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Imagine the smell of roasted almonds, a cup of hot mulled wine to warm your palms, the taste of sweet, spicy lebkuchen, the sound of a choir singing Christmas carols fills the crisp winter air and medieval, cobblestone streets are aglow under glittering holiday lights.

It's almost the holiday season in Europe, and that means Christmas markets - traditional festivals that date back to the middle ages of Germany. Now popular all over Europe, they attract thousands of visitors every year with their lovingly decorated trees, chalets selling handcrafted gifts, delicious food, rides, ice-skating, music and entertainment.

The oldest of these Christkindlmarkts in Europe go back more than 700 years, others were established just 20-30 years ago. They're all magical and beautiful to behold. European Best Destinations, a Brussels-based travel organization that promotes tourism in Europe, gathered over 200,000 votes from 131 countries asking people for their favorite markets. Here are the must-see Christmas markets of Europe.

Photo: Shutterstock

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