Wednesday, November 7, 2012

25 exciting Christmas shopping breaks for 2012

Combine Christmas shopping this winter with an exciting city break? released a list of 25 destinations for a magical Christmas shopping experience this holiday season. Get into the Holiday Spirit and don't forget to bring your wallet.

Ever heard of the The Harrods Christmas Grotto? Harrods department store in London takes Christmas very seriously. You’ll find a wide range of food, drinks, gifts and Christmas decorations all over the 2nd floor. This Christmas period at Harrods starts at November 3rd and ends at the 24th of December 2012.

Magasin du Nord is one of the best places in Europe when it comes to shopping. The seven-story department store is located in the centre of Copenhagen and has a large variety of products. Magasin du Nord will get the full seasonal makeover for Christmas including a beautiful Christmas tree. When you’re on the hunt for Christmas gifts, you can be sure you’ll find them at the Magasin du Nord.

Combine your Christmas shopping break to Copenhagen with Christmas in Tivoli. In 2012 you’ll be welcomed with a completely renewed Scandinavian setting at the Tivoli Gardens. In the beautiful Pantomime Theatre, build in 1874, you can meet Santa Claus. The real reindeer's will contribute to a special Christmas atmosphere. The traditional Christmas market in Tivoli contains about 50 stalls filled with gifts, decorations, candy, food and hot drinks to keep you warm during the stroll.

During the Christmas season Berlin is considered to be the best shopping city. The mega department store KaDeWe and the Kurfurstendam are beautifully lit and decorated. Don’t forget to visit Potsdam just outside Berlin for more Christmas atmosphere and special Christmas shops.

During Christmas the Shopping centre CentrO in Oberhausen is “the place to be”. Starting at the 16th of November and ending the 23rd of December this shopping centre is a true paradise for Christmas shoppers. This year the Christmas market in CentrO will be a bit different. Instead of 1 general Christmas market CentrO will have 3 different Christmas markets, each with it’s own theme.

The Alsterhaus department store is an exclusive department store in Hamburg. It has been part of Karstadt since 1994. Alsterhaus has a sales area of approximately 24.000 m2 and is specialised in perfume, accessories, clothes and delicacies. On the fourth floor you’ll find a lovely restaurant overlooking the Inner Alster. Alsterhaus also has its own parking garage, it’s easy to reach from the Poststraße and along the road Bei der Stadtwassermühle. During Christmas the Alsterhaus department store will be decorated with the most beautiful lights and Christmas decorations.

Christmas market at the Rathausmarkt will take place from November 26th till the 23rd of December. This Christmas market is the largest in Hamburg. At the foot of the Lessing memorial you’ll find the Hanseatische Weihnachtsmarkt with great stalls, confectioners, toy makers and artisans.

From the 22nd of November till the 23rd of December 2012 you can visit, not just 1, but 5 Christmas markets in Düsseldorf.

Christmas market on the Marktplatz
Start your stroll on the nostalgic Marktplatz in Düsseldorf, with the Town Hall as beautiful decor. Stop for a moment to take it all in. This beautiful and enchanting Christmas market is located in the middle of this amazing old town. The stalls have the same colors as the town hall. A great sight on this Christmas market is the life-size and handmade, wooden manger of Bethlehem.

Christmas market on the Heinrich-Heine-Platz
At the Heinrich-Heine-Platz you will find the Christmas stalls in Jugendstil. The music pavilion at the Christmas market in Düsseldorf has been the inspiration for this. On the Christmas market you’ll be enchanted by the heavenly atmosphere. Everywhere you look you’ll see golden angels in a sea of light.

Christmas market on Sternchenmarkt
On the idyllic square, Sternchen Market in Düsseldorf, you’ll find yourself being in a fairytale Christmas landscape. The crystal lighting makes for a mysterious atmosphere with light that breaks into thousands of colors. When there’s snow the Christmas market will have an extra dimension and the Christmas atmosphere is complete.

Christmas market on Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz
Strolling the Christmas market in Düsseldorf is a party on the Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz. On the Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz you can eat as much German bratwurst or Reibekuchen as you want.

Christmas market on Schadowplatz
As a fan of reclette the popular Käsealm is a must. The scent of Christmas green on this Christmas market is easy to smell with fresh green pine-covered roofs of the attractive wooden Christmas stalls.

The Cologne Christmas market will take place from November 26th till the 23rd of December 2012 at various locations in the city. The entire city will be decorated with the Cologne Cathedral as the centre point of it all. There are no other cities in Germany where Christmas is celebrated as it’s done in Cologne.

The Bijenkorf is a magical experience, with a beautiful Christmas tree full of sparkling light and amazing ornaments. During the special Christmas shopping night on Tuesday the 6th of December the Christmas holiday season officially starts.

The Christmas market in Amsterdam takes place at the Rembrandplein and transforms it into a fairytale Christmas village. You’ll find attractively decorated Christmas chalets with a diverse range of products, including handmade products and lots of toys. In the midst of all these chalets is an ice rink of 600 m2 where you can skate and enjoy some delicious gluhwein.

The Brussels Christmas market takes place from the 30th of November 2012 till the 6th of January 2013. Because of the imposing tree and the life-size Christmas stable with real animals, combined with the most beautiful Christmas decorations, the Brussels market is certainly worth a visit. The Christmas market stretches out from the Grand-Place to the Vismarkt and the fair at St. Catherine.

The Christmas market in Antwerp takes place from the 8th of December till the 31st of December 2012 and provides a lot of winter fun. The Grote Markt, Suikerrui, Hanschoenmarkt and the Groenplaats are transformed into stylish Christmas villages. The Christmas village on the Groenplaats has ambient music, twinkling Christmas lights and a pleasant atmosphere. At the Steenplein you will find a large ice rink where you can skate underneath thousands of Christmas lights.

You should not miss Galeries LaFayette on the Haussman Boulevard in romantic Paris. This year Galeries LaFayette is being decorated by the Italian Valerio Festi. The famous Valerio Festi will wrap Galeries LaFayette in a Christmas fairytale theme.

Make sure you don’t miss the large Christmas market on the Champs Elysees, next to Galeries LaFayette. This is the biggest Christmas market within the city limits of Paris. The Christmas market runs from the Champs Elysees roundabout all the way up to the Place de la Concorde.

The Centro Colombo is the largest shopping centre of Lisbon. Centro Colombo is more of an amusement park than a shopping centre. The mall contains a large cinema, a health club, a golf range, a bowling area and even a go-kart track on the roof. All the major Portuguese chains, and many international chains are present at this mall.

Armazens do Chiado is a former department store that was recently restored and merged with Edificio Gran Dela, after they were both destroyed by fire. It revived the shopping scene in Lisbon. So, in short, a great Christmas atmosphere in Lisbon is guaranteed at the Armazens do Chiado!

The Tesco department store was once the pride of the communist wholesale industry. But today Tesco is a popular department store where many western products are sold. You’ll also find a supermarket where you can get absolutely everything.

New York
When visiting New York during the Christmas period, you have to pay a visit to the well known Bloomingdale’s. This department store in NYC is where you want to be seen. It’s an enumeration of fashionable, elegant, modern and yet affordable lifestyle. You’ll find almost everything from toothbrushes to women’s clothing from furniture to mixers! Bloomingdale’s is also open on Sundays.

Fashion department store Macy’s is the largest department store in the world ever since it opened its doors after the second expansion in 1924. Besides traditional fashion brands you’ll also find a pharmacy, a post office, a hairdresser, travel agency and several restaurants. Macy’s is also open on Sundays so you can shop here every day on your Christmas shopping break.

MetroCentre is the huge shopping mall in Gateshead and has become one of the largest shopping malls in Europe. You’ll find every major brand at the MetroCentre. There are personal shoppers present who love to give you advice for free. Besides shopping you can also eat, go to the cinema or go bowling at this huge shopping mall in Newcastle.

The department store La Rinascente in Milan is a true colossus and offers six floors. La Rinascente is famous for its outdoor sports clothing section at the end of the first and second floor. On the top floor there is an information desk for tax-free shopping and a spa. You can relax and take a break from the stroll in the cafe enjoying real Italian coffee.

Vienna The department store Steffl is a popular department store in Vienna. The 137 meter high tower has up to nine floors of shopping delight. In the elegant department store made of glass and steel you’ll find mostly exclusive brands and trendy fashion. Furthermore, the department store offers an entire floor full of cosmetics, and you’ll find an extensive bookshop with an Internet cafe on the fourth floor. In the beautiful Skybar you can enjoy the magnificent view over Vienna after a great day of Christmas shopping.

The beautiful Manor department store offers a mix of modern fashion, jewelry and household products. You can also find high quality sports items at the Manor. Manor is a must-do for Christmas shopping in the city of Zurich.

Jelmoli, the house of brands, is located on the Bahnhofstrasse, only a five minute walk from the main station of Zurich. Jelmoli is the largest premium department store in Zurich and was designed in 1899 to Paris and London models. In Jelmoli you’ll find top brands for men, women and children.

Ludwig Beck is the most stylish department store in Munich. It’s specialized in stationary, women’s fashion, accessories, classical music and exclusive gifts. Around the Christmas season there will be amazing Christmas items and German crafts on the 4th floor of Ludwig Beck.

Visit the Vrijthof from the 30th of November till the 31st of December 2012 in Maastricht if you love Christmas and shopping. During the Magical Maastricht event the Vrijthof undergoes a metamorphosis that is hard to surpass. The famous square in the centre of Maastricht is transformed into a true Christmas paradise.

Place de la Fusterie Geneva is the place to be from November till January. The International Christmas market offers handmade folk art and crafts from all over Switzerland. There are plenty of stalls available where you can get delicious foods and drinks. The beautiful miniature wooden chalets are found along the main shopping street. You can also skate on the ice rink located at the Place du Rhone!

The annual Christmas Tree Festival is a unique event that presents a variety of trees and sculptures designed by renowned international artists.

Balexert is the largest and most famous department store in Geneva, and has more than 110 stores, designer outlets a supermarket and a cinema. During Christmas Balexert is fully dressed into the Christmas Holiday spirit.

The Christmas market in Munster offers you the unique opportunity to do Christmas shopping for Christmas. In this old historic town there are about 280 stalls at your disposal. From the beginning of the December month, the Christmas market in Munster is a very special way of celebrating Christmas. The atmosphere, lights and the Christmas market itself give you a special holiday feeling.

There are several Christmas markets to visit, each with its own theme and charm. You can easily walk from one Christmas market to the other. Especially the Prinzipalmarkt, it offers you a festively decorated and unique decor. There are also special Christmas tours through the old town.

The Christmas market in Groningen takes place simultaneously with the WinterWelVaart event, where fifteen (historical) charter ships are on display. Various activities will be organized on and around the ships, including an atmospheric Christmas market. At the Christmas market you can find a variety of items including clothing, accessories, handmade jewelry and artwork. There are typical winter snacks for you to consume, such as hot chocolate, gluhwein and fritters. The Christmas market takes place at the waterfront on the Hoge and Lage der A.

The Christmas market in Valkenburg has long been a household name in the Netherlands. The former fortified city is turned into a very atmospheric Christmas town for several weeks. In the centre of Valkenburg there is a fairytale parade with beautiful decorated floats every Wednesday and Saturday at 7pm.

The Christmas market in Wolfsburg takes place from the 30th of November till the 30th of December. In the many festively decorated stalls you’ll find lots of gifts and stylish Christmas presents. You can also enjoy culinary specialities from the Alpine countries. In the park, on the frozen pond, you’ll find an international ensemble of figure skaters who are giving a special show for the Autostadt.

The Designer Outlets Wolfsburg is the first designer outlet centre in Germany which is located in a city. That makes the outlet center Wolfsburg ideal for a relaxing day of Christmas shopping. With more than 45 designer brands you can shop till you drop. Throughout the year, you’ll find products of the past season sometimes marked down to 70%. An ideal trip for real budget-conscious shoppers

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