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Our top 26 Christmas markets

There's nothing like a snowy Christmas market to get even the grinchiest among us in the Christmas holiday spirit. We've rounded up 26 of our favourite Christmas markets around the world, from Switzerland to Singapore and Tallinn to Toronto.

The best Christmas markets in Europe & the world

1. Bath, England

Set against the backdrop of Bath Abbey's soaring spires, Bath's annual Christmas market transforms the historic city into an enchanting maze of over 200 wooden chalets, holiday decorations and traditional festivities.

This English town's take on the classic German Christmas market is one of the country's most popular and is perfect for travellers who don't fancy flying out of the country to visit a Christmas Market.

2. Brussels, Belgium

Brussels's bustling Christmas market — known as Winter Wonders — is one of the largest Christmas markets outside of Germany. Stretching from the Grand Place to Place Sainte Catherine and beyond, it is packed with activities for both children and adults.

In addition to over 240 stalls serving everything from warming shots of liquor to waffles hot off the iron, visitors will find an illuminated big wheel, light displays and a 200-foot skating rink.

3. Berlin, Germany

If you head to Germany's capital, you will find Christmas markets big and small, with around 80 opening up each year. Enjoy bratwurst and many more delicacies, as well as red and white Glühwein.

You will find all sorts of Christmas markets, including Scandinavian or Japanese, and many markets with carnivals and rides.

4. Edinburgh, UK

Edinburgh offers some of our favourite Christmas Markets in not only Scotland, but the whole of the UK. You will find mulled wine as well as mulled cider, live performances, many shops and food stalls and fairground rides including a big wheel with stunning views on Edinburgh Castle.

5. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is a beauty all year round, but it really comes alive in the festive months. The Christmas markets sell so many different types of food, you will be spoilt for choice, and of course we can't forget the Glühwein.

You will find some great items for sale at these Christmas markets, including stunning Christmas ornaments and snow globes.

6. Copenhagen, Denmark

The Danish capital really comes into its own during the holidays, when Christmas markets pop up throughout the city and every shop window is decorated with candles and festive baubles.

But it's the spectacular decorations and 60-odd market stalls at Tivoli Gardens that really steal the show. A genuinely charming amusement park (no, really — it’s even a popular date spot amongst locals), Tivoli Gardens transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland.

7. Dresden, Germany

There are actually eleven different Christmas markets sprinkled throughout this festive city, but the Striezelmarkt is by far the largest and most famous.

Hailed as the oldest in Germany, this Christmas market has been welcoming visitors since 1434. It's the perfect place to sample a hearty slice of Stollen (or Striezel), the traditional German sweet bread from which the Striezelmarkt takes its name.

8. Erfurt, Germany

Erfurt's Weihnachtsmarkt takes place against the backdrop of two magnificent Gothic churches making the Weihnachtsmarkt one of the prettiest Christmas markets in Germany, as well as a fantastic option for travellers looking to get slightly off the beaten track.

You can enjoy many regional favourites here such as Thuringian bratwurst and Erfurt schittchen, or buy handcrafted products from Thuringia including Christmas decorations, traditional blue-dyed fabrics, pottery, and crafts from the Erzgebirge mountains.

9. Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg is not nicknamed 'the Christmas City' for nothing. There are a variety of excellent Christmas markets to be found around the city — from the trendy À la London design market to the traditional rows of cheerful wooden stalls that crowd Gothenburg's old quarter.

Liseberg amusement park offers everything from traditional shopping to ice skating to classic Christmas buffets, Liseberg is home to Sweden's largest and most dazzling Christmas market which is decorated in nearly five million lights.

10. Helsinki, Finland

Snowfall in Finland during the holiday season is practically guaranteed, especially in northern Lapland — home to reindeer, evergreen forests, and Santa (the city of Rovaniemi is the official home of Santa Claus).

If you forgot to pack your snowshoes, don't despair: the southern capital of Helsinki hosts Tuomaan Maarkinat, Finland's most popular Christmas market, featuring over 100 stalls selling locally crafted gifts, ornaments and traditional treats.

11. Toronto, Canada

Toronto's annual Christmas market has been voted one of the best in the world, and you will find beer gardens with speciality beer, a glühwein terrace and a life-sized gingerbread house, great shopping, sweets and treats and the largest Christmas tree in Toronto.

12. Vienna, Austria

You will be spoilt for choice when deciding which Christmas markets to visit in Vienna as there are many of offer in this city.

The Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz is the city's largest, featuring over 150 vendors, ice skating, and concerts in front of one of Vienna's most iconic landmarks.

13. London, UK

Hyde Park in London, is where you will find Winter Wonderland, one of the most festive events you will come across. Here you will find epic Christmas Markets and a lot more.

Think of live music, the UK's largest open-air ice rink, an ice bar, Santa Land, a real ice slide, street food village, choice of bars including a rotating bar and a Bavarian Village, loads of fairground ride, fun house, VR experience, haunted house, and more - phew!

14. Nuremberg, Germany

Germany's most famous Christmas market is also one of its most traditional, Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt is filled with almost 200 stalls selling traditional Bavarian crafts, treats and sweets.

You can easily lose hours strolling through the maze of market stalls, sampling freshly baked gingerbread (or Lebkuchen), Nuremberger sausages and (of course) plenty of glühwein.

15. Prague, Czech Republic

If you're lucky enough to find yourself in the Prague for the holidays, you'll have your pick of Christmas markets to choose from. The market at the Old Town square is the most popular, and with good reason, you will find hand-made products, gifts, Christmas decorations, candles and delicious treats such as roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, gingerbread, sausages, grilled chicken or dumplings.

16. Krakow, Poland

You will find the Christmas Market in Kraków's huge central square, Rynek Glowny which is in the middle of the Old Town historic district.

Here you will find loads of cute wooden stalls, selling a range of different Christmas decorations, gifts, toys, sweets as well as hot food choice and mulled wine and local crafts.

17. Riga, Latvia

According to Latvians, Riga was the site of the world's first decorated Christmas tree. The legend is kept alive each year in the town square, where an illuminated tree stands at the heart of Riga's Old Town Christmas Market.

In addition to Christmas market staples like mulled wine, gingerbread, and roasted nuts, keep an eye out for Latvian traditions like dragging the Yule log and miming to drive away bad spirits.

18. Singapore

Southeast Asia is unlikely to be on your Christmas market radar, but that hasn't stopped Singapore from putting on one of the world's most impressive seasonal displays. Christmas Wonderland is a dazzling festival of lights, food, and entertainment set in the Gardens by the Bay — Singapore's futuristic nature park.

The festival features live music, carnival rides, ice skating, and gourmet food from celebrity chefs and Michelin-starred restaurants. The real stars of the show, however, are the 80 light sculptures found throughout the Gardens, handmade by Italian craftsmen.

19. Stein am Rhein, Switzerland

The Swiss town of Stein am Rhein — about an hour from Zurich — boasts one of the best Christmas markets in the country, thanks to its backdrop of medieval half-timbered houses, painted facades and cobblestone streets.

Each year, the town's Maerlistadt ("fairytale town") is based on a different classic fairytale, making the festival a great option for both travellers with children and the young at heart.

20. Stockholm, Sweden

Whether you're seeking traditional celebrations, or you're just looking to get sloshed on some glögg (mulled wine), you can't go wrong with a Christmastime trip to Stockholm.

Stockholm's Old Town Christmas Market is the oldest in the country and an absolute must for anyone looking to experience a classic Swedish Christmas. The 40-odd little red huts at this traditional market sell all sorts of Swedish handicrafts and Christmas treats—smoked reindeer anyone?

21. Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg's annual Christmas market, which is arguably the oldest in Europe — is made up of smaller markets in different squares and streets across the Grand Ile, focusing around Cathedral square and Place Broglie.

Here you will find 100's of stalls selling anything from ornaments and toys to food and of course no Christmas market is complete without some mulled wine to keep you warm.

22. Tallinn, Estonia

Some say the first Christmas tree ever belongs to Riga, but the Estonians say the tradition belongs to them.

Located in the historic town hall square, Tallinn's annual Christmas market, Jõuluturg offers carousels, winter accessories, gingerbread and hearty Christmas roasts. You can also try the spicy mulled wine, which comes in many different flavours and visit Santa Claus, who distributes candy in his little house

23. Innsbruck, Austria

Located high in the Austrian Alps, Innsbruck is a popular winter sports destination that also boasts some of the most impressive Christmas markets in the country — the Hungerburg Christmas Market, for example, is situated on a mountain peak almost 1,000 feet above the Alpine city, offering panoramic views of the festivities below.

Innsbruck's loveliest market is located in the city's historic Old Town, surrounded by medieval buildings and snow-covered mountains. You will find over 70 stalls offering traditional Austrian crafts and treats.

24. Manchester, UK

If you are looking for a Christmas market in the north of England, Manchester should be on your list. It has everything from mulled wine, a ton of street food including Dutch and Greek offerings, live music, DJs, a marquee, bars offering locally brewed ales, food stalls, craft sellers and even cocktails.

25. Lisbon, Portugal

When we think of Christmas Markets, we think of having to wrap up warm to escape the cold and drink mulled wine to warm up (any excuse), when visiting the Christmas Markets in Lisbon that is not the case. The weather is relatively warm for this time of year, but that doesn't mean the Christmas spirit is any less festive.

Lisbon offers some Christmas Markets for short periods of time, as well as one year-round market that transforms into a Christmas Market at this time of year. A new attraction that is a must-visit is Wonderland Lisboa, here you will find a traditional market, but also an ice skating rink, Santa’s village and a big wheel.

26. New York, USA

New York may not offer loads of Christmas Markets, but it really does take the festive spirit to another level.

The holiday shops at the annual Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is inspired by European markets. In addition to the popular open-air market, the Winter Village is home to entertainment, a world-famous ice skating rink, igloos and bar and food outlets.