Christmas markets around the world

17 Thrilling Christmas Markets Around the World [2022]

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As the dark winter nights draw in, visiting Christmas markets around the world is an eagerly anticipated highlight of the season for many. The lure of twinkling lights, hand-crafted gifts, and delicious food is a tempting distraction from the winter gloom. 

So, where are the best Christmas markets around the world? I asked fellow travel bloggers to share their favourite Christmas markets worldwide, asking for tips on what to buy and where to stay if you fancy turning your visit into a short break.

Awesome Christmas Markets Around the World

We’ve done all the legwork and research for you, so grab a cuppa, and let’s get cracking with your Christmas market bucket list right now! I’m already wondering which of the Christmas markets around the world you will like the best!

christmas market food

Best Christmas Markets in Europe

Europe is where the whole tradition of Christmas markets began, way back in the 15th century, so it’s no surprise that most of the Christmas markets around the world are located in Europe.

The only question is, which are the best European Christmas markets? It’s a trick question, of course, as there are many to choose from, each one charming and well worth a visit. Let’s start with a selection of the best Christmas markets in Europe.

1 – Zurich Christmas Markets, Switzerland

  • Dates 24th November – 23rd December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas markets in the world - Zurich
Glorious Zurich hosts one of the most spectacular Christmas markets around the world

Submitted by Shelley from LifeJourney4Two

There are four main Zurich Christmas markets, all within easy walking distance of each other. Each one offers something unique and different.

  • Zurich’s oldest market is Niederdorf’s Dörfli Christmas Market. As the market meanders through this picturesque part of Zurich, it fills the tiny alleyways with festive smells of spiced wines and cinnamon.
  • The Urban Christmas Village Market, Wienachtsdorf Market, is filled with culinary treats such as the famous Swiss fondue, with local handicrafts and an ice rink.   
  • The unique Singing Christmas at Werdmuhleplatz Christmas Market fills the air with joyful Christmas choirs.
  • In Zurich Train Station, you’ll find the Christkindlimarkt, a bustling Christmas Market with a 50ft Christmas tree adorned with Swarovski Crystals as its centrepiece.  

As all of these Christmas markets are in the heart of Zurich, you’ll want to stay in the city centre to make the most of your time.

📍 Best Places to Stay in Zurich

➡️ Don’t forget to book a Zürich Card to save on attractions, transport, and dining during your stay.

2 – Strasbourg Christmas Market, France

  • Dates 25th November – 24th December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas markets around the world - Strasbourg
Strasbourg has one of the prettiest Christmas markets around the world

Submitted by Soline from On the Road Diary

The annual Strasbourg Christmas Market, also called Christkindelsmärik, is a must-see for any visitor to France. This event occurs on the Grande Île, near the Cathedral and the Place Kléber. It is by far the best-known Christmas market in France.

If you don’t know Strasbourg, the town itself is extremely photogenic. Its charming houses with exposed wooden beams along the canals conquer the hearts of many tourists each year. So imagine when Christmas time is around the corner!

The atmosphere at Christkindelsmärik embodies the spirit of Christmas. You should try delicious local dishes, such as the traditional tarte flambée, pain d’épices or choucroute. All that with a tasty mulled wine or hot chocolate, of course.

Strasbourg is, without a doubt, the best town to visit during Christmas in France. However, it can get pretty crowded at the end of the year, so you should book your train tickets and accommodation in advance. 

📍 Where to Stay in Strasbourg

3 – Vienna Christmas World – Vienna Austria

  • Dates 25th November – 24th December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World Vienna
One of the most famous Christmas markets around the world is in Vienna

Austria’s largest Christmas market is the Christmas World in Vienna. Located in Rathausplatz Square, the City Hall gateway has a massive arch with twinkling candles right in front of the City Hall.

This Xmas market in Vienna has more than 150 stalls where you can buy unique handmade gifts. You can also sample traditional Viennese foods, including Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), Krapfen (yeast dough pastries, filled with jam or sauerkraut, or Raclette (bread with warm cheese).

There’s plenty of entertainment, too, with a carousel, a Ferris wheel, and a beautiful ice skating rink. 

Top Tip: Look out for the “Tree of Hearts” – it’s an excellent place to capture the perfect Instagram shot!

Find out more details about the Vienna Christmas markets here.

📍 Where to Stay in Vienna for the Christmas Markets

4 – Dresdner Striezelmarkt – Dresden, Germany

  • Dates 23rd November – 24th December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World Dresden

If you love traditional old Christmas markets, you will love the Dresdner Striezelmarkt, as it’s the oldest Christmas market in the world, dating back to 1434! The market gets its name from the much-loved fruit cake “Strüzel or Stroczel” (now known as stollen) and is held in Dresden’s Altmarkt or Old Market.

Expect to see 250+ stalls and the largest Christmas arch in the world, plus a children’s puppet theatre, a merry-go-round and a Christmas train.

Local treats include Glühwein (mulled wine) and Pulsnitzer Pfefferkuchen – a traditionally hand-crafted gingerbread from Pulsnitz in Saxony.

📍 Where to Stay in Dresden

5 – Budapest Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market

  • Dates 4th November – 31st December 2022
  • Website
Christmas markets around the world - budapest
Look how beautiful the Vörösmarty Square Christmas market is!

By Goya Galeotta

Few Christmas markets are as charming as the beautiful Vörösmarty Square at the heart of Budapest. From the moment you step into the market square, filled with aromas of mulled wine and the warm glow cast by the light displays, you’ll be enveloped in the festive spirit.

Best of the market:

  1. Lángos: This delicious, moreish Hungarian fried bread is a must-try in Hungary, especially on a cold day in the winter. Traditionally topped with cheese and sour cream, you can find all sorts of delicious variations of this perfect comfort food in this market.
  2. Mangalica sausage: Made from Hungarian Mangalica pork, this smoked spicy sausage spiced with Hungarian paprika is the culinary symbol of the country.
  3. Local goods: The market is excellent for picking up unique Hungarian gifts and souvenirs. You’ll find everything from traditional hand-painted Christmas ornaments to locally-made jewellery.
  4. Light displays: You can watch the beautiful light displays on the world-famous Café Gerbeaud located on the same square. And why not enjoy their glorious Esterházy torte or Dobos torte while you’re at it?

Right at the city’s heart, this beautiful square can be accessed by any means, including the metro stop Vörösmarty tér.

📍 Where to Stay in Budapest

6 – Christkindlesmarkt – Nuremberg, Germany

  • Dates 25th November – 24th December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets in the World Nuremberg

Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt (the “Little Town from Wood and Cloth”) is one of the most famous Christmas markets around the world. The market originated in the 1530s, and its nickname comes from all the wooden stalls that are brightly decorated with a red and white cloth. 

The best seasonal items for sale include wreaths, ornaments, tree toppers, and holiday candles.

Look out for the “Zwetschgenmännle” or “Little Plum People”. These small wired figurines are made from dried prunes, figs, and nuts and dressed in little cloth costumes. They are supposed to bring money and happiness!

Top Tip: Try the delicious Nürnberger Rostbratwurst – a trio of tasty little sausages served in a crispy bread roll.

This walking tour will help you see as much of the market as possible, with time to stop and sample festive treats and tipples. Alternatively, this tour of the old city by “Bimmelbahn is a fantastic (and cheap) way to see more of this lovely city. 

📍 Where to Stay in Nuremberg

With the activities and atmosphere in the Old Town in December, it’s the best place to find a hotel. Nuremberg has a variety of hotels to choose from.

7 – Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market – Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Dates 19th November – 31st December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World Tivoli Gardens Denmark
Thousands of Christmas lights twinkling like the lovely gardens

The charming Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market, located in one of the world’s oldest amusement parks, is where to go if you want some Danish hygge for the holidays. Millions of twinkling lights beckon you to enjoy Christmas trees, roller coasters, holiday-themed shows and fireworks. 

Treat yourself to traditional Danish doughnuts, roasted almonds or æbleskiver (deep-fried, ball-shaped pancakes) while sipping a cup of mulled wine. You can also shop for Danish arts and crafts, with a fine selection of toys, decorations, hand-sewn wool shoes, and traditional reindeer and sheepskins. Wrap up your day with a spot of ice skating beneath the lights. Magic!

📍 Where to Stay in Copenhagen

8 – Old Town Hall Square Market – Prague, Czech Republic

  • Dates 30th November 2022- 6th January 2023
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World Prague

Prague has one of the most scenic Christmas markets in the world, with a made-for-the-movies setting right in front of Prague’s gorgeous Old Town Square. Numerous wooden huts are filled with vendors selling hand-carved toys, crystals, blown glass, jewellery and candles. Children love to pet the farm animals in the stables, while adults enjoy honey wine or Czech beer.

Delicious edible treats range from pork-filled dumplings (so delicious!), barbecued pork and blood sausage, garlic cheese flatbreads (oh, yes, please), and more Christmas sweets than you could ever imagine. 

After dark is the best time to visit this delightful Christmas market – to see the giant Christmas tree lit up. 

Top Tip: Take this tour of Prague in the morning and head to the market after lunch to enjoy the festive atmosphere

📍 Where to Stay in Prague

9 – Plaisirs d’Hiver – Brussels, Belgium

  • Dates 22nd November 2022 – 1st January 2023
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World Brussels

The 240+ stalls of the Plaisirs d’Hiver Christmas market burst with handmade and gourmet gifts, decorations, products, and treats on sale from all over Europe. 

The market stretches from the Grand Palace to the Place St. Catherine and is famous for its upscale food stalls where you can sample the seafood, tartiflette, artisan sausages and cheeses, plus mulled wines and beers. The most popular treat, however, is the Belgian waffles! 

After shopping, will you ride the giant Ferris wheel or the steam-punk merry-go-round? Or maybe you would enjoy skating or chill out in an igloo with live holiday music.

Top Tip: You can save money on your trip if you want to visit other attractions. The Brussels Card gives you free access to 41 Brussels museums!

📍 Where to Stay in Brussels

10 – Christmas Markets – Manchester, England

  • Dates 18th November – 2nd December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World manchester

Manchester has no fewer than nine (!) different Christmas markets spread across the city. The biggie is the Albert Square market, where Manchester Town Hall towers majestically behind the twinkling lights of the market.

This Christmas market is a real foodies’ paradise, with more than 300+ stalls selling gifts and treats from all over Europe. Where else could you tuck into German bratwurst, Belgian waffles, Hungarian goulash, Dutch pancakes, Austrian strudel, French macarons, or traditional British fish and chips – all in one place? Of course, there’s also plenty of beers, wines, and hot cocoa.

📍 Where to Stay in Manchester

11 – St Nicholas Fair, York, England

  • Dates 17th November – 23rd December, 2022
  • Website
Taking a ride on the carousel is one of the most fun things to do in York at Christmas.
The carousel is an essential part of Christmas in York!

Historic York has just been voted the city with the 5th best Christmas markets around the world – and the 2nd best in the UK! Check out the best things to do in York at Christmas here.

📍 Where to Stay in York

York is a delightful, compact city with some fabulous accommodations. It’s VERY popular all year round, but especially busy at Christmas, so do book early!

12 – Tuomaan Markkinat- Helinski, Finland

  • Dates: 1st to 22nd December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World helsinki

Finns have claimed Santa Claus as one of their own and that you can meet “the real Santa Claus” in the quaint cobbled streets of the Tuomaan Markkinat. You can also browse over 130 stalls for unique local gifts from Finnish crafts and handmade ornaments to produce and reindeer meat – a Finnish wintertime staple. 

Then, while children enjoy the magic of the carousel in the centre of the square, parents can relax with a glass of Glögi (Nordic mulled wine) and listen to traditional Christmas music played by a local brass band. It’s heavenly! 

📍 Where to Stay in Helsinki

Kluuvi is the best district in Helsinki for first-time visitors, as it’s central and close to the main attractions. It’s also close to Senate Square, so super convenient for the Christmas market

13 – Stortorget Julmarknad – Stockholm Sweden

  • Dates 19th November – 23rd December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World Sweden Julmarknad i gamla stanstortorget
Such pretty little market stalls!

The main square in Stockholm’s Old Town hosts the small but charming Stortorget Julmarknad: Sweden’s oldest holiday market. The 40 traditional red Swedish stalls are filled with vendors selling locally-made crafts, knitwear, and delicious Swedish foods, from elk meat, smoked sausage and reindeer to cheeses, candies, honey, and nuts. 

Top Tip: The most popular sweet treats are lussekatt (traditional St. Lucia saffron buns) and pepparkakor (gingersnaps).

📍 Where to Stay in Stockholm

  • Modest budget: Check prices and availability
  • Mid budget: Check prices and availability
  • Touch of luxury: Check prices and availability

Best Christmas Markets in North America

While many of the world’s most famous Christmas markets are in Europe, North America knows how to entertain and has some fantastic festive events to enjoy. Here’s a small selection:

14 – Bryant Park Winter Village – New York, New York

  • Dates 27th October 2022 – 2nd January 2023
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World New York
Stunning Bryant Park – recently voted top of all Christmas markets around the world

Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, is home to NYC’s most popular Christmas market – recently noted as the best Christmas market in the world!

The Bryant Park Winter Village is home to a 17,000-square-foot ice skating rink and cosy igloos, where you can sip hot cocoa or hot apple cider. There’s also a curling cafe, so you can try out this unique winter sport.

Over 170 shops and vendors sell clothing, artwork, jewellery, home goods, beauty supplies, holiday gifts and delicious food.

➡️ For a sweet treat, try Max Brenner’s chocolates or Wafels & Dinges!

📍 Where to Stay in New York for Bryant Park Winter Village

The cool, sleek Knickerbocker Hotel, built by John Jacob Astor in 1906, once hosted the creme de la creme of New York society, including Rockefellers and Fitzgeralds. Today, it’s your turn to enjoy the plush Art Deco-style rooms and sip cocktails in the rooftop bar!

15 – Christkindlmarket, Chicago, IL

  • Dates 18th November – 24th December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World Chicago
Is Chicago’s Christkindlmarket the biggest Christmas market around the world?

Chicago’s Christkindlmarket (the “Christ child” market) is one the most popular Christmas markets in the US, with locations in Daley Plaza, Aurora and Wrigleyville. Drawing inspiration from the Christmas traditions from Nuremberg, you should expect to find a rich array of authentic German gifts, from hand-carved ornaments to cosy sheepskin slippers. 

If you spot a crowned fairy-like figure with golden wings wafting through the market with a Pied Piper trail of children, don’t worry! You’ve not had too much Glühwein! You’ve seen the Christkind who presides over the festivities instead of Santa Claus!

Top Tip:  Reserve a “Stammtisch” in the heated Timber Haus to enjoy food and drinks at a shared table. 

📍 Where to Stay in Chicago

16 – Quebec City Christmas Market, Canada

  • Dates 24th November – 18th December, 2022
  • Website
quebec city christmas market hotel de ville de quebec
One of the loveliest snowy Christmas markets you could wish for!

Submitted by Erin from Wanderlust With Kids

The Quebec City Christmas Market has five locations, all in the heart of Old Quebec. It’s a magical event that will get you into the holiday spirit! Here are just a few reasons why you will love this Christmas market:

  • Set in the historic area of Old Quebec, the architecture and cobblestones will make you feel like you are in Europe
  • Over 90 vendors offer everything from hand-crafted gifts and décor to delicious German treats and beverages
  • The impressive Château Frontenac and l’Hôtel-de-Ville (the City Hall) are illuminated nightly
  • In addition to festive German treats, you can try traditional Canadian poutine!
  • The Quebec City Christmas Market is FREE to attend 

📍 Where to Stay in Quebec

To best experience the Quebec City Christmas Market, you’ll want to stay in Old Québec, where plenty of hotels and other amenities are clustered together.

17 – Toronto Christmas Market- Toronto, Canada

  • Dates: 17th November – 31st December, 2022
  • Website
Best Christmas Markets around the World Toronto
Beautiful Toronto has one of the loveliest Christmas markets around the world

Toronto has a stunning holiday market you won’t want to miss. Located in the historic Distillery District, this market combines all the traditions of traditional European Christmas markets with a dash of Canadian charm. It’s one of the most popular Christmas markets around the world!

The cobbled streets are filled with twinkling lights, wooden stalls selling warm winter gifts and treats, a life-size gingerbread house, a giant Ferris wheel and performers such as carolers and folk dancers. You can try traditional Christmas market goodies, like Belgian waffles and bratwurst, but snacking on poutine and maple candies will give you a real taste of Canada!

📍 Where to Stay in Toronto

  • Modest budget: Check prices and availability
  • Mid budget: Check prices and availability
  • Touch of luxury: Check prices and availability

Wrap Up – Christmas Markets Around the World

So, there you have it! An enticing round-up featuring some of the best Christmas markets around the world. Whether you’re looking for an old world Christmas market full of nostalgia and charm or one of the top Christmas markets packed with hundreds of stalls, I hope you’ve found inspiration here for the festive season.

Can’t make it to Europe or North America for Christmas? You don’t need to miss out! Check out more Christmas markets worldwide in Asia and some of the top Christmas markets in Africa for more inspiration!

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17 Incredible christmas markets around the world