Christmas shopping is a task that very few people really love doing. The idea of trudging around your local shops struggling to find something unique to buy Auntie Ginny is one that fills many with dread.
However, it need not be like that. Potentially you can combine your Christmas shopping with a spot of sightseeing. When you do that, suddenly the task of buying everyone winter jumpers becomes a pleasure.
As you will see, many of Europe´s wonderful cities are excellent places to pick up beautiful Christmas presents. Often these gifts are really unique. In addition, if you know where to look they can be far cheaper than the ones you can buy locally.
There really could not be anything more special than a present from Santa´s workshop. That is why a shopping trip to Rovaniemi is such a popular trip. In the village itself there are some lovely gift shops.
This small city is full of little shops tucked away up cobbled alleyways. You will also find most of the more popular High Street names here, so this is a good place to buy every kind of gift. The annual Christmas market is a great place to find unusual presents.
No list of Christmas shopping destinations would be complete without mentioning Bruges. This lovely city is often completely overlooked by international travellers. It is full of lovely shops, many of which sell handcrafted gifts. The city is known for its wooden toys, linen, lacework and food. Plus, of course, you can buy lovely Belgian chocolate and a list of different beers as long as your arm. If you want unique decorations and knick -knacks, the Christmas market is the place to head in Bruges.
If you particularly enjoy shopping at Christmas markets, Prague is definitely the place for you. Every neighbourhood in the city has its own Christmas market. This means that there is plenty of choice for those looking for special gifts.
While in the city, be sure to visit Kubista. This interesting shop only sells objects influenced by cubism. It sounds a bit weird, but this narrow approach to style means you can pick up some really unusual, yet attractive, gifts.
If you are looking for high-end presents Paris is a particularly good city to shop in. It is full of boutique shops of all kinds. You will find all of the big fashion names in Paris, but also a lot of independent shops who offer their clients unique products. On and near the Boulevard Haussmann there are several huge department stores. They sell practically anything you can think of.
The chances are that when you shop in this way you will be hooked and want to experience more of what these beautiful cities have to offer around Christmas time. Therefore, in all likelihood, you will want to return to one of your shopping destinations and actually celebrate Christmas there. If you fancy trying a festive break in a European destination, this article is an excellent source of both inspiration and information.