A Carpathian Christmas celebration © Alpineguide/Alamy
Nestled at the foot of Mount Tampa in the Southern Carpathian Mountains of Romania, Brașov is a wonderful example of medieval Europe"s intersecting cultures. Founded by Teutonic Knights, settled by Saxons and Hungarians, and influenced by the Ottoman Empire, the Tartars, and the native Romanians, the city"s Gothic architecture and unique cuisine reflect its rich history. The city"s Christmas market is held throughout the month of December and is dominated by a 90-foot-tall, live Christmas tree. The market"s numerous stalls feature food, drink, and local crafts.