Each year, countries around the world, celebrate the winter holidays with festive Christmas Markets. Though some of the most famous ones are found in Europe. Filled with glittering lights, amazing stalls, splendid decorations, and tons of delicious food, Christmas Markets get you into the holiday spirit. So here are some of the best Christmas Markets from around the world.
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Where To See The Best Christmas Markets Around The World
Germany is famous for its amazing Christmas Markets. Each holiday season, its town is filled with lively stalls and bright lights, especially in Cologne. The Christmas markets in Germany, at Tivoli Gardens, are Copenhagen’s beating heart. Here, the decorations, twinkling lights, stage performances, and all kinds of stalls bring in festive cheer and joy. This market has everything you’d expect from entertainment to food, shopping to fun activities, you can find them all here. Some of the best ones can also be found in Bavaria and Dresden. Dresden’s Striezelmarkt is one of the oldest in the country. The Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg is also full of festive cheer. While in Berlin you can find all kinds of diverse markets. Check out the ones at WeihnachtsZauber, the Gendarmenmarkt, and the Lucia Christmas Market.
Prague, Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has some of the most enchanting Christmas destinations. Prague, its capital, has many wonderful Christmas Markets which are perfect for the festive season. The postcard-like picture-perfect setting is magnificent. On one side there are the 14th-century twin spires of Our Lady before Tyn and, on the other side the famous 15th-century astronomical clock. But what really keeps you going is the food (grilled sausages, fresh pancakes, garlic-and-cheese flatbread, and mulled wine) and the traditional Czech marketplace (hand-embroidered tablecloths, wooden toys, blown glass balls, and biscuit cutters) which has traditional Czech products. Some of the other most popular can also be found at Wenceslas Square, Republic Square, Prague Castle, and Havel’s Market.
The Christmas markets in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, have a reputation for being among the greatest in all of Europe. It was voted the best Christmas market in Europe for three consecutive years: 2016, 2017, and 2018. This market is dispersed over the streets surrounding Jelacic Square. It features a number of intriguing activities, including live ice sculpture carving, an ice rink, pop-up bars, several music stages, street food vendors, and much more. The market also has “Fuliranje,” which is a place where you can do whatever you want. The Jolly Christmas Tram, which transports children and Santa Claus along the city’s main thoroughfares, is the market’s main draw. The cold evening air fills with the aroma of spicy sausages. Go snacking on some sarma, fritule (a chocolate-covered festive fritter), and drink plum brandy and local wines while enjoying the Christmas market.
The amazing festive markets at the Tivoli and Christiania in Copenhagen, are full of lots of picturesque wooden stalls, delicious food, and drinks. The city center, with several markets, oscillates with festive joy as the decorations and lights keep adding their patchwork of seasonal colors. There’s this twinkling theme park inspired by Disneyland which is beloved by tourists and locals alike. During Christmas time the whole place is decked with more than 500,000 fairy lights. Apart from the market stalls selling wooden toys, ceramics, decorations and chunky knitwear, don’t miss out on Danish treats like aebleskiver, honninghjerter. They are an amazing opportunity to experience a Nordic Christmas. The city is also famous for its winter hospitality and its Danish hygge (or “cosiness”).
One of Sweden’s most popular Christmas markets, it takes place in Old Town each year. In the center of Stockholm, on the island of Djurgarden is this open-air museum. Here you can spend a whole day without even a hint of boredom. Red stalls selling mouthwatering Swedish treats like eel, smoked sausages, elk meat, dry-cured reindeer, and Nordic glogg, which may be savored while sipping mulled wine, line the area around the Stortorget Square. The classic ginger biscuit, or pepparkakor as it is known locally, is a must-try for every tourist. These are freshly baked and available in this market. One can even think about purchasing a variety of unique ornamental art pieces, and other lovely handicrafts in this market. You can take it back home as a memento or as a gift for your loved ones from the Christmas Markets in Europe.
Hong Kong, China
Visiting WinterFest, which is hosted in Hong Kong on Christmas Eve every year, is one of the most magnificent ways to see a Christmas market. Hong Kong’s skyline shines even brighter during this time. In this market, you can see how the western and eastern Christmas customs have uniquely merged. The Open Piazza, where this market is held, has beautiful views of the decked skyscrapers and other holiday lighting displays. Congee, a bowl of rice seasoned with flavorful chicken broth, is the typical Christmas delicacy that you simply must eat in this market. Since this location offers breathtaking fireworks to ring in the New Year, one might think about staying till New Year’s Eve.
The picturesque Alsace region of France (which sits on the border with Germany) is home to mesmerizing Christmas Markets. One among them is Strasbourg, a fairytale-like town in France that has the oldest Christmas market in France. Founded in 1570, France Christmas markets have hundreds of wooden chalets along the cobbled streets selling a wide variety of Christmas sweets, pastries, and drinks. There are also tons of special events for you to explore. Its beautiful illuminations and the traditional and authentic markets are something to look out for. Taking a stroll down the illuminated streets, tasting the delicious gastronomic products, marveling at the variety of art and crafts, and dancing to the music and the sound of choral songs are some of the things to do while here. The nearby town of cologne is also home to amazing festive markets.
The Christmas markets in Canada, now in their tenth year, are among the biggest in all of North America. The markets here are the best way to enjoy some holiday time with family and friends while sipping on some mulled wine and munching authentic Christmas food. It is a mesmerizing picture, with shimmering lights and carnival rides, located within the city’s historic Distillery District. The market, which is generally closed on Mondays, also offers tons of entertainment, with a number of musical events occurring every day, including brass bands and carolers. A mind-blowing 50-foot Christmas tree serves as its central component. A 100-foot-long light tunnel has been built on the market for the past few years, bringing even more magic to the celebrations. A must-visit place on your itinerary during the Christmas season.
For many years Brussels has been one of the Christmas capitals with Strasbourg, Budapest, and Vienna. Christmas markets are everywhere in Belgium and one of the best is along the Grand Palace in Brussels. Every December, the open areas are transformed into a winter wonderland that offers moments of pure magic. Winter Wonders, spread out across Grand Palace has over 2.5 million visitors, and this is why this is an unmissable end-of-year event in Brussels. It offers over 240 stalls, a 200-foot ice skating rink, a massive Ferris wheel, ethereal music, light shows, and much more. The food served here is to die for, the wooden chalets serve toasty waffles, warming mulled wine, and, of course, Belgian beers and chocolates. In Bruges, you will find more seasonal cheer, especially at the Grote Markt near the city’s iconic Belfry.
The biggest Christmas markets in Florence are located around the plaza of the stunning Basilica di Santa Croce. Santa Croce consistently delivers the allure and vigor of the old markets. The magnificent Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, Italy, hosts the yearly Christmas markets from November 19 to December 20. This is the ideal location for Christmas shopping or picking up different kinds of snacks. It’s highly recommended to visit the markets at dusk when the lights start to come on that creates an enchanted atmosphere. We bet you will be transported into a fairy-tale land where the magic begins. To add to the festive atmosphere, visit the Piazza del Duomo to see the lit-up Christmas tree and nativity scene that are part of the celebration of the Immaculate Conception. Keep an eye out for strudel and gingerbread.
One of the prettiest cities on the planet, Edinburgh really shines in the winter months between November and January as Christmas markets and other celebrations come together during this time. Edinburgh’s Christmas Market is part of an amazing festive extravaganza that spans the length of its Princes Street. Apart from the market itself, there are skating rinks, a 60m-high Star Flyer, exciting rides, Harry Potter-themed gifts, performances and artworks showcasing local talent, and much more. Head straight to the Royal Botanic Garden to sip some spiced cider and marvel at its Christmas illuminations after the sun sets. Don’t miss the stunning fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.
The capital of Austria takes pride in having one of the world’s largest Christmas markets. A “Christmas World” with over 100 top-notch booths immerses guests in nonstop celebrations, and just in case that wasn’t enough to get you in the holiday spirit, it’s all taking place under the shadow of Vienna’s magnificent Rathaus, one of the city’s most magnificent buildings. Christmas markets in Austria are typically elegant affairs. Wood, straw, glass, and fabric predominate in these markets because plastic is uncommon. The markets are great places to shop, but they’re worth going to just for the ambiance. You can also look through a variety of gift options, including ceramics, jewelry, sculpted candles, handcrafted decorations, wooden nativity scenes, and much more.
Often Gothenburg is underrated compared to Stockholm. Stockholm has a unique mix of traditional and contemporary in its amazing Christmas Markets. However, Gothenburg is a hidden gem in Sweden that is waiting to be discovered. The best place in Gothenburg to get into the Christmas spirit is Liseberg, Sweden’s most popular amusement park. This world-class open-air market has creaky Ferris wheels, plastic Christmas trees, and drunk elves and you can even visit Santa in his workshop. Stalls dotted around Gothenburg sell all kinds of Christmas ornaments, gifts, and Swedish delicacies such as cured reindeer and elk meat, pepparkakor (a traditional ginger biscuit), smoked sausages, as well as Nordic glögg, a version of mulled wine. The festive ice skating, Swedish Christmas buffet, and a visit to a half-hour ice show are things to do while here.
Fira de Santa Llcia’s Christmas Markets have a long history that stretches back to 1786. It started out as a one-day celebration of Santa Llcia’s feast day on December 13 but has since grown into a three-week Christmas market. The market, which is located in front of the Barcelona Cathedral, has over 300 booths selling a variety of goods, including jewelry, musical instruments, puppets carved by hand, Christmas decorations, trees, and nativity scenes. The celebrations often start in late November and last until Christmas Eve. One of the most well-liked Fira de Santa Llcia pastimes is the caga tio, a gigantic Christmas log in the manner of a piata that, when struck with a stick, spews out candies and gifts.
One of the nicest Christmas markets in Europe is believed to be in Tallinn’s Old Town. It was chosen as the greatest in all of Europe in 2021. Christmas markets are the focal point of the festivities in Estonia’s capital city. It is held annually at Tallinn’s Town Hall Square and features rows of huts where you can purchase authentic Estonian food and handcrafted items. A winter grotto can be visited, and choirs, poets, and dance groups will all be performing. The main attraction in this area is the Christmas tree, which was first put up in Europe in 1441 and has been in place in the Town Hall Square ever since. Estonia has the most talked about the history of Christmas Markets. A must-visit on your bucket list.
Switzerland is not only a winter wonderland, but it also hosts some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Basel’s Christmas market is the most beautiful one makes it a favorite vacation spot. You’ll find a festive Christmas tree in front of the imposing Basel Cathedral. A variety of items, foods, and beverages are available at the market stalls set up beneath trees that have been festively decorated with glowing snowballs. The market, which has about 180 carefully adorned kiosks selling goods and gastronomic treats, is open until December 23rd. Children can enjoy fun activities like decorating gingerbread houses and using Christmas decorations in Münsterplatz’s Christmas fairytale woodland.
The biggest Christmas markets in Amsterdam are one next to the skating rink on Museumplein. One of Amsterdam’s oldest Christmas markets is the Ice Village. This Christmas market, which is already in its fifth year, ensures that everyone young and old will have a great time. This market is the perfect place to reflect on a Christmas experience because it has more than 45 Christmas vendors and a variety of dining and drinking options. Christmas market on Museumplein is conveniently close to several of Amsterdam’s museums, making it simple to combine the two activities. In Amsterdam, the majority of museums and attractions are open for the Christmas holiday. The Christmas Markets in Amsterdam are generally open from the end of November to the beginning of January.
How Do You Set Up A Good Christmas Market Stall
If you have any plans of setting up a Christmas stall this festive season, keep these things in mind while setting up your stall. Plan in advance, so you don’t feel the pressure while setting up the Christmas market stall.
Planning The Product – You will be competing with many stalls in the market, hence it is very important to pick the right product which will catch people’s attention. Make a list of what products are likely to sell on a Christmas market stall and come up with something that’s unique. Food, drink, or consider ‘Secret Santa’ gifts are products that always go down well at such markets.
Attract People With Engaging Visuals – After you have decided on the product and set up the stall, the next step is to get your brand across. One of the best ways to attract attention is by using vibrant signs and banners. Make sure your stall looks incredibly festive and welcoming by adding some backdrops, tinsel, wreaths, fairy lights, and garlands.
Promote Your Stall – The best way to promote a stall today is through social media. Post products that you are going to sell on social media describing the products with their photos. Use hashtags relevant to the Christmas fair and tag your locations to make it easy for people to find you. You can also distribute promotional materials like leaflets, business cards, and flyers before the event so that people are aware of your stall.
Provide Exclusive Offers & Discounts – Offers and discounts have always been the best way to attract the attention of customers. Free gifts, cash backs, half price sales are all things that can help make customers feel like they’re having a great deal at your stall. And don’t forget to advertise these deals using sign boards outside your stall or on your social media posts.
Keep Stock Of Your Products – Carry a little more of whatever products are displayed in the stall. Make sure there is enough of them to refresh your stall as and when you need, them so as to avoid turning customers away. A completely stocked stall will definitely attract more customers.
Offer Unique Experiences – One idea that we really make your stall stand out is by offering unique experiences. This could be a simple thing like providing your customers a free sample of your delicious festive food products or getting your team dressed up like Santa Clause to attract people. In addition to this one can also consider adding a few festive props like candy canes, presents, Instagram photo frames, or pop-ups.
Are there any other amazing Christmas Markets in Europe that we’ve missed? If so, be sure to share them in the comments below.
From the alcoholic lot, there is the Gluhwein (Mulled Wine) and Feuerzangenbowle, for the non-alcoholic lot some hot fruit punches and herbal teas are a must-try.
Some of the popular stalls are food and drink, Christmas decorations, candle stalls, Christmas gifts/toys, Knitted goods and Cheese stalls.
During the festive seasons, people look for unique gifts that they can give away to family and friends as gifts. Decorative items, traditional toys, and jewelry are some of the fast-moving items.
Yes, winter wonderland has stalled but every caterer has to submit a fully filled application form. No stall will be considered for the event without this form.