'Tis the season to wrap up warm and head to a festive Christmas market with your nearest and dearest. As the lights twinkle and the aroma of mulled wine hits your senses, you finally get that holiday feeling and instant desire to line your belly with some tasty treats before daring to brave the icy chill at the top of the ferris wheel. It's a mandatory part of every holiday season and after two years of restrictions, 2022’s selection of Christmas markets are set to be bigger and better than ever before. So, where are you heading first?

1. Edinburgh Christmas Market

Recently named the Best Christmas Market in Europe according to National Geographic, this merry market is just a short jaunt across the Irish Sea (slightly over an hour in flight time). It’s taking place from November 19th to 3rd January this year and will have a host of offerings for all who attend. From vegan pigs in blankets to mulled Iron Bru, a more authentic Scottish Christmas market experience will be hard to find. Located at many areas within walking distance around the capital, visitors can try out the rides at East Princes Street Gardens’ Santa Land, take a trip to Santa’s Grotto, experience the stunning light displays and peruse the local handmade gifts stalls at East Princes Street Garden, or brave the covered ice rink on George Street. There’s also a multisensory tour this year which takes you on a tour of Edinburgh through the ages. The biggest challenge will be trying to pack everything in before it’s time to head to the airport.

2. Krakow Christmas Market

The handcrafted gift options at Krakow's Christmas market are a shopper's paradise.

Beginning on the 25th November and running until 26th December, you’ll find everything you need to get that Christmas feeling at the stunning Polish market. From Christmas baubles to pottery, embroidery and metalwork, the handcrafted gift options make it a shopper’s paradise if you’ve already run out of ideas for your loved ones. Rumbling stomachs won’t be a problem, as there’s plenty to gorge yourself on. The market boasts seasonal sweets, multi-colored candies, spiced nuts and gingerbread delights among the gourmet offerings. Be sure to try some of the specialities, which include Oscypek smoked cheese from Zakopane, served with cranberry preserve. For beverages, you’ll find Krakow’s notorious sweet vodka-based hot drink and mulled wine, also known as grzaniec. Just be sure to wrap up warm, it’s likely to be a cold one in Poland.

3. Basel Christmas Market in Switzerland

The famous Basel Christmas market launches on 24th November this year. Running until 23rd December, it’s located on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, in the centre of the city and at the heart of the festively-decorated Old Town. The main attraction is the gorgeous tree, decorated with ornaments made by famed decorator Johann Wanner. For foodies, the market is a cheese-lover’s paradise, with fondue-stuffed baguettes, cheese tarts, raclette and quiche Lorraine among the spread. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll have plenty to choose from including waffles, apple fritters, Basel Läckerli (traditional spiced biscuit) and chimney cake being served from independent traders offering their goods from over 155 wooden chalets. A must-see is the famous Christmas pyramid which stands tall at 13 metres in height. Add a heatproof glass of mulled wine to the equation and you’re looking at the perfect Swiss Christmas market experience.

Before you go, be sure to sort your Swiss Francs with an An Post Money Currency Card!

4. Prague Christmas Markets

Once the shopping is done at the Prague Christmas markets, treat yourself to some traditional Czech fish soup, or roasted ham and barbecued sausages.

Running from 26th November to 6th January, you’ll find the main Christmas markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, a five minute walk apart from each other. Both are set in the picturesque backdrop of Prague, with brightly-decorated wooden huts stocked with local crafts and Christmas treats on offer. If you’re looking for gift inspiration, the ceramics, jewellery, glassware, wooden toys, ornaments and candles should give you plenty of options to consider. Once the shopping is done, treat yourself to some traditional Czech fish soup, or roasted ham and barbecued sausages. For dessert, sweet dumplings, pancakes and spiced gingerbread will be widespread, along with Trdelník - a type of spit cake made from grilled dough. As an added bonus, all food and drink is sold with 100% biodegradable cutlery, plates and cups, so it’s an eco-friendly affair.

5. Magical Stockholm Christmas Markets

As one of Europe's most magical cities, it's no surprise that Stockholm boasts stunning Christmas markets with something for all visitors. Stortorget Christmas Market, the country's oldest and most famous market, has been running since 1837. Located in Stockholm's old town Gamla Stan, you’ll be spoilt for choice with delicious treats and thoughtful Christmas gifts with over 40 stalls to delight over. Then there's the Skansen Christmas market, which takes place in the grounds of the world’s oldest open-air museum. Enjoy dozens of Christmas market stalls championing the traditions, history and craftmanship that shapes Sweden's fascinating culture.

Wherever your next adventure takes you, a currency card can come in handy. The An Post Money Currency Card is a prepaid Mastercard® that allows you to purchase and top-up 16 currencies on a single card, including GBP. Exchange rates are locked in on the date of purchase and you can use the card at millions of shops, restaurants and ATMs worldwide. It’s cheaper than a credit card, as it comes with 0% commission for foreign currency transactions. You can manage the card and your spending using the dedicated An Post Money app, making it easy when you’re on-the-go. Plus, you can get 24-hour support, should you need it.

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