Christmas Markets Around The World

December 19, 2013

For holiday sights, smells, and cheer there is nothing quite like a Christmas market. Shop for gifts and enjoy holiday treats as you mingle with locals around the world—it truly is a unique experience.

Christmas markets became popular in Europe, but now there’s no need to cross the pond; markets are popping up all over the world. Here (in no particular order) are the top 10 Christmas markets across the globe. Drumroll please…

Strasbourg, France

The market on Place Broglie is known particularly for its food. The spice wined and spicy hot orange juice are favorites among shoppers, as are the bridle Christmas biscuits. The town’s Great Christmas Tree is also a sight to see and will definitely put you in the holiday spirit as you wander through the vendor booths.

Vancouver, Canada

German flair has reached more than just the USA—visit Canada’s gem for a taste of the old world with German goods like nutcrackers and wooden toys for sale. Eat delicious freshly baked waffles and enjoy the sights of Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza decked out in lights.

Toronto, Canada

The Toronto Christmas Market takes full advantage of its location, decorating the Victorian buildings of the Distillery Historic District to create a step back in time. Sample traditional beverages in one of the many lounges or join in a caroling singalong, no doubt made more lively from all of those spiced beverages.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

This town makes full use of the nickname “The Christmas City”, the market features not only the traditional vendors, food and entertainment, but you can also take a festive walking tour and have breakfast with Kris Kringle himself. It’s one of the most traditional markets in America—don’t miss your chance to blow your own beautiful glass ornament. 

Budapest, Hungary

Get a feel for traditional Hungarian culture at the market on Vorosmarty Square. All goods sold in the market are checked for quality and authenticity, so take the chance to stock up on great handmade items. Traditional Hungarian food, like strudels and friend langos, plus folk dances and live music make this an unforgettable experience.

Denver, Colorado

A relative newcomer to the Christmas market scene, Denver’s market marks its 13th year in 2013. Visit the city’s Skyline Park for a taste of the old world with lots of gifts for sale and live German music. You can even take a break from shopping for a spin around the outdoor skating rink.

Tomball, Texas

Once a year this town trades it cowboy boots for leiderhosen as it celebrates the culture of its sister city Telgte, Germany. This market is fun for the entire family and features free hayrides, Christmas light tours, games for the kids and a beer garden for the kids at heart.

Dresden, Germany

One of Germany’s oldest markets, the festival on Altmarkt Square centers around a 48-foot tall Christmas pyramid. Don’t leave without trying the Christmas bread stollen, one of the area’s most famous foods.

Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City turns into a traditional German village with its Christkindlmarket on Daley Plaza each year. A recent addition is Christkind, a mythical feature and longtime fixture of German markets. Chicago’s market also features a beautiful lantern parade and lots of live entertainment.

Salzburg, Austria

Centered around the stunning Salzburg cathedral, this market is one of the oldest in Europe. The homemade goodies are lovely, and in true Austrian fashion, the music is world famous. Choirs and other musical groups sing carols throughout the season. If you’re lucky it will be snowing, adding to the ethereal feel. Without as many tipsy shoppers and fewer stalls, the Salzburg market is a very intimate experience.

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 -Michelle Kaiser

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