This Sunday marks my least favorite day of the year: Daylight Saving Time. Losing a precious hour of shut-eye is painful, but springing forward does mark the dawn of spring — and to me, spring means one thing: travel season! And what better way to kick off the return of long, sunny days than a trip to Central Europe to see the colorful Easter markets? While most Americans have heard of the Christmas markets, the Easter markets are less widely known. However, they are an egg-ceptional way to experience the local culture. Here are the top cities to visit:
While not technically an Easter market, the spring market in Budapest’s Vorosmarty Square does a good job filling in for one. There, visitors and locals alike gather to buy handmade crafts and admire traditional Hungarian folk dancing.
If you’re going to stop by the Easter market in Krakow’s Main Market Square, come hungry! The traditional sweets of the season will be on full display and you won’t want to miss out. You can also purchase some of the hand-painted eggs that all of Central Europe is known for.
Prague has two famous Easter markets and both are worth visiting in this pedestrian-friendly city. The markets are located in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Be on the lookout for traditional Czech crystal, handmade wooden crafts, and colorful hand-painted Easter eggs. And every day from 3-6 p.m., revelers will enjoy live folk entertainment including choirs, dance troupes, and more.
Not to be outdone by neighboring Prague, Vienna boasts three Easter markets. The most famous is held in front of cheery Schonbrunn Palace — once the summer home of the Habsburg royal family. There, 58 exhibitors dazzle spectators with crafts, yummy food items, and activities for kids. Each year the Old Vienna Easter Market at the Freyung creates the largest pile of Easter eggs in the world, totaling up to 40,000 eggs. And the Kalvarienberg Market delights market-goers with a carousel and children’s train.