Pre-Christmas Shopping Trip

Oct 14th, 2000, 09:59 AM
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Pre-Christmas Shopping Trip

I am looking for ideas for a pre-Christmas shopping trip anywhere in Europe. We have heard reports that some cities are well worth a visit, with christmas markets and Christmas lights to see. Can anyone recommend a European city which is definitely worth a visit during late November / early December?
Oct 14th, 2000, 03:37 PM
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I thought Bohemian crystal, garnet jewerly, wood carvings and linens were absolute bargains in Prague. Not only the prices were outstanding, but the craftmanship was impressive.

I also read the dollar is doing great and that shopping for Italian brands in Rome is at an all-time high.
Oct 15th, 2000, 07:02 PM
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I don't mean to suggest that this should dissuade you - - but as I have said on this forum, Americans are discovering europe in its "off" seasons quite nicely thank you. To wit - -

- - in today's New York times:

"Europe's Off-Season Is on Top"

Best wishes,

Oct 16th, 2000, 02:11 AM
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Haven't been myself but have heard many times that Strasbourg (Alsace Lorraine region of France) has one of Europes largest and most beautiful Christmas markets..lots of twinkly lights, craft stalls, concerts, church choirs ect. Any large German city will have a good Christmas Market with good craft gifts, plenty of gingerbread cookies and gluewein (Heidelbergs is particularly pleasant). Most don't usually start until the beginning of December if I remember rightly from last year (but I may be wrong here). The German tourist board has a web site giving details of all the Christmas markets and when they start and the activities happening in November and December. (sorry I don't have the address on me)
London and the UK IMHO is not very good with Christmas markets, maybe the lights in London are OK but that is about it. The markets here are always quite tacky and can't compare with our European cousins.
Another option is Sweden, I went a few years ago, it is very cold (bring thermals) and expensive but wonderful. We went for some sort of light festival (Dec 14th) where they "crowned" a young swedish girl, as ? the queen of light. All the girls had crowns of candles in their hair and it all took place in the evening at Skansen the Stockholm folk museum, with other musical events put on and a good market with craft and food stalls with typically scandinavian items to buy. Snow and ice were everywhere, it became dark early and we would snuggle up in cafes with out hot chocolate - so it felt very "Christmassy" (whatever that means)
Hope this helps
Oct 16th, 2000, 02:27 AM
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Ray found the pages for you (in English)


Strasbourg (for last years christmas market)

German Tourist Board
If you click on "events" you can then search for the markets, shopping ect
Oct 18th, 2000, 06:00 AM
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Depends what sort of shopping you had in mind. The German Christmas Markets are unique, but they only sell Christmas decorations (carved wooden candleholders, christmas tree decorations etc). Some of them are very atmospheric, but you need to be there at night when they are all lit up. Have a gluhwein to complete the experience. I visited several last year. Koblenz was boring and tatty. Trier was nicer.
If however, you are looking for department stores and boutiques to do some serious present buying then I wouldn't necessarily go to the same places. In Europe, Britain and Germany are the two countries for shoppers. Italy also has shops but the other countries don't do shopping in the same way. Some suggestions Munich, Cologne or Nuremburg
Oct 25th, 2000, 01:02 PM
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to the top for John

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