Seven Must-See Christmas Markets Around the World



Seven Must-See Christmas Markets Around the World



Seven Must-See Christmas Markets Around the World



































By Zara Flavia DiMello
As the holiday season approaches, cities around the world transform into winter wonderlands. At the heart of this enchanting atmosphere are the Christmas markets, buzzing with local craftsmanship, merriment and traditional delights. Any traveler at this time of year, be it around Asia, Europe or America, is bombarded with a delightful array of seasonal markets to enjoy. Don’t forget to add must-sees to your winter vacation itinerary!
Basel, Switzerland
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In the heart of Basel’s historic old town, the Swiss Christmas Market unfolds along beautiful cobblestone streets. Hundreds of small, rustic wooden cabins invite visitors to explore a treasure trove of handicrafts. Held in two sections at Barfüsserplatz and Munsterplatz, the market is Switzerland’s largest, boasting Christmas spices, decorations and candles. Culinary treats abound, from world-famous waffles to lesser-known local bites like Basel Lockerley and Swiss Raclette. A Christmas market isn’t just about shopping; It’s a complete experience that includes pre-Christmas events, the illuminated staircase of St. Martin’s Tower, and the traditional Basel Wish Book in the City Hall’s patio. Here, residents and tourists can add their Christmas wishes and hope. The 13-meter-high Christmas pyramid on the Perfusserplatz, visible from afar, becomes a popular meeting place at the market, where guests can gather and enjoy hot drinks.
New York, USA
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Some of Hollywood’s greatest Christmas movies are set in the Big Apple. The cityscape lends itself wonderfully to the term 'white Christmas’. With its ornate building exteriors adorned with lights and annual snowfalls, New York City markets only add to the festive atmosphere. Many markets are spread with primary identities. An indoor market in Grand Central Terminal sells gifts, toys, decorations and clothing. Bryant Park’s ice rink is surrounded by glass boutiques overlooking the Empire State Building. Alternatively, Union Square’s market has wooden huts that line the streets to sip wine and browse rows of unique gifts for your loved ones.
Prague, Czech Republic
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The Czech capital spares no expense in its Christmas markets located on Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, just minutes apart. Old Town Square is an entertainment hub with live performances, dance performances and creative workshops. On the other hand, Wenceslas Square entices visitors with handmade gifts and local treats such as klobasa (Czech sausage) and mulled wine. Vendors offer traditional winter dishes such as fish soup, langos (flatbreads) with cheese and smoked meatballs, and for dessert, chimney cakes rolled in cinnamon and sugar, cooked on the grill.
London, United Kingdom
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Perhaps one of the most famous Christmas markets in the world, London’s winter wonderland makes for a spectacular sight – a force to be reckoned with as far as Christmas markets go! Hyde Park undergoes a complete transformation every year and surpasses the traditional markets in sheer scale and grandeur. This year’s market includes the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, a circus performance, a Ferris wheel offering panoramic views of the illuminated city, and creative activities for both young and old to take part in. However, the icing on the cake is the 'Bar Ice’, a creatively and expertly carved bar entirely out of ice and the perfect place to grab a few drinks while you take a break from exploring the winter wonderland.
Singapore City, Singapore
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Although fairly new, Singapore’s decade-old Christmas market is only growing in recognition. Set against the backdrop of SG’s dynamic cityscape, the four-week long Christmas market is at the heart of the Gardens by the Bay Nature Park. The event is divided into three distinct areas – Supertree Grove, Frosty’s Fairground and Gingerbread Grove, each with its own extravagant Yule-themed displays and activities. They offer fairground rides, a Christmas train, and live shows and performances. Like most Christmas markets, Singapore has many family-friendly elements that welcome children to enjoy the season, most notably a life-size gingerbread house illuminated by candy canes.
Vancouver, Canada
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French Canadian and German folk tales dominate Canadian Christmas markets, particularly in downtown Vancouver. As you wander through a particularly cold Canadian winter, you can indulge in traditional food and drinks such as German 'Fuersangenbauel’, rum-soaked sugarloaf, mulled wine, melted Swiss cheese and baked apples. These markets have an old-fashioned charm, with poinsettias being bought and sold and children playing on merry-go-rounds, all complemented by the soothing sounds of gospel singers and string ensembles. The annual Craft Circle Christmas market is the perfect place to find art and specialty stocking-stuffers, with stalls from Canadian artisans such as woodworkers, glassblowers and toymakers.
Tokyo, Japan
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As a region known for its seamless blend of tradition and innovation, Tokyo’s Christmas market has become a cherished fixture in the city’s calendar. Located in Hibiya Park, the market transforms into a magical place of traditional stalls, light projections and Christmas trees, as well as ice skating, shopping and browsing through the radio shows. The pièce de résistance is the 14 meter Christmas pyramid imported from Germany. It’s a wonder Christmas isn’t a national holiday, because the air is full of excitement and the city shines as bright as any market in Europe.
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