One of the unexpectedly wonderful things about visiting Berlin in the winter, was the abundance of Christmas markets! Berlin has over 60 Christmas markets, and each one is unique. European Christmas markets are pretty much the best thing ever. They run from the last week of November until Christmas.
The Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market is one of the best in the city! I visited three markets, and this one was my favourite! I actually went here during the day. Because I went here during an off-peak time, I didn’t see some of the artisan demonstrations or see any performances, but I still really enjoyed it.
They had tons of little wooden houses selling a variety of delicious foods. Raclette (my new favourite food, hot cheese scraped onto meat or bread), hot roasted nuts, schnitzel, jam, apple chips, flammkuchen (german pizza) and of course sausages. Other than things to eat, they also were selling beautiful wooden advent calendars, pretty ornaments, hanging lights…lots of amazing things.
Of course, this is Berlin so they were also selling Lumumba & Glogg; warm mulled wines. Delicious!! I still have dreams about this place.
Ahhh. Florence’s leather market. I still have dreams about this market, and I deeply regret not buying a portfolio case in candy coloured hues. But that’s a discussion for another time….
This market is AMAZING. Rows and rows of leather belts, bags, purses, wallets and more in every hue imaginable. The vendors mostly only accept cash, and few accept credit cards. You can haggle here, and you should to get the best price. I paid 50 euros for that teal tote up there, and about 15 Euros for the bright yellow purse I have below. You can also buy leather jackets, gloves and other non leather items, such as jewelry. One thing that was missing for me was shoes. They don’t really sell shoes here, only one or two stalls.
The Mercato di San Lorenzo is open from 10am-7pm in the Piazza San Lorenzo, Florence. If you go to Florence, I strongly recommend you don’t miss this market!
The Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt is quite possibly one of the most chaotic, random, awesome places that you can go in Paris.
The name translates literally to, Market of Fleas, and is thought to be the oldest flea market in the world. It’s also largest flea market in the world, totaling nearly 11 million visitors annually! Get off at the Metro stop, “Porte de Clignancourt” (the longest subway ride ever.) and walk a bit. You’ll start out seeing typical flea market wares. Cheap clothing, shoes, a little bling. Vendors trying to sell you knock off Chanel purses and watches. Keep going. Mixed in, you will find some great places to buy souvenirs to take home with you. I picked up some Art Nouveau magnets, compact mirrors and coasters for a nominal fee. I also bought berets, scarves and a I <3 Paris shirt.
But I digress. Keep walking and you will eventually get to rue des Rosiers. Here you will start to find antiques, furniture, art prints, vintage clothing, letterpress type, old mirrors…everything. It’s a huge, exhausting, exhilarating jumble of everything.
Yes, everything. Go early and take your time. There are about 2500 stalls! The Market opens on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 9am to about 6pm. Happy exploring!
In Montmartre, Paris, there is a wall of love. The wall is covered in “I love you,”s in hundreds of languages. The I love you wall is the brainchild of Frederic Baron. He went around collecting over a thousand I love yous by asking people to write it down. When they did, he would note where they were from and what language it was in.
The wall of love is in beautiful Montmartre, Paris. During my brief visit there, I saw couples from around the world posing with the wall. I myself am guilty of taking a few cheesy shots. What’s not to love about a wall of love? The wall is located in the Jehan Rictus garden, on the place des Abbesses in Montmartre.