A Christmas market is pictured in front of Karslkirche in Vienna. Picture: Reuters

Former Miss South Africa, entrepreneur, public speaker and mom Jo Ann Strauss, who has experienced the joy of the European Christmas markets with The Lufthansa Group, encourages the experience as an opportunity to make lifelong memories for the whole family.  

“As my husband is German, we often travel abroad to visit family and friends, especially at this time of year. Christmas markets have become one of the must-see experiences in Europe and a highlight of the festive season. However, travelling with a family of five means that we need to visit markets that appeal to both adults and children,’’ said Strauss.

To make exploring these markets easier for the whole family, Strauss suggests planning less activities when you’re at the market and rather follow your children’s lead while they explore. 

Jo Ann Strauss with her family, enjoying a truly white Christmas. Picture: Supplied

“The buskers are fun, and my children are entertained by all the music and Christmas cheer. A key tip is to dress appropriately. South African’s are not used to the cold weather so try to cleverly layer clothing to ensure everyone is warm, while still able to enjoy the cold and snow,’’ she added.

Geneva Christmas Market

The Geneva Christmas Market transforms one of the city’s most beautiful parks, the Bastions Park, into an enchanted wonderland. 

Amid abundant lights and scenery, there’s a path that leads shoppers directly to the Christmas village where they will discover crafts, delicacies and other wonderful surprises. 

The numerous activities in the Children's Pavilion will keep the little ones busy and warm.

Christkindlesmarkt

The world-famous Christkindlesmarkt or “Christ child market” in Nuremberg, southern Germany, is a tradition that has been around for more than 400 years. From the opening day until Christmas Eve, the heart of Nuremberg’s Old Town, turns into a Christmas City. 

There are more than 180 decorated market stands inviting shoppers to enjoy traditional Christmas ornaments of all shapes and sizes, DIY stalls, nostalgic merry go rounds and holiday treats to eat and drink.

Vienna

Vienna, with its gigantic chandeliers above the streets and its many beautiful Christmas markets, is served by Austrian Airlines. 

The unique flair of the historic building in the Austrian capital gives the “Wiener Weihnachtstraum” (Viennese Christmas Dream) at the City Hall – which is not only the largest but also the oldest Christmas market in Vienna – its special character. 

The brightly illuminated City Hall with its festively decorated park bathes the market in sparkling light and is thus the perfect place to create a Christmas atmosphere.  

The Christmas market next to the Vienna landmark is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and offers an exciting entertainment programme for young and old.