Twinkling lights, bustling crowds, crisp air, handcrafts made with love, and the spiced warming smells of the season–there’s nothing quite like a Christmas market to drum up that festive spirit! Christmas markets are a tradition around the world, but no matter way they are, they have a way of transporting visitors home with the familiar sights, smells, and sounds of the season. If you’re looking to tick a few these world-renowned markets off your bucket list, here are a few you won’t want to miss:
Best Christmas Markets in the World
Bath Christmas Market, Bath ENGLAND
Famous for its Roman Baths and located in southwest England, Bath hosts a whopper of a Christmas market! With over 200 stalls lining quaint Georgian streets inspiring visions of Christmases past, Bath Christmas Market is both a feast for the eyes and a shopping paradise! Offering everything from handcrafted wooden toys to ceramics and glasswear, this market is a celebration of the quality craftsmanship of the local merchants of the English southwest! The gorgeous Abbey towers over bustling shoppers huddled around the attractive market chalets and the smells of mulled wine and mince pies fill shoppers with the spirit of the season. Visitors to this Christmas market go home with festive buys, treasured gifts, and, more often than not, a belly full of treats like fine cheeses, fudge, and pickled eggs!
Christmas Market by Basilica, Budapest HUNGARY
St. Stephen’s Square in central Budapest is home to one of the most unique and luxurious Christmas Markets in Eastern Europe! If you are looking for a precious handicraft or a taste of Hungarian delicacies, you will find them here at St. Stephen’s. With attractive cottage-style stalls, the alluring smells of cinnamon and honey cookies, and the plaza dominated by the awe-inspiring Basilica at the end of Váci utca, it’s no small wonder this market attracts thousands of visitors from around the world every year!
Photo Credit: VisitFinland.com
Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi FINLAND
Meet Joulupukki, the Finnish Santa, in Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland! Many say the modern day man in red stems from Finnish pagan lore of the late 19th century! Just 10km south of the Arctic Circle, Rovaniemi, famous for its wintry landscape and spectacular views of the Northern Lights, is not just a pretty face! It is home to 62 000 people and host to the fantastical Santa Claus Village! Open seasonally, Santa Claus Village draws crowds from around the globe with handicrafts, unique cultural dishes, and reindeer rides with a stunning backdrop of Finnish design.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, New York USA
Dubbed Manhattan’s Winter Wonderland, Bryant’s Park Winter Village is a not your mama’s Christmas market! Thanks in large part to the plaza’s centrally located free admission ice skating rink, this Christmas market can’t help but bolster the Christmas spirit! European-inspired and host to some of the finest artisans in the world, shoppers at Bryant’s Park will enjoy a range of food vendors and artisan boutiques selling everything from beautiful clothing to stunning home décor to quality crafted goods and more!
Toronto Christmas Market, Toronto CANADA
Mix majestic carolers with stunning light displays, add a heap of sophisticated vendors, a giant Christmas tree and a dollop of the old world charm and you have a recipe for one of the finest Christmas Markets in the Northern hemisphere! The Toronto Christmas Market, located in Toronto’s Distillery Historic District, features local, handcrafted products from clothing and décor to tasty treats! Shoppers enjoy taking the Canadian chill off with mulled wine and hot toddies at the market’s hospitality lounges and beer gardens. Of special interest to those who can’t get enough of those old Christmas tunes is Toronto’s World Caroling Challenge which attracts some of the finest voices from around the globe.
Christkindlesmarkt, Nüremberg, GERMANY
The highlight for many at one of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe is the lantern procession that takes place the week before Christmas in which Nüremberg schoolchildren parade through the Old Town. The parade happens during the culmination of this spectacular Christmas market which commences the Friday before the first Sunday in Advent with the arrival of Christkind who officially opens the festivities! Shoppers immerse themselves in a Christmas experience like no other, enjoying colourful lights, the smells of mulled wine, bratwurst, and gingerbread, and over 180 stalls selling beautifully crafted ornaments, toys, and gifts!
Wishing the blessing of the season find you wherever your trails lead you this Christmas season!