The 14 Best Christmas Markets in the World You Can Visit

Nov 13


Jane Scaplen

Jane Scaplen

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Christmas markets are a highlight of the festive season in many cities around the world. From Cologne, Germany to New York City, USA, these markets offer a unique and magical experience for visitors.


Here are some of the best Christmas markets you should visit.

1. Cologne,The 14 Best Christmas Markets in the World You Can Visit Articles Germany

Cologne's Christmas Market is one of the most well-known and popular markets in Germany. Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Kolner Dom, the city's iconic cathedral, this market offers a truly magical experience.

The centerpiece of the market is a towering Christmas tree adorned with sparkling lights and decorations, creating a festive atmosphere that is sure to delight visitors of all ages. 

With over a hundred performances throughout the festive season, including carol singers, live music, and theatrical performances, there is always something to see and enjoy.

As you wander through the market, make sure to stop by the Henzels Winter Fairytale in the old town. T

his enchanting section of the market is filled with beautifully decorated stalls selling unique gifts, handmade crafts, and delicious treats.

 And don't forget to visit the Neumarkt area, where you can indulge in traditional German cuisine and sample some of the region's finest Christmas delicacies.

Highlights of Cologne Christmas Market

Location Attractions Food and Drinks
Kolner Dom Giant Christmas tree, live performances German cuisine, Christmas treats
Henzels Winter Fairytale Unique gifts, handmade crafts Delicious treats
Neumarkt Traditional German cuisine Regional Christmas delicacies

Experience the magic of the holiday season at Cologne's Christmas Market. Whether you're strolling through the market, sipping on warm mulled wine, or enjoying the lively entertainment, you'll be immersed in the festive spirit that Cologne has to offer.

2. Vienna, Austria

Vienna's Christmas markets have a rich history and are among the most famous in Europe. 

The Magic of Advent Market at Rathausplatz is a highlight, with over 145 stalls, alleys adorned with festoon lights, and a special children's area. 

Other markets at Belvedere Palace, Maria-Theresien-Platz, Spittelberg, and Schonbrunn Palace offer unique settings and a variety of goods and culinary delights.

The Magic of Advent Market

The Magic of Advent Market at Rathausplatz is one of the most popular Christmas markets in Vienna. With its stunning setting outside the historic Rathaus (City Hall), this market oozes charm and festive spirit. 

The market boasts over 145 stalls selling a wide range of goods, including handicrafts, decorations, and delicious treats. 

The market's alleys are adorned with festoon lights, creating a magical atmosphere that is sure to enchant visitors of all ages.

If you're visiting with kids, don't miss the special children's area at the market. 

Here, little ones can enjoy rides, games, and even meet Santa Claus himself. It's the perfect place to create lasting memories and get into the holiday spirit.

Market Name Location Highlights
Magic of Advent Market Rathausplatz Over 145 stalls, alleys adorned with festoon lights, special children's area
Belvedere Palace Christmas Market Belvedere Palace Stunning setting, unique goods
Maria-Theresien-Platz Christmas Market Maria-Theresien-Platz Impressive backdrop, variety of goods
Spittelberg Christmas Market Spittelberg Quaint atmosphere, local arts and crafts
Schonbrunn Palace Christmas Market Schonbrunn Palace Historic setting, traditional Austrian delicacies

Vienna's Christmas markets offer a truly magical experience, immersing visitors in the festive spirit and traditions of Austria. 

Whether you're shopping for unique gifts, indulging in delicious food and drinks, or simply enjoying the enchanting atmosphere, these markets are a must-visit during the holiday season.

3. Strasbourg, France: Capital of Christmas

When it comes to magical Christmas markets, Strasbourg in France is a destination that should be at the top of your list. 

Known as the "Capital of Christmas," this picturesque city offers a picture-perfect setting for a festive experience like no other.

The Strasbourg Christmas Market, with its origins dating back to 1570, is one of the oldest and most enchanting markets in Europe. 

Located around Place de la Catedrale and Place Broglie, the market is surrounded by charming timber-framed buildings that create a truly magical atmosphere. 

The focus on sustainability and local produce gives the market a unique touch, making it a must-visit for those seeking an authentic Christmas experience.

As you explore the market, you'll find an array of traditional German market foods and French delicacies to indulge in. 

From gingerbread and mulled wine to tartes flambées and foie gras, your taste buds will be treated to a feast of flavors. 

In addition to the delicious food, the market offers a wide selection of handmade crafts, ornaments, and gifts to help you find the perfect presents for your loved ones.

Strasbourg Christmas Market Highlights:

  • Oldest Christmas market in Europe, dating back to 1570
  • Picturesque setting with timber-framed buildings
  • Focus on sustainability and local produce
  • Traditional German and French cuisine
  • Handmade crafts and gifts

Whether you're strolling through the narrow streets admiring the festive decorations or listening to the sounds of carolers singing, the Strasbourg 

Christmas Market is sure to ignite your holiday spirit. 

So, bundle up warm and get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas in the capital of Christmas itself.

4. New York City, USA

New York City is a quintessential Christmas destination, and its Christmas markets add to the festive atmosphere. 

Among the top markets in the city, the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park stands out as the best Christmas market in the world. 

With over 180 stalls offering artisanal items and seasonal hot food options, this market is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike.

The Bank of America Winter Village is located in the heart of Manhattan, creating a magical winter wonderland with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and a beautiful ice skating rink. 

The market offers a wide range of unique gifts, including handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, and home decor. 

You can also indulge in delicious treats like hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, and traditional holiday desserts.

Aside from shopping, the Bank of America Winter Village also hosts various events and activities throughout the season. 

From live performances by local artists and carolers to holiday-themed workshops and demonstrations, there's always something happening to keep you entertained.

Other Christmas markets in New York City worth exploring include the Union Square Holiday Market and the Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair. 

These markets offer a diverse range of vendors, showcasing everything from local artisanal products to international crafts and culinary delights. 

No matter which market you choose to visit, you're sure to experience the joy and spirit of the holiday season in the bustling metropolis of New York City.

Comparison of New York City Christmas Markets

Market Location Highlights
Bank of America Winter Village Bryant Park Over 180 stalls, ice skating rink, live performances
Union Square Holiday Market Union Square Artisanal products, local crafts, food vendors
Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair Grand Central Terminal Unique gifts, international vendors, historic setting

5. Prague, Czech Republic

If you're looking for a romantic destination to experience the magic of Christmas markets, Prague should be at the top of your list. 

The Prague Christmas Market in the Old Town Square is a sight to behold. 

With its stunning backdrop of Gothic architecture and colorful festive decorations, it truly captures the spirit of the holiday season.

The market boasts dozens of stalls offering traditional Czech delights and handicrafts. 

From delicious pastries and hot mulled wine to handmade ornaments and wooden toys, there's something for everyone to enjoy. 

Take a stroll through the market, immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, and indulge in the bountiful treats and unique souvenirs.

The Prague Christmas Market at the Old Town Square is a must-visit for those seeking a truly enchanting holiday experience. 

Soak up the lively ambiance, taste the flavors of Czech cuisine, and find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. It's a magical setting that will leave you with cherished memories of the holiday season.

Market Highlights at Prague Christmas Market

Food Handicrafts Entertainment
  • Trdelník (traditional Czech pastry)
  • Klobása (grilled sausage)
  • Svíčková (marinated beef with creamy sauce)
  • Glass ornaments
  • Wooden toys
  • Hand-knit scarves and hats
  • Live music performances
  • Ice skating rink
  • Traditional folk dances

6. Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg's Christkindelsmarkt is one of the most famous Christmas markets in the world. Set in the city's main square, this market offers a magical atmosphere and a wide array of traditional wares, food, and workshops. 

The Christkindlesmarkt dates back to the 16th century and has become a beloved holiday tradition for locals and tourists alike.

At the Nuremberg Christmas Market, you'll find beautifully crafted wooden toys, intricate ornaments, and handcrafted gifts.

 The market is also known for its delicious gingerbread cookies, grilled sausages, and mulled wine. 

Take a stroll through the festively decorated stalls, listen to live music, and soak in the festive atmosphere that fills the air.

If you're feeling crafty, join one of the many workshops where you can create your own Christmas decorations or try your hand at traditional craft techniques. 

The market also features a Children's Market with a carousel and various attractions to keep the little ones entertained.

 Highlights of the Nuremberg Christmas Market

Highlight Description
Traditional Crafts Explore the various stalls selling handcrafted goods, including wooden toys, ceramics, and textiles.
Gingerbread Taste the famous Nuremberg gingerbread, a sweet and spicy treat that is a staple of the Christmas season.
Workshops Participate in workshops where you can learn traditional craft techniques and create your own Christmas decorations.
Children's Market Visit the special market area designed for children, featuring a carousel and various attractions.

The Nuremberg Christmas Market is a truly enchanting experience that captures the spirit of the holiday season. 

Whether you're looking for unique gifts, delicious food, or simply want to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere, this market is not to be missed.

7. Toronto Christmas Market and Distillery Winter Village

Experience the magic of the holiday season at the Toronto Christmas Market, now known as the Distillery Winter Village. 

This unique Christmas market, held in the charming Distillery District of Toronto, offers a festive atmosphere and a wide array of attractions that will delight visitors of all ages.

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit as you stroll through the cobblestone streets adorned with twinkling lights and decorations. 

Browse through over 100 charming wooden vendor cabins, offering an abundance of artisanal goods, unique gifts, and delicious treats.

Indulge in traditional European holiday fare, such as bratwurst, gingerbread, and warm mulled wine, all while enjoying live music performances and entertainment throughout the market. 

Don't miss the iconic 50-foot Christmas tree, beautifully decorated and the centerpiece of the market.

Must-Visit Attractions at the Toronto Christmas Market

Attraction Description
Carousel A whimsical carousel that will transport you back to childhood. Take a ride and enjoy the festive music and lights.
Santa's House Visit Santa Claus himself in his cozy house, where you can share your wish list and take memorable photos.
Ice Skating Rink Strap on your skates and glide across the outdoor ice skating rink, surrounded by the enchanting scenery of the Distillery District.
Beer Gardens Relax and unwind at one of the beer gardens, offering a selection of craft beers and holiday cocktails.

Whether you're searching for unique gifts, delicious food, or simply want to soak up the festive atmosphere, the Toronto Christmas Market, now known as the Distillery Winter Village, is a must-visit destination during the holiday season. 

Join in the merriment and create lasting memories at this enchanting winter wonderland.

8. Vienna Christmas Market

Vienna's Christmas market is one of the most traditional and historic markets in the world. With a rich history dating back to the 1200s, this market offers a truly enchanting experience for visitors. 

Set beneath the stunning scenery of the city's historic rathaus, or town hall, the Vienna Christmas Market creates a magical atmosphere with its twinkling lights and festive decorations.

At the Vienna Christmas Market, you can wander through the rows of more than 100 vendors, browsing and shopping for unique handmade goods. 

From intricately crafted ornaments to cozy winter accessories, there is something for everyone at this market. 

Don't forget to indulge in delicious gingerbread and other festive treats, which are a staple of Vienna's Christmas traditions.

One of the highlights of the Vienna Christmas Market is the chance to experience the Austrian Advent tradition of the Adventkränze, or Advent wreaths. 

These beautiful wreaths, adorned with candles and seasonal decorations, symbolize the anticipation and preparation for Christmas. 

Immerse yourself in the festive spirit as you explore this historic market and take part in the traditions that have been celebrated in Vienna for centuries.

Experience the Magic of Vienna at Christmas

Vienna's Christmas market is a true testament to the city's rich cultural heritage and festive traditions. 

Whether you're seeking unique handcrafted gifts, delicious seasonal treats, or simply wanting to soak up the enchanting atmosphere, the Vienna Christmas Market is the perfect destination. 

Plan your visit to this historic market and immerse yourself in the magic of Vienna at Christmas.

9. Edinburgh Winter Festival

The Edinburgh Winter Festival is a vibrant event that brings the holiday spirit to the heart of Scotland. 

With its festive atmosphere, delicious food, and thrilling rides, this festival offers something for everyone. 

One of the standout attractions is the exhilarating Helter Skelter slide, which provides hours of fun for both children and adults alike. 

From the top of the slide, you can take in panoramic views of the festival and the beautiful cityscape of Edinburgh.

Another must-try ride at the festival is the Starflyer swing, which takes you soaring through the air, offering breathtaking views of the festival's lights and decorations. 

It's a thrilling experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories. 

The festival also features a wide variety of stalls selling handmade goods, gifts, and tasty treats. You can find unique crafts, local delicacies, and festive decorations to add some holiday cheer to your home.

Entertainment and Activities

In addition to the rides and stalls, the Edinburgh Winter Festival offers a range of entertainment and activities for visitors of all ages. 

From live music performances and cultural displays to ice skating sessions and festive workshops, there's always something exciting happening at the festival. 

The whole family can enjoy the magical atmosphere and create cherished memories together.

Whether you're looking for thrilling rides, tasty food, or unique gifts, the Edinburgh Winter Festival has it all. 

Don't miss the chance to experience this lively celebration of all things festive.

Attractions Highlights
Helter Skelter slide Exciting ride with panoramic views
Starflyer swing Breathtaking views of the festival
Stalls Handmade goods, gifts, and tasty treats
Live music performances Entertainment for all
Cultural displays Experience local traditions
Ice skating Fun on the rink
Festive workshops Get creative this holiday season

10. Bryant Park Winter Village

The Bryant Park Winter Village is a popular destination during the holiday season in New York City. 

Located in the heart of Manhattan, this festive market offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. 

One of the standout features of the Winter Village is its outdoor ice skating rink, which provides a magical experience for both locals and tourists.

The ice skating rink at Bryant Park is the centerpiece of the Winter Village and is surrounded by a picturesque setting with holiday lights and decorations. 

Skating on the rink is a beloved tradition for many New Yorkers and offers a unique way to enjoy the winter season. 

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced skater, the rink provides a fun and joyful atmosphere for everyone.

In addition to the ice skating rink, the Bryant Park Winter Village features over 100 kiosks selling a wide selection of goods, including apparel, decorations, jewelry, and artwork. 

The market offers a diverse range of vendors, allowing visitors to find unique and special gifts for their loved ones. 

With its beautiful decorations and seasonal food options, the Winter Village provides a festive atmosphere that captures the spirit of the holiday season.

Visiting the Bryant Park Winter Village is a must-do activity during the holiday season in New York City. 

Whether you're skating on the ice rink, browsing the kiosks for gifts, or simply soaking in the festive atmosphere, this market offers a memorable experience for all. 

Make sure to add the Bryant Park Winter Village to your list of holiday must-visit destinations in the Big Apple.

11. Hong Kong WinterFest: A Festive Celebration of Colorful Christmas Lights and Santa Claus

Experience the magic of the holiday season in Hong Kong with WinterFest, a waterfront event that showcases colorful Christmas lights, musical performances, and a chance to meet Santa Claus. 

From late November to early January, the city comes alive with festive decorations, creating a unique Christmas experience in a vibrant metropolis.

As you stroll along the waterfront, you'll be mesmerized by the dazzling display of lights illuminating the city skyline. 

The streets are adorned with vibrant decorations, creating a cheerful and festive atmosphere. 

From sparkling Christmas trees to intricate light installations, Hong Kong WinterFest is a visual delight for all visitors.

One of the highlights of WinterFest is the chance to meet Santa Claus himself. 

Children and adults alike can have their photos taken with Santa, creating cherished memories and spreading the joy of the season. 

And while you're there, don't miss the opportunity to browse the Christmas markets and shop for unique gifts and souvenirs.

WinterFest Highlights

Event Date Location
Tree Lighting Ceremony Late November Victoria Harbour
Santa Meet and Greet December Various locations
Christmas Markets Late November to early January Throughout the city
Firework Displays New Year's Eve Victoria Harbour

During WinterFest, you'll also have the opportunity to indulge in delicious festive treats and experience the vibrant culinary scene of Hong Kong. 

From traditional holiday desserts to international cuisine, there's something to satisfy every palate. 

Don't forget to try the local specialty – egg waffles – for a sweet and savory taste of Hong Kong.

Whether you're a local resident or a tourist visiting Hong Kong during the holiday season, WinterFest offers a unique and enchanting way to celebrate Christmas. 

So embrace the festive spirit, immerse yourself in the colorful lights, and make unforgettable memories at Hong Kong WinterFest.

12. Vancouver Christmas Market

If you're looking to experience the charm and festive spirit of traditional European Christmas markets, look no further than the Vancouver Christmas Market. 

This annual event brings the sights, sounds, and flavors of the holiday season to downtown Vancouver, Canada. 

With its cozy atmosphere, delicious food, and unique vendors, the Vancouver Christmas Market offers a delightful experience for visitors of all ages.

One of the highlights of the Vancouver Christmas Market is the selection of German and Austrian beers.

 You can quench your thirst with a variety of traditional brews, carefully selected to capture the authentic flavors of the holiday season. 

From refreshing lagers to rich and malty bocks, there's a beer to suit every taste. 

Sip on your favorite brew as you stroll through the market, taking in the festive decorations and browsing the stalls for one-of-a-kind gifts and handcrafted goods.

In addition to the beer, there are plenty of activities to keep both kids and adults entertained. 

Children will love the lantern parade, where they can join in the procession with their own handmade lanterns. 

And don't miss the holiday-themed carousel, which adds a touch of whimsy to the market. 

For adults, there are special events and live music performances throughout the season, creating a lively and festive atmosphere.

So, gather your friends and family and head to the Vancouver Christmas Market for a truly magical holiday experience. 

Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of a traditional European Christmas market, right in the heart of Canada. 

With its German and Austrian beers, unique vendors, and festive activities, this market is sure to put you in the holiday spirit.

Vancouver Christmas Market Highlights

  • Authentic German and Austrian beers
  • Unique vendors offering handcrafted goods
  • Whimsical holiday-themed carousel
  • Lantern parade for children
  • Live music performances

Experience the magic of the Vancouver Christmas Market and create lasting memories with your loved ones. Don't miss out on this enchanting holiday tradition in the heart of Vancouver.

13. Cusco, Peru

Cusco, a city nestled high in the Andes mountains of Peru, is not only known for its rich history and ancient Incan ruins but also for its vibrant Christmas market, Santurantikuy. 

This annual holiday market, which has been taking place on Christmas Eve since the 16th century, offers visitors a unique cultural experience in addition to the breathtaking snow-capped mountain scenery and ancient Incan sites in the area.

Santurantikuy, which translates to "buying of saints" in the native Quechua language, showcases a wide selection of hand-carved figurines that are meticulously crafted by skilled artisans. 

These figurines depict scenes from the Nativity, including the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Three Wise Men. 

Visitors can browse through the stalls and find beautifully detailed figurines to add to their own Christmas decorations or as unique gifts for loved ones.

Aside from the traditional hand-carved figurines, Santurantikuy also offers a variety of other goods and crafts. 

Local artisans sell handmade textiles, ceramics, jewelry, and traditional Peruvian clothing. 

Visitors can also indulge in delicious local delicacies such as empanadas, tamales, and hot chocolate, adding to the festive atmosphere of the market.

The Cultural Significance of Santurantikuy

Santurantikuy is not just a market; it is a celebration of Cusco's rich cultural heritage and Andean traditions.

 The market brings together locals and tourists alike, creating a sense of community and shared joy during the holiday season. It is a time for families to gather, exchange gifts, and celebrate the birth of Jesus.

During the market, you may also witness traditional dances and music performances, adding to the lively atmosphere. 

The vibrant colors of traditional Peruvian clothing and the sounds of panpipes and drums fill the air, creating a truly immersive experience. 

Santurantikuy is a testament to the resilience and preservation of Andean culture in modern-day Peru.

Exploring Cusco Beyond the Christmas Market

While visiting Cusco for the Santurantikuy Christmas market, take the opportunity to explore the city's many other attractions. 

Visit the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, explore the ancient ruins of Sacsayhuaman, or take a stroll through the cobblestone streets of the historic city center.

Immerse yourself in the local culture by trying traditional Peruvian cuisine, such as ceviche or alpaca steak, and enjoy the lively nightlife in the city's vibrant bars and clubs. Don't forget to sample some of Peru's famous coffee or indulge in a traditional coca leaf tea to acclimate to the high altitude.

14. Basel Christmas Market

If you're looking for a magical holiday experience, the Basel Christmas Market in Switzerland is a must-visit. 

As one of the largest holiday markets in the country, it offers a festive atmosphere and a chance to immerse yourself in Swiss traditions.

With nearly 200 booths, the market is a treasure trove of delights. From beautiful baubles to delicious gingerbread, you'll find a wide variety of festive goods to browse and purchase. 

And no visit to the Basel Christmas Market is complete without trying Feuerzangenbowle, a traditional Swiss holiday treat. 

This rum-infused punch is the perfect way to warm up on a chilly winter day.

Immerse yourself in the festivities as you stroll through the market, soaking in the sights, sounds, and scents of the holiday season. 

Whether you're searching for unique gifts or simply want to experience the joy of a traditional Christmas market, the Basel Christmas Market is sure to delight.