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Must-Visit Christmas Markets Around The World

From Rathausplatz Market to Switzerland's Basel Market, these Christmas markets around the world promise a merry experience.

It's that time of the year when all we want to do is spread joy and deck the halls! Dainty fairy lights, holly leaves, towering Christmas Trees and hues of red, green and white with dashes of bling take over every corner of the world. While snuggling up in front of a bonfire with a cup of hot cocoa, mulled wine or hot toddy and watching a Christmas film are just some of the joys. Christmas gifts and Christmas markets truly transport you into the holiday spirit.

Streets adorned with twinkling lights, the aroma of mulled wine wafting through the air, and the joyous sounds of carolers—welcome to the enchanting realm of Christmas markets. Nothing sets the holiday mood quite like a Christmas market.

Washington DC

The festive season has arrived in the U.S. capital, bringing with it beautiful lighting displays and free Christmas markets in downtown Washington, DC. The market, located in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, spreads across two blocks and offers a variety of unique items from pop-up tents, accompanied by live seasonal music. Warm up with locally roasted coffee and freshly made mini-doughnuts, and enjoy a holiday atmosphere that cannot be found anywhere else in the city. Make sure to check out Washington, DC's ice-skating rinks at The Wharf and the environmentally friendly Zoo Lights experience at the National Zoo. Be sure not to miss Georgetown GLOW, the region's only free curated outdoor public light art experience, which is truly enchanting.

Rathausplatz Market, Vienna, Austria

With reindeer rides, a giant Ferris wheel and a classic nativity scene to marvel at, Vienna’s magical spectacle encapsulates the festive spirit fantastically. Vienna's Christmas markets transform the city into a regal celebration of the season. The Rathausplatz market, set against the backdrop of the city hall, is a splendid display of imperial elegance. With over 150 stalls, it offers everything from handcrafted gifts to classic Viennese pastries. The scent of roasted chestnuts and the melodies of classical music create an unparalleled ambience.

Wiener Christkindlmarkt, or Rathausplatz, is one of its oldest and most traditional events. It features a 150-square-meter children’s ice rink, while the famous Tree of Hearts, a giant maple tree decked out with hundreds of glittering hearts, is a hot favourite with visitors and a great photo opportunity. Don't forget to try tasty treats like Austrian sausages and gingerbread cookies, along with homemade Christmas punch.

Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann

Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann is embracing the spirit, unveiling its favourite holiday highlights to ensure you don't miss a single enchanting moment in the City of Lights. Paris, renowned for its grandeur, spares no effort in decking its streets with holiday lights, captivating both young and old. Embark on a whimsical journey with "My Dream Christmas" by Charles de Vilmorin, unfolding the magical adventures of a young girl and her enchanted paintbrush in an imaginary world.

While you're at the store don't forget to immerse yourself in the festive spirit at Christmas markets inspired by Alsace and Germany, offering a cosy atmosphere and regional delights. These markets, provide a perfect setting for tree decorations, culinary delights, and last-minute gift hunting. Celebrate the joyous season amidst the magical allure of Paris.

Strasbourg Christmas Market, France

The Strasbourg Christmas Market, established in 1570, stands as one of Europe's oldest and most cherished holiday traditions. Over the centuries, it has undergone substantial transformations, cementing its status as a cultural phenomenon. Encompassing more than 10 locations, including a segment of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Grande Île, this market illuminates the city with an enchanting display of thousands of twinkling Christmas lights and festive ornaments.

Boasting an annual attendance of over two million visitors, the market hosts a plethora of wooden chalet stalls offering a diverse array of goods, ranging from decorations and gifts to locally sourced Alsatian wine. Notably, Place Kleber emerges as a focal point, primarily due to the prominence of the Great Christmas Tree on display. As visitors traverse the city's narrow alleyways and picturesque squares, they are treated to an abundance of magical sights, creating a truly immersive and unforgettable holiday experience.

Just a few minutes walk from Strasbourg Cathedral, the Temple Neuf Christmas Market offers visitors a warm and intimate setting. Y you can indulge in the sweets, chocolates, brandies and other specialities that are so popular during the festive season.

St. Stephen’s Basilica Advent Festival and Christmas Market, Budapest, Hungary

St. Stephen’s Basilica Advent Festival and Christmas Market in Budapest is one of the Best Christmas markets in Europe. The Advent Basilica is back to sprinkle some magic over with around 120 local crafty exhibitors, drool-worthy gastronomic adventures, and heartwarming programs. With the slogan “Where love takes your hand,” the highlights include an ice-skating rink that's practically the size of a small country, artisan gifts and an expanded food selection that includes everything from lángos to burgers, grilled sausages, and probably some culinary wonders we didn't even know existed.

But wait, there's more! Budapest isn't a one-market wonder, make sure to check out other festive hotspots like Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market, Christmas Fair in Óbuda (Fő tér), Fashion Street Christmas Market (Deák Ferenc Street), Erzsébet Square Christmas Market, Whale (Bálna) Building Advent Festival and Ice Rink, Castle Garden Bazaar Advent Programs (Buda), City Park (Városliget) Christmas Market, and Christmas Fair at Allee Shopping Centre.

Frankfurter Weihnachtsmark, Germany

Known to be one of the oldest and largest Christmas markets in Germany, Frankfurt's Christmas market is set against the stunning backdrops of Römerberg and St Paul's Church. With over 200 Christmas-decorated stalls you will find age-old classic items such as Christmas ornaments and decorations or candles as modern arts and crafts. Be enchanted as you walk down the streets of Römerberg old town, with a glass of hot wine and some regional delicacies, a winter-time cruise on the River Main or a walk through the Palmengarten, illuminated by thousands of Christmas lights.

Basel Christmas Market, Switzerland

No destination does Christmas better than Switzerland. Most of the quaint towns are taken over by festive markets but Basel Christmas Market is the biggest and arguably the best around. Divided into two charming sections at Barfusserplatz and Munsterplatz, this festive wonderland boasts an impressive ensemble of more than 150 stalls, each adorned with enchanting decorations, aromatic Christmas spices, and flickering candles.

Munsterplatz hosts the delightful Christmas fairytale forest, where families can engage in heartwarming activities like gingerbread and candle decorating. Young ones can partake in a star workshop and hop aboard a festive train, creating cherished memories in this magical setting.

Meanwhile, at Barfusserplatz, the holiday spirit truly comes to life with a spectacle of over a hundred stalls nestled beneath the trees. Travellers can indulge in seasonal delights, from sizzling sausages to the regional Basel Lackerli, a local take on gingerbread. Cheesy raclettes, steaming hot punches, and spiced fondue add a touch of warmth to the winter chill. The ambiance is nothing short of enchanting, with illuminated snow globes, a towering Christmas tree bedecked with baubles, and a festive atmosphere that turns Basel's historic Cathedral squares into a scene straight out of a storybook Christmas. It's a celebration that captures the spirit of the season, providing a cosy escape amidst the wintry charm of the city.

Helsinki Christmas Market, Finland

Helsinki Christmas Market, nestled in the heart of Finland's capital, unfolds as a winter wonderland, captivating locals and visitors alike. Dazzling lights illuminate the city's Senate Square, transforming it into a festive haven. The market, boasting a century of traditions, showcases over 100 stalls adorned with Nordic crafts, delectable treats, and holiday trinkets. Embracing Finland's rich heritage, the market radiates a warm glow, inviting patrons to savour traditional mulled wine, sample authentic Finnish cuisine, and revel in the enchanting ambiance. With the iconic Helsinki Cathedral as a backdrop, this Christmas market epitomizes the magic of the holiday season in the Nordic realm. While some sheds fascinate with mistletoe branches, woollen socks and cosy knitwear, the others treat your palate with mulled wine, Christmas porridge, Finnish glöggi (mulled wine), gingerbread, locally baked desserts, sausages, fresh bread, salmon, and much more.

Brussels Winter Wonders, Belgium

Brussels Winter Wonders in Belgium is a cultural and culinary delight, transforming the city into a winter wonderland. The vibrant event blends Belgian traditions with a festive atmosphere, featuring an enchanting Christmas market, a majestic Christmas tree, and a dazzling sound and light show at the Grand Place. Immerse yourself in Belgian culture through artisanal crafts, local delicacies like waffles and chocolate, and the iconic Brussels sprouts. The market's cultural programs, including music and dance performances, showcase Belgium's rich artistic heritage. From indulging in delectable treats to experiencing the warmth of Belgian hospitality, Brussels Winter Wonders offers a magical seasonal escape.

Heinzel Winter Fairytale, Cologne, Germany

Cologne's Heinzel Winter Fairytale is a cultural and culinary extravaganza, immersing visitors in the enchanting spirit of the season. Delight in a winter wonderland adorned with over 100 themed stalls along the laneways of Alter Markt and Heumarkt. Indulge in local culinary treasures, from freshly baked strudels and apple pancakes to flame-grilled salmon and potato fritters. The market transforms into a cultural haven as artisans from across Europe showcase their skills—wood carvers, blacksmiths, and confectioners bring their crafts to life. The Heinzels Winter Fairytale boasts an Ice Skating Rink and Ice Stock Sport, offering a captivating 100-metre-long rink against the backdrop of a majestic horseman statue. For the best vantage point, perch atop one of the wooden chalets with a glass of Glühwein, savouring panoramic views of the bustling market and the graceful dance of ice skaters across all age groups. With the highlight being the Ice Skating Rink and Ice Stock Sport, the Heinzel Winter Fairytale offers a magical blend of culture, cuisine, and festive joy.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London is one of the most sought-after Christmas markets captivating visitors with its festive charm. As one of the capital's most iconic winter events, it transforms Hyde Park into a dazzling wonderland filled with enchanting attractions. The cultural tapestry unfolds through captivating performances, from festive shows to immersive experiences, creating an atmosphere alive with the spirit of the season. Over 200 Bavarian-style wooden chalets offer an array of international cuisines, from German bratwursts and traditional mince pies to steaming cups of mulled wine. Delve into the unique artisan crafts on display, and witness the skill of talented craftsmen. The iconic Giant Observation Wheel offers breathtaking views of the city's skyline, adding to the cultural and visual spectacle. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland seamlessly blends festive traditions with diverse culinary experiences, providing a magical and immersive winter celebration in the heart of London.

Plaza Mayor Christmas Market, Madrid, Spain

The Plaza Mayor Christmas Market in Madrid, nestled in the heart of the city, transforms the historic Plaza Mayor into a winter wonderland. Over 100 wooden stalls, adorned with twinkling lights, showcase a vibrant array of seasonal delights. From traditional Spanish crafts and ornaments to delectable treats like turrones (nougat) and churros, the market captures the essence of Spanish holiday merriment. The aroma of roasted chestnuts wafts through the air, complementing the joyful melodies of Christmas carolers.

As the sun sets, the square comes alive with the luminous glow of thousands of Christmas lights, creating a magical ambiance. Families gather to enjoy the festive carousel, while nativity scenes and holiday decorations add to the cultural richness. The Plaza Mayor Christmas Market is a cherished tradition, embodying the warmth and joy of the holiday season in the heart of Madrid.

Bryant Park Winter Village, New York

There is nothing like Bryant Park's Winter Village to get into the holiday mood. The renowned open-air market is a wonderful sight to behold, with over 150 custom-designed kiosks and a 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink. The Lodge provides an eclectic mix of eateries, along with an outdoor beer garden and a cocktail bar. Outside the Winter Village, the Josephine Shaw Lowell Fountain is at its most beautiful during winter time, when it regularly freezes over. With the illuminated skyline as a backdrop, Bryant Park Winter Village captures the festive spirit, making it a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike.

Old Town Square Christmas markets, Prague, Czech Republic

Prague's Old Town Square Christmas markets immerse visitors in the cultural and culinary charm of the Czech Republic. Against the stunning backdrop of historic architecture, over 100 stalls showcase traditional Czech handicrafts, including ornate glassware and wooden toys. The festive atmosphere is enriched by live music and performances, echoing the country's artistic heritage. Indulge in local culinary delights such as trdelník, a sweet pastry, svařák, warm mulled wine, and hearty klobása sausages. These markets create a sensory symphony, where cultural traditions and gastronomic pleasures seamlessly blend, offering a delightful experience in the heart of Prague's festive season.

Christmas Wonderland, Singapore

Staged at the famous Gardens by the Bay nature park, the annual event, covers more than 27,000 square meters and is separated into three areas – Supertree Grove, Frosty’s Fairground at The Meadow, and Gingerbread Grove – all packed with attractions.

From fairground rides to a Christmas train to light and sound shows, to carnival games, to a life-sized gingerbread house lit up by candy canes, to live performances, there are plenty of activities to choose from. The 20-meter tall Spalliera, a magnificent design inspired by Mesola Castle in north Italy is one of the main highlights, along with the stunning Walk of Lights, which is illuminated by around 75,000 bulbs. Don't miss the luminous Luminarie light sculptures and the dazzling Spalliera light curtain, adding to the festive charm. Enjoy live performances, carnival rides, and the mesmerizing Blizzard Time—a snowfall experience in the tropics.

Expo City, Dubai

Expo City Dubai is getting all decked up for the holidays. Nestled in the heart of the Winter City is Santa's enchanting house, a magical mockup of where Santa lives and works. The 52-foot tree decked out in decorations and metres of lights inside Al Wasl Plaza took pride of place and there was a letter-to-Santa station for the little ones to get their requests down on paper and shipped to the North Pole. There will be a chalet-inspired festive market and fairground fun for all the family. There will also be activities and workshops such as gingerbread making, festive foodie treats and drinks and, of course, Santa’s Grotto. Travellers are in for a treat when they witness the memorable tree-lighting ceremony! Sign us up for hot chocolate, mulled drinks and mince pies

Christmas Market in East Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland

The world-renowned Edinburgh Christmas celebrations spread festive cheer across the Scottish capital.

From mulled Irn Bru to vegan pigs in blankets, from Harry Potter-themed gifts to local handmade produce, the stunning Christmas Market in East Princes Street Gardens boasts treats for all. Santa Land at East Princes Street Gardens offers rides for all ages as Santa’s Grotto once again takes up residence on Castle Street. A charming ice rink invites skaters to glide beneath the iconic Scott Monument. The captivating Star Flyer ride provides breathtaking views of the city.


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