It’s the most wonderful time of the year and for several good reasons. The year is coming to a close, gifting season is upon us, and we absolutely need to clear off our backlog of work leave. All that leave can only mean one thing: holidays. After all, what better way to reward yourself after a long year of hard work than with a nice holiday? And because we love a good white Christmas, one of the best places to experience that is to head to Europe. To get into the spirit of things, we suggest you head to one of these Christmas markets.

Mulled wine, sauerkraut, sausages, and cinnamon — these just sum up the bouquet of smells that you’ll encounter once you’re in the vicinity of one of these Christmas markets. We’re betting that in the winter, it’ll look extra magical with freshly fallen powdered snow, cheeks and noses reddened by the cold, and thick scarves wrapped around to keep warm. Beyond the food and drinks, what makes these Christmas markets in Europe so special is the amount of history behind them. Some have been around for over a century, carrying the torch of tradition into the modern times. Linger a little longer and browse the bric-a-brac of Christmassy ornaments and you’ll see why this holiday is such a special one — and we don’t mean consumerism — in this part of the world.