The best Christmas markets in the World
It’s close to that time of year again where families gather together and festive lights begin to light up normally dull towns. A tradition for many people is a visit to a good old traditional festive market so we at the Expathub have listed the top ten best Christmas markets from around the world.
Vienna is a beautiful city all year round but when Christmas approaches it is transformed into something truly spectacular. Christmas markets have been held in the city since medieval times. The prettiest squares in the city are adorned with a dazzlingly array of lights and Christmas decorations, offering a truly magical experience. Market stalls appear all over the city and the Rathausplatz becomes a wonderland hosting 150 stalls offering Christmas gifts, sweets and festive food. Vienna literally becomes a Christmas city with all the landmarks adorned in festive decorations and with the snow that often falls it truly does start to feel like Christmas.
Germany knows how to do Christmas in style; after all it was they who came up with the Christmas tree in the first place, so for an amazing Christmas market experience Berlin is the place to be. Whether you want a traditional magical market or a more urban and lively one the city is hosting sixty different markets in the run up to the 25th. The market held at Charlottenburg castle is a must see and since 2007 has been dazzling visitors with its light displays and scenery. For 35 days the castle hosts over 150 stalls in its gardens and grounds.
One of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe, Strasbourg’s Christmas market is a magical experience. The city hosts 12 different markets each with their own unique feel and stalls. The Strasbourg market has an international feel with traders from across the globe bringing their wares to the city. The market celebrates differing cultures and traditions, every year highlighting the specialities of a guest nation. This year’s market is hosting Georgian traders
The Danes have a strong connection to Christmas, after all Greenland the home of Father Christmas is a Danish territory. The country’s biggest and best Christmas market is held in the capital of Copenhagen and specifically the district of Tivoli. Pony rides and other amusements are available for children and you can admire a colourful light show on a part of the Tivoli Lake. The atmosphere is much like that of a small carnival, filled with the mouth watering smells of funnel cakes and glögg as well as the sounds of familiar holiday songs. Linger over a traditional meal or indulge in a quick pick-me-up at one of its restaurants in this snow covered winter wonderland.
The Canadians love Christmas and in cities across the country Christmas markets are held in November and December. One of the biggest and best is held in Toronto where the market takes over the city’s distillery district. The region is full of traders and crastmen, family friendly entertainment, shopping and music shows. The market also is the home of the massive 45 foot tall White Spruce Christmas tree which is donated every year. Magical lighting and décor displays create an incredible traditional and romantic Christmas setting for visitors to enjoy. The street and squares of the Historic Distillery are transformed into a paradise of lights and colours, festive sounds and seductive smells.
Prague (Czech Republic)
The Czech Republic is renowned for the quality of its Christmas markets and Prague offers some of the best by far. The Prague Christmas markets are te
most impressive, lighting up the city centre, and bringing locals and tourists together to share in the holiday spirit in a true ‘winter wonderland’ setting. The market is made up of brightly decorated wooden huts selling a plethora of hand crafted goods from food to jewellery. You can also observe traditional foods being made, and sample all manner of local food and drink. Large hams are roasted on spits. Traditional Czech pastries are prepared in front of you, such as ‘Trdelník’ – a hot sugary coated pastry. If you love your food then the Czech Republic is the place to be this Christmas.
Every year Brussels hosts the Winter Wonders market, attracting visitors from all over the world to its spectacular sights and stalls. Belgium’s largest Christmas market is made up of 240 chalets located around the Bourse (Stock Exchange) and on the Marché aux Poissons. Belgian artisans and those from abroad offer their specialities, original gifts and tasteful decorations. The atmosphere is enhanced by frequently organised activities with street artists, brass bands, processions on foot, choirs and amusement rides for the children. A guest of honour (a city, country or region) traditionally occupies Place Ste. Catherine to present its handicrafts, gastronomy, and culture and so on.
The Nuremberg Christmas party is one of the oldest and biggest in Europe. Over two million visitors come to the city to sample the delights of the market which hosts over 180 wooden stalls adorned with red and white cloth giving the city the name the ‘Little town from wood and cloth’. The city’s old quarter is full of medieval charm and the aroma of gingerbread and bratwurst. The Nuremberg market also offers a children’s version which features old fashioned rides and a steam train!