When the best Christmas tradition of all comes to town, decorating the place gaily and creating a festive atmosphere, then it's time for strolling around, discovering and enjoying South Tyrol's Christmas markets. These markets conjure up a bit of winter magic each year and yet every one has its own special charms – and each visitor has their own favourite type of market! In any case, there is always something to cater for all tastes:
For real shopaholics
Christmas is just around the corner and you still haven't bought presents for your loved ones, neither do you have any idea what to get them? Then a trip to a Christmas market can offer some help! The ones in Bozen-Bolzano, Meran-Merano, Brixen-Bressanone, Bruneck-Brunico and Sterzing-Vipiteno are the better-known Christmas markets in South Tyrol, and are great for browsing and strolling around and combined with a shopping trip to the nearby 'portici' streets in each town. Not just to buy presents – during Christmas you are also allowed to think of yourself with a clear conscience ...
For the traditionally minded
Fascinating artisanal crafts, sweet culinary specialities and traces of ancient customs around every corner – if this appeals to you, then you should look in the direction of the valleys. These are the home of artisanal arts and crafts and where tradition really comes alive: the Christmas markets in the villages of the Gardena Valley as well as the Dolomites Christmas market in San Candido and 'Alpenadvent' in Sarentino Valley belong on the list of must-sees for sticklers for tradition!
For those in search of a winter wonderland
It's not just candles and fairy lights that light up at the sight of snowy tree tops and lovingly-decorated stands, but the eyes of those who yearn for a romantic Christmas, too. The lines between what is beautiful and what is kitschy are allowed to get a little blurred at this point – it is Christmas, after all! The market at Pragser Wildsee lake lures visitors into a fairytale world full of romance, winter magic and Christmas music. Likewise, the historical village centre of Castelrotto is illuminated by soft candlelight and casts a contemplative spell over the Christmas market there ...
For the inquisitive
Enough of the classic Christmas markets – it's time to experience something else for a change … such as at the Medieval Christmas market in the artistic town of Klausen – Chiusa, where Christmas festivities take on a historical guise: fire-eaters, jesters and knights attract attention. But you can also look for a bit of Christmas cheer in the more unassuming villages in South Tyrol and see the other places where Christmas magic may be hiding ...
For fans of mulled wine and all good things to eat
Besides all the many other highlights of the various markets, mulled wine is an essential. Steaming mugs of hot wine in good company make a success of every Christmas market and prove to be the brightest star on the tree – this is just what winter should taste like! To stop the mulled wine instantly going to your head, there is a wide range of goodies on offer: toffee apples, fruit kebabs dipped in chocolate, typical South Tyrolean apple strudel and Christmas bread are just a few examples. For Christmas spirit tends to go through the stomach, too! Yes – ALL of the Christmas markets in South Tyrol will see to that!