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World's Top 10 Christmas Markets

Image Source : National Geographic

Christmas is that time of the year when countries worldwide gear up to celebrate the magnanimity of the festival, cutting across religious beliefs and faiths. Every year, across the world, in various cities and towns, Christmas markets are hosted where people get the opportunity to buy unique items including
handcrafted ornaments, chocolates, goodies, wine, fairy lights, and more. There’s music and dance, a variety of food, scents of gingerbread and other typical Christmas aromas, pomp and show, lights and dazzle, and more.

We’ll list the world’s top 10 Christmas markets here. If you ever wish to create unforgettable shopping experiences, then do plan visiting at a few of the markets listed below.

World’s Top Ten Christmas Markets

Dresden Christmas Market

Christmas markets were started in Germany somewhere during the late Middle Ages. The Dresden Christmas Market, called Striezelmarkt, is the first known Christkindlmarkt on the globe. Back in 1434, when it originated, it was a one-day market. Over the years, it has grown and today it is celebrated throughout December up to Christmas Eve and is attended by almost 3 million visitors from across the world. In 2019, the Dresden market celebrated its 585th anniversary, no mean feat for any event of this scale.

Image Source : CNN

Being the oldest market on the planet, this is definitely one of the world’s top 10 Christmas markets worthy of attending at least once in a lifetime. 

What are the special attractions here? You get to see the Erzgebirge Christmas pyramid, the world’s largest usable arch. There’s an adventure world for kids with merry-go-rounds, puppet theater, kid’s railways, etc. Throughout Advent weekends, there are different themed events organized. Not to miss feature is the painted fairy-tale castle made of wood. Other than this, visitors can buy carved ornaments made of wood, candle pyramids, arch-shaped candle-holders, the famous smoking man or Räuchermann, traditional nutcrackers, eatables like Pflaumentoffel made of prunes, Pludnitz gingerbread, and mulled wine. The other must-buy items include German Fruitcake, glazed apples, cakes made by local bakers, sugary dough balls, etc. 

New York City’s Winter Village

One of the highly- celebrated and popular Christmas markets in the US is the European-inspired Winter Village at Byrant Park. The best part is that the stall decorations and the Park’s open-air makeover begin in October itself. The Village setup starts in November and remains till Christmas. 

Image Source : Timeout

What’s great about this Christmas market? This is where you get to shop for some amazing festive evergreen decor pieces, light installations, and more. There are home decor items, gifting items, and more from around the world as well as local artisans from NYC. Kids love the ice rink. Numerous pop-up shops are housed in bespoke jewel box kiosks. 

The Winter Village is open from 11 in the morning to 8 in the evening on weekdays and from 10 in the morning to 8 in the evening on weekends.

Cusco in Peru

Another of the world’s top 10 Christmas markets is in Cusco. In the native Quechua language, Cusco means ‘navel of the Earth’. 

This market is reputed for its religious figurine collectors. The Incan city is nearby while Cusco itself is pretty famous for its colonial architecture. The Christmas market in this Peruvian city dates back 500 years. 

On December 24th every year, there is an annual arts and crafts fair held at the Plaza de Armas called Santurantikuy. However, local artisans land up at the grounds days before Christmas to showcase their finest work. 

What is the key attraction of this market? Different carved images of catholic saints are sold by vendors here of which the Niño Manuelito or baby Jesus is the star attraction. If you are interested in a tableau to represent the nativity scene, this is the best place to buy various artistic products required for the scene. 

Image source : salkantaytrekking

Bath Christmas Market, England

This is certainly one of the world’s top 10 Christmas markets, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from Europe and the UK. The entire ambiance is pretty romantic with the picturesque streets magically done up with designer boutiques, and even high-street brands. The event starts on 24th November every year and goes up to 11th December. 

The Bath Christmas Market has been voted as one of the most popular events in the country. The theme is strictly the classical British theme. The key attraction here is the 170 tastefully done-up wooden chalets at the World Heritage Site in Bath, all across the winding streets of the city. Every chalet is known for selling premium quality handmade products made by local artisans. 

Join in the celebratory mood and buy freshly-prepared pancakes, mulled wine made from locally-sourced ingredients, flavorsome soups, and Scottish Caledonian steak burgers. Besides, kids and adults have loads of fun at the ice-skating rink at the festival.

Image Source : iNews

Strasbourg in France

Another of the world’s top 10 Christmas markets is the Christkindelsmärik at Strasbourg in France, also known as the Capital of Christmas. It is held next to the cathedral every year from 21st November to 23rd December. This is one of the best places and the best time to taste the local mulled wine, and French treats like tarte flambée, spicy bread, pastries, sugary bredele biscuits, and more. The stalls selling wooden wares are also pretty popular at the market. 

Image Source : Our escape clause

A key attraction here is the Christmas tree at the center with hundreds of fairy lights, twinkling all over the tree. The ice rink, like all other major winter markets, is also decked up in the festive ambiance. The entire city of Strasbourg city is lit up for the Alsatian-themed market. It dates back to 1570 when the event was initiated.

Budapest Christmas Market in Hungary

Image Source : Christmas markets in Europe

This is one of the top Christmas markets in Europe. Right at the city center, at Vorosmarty Square, the Christmas Fair begins on 18th November every year and ends on 28th December. The entire area is converted into the Winter Wonderland theme with more than 100 wooden stalls selling traditional delicacies and gift items. Not-to-miss elements at this Fair are the stuffed cabbages, honey biscuits, wine, and roasted chestnuts. The entire area is filled with the magical X-mas scent of cinnamon. There’s also the central skating rink adding to the fun during the holiday season.

The Copenhagen Christmas Market, Denmark

At Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, the Winterland market is set up in the typical Nordic style. From traditional Danish food to the white Christmas setting, artifacts, magic bells, ornamental glasses, handmade Scandinavian gifts, decorative items, and hot drinks, cinnamon-infused mulled wine, the Fair is the world’s top 10 Christmas Markets. The wooden street stalls with the snow-covered X-mas tree, and Santa’s reindeer, you can also indulge in skiing and sledding at the Alpine village. 

Image Source : Christmas Markets in Europe

The market starts from 18th November and goes up to 31st December. 

The Toronto Christmas Market in Ontario, Canada

Beginning on 17th November, the Toronto Christmas Market, or the Winter Village becomes the epicenter of festivities in this Canadian town. The market is set up in the Distillery District of the city and continues till 31st December.

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The added attractions are the cobblestone streets with the 65 stalls themed in the Bavarian style. Along with twinkling lights, the entire area seems to be right from a fairytale background. There are traditional delicacies and treats, live entertainment, gift shops, seasonal items, and more. The 51-foot tall Christmas tree with 70,000 twinkling lights and many matte balls, ornaments, and star charms is a key attraction. Besides, there are themed holiday photo walls, Gingerbreadman Hunt, Christmas carols, and more such fun-filled events.

Christkindlmarket in Chicago, Illinois

Image Source : 9News 

This is one of the world’s top 10 Christmas Markets for a reason. Sausages! The market has a record of being one of the longest-running in the US. Lookout for German-inspired eatables, table laces, ornaments, wooden masterpieces, and cuckoo clocks. Visitors also have fun with gluhwein in themed cups. Plus, kids look forward to events like Scavenger hunts, etc. organized by the local Kinder Club. The festivities start on 18th November and continue till 24th December.

Denver Christkindlmarket in Colorado

Held at the Civic Center Park, this Christmas market is characterized by its open-air location and replicates the European essence. It starts on 18th November and closes on 23rd December. The main attractions for visitors include live music, Bavarian-style beers, steaming mugs of glühwein,  coffee and hot chocolate, and more. Visitors can walk around the wooden huts selling local and international artifacts and items. Food stalls that are popular sell Bavarian-styled pretzels, Nürnberger sausages, knödel, goulash, smoked salmon, etc.

Image Source :  Secret Chicago

These Christmas markets listed here, are the best places to shop for exclusive items. Most of the markets are very popular globally, and some have been around for ages. Their annual presence makes the holidays even more special for the local crowd as well as for visitors. 

If you are unable to visit any Christmas markets this year, no worries! Stop by to shop for the festivities, exclusive Christmas décor, and gift items.