Hate the stress of Christmas shopping? No one loves searching for a parking spot at the local mall for over twenty minutes to yet be ten minutes from an entrance. Shop for hours only to be then greeted with long lines at the checkouts!
Why not take a Christmas shopping vacation? What better place to do your Christmas shopping than at the famous Christmas markets in Europe? We went on the Christmas market cruise with Viking River cruises that brought us to 5 different Christmas markets in 3 countries in the span of 7 nights. That’s right, we went on a vacation and got all of Christmas shopping done without ever-circling a parking lot once.
Unique gifts from European Christmas markets are so much cooler than your standard old gift card. Everyone loves getting a gift from aboard, we love sharing our travels with our family and friends through gifts. We bought most of our gifts at the Christmas markets in Budapest and the Prague Christmas markets. Here are our top 10 unique gifts from the European Christmas markets.
1 USD= 0.90 Euro, 292 Hungarian Forint, 24.50 Czech Crown
1. The German Nutcracker
A classic at Christmas, a nutcracker from Germany will make a great gift for anyone. If you are running low on space in your luggage pick up the miniature nutcracker ornaments, or buy the largest one and carry him on the plane.
PRICE: 10 euros and up depending on size
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2. Nuremberg Prune People
Probably the most unique Christmas gift ever to be given. The prune people can only be found at the Nuremberg Germany market. You are sure to find a “prune person” for almost anyone on your shopping list.
PRICE: PRICE: 4 euros and up depending on size
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3. Honey Gummy Bears
Who doesn’t love gummy bears? You can normal gummy bears anywhere in the world but not honey gummies. We picked up a small bag in Vienna’s Christmas market. After we had a sample there was no way we weren’t buying a bag to bring back home.
PRICE: 1.50 euro small pack or 10 euros for a beer mug filled with honey gummies
Paprika is the spirit of traditional Hungarian cuisine, and often referred to as “red gold.” You can find paprika in the stalls of the Budapest Christmas markets in tins and gift packs. There are several types of paprika in Budapest, most common are the sweet and the spicy varieties.
If you buy a gift pack most likely you will get one of each, if opt for the tin make sure you get the flavor you prefer. We picked up a few tins for friends & family that love to cook, the tins will make a cute decoration in the kitchen as well.
We only saw paprika vendors in Budapest, so make sure to pick up this unique Christmas gift while in Budapest. If you forget to pick some up you can get some here on Amazon, similar price, and the same tins.
PRICE: 700 Forints for pictured tin at a local grocery store, expect to pay 1,000+ at Christmas markets for paprika gift sets
Related Article: The Perfect 3 Days in Budapest
Some people bring home wine, well we brought home the local spirit. Unicum is one of Hungary’s national drinks. It’s an herbal liquor made with 40 different herbs and aged in oak casks. You can purchase Unicum at all the local Christmas markets in Budapest, but we found the best price at a nearby supermarket. Unicum liquor will make a good gift for my dad and guy friends!
PRICE: 2600 Forints for 0.50liter at the grocery store or 4000+ at the Christmas markets
Related Article: Things to do in Budapest
6. Wooden Spring Toy
We had been eyeing these up since the beginning of our trip all the way back in Budapest. There is everything under the sun angels, cats, elephants, owls, etc. We picked up an angel & Pinocchio as Christmas decorations. This cute little bouncy toys will make some fun gifts for the little kids on our list.
PRICE: 10 Euros in Austria or Germany, 50-130 Crowns in Prague
7. Wooden Puppet Ornaments
We couldn’t pass these ornaments up, we grabbed several as they are great for all ages. We even got one for ourselves, as we hope to put up our own Christmas tree at some point in the future. We literally bought the lady out, for $2 a piece they were a steal.
PRICE: 50 Crowns in Prague
RELATED ARTICLE: Things To Do In Prague
8. Decorative Glühwein Boot
There is no way you will escape a Christmas market without getting a cup, or a boot in my case, of Glühwein. Glühwein is also known as mulled wine, is red wine with various spices served hot during Christmas time in Europe.
Some markets will have beautifully decorated mugs/boots in which you will leave a deposit. If you keep your mug, you’ll just lose your deposit and have yourself a nice little Christmas gift! I might just keep mine and drink coffee out of it during the holidays!
PRICE: 3-4 euros, our mug deposit was 3 euros in Vienna
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9. Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread cookies are absolutely everywhere in the Christmas markets of Central Europe. The gingerbread cookies in Europe are some of the most elaborate cookies we have ever seen, so beautiful you won’t want to eat them. We bought a handful just as decoration. Prices were reasonable in every country, but again Prague and Budapest had the best prices.
PRICES: 30+ Crowns in Prague
10. Huge Ornaments
Bring back an ornament or twenty. Then every Christmas going forward you will see these beautiful ornaments, and you can think back at what an amazing time you had in Europe. Vienna had beautiful hand-blown glass ornaments the size of volleyballs. Unfortunately, we didn’t have room in our suitcases for the huge ones. We went with the slightly smaller ornament, hand-painted from Prague.
PRICE: 60+ Euros Vienna, 250 Crowns for the pictured ornament
Our unique Christmas gifts from European Christmas markets were a hit! Have you been to the Christmas markets in Europe and have any unique Christmas gifts your brought home? If so, please leave a comment below! If you’re still looking for gifts for a traveler check out Hannah’s travel gifts for women.
*Thanks to Viking River Cruises for inviting us as guests to cruise with them this holiday season, as always opinions are our own*