The festive ambience is already in the air! Okay
The world’s first commercial holiday is almost a month away. With the temperature significantly dropping, you may feel the urge to wrap yourself into a blanket and enjoy a hot drink. However, many countries around the world seem to have a different say about this. Markets will be ready to welcome visitors from all over the world.
Christmas markets are already being prepared for; some may argue that November is a little early to set the suitable vibes. However, you won’t actually keep thinking so once you learn that Japan actually prepares for this holiday in September.
Shopping for Christmas can be equivalent to battlefields when you fight your way through the crowded stores. This is the purpose of these markets; they ease your shopping process and make it unforgettable. They are also great opportunities to explore new cultures and places while getting your holiday needs.
Check out the most popular Christmas markets around the globe and feel the festivity!
1. Europe’s Oldest Christmas Market in Strasbourg
Strasbourg is located in Eastern France at a point that borders Germany. So, it is killing two birds with one stone! While you won’t really be able to get into Germany easily, you will get to observe the traditions of two different cultures. The neighborhood factor has definitely added something to both cultures.
Anyway, Strasbourg has always been holding the oldest markets all over Europe. It first started back in 1570 and has been a staple ever since. Walking through the tapered alleys of the city, you’ll come across hundreds of markets.
Pick up all you need from Christmas decorations or presents for your loved ones. Make sure you enjoy the history residing in the streets of this old city. Observe the historical monuments, and indulge in the Christmas-themed decorations in every corner.
2. Stockholm’s Traditional Stortorget Julmarkand
Stortorget is an old town that sits in the heart of the Swedish capital, Stockholm. Locals of this town have always been setting their traditional market, since 1837, at the main square. Old buildings stand firmly tall around this central square, offering a historical ambiance to the market.
The market’s decorations drown in the dominance of red color, creating an authentic Christmas atmosphere. It’s an excellent chance for you to enjoy this holiday while getting to know the traditions of this culture. You can take a bite of popular winter treats in Sweden while shopping for the holiday. Make sure you indulge in the Swedish taste of smoked sausages and saffron buns.
3. Vienna’s Christmas World
Every year, around 12 Christmas markets spring up around different areas in Austria. However, Vienna’s Christmas world remains the largest and most famous of them all. The festive market takes place in Rathausplatz square across Vienna City Hall.
This place is so popular that it is barely empty of people, especially at night. So, make sure you find your way through the crowd. Different booths scatter through the main streets, selling different goods and souvenirs.
You can enjoy the items offered at the market while listening to hyping Christmas music in the background. Most of the markets provide baked goods and beverages with winter flavors. Do taste buds a favor and let them experience the exceptional taste of Viennese foods.
4. Piața Mare Christmas Market in Sibiu, Romania
Imagine walking through festive bazaars while beholding splendid mountain ranges! Romania, despite its Gothic notoriety, offers this spectacular scenery within its beautiful city of Sibiu. Not only is it a perfect destination on Halloween, but it’s also great during winter. The Romanian Christmas market takes place in Piața Mare, the Grand Square of Sibiu’s Old Town.
Interestingly, the area encompasses a fair park for children to add a fun touch to the already enjoyable event. There is also a skating rink that adults can enjoy for a quick adrenaline pump. Romanian treats are also offered at the premises to satisfy your cravings with new flavors.
Transylvania’s highlands are a few miles away, making for a great Christmas trip at the end of the year. There are so many huts selling Christmas goods, decorations, and knitwear. This place also allows you to observe spectacular sights that make it worth a visit at any time of the year.
5. Danish Christmas Market in Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens is a pastoral site where many events take place in Copenhagen, including the Christmas market. It is one of the oldest amusement parks in Denmark, and, during Christmas, many bright Christmas trees line the sideways.
Denmark is home to many scenic landscapes that will leave you in awe. You can get the chance to have a bird-view over the beauty of Copenhagen by riding in the Star Flyer. This 80m high swing allows you to behold the splendor of Denmark lands.
Nearby lies a lake that freezes through winter and turns into a rink for ice-skating for an ultimate adventurous trip. You can also browse the stalls and huts along the market’s lanes and buy some handmade arts or thoughtful souvenirs.
Meanwhile, you can keep yourself warm by shoving several glasses of mulled wine while exploring the market. Don’t forget to satisfy your cravings with the freshly made pancake puff for an energetic boost to complete the adventure.
6. German-themed Christmas Market in Chicago, US
Did you know that the United States sets a Christmas Market with a European flavor? This is a wonderful opportunity to explore a whole culture along with bits and pieces of another. Most of the culture’s traditions make an appearance in some decorations, but it’s primarily presented in exceptional gourmet food.
Christkindlesmarkt is a replica of the original Christmas market set in Germany. It takes place in Daley Plaza downtown in Chicago. Several stalls offer German-based merchandise, including handmade crafts and Ecuadorian ponchos.
Food vendors present authentic German recipes by offering goulash soups, schnitzels, and bratwurst sausages. You’ll need to take a bit of each item to explore the German taste yourself. Besides food, there are many German-related Christmas decorations and items to purchase lest you forget the central theme.
7. Budapest Christmas Fair in Hungary
The Hungarian capital city of Budapest celebrates three different Christmas markets on an annual basis. However, the Budapest Christmas Fair happens to be the largest and most famous of all of them. It takes place every year on Vörösmarty Square, where a gigantic Christmas tree frames the area.
Like most Christmas markets, the booths sell handmade crafts and exciting items that make for great souvenirs. You can also find food specialties that present the local flavors of the country for a new culinary experience.
Music shows take place in the square, offering a delightful Christmas atmosphere for an authentic holiday. Many bands from Hungarian origins play different genres of music. There are also dance performances that hype up the energy of the place.
The Gerbeaud building sits there, which exterior turns into a large calendar, counting down till Christmas arrives. The stalls remain open until late December, and some of them also stay until the beginning of the new year.
8. The Poznan Christmas Market in Poland
Poland is home to what could be your favorite Christmas market on the globe. Not only does its market offer merchandise stalls, but it is also a magical winter land. The largest Polish Christmas market takes place in Poznan at the Old Market Square and Freedom Square.
This festival offers an actual fun fare where you get to enjoy this land of ice and snowflakes. It looks like a scene straight out of a fairytale with the presence of so many attractions. Besides the snowy landscapes, hop on the Ferris wheel for a fun trip over the historical parts of the city.
The International Ice Sculpture Festival takes place on Old Market Square. It is an art show where artistic contestants transform ice into artsy masterpieces in front of visitors worldwide. Don’t forget to indulge in the winter food specialties offered to buzz your taste buds and warm you up.
9. Latvian Main Christmas Market in Riga
Latvia celebrates this holiday by setting its world-famous market in the capital city of Riga. It takes place at Cathedral Square in the city’s historical center. Interestingly, this place was deemed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
There are abundant stalls with several vendors selling different items and souvenirs. Given the fame of Latvian wood, they offer candlesticks made of this exceptional wood as part of the local handicrafts. There are also fascinating winter attires that are made by Latvian hands.
Mulled wine is served in every corner of the Christmas market. You can keep your glass full of sips to banish the icy shiver. Gingerbread and roasted almonds play a significant role in this market for people to bite on tasty snacks.
10. Belfast Continental Christmas Market
Ireland is one of the European countries that impart several festive events around different cities. The Belfast Continental Christmas Market takes place in Belfast City Hall. The locals eagerly await this festival every year to live the authentic vibes.
In the heart of Belfast city, lights illuminate every corner where the market runs. Wooden stalls hang glimmering lights to attract visitors to purchase their items. They offer different kinds of festive handicrafts, gifts, and specialty food and drinks.
The festival lasts for around a month, so you’ll have several chances to book a flight and head to Belfast. International traders from all corners of the globe head to this festival they anticipate every year to present their goods. This market will offer you sumptuous delicacies and fun attractions where you will have a real merry Christmas.
11. The Huge Asian Christmas Market, WinterFest
Christmas markets actually take place outside the borders of the European continent. Every year, Hong King sets the annual WinterFest. During this time, the while city looks like a magical site straight out of a children fairy tale book. Thus, you won’t need to head to a specific site while in China, for festivals are around every corner.
This festival offers a spot for couples to display their love for each other. In Statue Square, a shimmering Christmas tree stands where couples leave love locks as a sign of eternalizing their love.
There is also the Symphony of Lights show that you can enjoy for free at Victoria Harbour. It will give you the real feels of winter holiday. There are also many Christmas-themed performances that take place during that time. This time of the year in Hong Kong is more about appreciating the beauty of art forms while celebrating the holiday.
12. Mercado de Navidad in Madrid
Mercado de Navidad is Spain’s most traditional Christmas market that has been taking place since as old as 1860. It takes place every year in Madrid at the main square of La Plaza Mayor. This market features a colorful and bright festival with many items and Christmas gifts to buy.
Pranks are main part of the holiday celebrations in Spain. Along the market, you will come across several vendors that sell prank gifts. You may try gifting your friends with one of those for fun and see how they react. We bet it would be an unforgettable moment for both of you.
On the other hand, you will also get to learn about the history of the country while in Madrid. La Palaza Mayor Square is popular for its historical presentation. It features around 140 figures lined there with many nativity stories to learn about.
Now that you have known about several destinations for Christmas markets, it’s time to make up your mind. Most of these festivals last for a month or more, so you have the time to pick up your next destinations and have a festive holiday.
Indulge on many local food specialities all over the world and taste new flavors, buy souvenirs, and explore new cities. What are you waiting for?