I’ve become a bit of a veteran to visiting these beautiful things that we call the European Christmas markets, so I decided that I should do a little write up on what to wear to the Christmas markets as I don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I once did! After many trips I can safely say there are a few tricks to keep nice and toasty rather than freezing your reindeer balls off!
Grab a Down Jacket
Last year, prior to our trip to Peru I purchased this Rab Microlight Alpine Down Jacket as I was going to do a trek to the Rainbow Mountains and I needed something that was light but also would keep me snug as a bug in a rug! I’ve now worn this jacket to Moscow and also to the Salzburg Christmas Markets and I can say with my hand on my heart that I didn’t get a chill once – buy a quality made down jacket that covers your kidneys and peachy bottom and you won’t have a problem. The reason why I purchased Rab was due to the fact that they have a good reputation for quality and how they source their down (you can find out more on their website)…not all companies do this however Rab and Berghaus do…let’s all try to buy items that are a bit more ethically sourced if we can.
How good is this Rab jacket…my mum wanted to pinch it and fly home to New Zealand with it…I nabbed it off her just as she was about to take off on her broomstick (one day I will post photos of mum on her broomstick to the blog so we can have a giggle)!
^^me modelling all my what to wear to the christmas market tips in one photo.
Layer your Clothes
Make sure you layer your clothing; it’s better to be too hot than too cold especially when you’re far far far away from your hotel and requiring a hot bath to warm up! For layers I always look at buying Merino Wool clothing as it’s good at keeping you warm or cool depending on the temperature. Two New Zealand brands that I love are IceBreaker and MacPac…I actually prefer MacPac due to my height; if you’re tall like me then you understand that finding tops that are long enough can be a problem…I have a rather long torso…I find MacPac are better at this than Ice Breaker.
I bought a few Rab tops recently and I used them as part of my layering technique when I was in Austria and they were fantastic. Really digging Rab, can you tell.
Make sure you buy Wool
I know some people are allergic to wool however wool has changed so much over the past few years…merino wool is amazing and doesn’t scratch if you have sensitive skin which I do have. When packing your bags make sure your clothes have an element of wool in them…as this is what is going to keep you warm. I get really annoyed with the ladies in the office that wear jumpers without an element of wool in them and complain that it’s to cold…it’s worth the money to buy something that will keep you warm at the Christmas markets.
^^I’m guessing she is regretting not buying more wool clothing!
Love a Hoody
Now I understand why hoodies love hoodies…they keep your bloody warm! I purchased this Rab hoody and it worked better for me than a scarf and beanie as it keeps your neck really warm as there isn’t any skin exposed.
I bought some Sorel winter boots and I can say these giant thumpers were amazing…I normally can get away with wearing a thicker pair of socks (mum sends me icebreaker socks which are amazing and don’t slip down!) and chuck on my Russell & Bromley Chelsea Boots (great for wide feet as well!)….Chelsea Boots or any style boots are great looking however if they don’t have a grip then you are going to go home with more than a few nut crackers…boys might head home with having their nuts cracked through a lovely connection with the concrete.
The Sorel boots are amazing if you’re looking for grip and warmth…grip is the most important word…you can tuck your jeans into them and they don’t look too terrible to be fair.
I live in jeans when I’m travelling as they are versatile however in cold climates they aren’t the warmest of clothing to be wearing…the way to get around this is to buy some leggings or tights to go underneath them…just a thin pair however if you feel the cold then I would suggest investing in a good quality pair of sexy Long Johns…check out Rab or Icebreaker
While I loved my hoodie, I still used my beanie, scarf and fingerless gloves a few times…I take too many photos to deal with taking my hands in and out of gloves! Make sure you pack some socks that have a wool element…honestly anything with wool will keep you warm…do I sound like a nagging old nana yet…stay away from acrylic and nylon as these wont keep you warm at all.
I took my Barbour raincoat as when it rains it can really put a dampener on things…and you don’t want to have to be watching where you stick your umbrella when you could be looking at all the pretty Christmas decorations. It’s not the most stylish but it does what it says on the tin and it keeps me covered almost down to my knees…you can buy here or here.
When visiting the Christmas markets, my key is not to over pack and focus only on packing items that I know I will be wearing…you will need that extra space in your bags for christmas decorations.
This is my faithful packing list of what to wear to the Christmas Markets…my motto: the more quality wool products the better!
As sharing is caring…why not check out my 10 Travel Tips for Visiting the German Christmas Markets!
Disclaimer: some of these links are affiliate links meaning that I earn a small commission if you make a purchase, this doesn’t cost you anything additional…it just means I may make a few pennies that I can add to my little shoe money box.