There’s a couple of different Christmas Markets that pop up between November and December in Korea. But something I’ve noticed they all have in common is they’re all in cramped spaces. The German Christmas Market I went to about 2 years ago was in the courtyard of a small school’s campus. The 10th annual European Christmas Market that my friend invited me to this last Christmas (yeah I’m very late on this post) was crammed around a not in use fountain and square. The square itself, once filled with booths and tables where you could stand and eat ended up not having a lot of space to navigate. That is if you made it to that part of the market in the first place since you had to squeeze between the fountain and some booths to get there.
One thing they had a lot of was mulled wine. Practically every single booth boasted their own mulled wine at different price points. There were also various sausages and things to snack on. I decided I wanted some pierogis and ended up in an awkward line squeezed in between the fountain and the booths. I found them a little bland, I wanted them to have just a pinch more salt or something to them. But they were warm and filling. We were just in line for them for a very very long time.
I also got a gingerbread from one of the hotel bakeries that had a booth, only to later take it home and realize that it was practically inedible in spots due to the felt words and plastic wreath they’d stuck directly into the icing, cementing it onto the gingerbread.
I liked the idea of the German Christmas market. I was very excited at the prospect of mulled wine and European snacks and things for sale. I was hoping for some eggnog like the German market had. But I think I’m constantly looking for something with the same magic as the Christkindlmarket that happens downtown Chicago every winter and that is spread out so that while it’s crowded there’s generally enough space to wander around and look at things and there’s so much to look at. I think Seoul just doesn’t have the space for it. Or at least the people who try to host it can’t get permits in places with that same type of space. But it’s still really nice that something is available.
The European Christmas Market hosts booths from 14 different countries usually put together by that country’s embassy. There’s also a stage with performances. It tends to be early in December (7th-8th in 2019) and it started around noon and finished at 7pm. Best way to get there is Hansung Univ. Station exit 2.