Every year, as the holiday season approaches, cities across Europe transform themselves into festive wonderlands. Traditional Christmas markets take over streets and town squares, drawing visitors to shop for holiday gifts and sample seasonal treats.
The markets have been around for centuries, but they are more popular than ever as nearly every major river cruise line in Europe now offers sailings along the Main, the Rhine, and the Danube during the holiday season. Guests can expect to visit a market in almost every port, each with its own customs and Christmas traditions.
And the festive atmosphere isn’t just on land. The ship invites local entertainers to bring the sights and sounds of the different cities to guests on board. We cruised the Danube — stopping at markets in Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, Salzburg, and Passau — on one of the Viking River Cruises longships. Watch our video above for more.