Move Over Christmas Markets
Updated: Mar 20
Just about anyone who is interested in river cruising in Europe knows about the continent’s famous Christmas markets. But did you know that Europe’s Easter markets are just as wonderful an experience? Ringing in spring and celebrating the holiday, these colorful, festive events offer local traditions, culinary delights and one-of-a-kind souvenirs for those seeking an authentic, lesser-known shore experience when river cruising in Europe. Here are a few favorites!
Marking spring’s arrival, the Prague Easter markets are the most impressive in the country. A collection of wooden huts are vibrantly decorated in spring colors and brim with local handicrafts and traditional Easter treats. Look for ceramics, embroidered lace, wooden toys, glassware and more. Marvel at the hand-painted Easter eggs, either from fresh hen eggs or crafted from wood, and adorned with a variety of colors and designs. As for the tasty treats being sold, be sure to try the spit-roasted ham, flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup, and a beránek, an iced cake in the shape of a lamb. Later in the evening, when the chill of winter is still in the air, sip a warm medovina (honey wine or mead) or the Tatranský čaj, a spirit of 160 proof - sure to warm your insides!
Falling on the third Monday of April, the Sechseläuten spring holiday brings out locals and visitors to the burning of the Böögg, a snowman, to drive out winter and welcome spring! People dressed in traditional guild costumes take over the promenade and the city comes to life. Around this same time, the historic Bremgarten Easter Market opens - a tradition for almost 800 years - with fun for young and old, including an amusement park and nearly 100 artisan stalls, all set along the Reuss River.
The chocolate bunny was created here, so it’s no surprise that German Easter markets up the ante with sweet treats, Easter trees decorated with hand-painted eggs and lively open-air markets. Visit the Main Market Square for the 16-day Häferlesmarkt in Nuremberg to fill your Easter baskets with wooden handicrafts, pottery and homespun textiles. In Michelstadt, attend the medieval town’s namesake market where you can watch crafter demonstrations, then see chicks hatch and the eggs from different bird species.
Listen to the soft sounds of jazz on the breeze as you browse the Salzburg Easter Market. The annual Easter Festival promises a full music program, stalls selling handcrafted candles, floral arrangements and palm leaves, and regional ham, butter and cheese. In Stubing, you can attend the ancient sunrise tradition of Palmbuschenbinden, held at the open-air museum’s smokehouse. Taste the local sausages, enjoy music and shop at the Villach Easter Market. In Vienna, the capital city celebrates its Easter market in the baroque setting of the Schloss Schönbrunn.
Visit Easter markets throughout Europe on river cruises in the Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, Poland, Germany and more.
Reach out by booking a consultation through my Services page. Let’s chat about how to get you there in time for these springtime spectaculars.