There’s no better place to enjoy the magic of Festive than in Europe. From festive markets piled high with candied fruits and handmade toys to streets festooned in twinkling lights and brightly coloured decorations, the holiday season is certainly a pretty time of year to visit the continent. Allow our guide to show you how to make the most of Festive in Europe’s two most festive cities: Frankfurt and London.
Frankfurt may be Germany’s financial capital, but, come Festive, it’s the most festive corner of the country. Celebrations start at the end of November, when locals and visitors flock to the famous Frankfurt Festive Market, a short walk from Jumeirah Frankfurt. The market stretches through the Altstadt (Old Town), with stalls selling unique hand-crafted stocking fillers and festive gifts.
One of the highlights of Frankfurt Festive Market is the street food. Follow your nose to seasonal snacks and sweet, spiced beverages. Look for traditional quetschemannchen, charming figures made from dried plums, and moreish marzipan and almond bethmannchen biscuits, best washed down with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
Music lovers will enjoy the Festive carollers ushering in the festive spirit over the weekends at Frankfurt Festive Market, while two days a week, cheery traditional Festive trumpets create an atmospheric scene. For something a little more formal, both the Alte Oper and Oper Frankfurt opera houses burst to life with festive performances. This year it’s the energetic showtunes of Mamma Mia and the family-friendly fairy tale Hänsel und Gretel.
The festive season in London is breath-taking. A magical expectation fills the air as the English capital’s prestigious shopping streets are illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights and dazzling festive décor. In Hyde Park, the annual Winter Wonderland, a few minutes’ walk from Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London, is a celebration of all things seasonal: warm, spiced drinks; seasonal pastries; ice-sculpting workshops; a fun fair and white-knuckle acrobatic circus acts all vie for attention.
Winter in Europe’s most festive capital is synonymous with ice skating. Rinks pop up across the city during winter, the most beautiful of which is housed in the courtyard of the stately, neo-classical Somerset House, while the Gothic splendour of the Natural History Museum hosts another.
The capital’s stores stay open late into the evening, with spectacular window displays. The department stores of Harrods and Harvey Nichols are the go-to destinations for shoppers keen to tick off their gift list in just one place, while those after luxury brands need not venture much further than the glittering lights of Sloane Street.
Every year, London’s prestigious theatres and opera houses stage Festive productions, from the jaw-droppingly beautiful production of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House to riotous, celebrity-led slapstick pantomimes. Return for a luxurious digestif on The Rib Room Bar and Restaurant terrace.
Enjoy a sparkling Festive in Europe with us at Jumeirah Frankfurt and Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London.