Christmas Markets Around The World
By Agnes Aui
The merriest month of December is upon us, which means the countdown to Christmas has already begun! It’s the season to set up your Christmas tree, deck the halls with shimmering decorations and of course, find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. If you’re looking for a spot to get in the festive spirit of joy and love then take a trip to your nearest Christmas market!
What’s a Christmas market, you ask? Well, Christmas markets are street markets associated with the celebration of Christmas held during the four weeks of the festive season. These markets originated from Germany, but are now held in many other countries including Asia, the United States and even in the Middle East. This month, we’re listing down Christmas markets you can find all around the world.
Dresden Striezelmarkt in Germany We’ll have to start off our list with the OG, also known as the oldest Christmas market in Germany. Not only did the market showcase the world’s tallest Christmas pyramid in 1999 with a height of 14.62 metres, but is also the place to find traditional handcrafted nutcrackers that are a definite must-have for the festive season. Dresden Striezelmarkt is where visitors can indulge in the country’s iconic stollen fruit loaf while feasting their eyes on the bright and colourful decorations throughout the market.
Viennese Dream Christmas Market in Austria In the Austrian capital, there are about 20 Christmas markets that people can visit. Nevertheless, the Viennese Dream Christmas Market (or Wiener Christkindlmarkt) is known as one of the oldest and most traditional events in the country, which is why many still look forward to patroning this particular market. It is held in front of City Hall and features reindeer rides, a ferris wheel and over 150 stalls offering delicious delights like Austrian sausages and gingerbread cookies.
Basel Christmas Market in Switzerland Switzerland is known for its festive markets and many can be found throughout the country. However, it’s no surprise that the biggest (and best) market in town is the Basel Christmas Market. The market features two sections located at Barfusserplatz and Munsterplatz, with 200 fabulous stalls selling the merriest of spices, decorations and warm scented candles that are sure to add a touch of Noel in your home.
Fira de Santa Llúcia in Barcelona Held outside the Barcelona Cathedral, Fira de Santa Llucia has grown from a one-day event to a three-week fair. The market features four different sections including nativity and figurines (decorations), greenery and plants (natural and artificial trees), crafts (handmade jewellery) and simbombes (musical instruments). Activities like storytelling and a Christmas parade also happen at the market throughout the season.
Skansen’s Christmas Market in Stockholm When it comes to Christmas markets, one can find many in Stockholm. However, there is one in particular that’s more traditional than the rest, and that’s Skansen’s Christmas Market. Held in the world’s oldest open-air museum in Djurgarden, this Christmas market is filled with Swedish culture along with the essence of yuletide. Workshops are held for visitors to make their own decorations while dancing games are also available around the Christmas tree.
Christkindlmarkt in Leavenworth, Washington Despite it being a one-day event, Christkindlmarkt in Leavenworth, Washington is the closest market you’ll get to the classic one in Germany. This Bavarian-styled village lights up during the holidays with booths selling sweet treats while live music is played. Bavarian food and beer can also be found alongside candies, cakes and pastries.
Christkindlmarket Chicago in Chicago, Illinois Since 1996, this traditional German-styled Christkindlmarket has been a city favourite. Visitors can relish in international cuisines as well as local bites, while enjoying a cold mug of German beer or a warm glass of mulled wine. What makes the Chicago Christkindlmarket unique is its Stammtisch – a sacred table that can be booked for your family and friends to gather and enjoy German dishes and beverages.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park in New York Dubbed as one of the prettiest Christmas Markets in New York, this particular Christmas market features more than 150 glass kiosks that line the park during this festive season. From local and international goodies to those selling artworks, home accessories, beauty products and toys, you’ll never run out of gift ideas here. Visitors can also ice-skate at the rink in the middle of the park.
Landmark Christmas Market in Hong Kong Be transported to European towns when you visit the Landmark Christmas Market in Hong Kong. This pop-up market features colourful installations and various booths selling homeware, accessories, fine spirits and even gift hampers. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with freshly baked pastries and canales with rum filling.
Crane Festive Weekend in Singapore
This two-day festive pop-up market is a weekend you won’t forget. Indulge in festive goodies while exploring meaningful gifts like handmade ceramics and artisanal soaps from small local businesses. Visitors can rest assured that items sold are of high-quality as the market focuses on artisanal, handmade and sustainable products.
Roppongi Hills Christmas Market in Tokyo If hot chocolate, warm pretzels, chill beer and a whole lot of photo opportunities is something that piques your interest, then the Roppongi Hills Christmas Market in Tokyo is the place to be. It’s the ideal place to have dinner with family or friends before experiencing the European Christmas tradition. Aside from delightful bites, you can also find unique gifts for your loved ones.
Christmasland in Taipei Every Christmas, Taipei’s Xinban Special District holds an event known as Christmasland that attracts both locals and tourists alike. This enormous yet intricate event features illuminating installations, activities, concerts and amazing food options as well. Christmasland is also where you’ll find the country’s tallest Christmas tree that’s decorated with bright lights and a dazzling gold star on top.
Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market in Dubai The Madinat Jumeirah Festive Market is a 16-day gleeful occasion filled with activities for the young and for those who are.