The Best Christmas markets around the world
Countries around the world every year celebrate this festive season Christmas & The best way to get into the Christmas spirit is to go to a some of the Best Christmas Market around the world..
They desecrate their cities in glimmering lights and decorations and Christmas trees. There no better than speeding Christmas time, than having warmed mulled wine and delicious treats, while shopping for handcraft gifts.
Many people now days make a weekend trip to visit Christmas markets. From traditional markets in Europe to other fairs dotted across the US. A quick break to get the festive delights is the best thing to do in December
I have asked my fellow travel bloggers to provide you with their favorite Christmas market. ( not in any particular order)
Dates: 25.11.19 – 22.12.19.
Times: Monday-Saturday: 10.00-21.00. Sunday: 11.00-21.00.
My favorite Christmas market is located in Frankfurt, Germany. It is one of the biggest ones I’ve been to, with three million visitors every year, and you can spend hours walking around without getting bored. Besides various Christmas crafts, one of my favorite stands sells cookie cutters in all shapes you can imagine. It’s time to finally make llama and flamingo cookies!
You also need to try different foods. From Reibekuchen (potato cakes) to Flammlachs (salmon cooked by the fire) and Raclette cheese, there’s a lot to discover. I could eat out on the market every day in December without having the same dish twice. Don’t forget to try the Bethmännchen, a marzipan cookie that you can only find here in Frankfurt.
Last, no visit to a German Christmas market would be complete without a mug of mulled wine. In Frankfurt, we have regular red wine with spices. But since we’re located in the middle of a wine region, you can also find mulled white wine or even hot Apfelwein. Don’t miss out on it! It’s similar to cider (though, as locals will insist, not the same), served hot and with spices.
The Christmas market in Frankfurt is also perfect if you’re visiting with children. In the middle of Römer, Frankfurt’s medieval center, you can find a huge carousel that’s bound to keep your kids entertained.
Llona from https://www.toptravelsights.com
Dates: Nov 22, 2019 – Jan 1, 2020
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 – 20:00
Friday – Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 – 22:00
Dec 24: 10:00 – 14:00
Dec 25: 10:00 – 18:00
Dec 26: 10:00 – 18:00
Dec 31: 10:00 – 03:00
Jan 1: 11:00 – 18:00
Budapest was our first ever Christmas market in Europe and it immediately became one of our favorites! There are many reasons to visit Budapest in the winter and the Christmas market is one of them!
From mid-November to January 1st, Budapest lights up and goes all out for the festive season. The market sets up shop in Vorosmarty Square and also in front of Saint Stephens Cathedral. Keep an eye on the cathedral for a light show!
Hungarian food is amazing at any time of the year but there’s something special about enjoying it in the snow (if you’re lucky!) with Christmas cheer all around you. You’ll find plenty of Hungarian treats but if you had to choose just one, make sure it’s langos!
Langos is simply fried bread. A big piece of fried bread. Top it with sour cream cheese, bacon, garlic, sausage, the list goes on. You’ll find this delicious item on many menus throughout the Christmas Market! In addition to Hungarian cuisine, you’ll find your typical Christmas Market features like mulled wine.
But it’s not just the food that steals your gaze while wandering through the market stalls. From festive handcrafted goods to stands full of chocolates or jars of honey, it’s easy to find unique souvenirs and gifts to bring home. In addition to the market stalls, keep an eye out for a large Christmas tree surrounded by a children’s ice rink if you have kids in tow!
The fact that you’re just steps from one of the prettiest rivers in Europe, the Danube, and have so much deliciousness at your fingertips makes Budapest’s Christmas market our favorite.
Darah and Garrett from WhereFoodTakesUs.com
Date: 15.11.2019 – 03.01.2020
Time: Open daily from 10 AM to 10 PM.
My favorite Christmas market to visit is in Sibiu, Romania. This beautiful medieval city encompasses the Christmas spirit by transforming the central Old Town into a Christmas wonderland. Upon entering Piata Mare (Big Square) you will notice the buildings surrounding the square have candy canes, pine trees and other festive projections covering the facades and a large fairy light canopy.
The reputation of the Sibiu market is growing and such has created a second tourist season for the city. With over 70 stalls selling all of the regular market goodies and what I most liked a few unique ones; you can spend hours wandering through the laneways buying gifts and handicrafts. There are a couple of lanes selling traditional Romanian and international food. Make sure you try the kurtos kolak and cozonac and the Romanian mulled wine called Vin Fiert.
The market is open from 10 am to 10 pm daily and is best visited after sunset to properly feel the magic of the square. My top tip is to get a birds-eye view by climbing to the top of the council tower for just 2 RON (.50c USD). Not only will you be able to see all of the markets, but you can also see Sibiu’s famous houses with eyes. Take a look at the houses and you will notice the rooves appear to have eyes.
Erin from https://curiouslyerin.com
Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London UK
Date: Thursday, 21 November to Sunday, 5 January 2020
Time: Open 10 am to 10 pm every day
The Winter Wonderland Christmas Market in London’s Hyde Park always remains my favorite Christmas market! There’s just something about the atmosphere in London at Christmastime that’s absolutely magical. The market is absolutely huge and there is more than enough to keep you entertained for several hours here. Infect many families or groups of friends make a whole day or evening out of it! Winter Wonderland features over 100 traditional Bavarian wooden chalet stalls covered in fairy lights, selling a variety of Christmas snacks, gifts and traditional decorations. The opportunities for Christmas gift shopping here are endless as there is such a wide range of gifts to purchase here, many of which are handmade!
Make sure you arrive at Winter Wonderland with an empty stomach as there is so much food available! You can get almost any type of cuisine here (although the Bavarian cuisine is the most popular), and make sure to afterward enjoy a Christmas treat such as strawberries covered in chocolate! There are also lots of Beer Gardens in the Bavarian Village with plenty seating and a cozy atmosphere where you can keep warm over a mug of mulled wine or sing along to the live music over a stein of beer with friends.
You’ll have no problem keeping kids busy either: from visiting Santa Land to ice-skating to going on the rides (there are over 100 of them here!).
I have been to the market several times over the years, and each year it just gets better and better with new stalls and attractions constantly being added. The market is free to enter, and is open from 10 am until 10pm so even if you’ve been working or sightseeing all day you can still enjoy a festive evening at Winter Wonderland!
Catrina from https://24hourslayover.com/
Luxembourg Christmas Market
Date: 21.11. Until 24.12.201
Sunday to Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
On December 24, the market closes at 5 p.m.
Situated just 20 miles from the German border it is easy to see how Luxembourg is often overshadowed by Germany when it comes to Christmas Markets. However, this small capital is filled to the brim with stylish decorations and festivities and it is so easy to fall in love with Luxembourg at Christmas. Built around a ravine, Luxembourg has some dramatic Cliffside scenery as well as grand architecture, multi-colored buildings, and a beautiful palace. Luxembourg is bursting with Christmas spirit, and I was surprised to discover that there were three Christmas markets dotted throughout the city.
Place d’Armes is where you will find the traditional Christmas Market, and this was the first I visited. It is located on the old parade ground, in the center of Luxembourg City. The focus here is Christmas music, local cuisine, and a typical Luxembourgish Christmas atmosphere. Place d’Armes also showcased local music performances from brass bands, local musicians and choirs.
Place de la Constitution was the second market I visited and I was drawn to immediately due to its location. With the backdrop of the cliff-edge, Adolphe Bridge and the autumnal-coloured trees within the valley, Place de la Constitution definitely won the prize for being the most picturesque market.
Then the third market, Place Guillaume II, situated just two streets away from Place de la Constitution, is where you will find the ice skating rink. With the backdrop of the city hall, Kneudler square was transformed into a winter wonderland, with the spires of the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral towering nearby.
Laura from https://anywheresheroams.com
Date: 6th Dec. 2019 – 6th Jan 2020
Time: 10.00am – 15.00pm + 17.00pm – 21.00am Every day
Seville is maybe not the first European Christmas market destination which springs to mind. But, image warm evenings, a romantic atmosphere and sparkling fairy lights adorning every pretty alley and cobbled courtyard; you’re in Seville!
The city center around the Plaza de San Francisco is full of couples and families, enjoying the huge walk-through Christmas decorations or savoring a drink and tapa at one of the many bars which surround the plaza. The lights here are turned on at 7pm every evening, just as darkness descends, to “ohs” and “ahs” from the crowds who gather to watch the spectacle. On the other side of the Town Hall, in Piazza Nueva, you’ll find a traditional Christmas market where you can buy cute hand-made gifts, food stalls and bands playing traditional Christmas music.
Head over to the stunning Metro pole Parasol, the largest wooden structure in the world, for another traditional market spread under and on the parasol. This contemporary and beautifully designed structure wows whenever you visit, but lit up and decorated it really is a must-see. The Christmas market stalls are traditional and beautifully presented with home-made jewelry, knit-wear, and candles.
For a really special and unique Christmas Market, visit the Feria del Belen. It is traditional for Spanish families to display a nativity scene at Christmas and all across Seville you will find such scenes in churches, cafes and in the windows of residential houses. The Feria del Belen is a market next to the Catedral de Sevilla where you can buy literally hundreds of different nativity models in all types of design as well as beautiful hand-made decorations for your Christmas tree.
Izzy & Phil, aka The Gap Decades, sold up and quit their jobs to travel full-time in 2018. You can find out more about them at https://thegapdecaders.com
Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz, Vienna
Vienna is magical this time of the year and the Christmas Markets scattered around the center certainly add to the Christmas spirit in the city. There are various markets spread out through the heart of the city, but the one that steals the show has to be the Christkindlmarkt at Rathausplatz which is the square outside the Vienna City Hall.
This Christmas market is filled with little stalls selling various Christmas decorations and trinkets along with some of the local food products and a variety of Austrian flavored salts mined in the country.
You will also find a huge and festively lit ice-skating rink that runs through the Rathauspark where you skate through the park illuminated by all the Christmas lights. Skates can be rented at the rink, but it is advised to book your tickets in advance as it is the only ice-skating rink with a festive atmosphere in the city and you might find lines at the ticket counter.
Head there in the evening and explore the stalls armed with a cup of delicious mulled wine to elevate your Christmas Spirit. You can also find some stalls selling some local cookies, sweets along with traditional Austrian fare if you would prefer getting a bite to eat as well.
Merryl from http://www.merrylstravelandtricks.com/
Slovakia Bratislava: Main Square
Photo by Jürgen Reichenpfader
Date: November – 22 December 2019
Time: open daily except Mondays from 10am until 5pm during the weekdays, and from 11am until 6pm during the weekends.
If you are looking for an authentic Christmas Market you definitely should check out the Christmas Market at the Main Square (Hviezdoslavovo Square) in Bratislava. Visitors are amazed by the picturesque location and the unique atmosphere. During Christmas time, this Market is full of local specialties, amazing food, and charming goodies. People come together to drink punch or mulled wine and enjoy the true atmosphere of winter in Bratislava. Really delicious is here the Loksa, a salty pancake or traditional Strudl, a crisp cake filled with apple and raisins. Also, the mulled vine is here in Bratislava delicious – probably because it comes from local wineries around. In addition to great food, you will find plenty of home-made products and traditional souvenirs – perfect to bring home some souvenirs for your beloved.
Christmas Markets have had a long tradition in Bratislava and therefore a visit to Bratislava for Christmas is absolute recommended.
Martina and Jürgen from https://www.placesofjuma.com/
Date: 29 November and 06 January 2020
Time: 3pm – 7pm every day
Several Christmas markets are located in Sweden’s second city, but the largest of Gothenburg’s Christmas markets are found at Liseberg amusement park. During Christmas, Liseberg regularly pulls in half a million visitors mainly down to their large selection of Christmas stalls, festive amusement rides and Swedish winter treats.
For the festive period, the park is illuminated by five million Christmas lights, but as Gothenburg is the world’s most sustainable city, all the lights are powered by Liseberg’s very own wind turbine. The lights are just the start, the rest of the park is transformed into a winter wonderland with 700 Christmas trees covered in snow.
For shoppers, there are two Christmas markets with a total of 80 stalls and shops, selling bespoke gifts and handicrafts as well as Swedish delicacies like cinnamon buns. With so much going on, including an ice-skating ballet shows, a traditional Christmas buffet, 30 rides and attractions and of course Santa’s workshop, it’s easy to see why the Liseberg Christmas market is a favorite in Sweden.
Roshni from Thewanderlustwithin.com
Marché de Noel in Tuileries Gardens in Paris
Date: November 15, 2019, to January 5, 2020
Time: 11am – 11:45pm on weekdays
Till 0:45 on weekends
Paris has many Christmas markets, but one of the largest ones is in the Jardin des Tuileries, right in the heart of Paris. In between the Champs Elysées and the Louvre Museum, this Marché de Noel will delight the young and old.
With its traditional wooden chalets, decorations and roasted chestnut stand everywhere, it is quite easy to get into the festive spirit. For the adults, there are plenty of offerings including a champagne bar, plenty of vin chaud and Belgian beers. For the kids, there is the Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and other small rides to keep the little ones happy.
There’s also plenty of small stands containing french artisanal souvenirs such as the famous Savon de Marseille, traditional chocolates, fine mustard bottles, etc. If you are looking for Christmas gifts for family and friends, you won’t have to look very hard to find what you are looking for.
And let’s not forget the food: sausages, raclette sandwiches, tartiflette, cheesy soups, and all other types of French winter dishes are there for your indulgement. So dig in and enjoy! Joyeux Noël!
Nassie at Snippets of Paris https://snippetsofparis.com/
Date: 25 November – 23 December
Time: Sun-Wed 11am-9pm. Thu & Fri 11am- 10pm.
Even though Cologne has seven different Christmas Markets, my favorite has always been Elf’s, Chrismas Market. It is located in front of the city hall and it is one of the largest in town and most well known in Germany.
Elf’s market is flanked by two massive trees (not Christmas trees) that are decorated with hanging lanterns and lights. Along these, there are two doors limiting the market, where some elves sit to welcome you to their lair.
In the center of the market, you can find the typical stands with gluwein, German sausages, and plenty of small bar stalls with the typical beer from Cologne: the Kölsch. Make sure, if you have a wine or a hot chocolate, to buy one of the special cups of the market.
There is a different one every year for every market and they make for the perfect souvenirs. Around this market, you will find from local pulled sugar caramels to flame-cooked salmon or the traditional flammkuchen, a sort of sour cream pizza.
In case you’re looking for something less edible, there are also shops from local and international artists selling clothing, jewelry and lots of Christmas decorations. It is a wonderful market and something anyone can enjoy, from children to elders.
Jenn from https://www.thesolivagantsoul.com
Chicago Illinois (United States)
Date: 15 November – 24 December
Sunday – Thursday from 11am to 8pm
Friday – 11am to 9pm
While there are plenty of places in the United States offering Christmas markets, there are only a few that are worth flying to and visiting multiple times in a single weekend. Chicago’s Christkindlmarket is one of the few that are actually worth your time.
Located in downtown Chicago, the Christkindlmarket takes up an entire block of the Daley Plaza. It’s a German Christmas market with vendors selling handmade German trinkets, filled with apple cider scents in the air and flowing with homemade Gluhwein, a notoriously German hot spiced wine that’s made with red or white wine, cinnamon, and orange.
You’ll find vendors sporting red and white booths covered with green garland and white Christmas lights. The booths are selling everything from authentic German candies and pretzels to traditional wooden nutcrackers and figurines. It opens the Friday before Thanksgiving and ends on Christmas eve, presenting a month-long opportunity to take in the open-air, cold-weather festivities.
Madeira Island, Portugal
Date: 1 December – 5 January 2020
Madeira is a small Portuguese island located between the Azores and the Canary Islands. Although it belongs to Europe, Madeira’s Christmas market is very unique and different from other, typical European Christmas markets.
Weather around Christmas in Madeira is very pleasant, so you can enjoy the Christmas market without feeling cold. Every year, the entire island is full of Christmas lights and decorations, but the biggest market is located on one of Funchal’s main avenues – Avenida Arriaga.
You can find there a couple of big nativity scenes and tons of Christmas decorations. There is a small concert stage as well wooden sheds selling typical Madeira food and drinks, including Poncha, which is a strong, traditional alcoholic drink made with aguardente de cana, honey, sugar and orange or lemon juice.
The biggest Christmas celebration takes place the night before Christmas Eve and it is called Noite do Mercado (Market Night). It starts as an outdoor market, but then it turns into a party, where locals together with tourists celebrate together on the streets of Funchal until early morning hours. Madeira Island is simply a perfect destination for Christmas and New
Edyta from https://sayyestomadeira.com
New York USA
Date: November 21 – December 24, 2019
Time: 10am – 8pm every day but Sunday till 7pm
New York City is the quintessential Christmas city in the United States. There are so many ways to spend Christmas in NYC, but one of the best things to do for the holidays is shopping.
There are several Christmas markets in the city, but my favorite is the market in Union Square. The entire south plaza in Union Square is covered in rows of stalls selling a huge range of unique crafts.
This is a great place to buy handmade jewelry, Christmas ornaments and crafts that feature New York City. I have bought ties, scarves, T-shirts and bags that all have a New York theme and given them as gifts.
You can also buy candles, fridge magnets, lamps, and woolly hats. To fend off the December chill, you can get hand-made chocolates, hot chocolate, and cider, donuts, and fudge.
Wandering slowly through the narrow rows, browsing through the incredible goods with the Empire State Building shining in the background is a classic New York Christmas experience. It does get crowded, but you will want to take your time anyway!
James Ian from Travel Collecting
Advent in Zagreb is truly something special and it is no surprise the city was voted the Best Christmas Markets in Europe 2016, 2017 and 2018. For the Advent season, there are magnificent markets scattered right throughout the city from early December through to early January.
During this time, Zagreb transforms into a magical place covered in decorations and lights with wavering smells of great food and kuhano vino (mulled wine). Satisfy your taste buds with local treats such as kobasice (locally cured sausage), fritule (mini donuts, roasted chestnuts, sarma (cabbage rolls filled with minced pork meat) and rakija (local fruit brandy) which is sure to warm you from the inside out.
There is plenty of festive music to get you into that Christmas spirit with events and street performers running right through the silly season. The best place to start is in Ban Jelačić Square, in the city center and very accessible by tram.
From here, you can wander the streets lined with stalls, head up into the Old City and Cathedral as well as explore the Grič Tunnel, which is always decorated to impress.
The next stop should be King Tomislav Square where you will discover the large open-air ice skating park. This winter wonderland is re-constructed every year, just for Advent, and for all ages and abilities to enjoy.
There are many more markets to explore and entertaining events over the month of Advent. Zagreb is definitely worth considering if you are looking for somewhere to spend a magical Christmas.
Karllie from YOLO SOLO
Comment down below what is your favorite Christmas market you been to.