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Europe’s Christmas Markets

Add to your Christmas decoration collection or simply imbibe the atmosphere with a chaser of mulled wine at one of these festive fairs
The 16th-century St Basil’s Cathedral towers over the Christmas market stalls in Moscow’s Red Square

Český Krumlov

Czech Republic

What’s it like? Even in summer, the little town ofČeský Krumlov looks rather like a set of oversized Christmas decorations: all higgledy-piggledy medieval houses, bauble-shaped onion-domes and cobbled streets on a glorious double sweep in the Vltava River. Come winter, the town comes into its own: a Christmas market runs throughout December at the handsome square, stalls warming shivering crowds with robust Bohemian punch (ckrumlov.info).

What else is there to do? Less than an hour’s drive away is Šumava National Park: Central Europe’s largest tract of forest, straddling the border with Germany and Austria. It’s a popular haunt of snowshoers and cross-country skiers who come to explore its remote tracks (npsumava.cz).

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