinary traditions and festive celebration.

If you are in Nice, the place for Christmas celebrations is Place Masséna's market, open everyday from 11 am to 8pm, or until 9pm on Friday and Saturdays, until 1° January 2014. Here, over 60 stands offer a range of Christmas products form the French Riviera Place Masséna is probably the most beautiful square in Nice, at the heart of its shopping district and of the city night life. The square has just come back to its usual splendor after undergoing years of refurbishment, so it's definetily woth a visit this Christmas.

If you are heading to Praga, make sure you visit the city's best loved market in Staromestské namesti (Old Town Square), which also covers the nearby Vaclav namesti, orWenceslas Square. The charm of the latter location, with its Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture, is magnifically amplified by the Christmas decoration.

The market here is made up of 150 wooden huts displayed in the shape of a star around the ideal centre of the Jan Hus statue.

Christmas gifts, decorations, toys, precious Bohemia crystals, fragranced candles are among the typical products of the market, where you will find local many local artisans' stands. And, of course, local wine and food, like the characteristic corn on the cob, grilled sausages known as pecena klobasa, and svarak, a type of mulled wine.

Staromestské namesti market will be open from 30 November 2013 to 05 January 2014, everyday from 10am to 10pm. The market in Vaclav namesti, from 30 November 2013 to 12 January 2014, everyday from 10am to 10pm.

In Munich, you can't possibly miss Marienplatz Christmas market. The best loved and most visited in town, Marienplatz market is made up of 150 wooden huts, classic festive atmosphere from Bavaria, Santas and Christmas music everywhere, all sorts of gifts and local food.

Open from 25 November to 24 December 2013, everyday from 10am to 9pm, except for Christmas Eve (closes at 2pm).

PHOTO GALLERY Best 2013 Christmas markets in Europe

Amongst the other top destinations for Christmas markets in 2013 are: Genoa, piazza Piccapietra, everyday till 23 December 2013, from 10 am to 7.30 pm. Avignon, place de l’Horloge, till 3 January 2013. Zurich, Zurcher Christkindlmarkt, from 21 November to 24 December 2013. Frankfurt, Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt 27 novembre al 22 dicembre 2013 10 alle ore 21 Rome, Piazza Navona, till 6 January 2013, from 10 am to 1pm.

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