Visiting Europe during Christmastime has always been a dream of mine. And just last week, that dream came true when I went on a Viking River Cruise with my husband. Our journey started in Passau, Germany and took us through Austria, Slovakia and Hungary along the Danube. I knew that a trip like this would be unforgettable but I didn't know just how magical it would be. If you've been on a trip like this, then you know just what I mean. But if you haven't, here's a sneak peek at the magic of Europe at Christmas, as seen from behind my camera lens. The Christmas market in Passau, Germany features the stunning St. Stephan Cathedral as a backdrop. The market, situated in the city's old town, is at its most beautiful when dusk descends and the sky turns a deep shade of indigo. Visitors will find about 70 stalls featuring everything from handmade crafts to freshly baked pastries and tempting bratwurst. Speaking of freshly baked pastries ... This sugar dusted apple doughnut at the Passau Christmas market was light and absolutely delectable. Linzer torte is named after the Austrian city of Linz and the Christmas market here is bursting with charm. Decked out in white lights, with the fragrance of sweet apple cider wafting through the air, it's impossible not to get into the holiday spirit. The Christmas market is located in the city's baroque main square and like most Christmas markets, features an assortment of arts and crafts, delicious eats and musical performances. This handpainted ornament from the Salzburg Christmas market was one of my favourites. Unfortunately, it's hefty price tag of 40 euros meant I left it behind but I loved it so much, I may just have to go back and reconsider! Vienna is home to 29 Christmas markets. The one we visited was situated in front of the City Hall, an impressive and beautiful background to the Christmas vignette that played out in front of it. There are tons of stalls to browse through and incredible food to eat (try a slice of Sacher Torte!). Inside the City Hall is a special area for children, where they can learn to make Christmas cookies or candles. The Christmas markets in Budapest BLEW. ME. AWAY. In fact, the entire city of Budapest boasted a beauty far beyond my expectations - it now rivals Paris as one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen. The Christmas markets weave through the city and just a short walk can take you from one to another to another. Try the Kurtos Kalacs, or Chimney Cake - a delicious Hungarian bread that's baked on a cylindrical spit over an open fire. You can thank me later. As we wended our way from the markets back to our Viking ship, my husband and I stopped at the Four Seasons Budapest for a peek at the hotel lobby. Is this not one of the most beautiful hotel lobbies you've ever seen? Budapest really does go all out for Christmas and it's a spectacular sight. If visiting Europe's Christmas markets is on your bucket list, consider a Viking River Cruise for next Christmas. It was one of the most inspiring trips I've ever taken and made the Christmas season even more magical than it usually is. Have you ever visited Europe's Christmas markets?