Weihnachtsmarkt am Dom
Until 23 December
Mention Christmas markets, and most of us immediately think of Germany. And, in this most effortlessly festive of counties, the star on the tree is undoubtedly Cologne, which is home to six seasonal markets, with the must-do one found alongside the cathedral. After dispatching a few reibekuchen (potato pancakes), push on to the South Tyrol Hut, a carnivore’s paradise, whose cabbage-and-bacon strudel with grated cheese and chives is a meal by itself.
Advent in Zagreb
Until 6 January
Zagreb Christmas Market is one of the most atmosphere in Europe. Go to Strossmayer Square and start with some delicious sarmas (stuffed cabbage rolls), continue with the showstopper of black pudding with sauerkraut, jacket potato and speck, and finish with hot fritules (doughnuts flavoured with rum and citrus zest).
Adventgenussmarkt bei der Oper
Until 30 December
Vienna has around 20 Christmas markets, but gourmands should make a beeline for Mahlestrasse, which plays host to a collection of tiny huts, each selling a particular artisanal regional products, from cheeses and wines to charcuterie, homemade marzipan and nougat delicacies. Visitors keen to see off the winter chill will want to stop off at the stall of upmarket tearoom Haas & Haas, which lays claim to serving the city’s best glühwein.
Until 6 January.
Ghent’s Christmas market comes complete with an ice rink that can help you shed some of the calories you put on devouring oliebollen (Belgian doughnuts), munching on fries with special sauces or scoffing waffles with lashings of chocolate and cream. Vegetarians rejoice: Ghent promotes Veggie Thursdays, encouraging all restaurants to serve vegetarian and vegan food, even during Advent.