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July 30, 2012
Europe's top Christmas markets
Gothenburg prides itself on its display of lights, with five million used to add festive cheer to the Liseberg Christmas market, Sweden's biggest. For active types, the market boasts an ice rink and ski slope, but those desperate for presents can rely on over 80 cabins in the market itself. Photo: AFP
Vienna's market is one of the most famous in Europe and the oldest in the world, dating back over 700 years. The market's long run and beautiful setting, in front of the Burgtheater and Vienna City Hall, make this one worth a visit. Photo:AFP
Strasbourg's Christmas market has been taking over the grounds of its beautiful cathedral since 1590, growing in recent years to encompass other parts of the city for separate activities such as the craft market and children's village. A huge event not to be missed -- this year, Switzerland is the country of honor. Photo: AFP
Cologne offers a total of seven different Christmas markets, with over four million people pouring into the city to visit every year. The most famous, underneath the fabulous Gothic Dom Cathedral, offers great arts and crafts stalls and a huge performance tent with live entertainment -- perfect for enjoying with a Gluhwein. Photo: AFP
The Dusseldorf Christmas Market is rightly regarded as one of Germany's most beautiful, with the added bonus that Dusseldorf is one of the country's best designer shopping spots. There are 210 stalls, along with plenty of Gluhwein and other seasonal treats, along with a 450 meter square ice rink. Photo: AFP
Nuremberg's 180-stall market may not be the biggest, but it's definitely one of the most traditional and most picturesque. If possible, get there for the opening, starring local schoolchildren, choirs, lanterns and the 'Christmas Angel'. Photo: AFP
Basel's Christmas market is the oldest in Switzerland and the town is transformed into a Winter Wonderland for the event -- no doubt helped by the fact that it's often snowing. This year will see additional stalls and attractions on MÃ¼nsterplatz for the first time. Photo: AFP
Zurich's market, held in the covered concourse of the city's enormous railway station, can proudly boast of being Europe's largest indoor Christmas market. It's ideal for those that aren't wild about the cold or the rain, with around 150 stands. Photo: AFP
Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market makes no secret of its inspiration, managing to offer an experience arguably better than the real thing. There are around 180 stalls, making it one of the largest Christmas markets in the UK. Photo: AFP
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