Pilatus, Shutterstock, Switzerland

9 unusual Christmas markets you want to know about

Done all the regular Christmas markets, pirates? Then try something new! We've tracked down 9 unusual Christmas markets for you. "What's so unusual about them?", you might ask. Their location or their theme is the answer!

One of them is high up on a mountain, one is in a cave, one is on an island, and one takes place in tropical heat. One is Charles-Dickens themed, one is pink and one is naughty! One is piraty and medieval at the same time and one is set in a castle!

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📍Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

This is Europe's highest Christmas market! Christkindlimärt is only open for one weekend in advent every year. Expect 40 beautifully decorated market stalls and magnificent view over lakes and Alps.

You'll get special train fares on the weekend of the Christmas market. More info here.

📍Dortmund, Germany

The "Medieval Illuminated Christmas Market" in Dortmund's Fredenbaumpark is our kind of Christmas market. Expect pirate and dragon-themed camps, concerts, loads of stalls and knights tournaments. The area is set around a lake and looks magical once it gets dark with fires and lights twinkling in the dark. You’ll need to buy tickets before you go. More info here.

📍Valkenburg aan de Geul, Netherlands

A Christmas market in a cave! Located in the southern Netherlands, the beautiful town of Valkenburg turns the caves under the city into spectacular Christmas markets.

You’ve got to book tickets to get in. More info here.

Picture credit: IgorLukin /

📍Great Dickens Christmas Fair, San Francisco, U.S.A

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is an immersive experience into Victorian London with hundreds of costumed players performing and interacting with patrons in over 140,000 square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance floors, and festive shops. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. The Dickens Christmas Fair is a treasured Bay Area tradition since 1970 and just the right thing to get you into the festive mood. You’ll need to buy tickets. All info here.

📍Fraueninsel, Chiemsee, Germany

This is one of the most romantic and unusual Christmas markets we’ve ever been on. You can get there by boat only and the whole Christmas market is dotted around the island. You can spend the day there walking around, drinking mulled wine and trying all the different Christmassy specialities.

You could combine this with a city trip to Munich. Lake Chiemsee is easily accessible via public transport and then it’s a ferry across. More info here.

📍Queer Christmas Market Munich, Germany

This is the so-called pink Christmas market in Munich’s Glockenbachviertel. Here’s where the LGBTIQ+ community meets to get into the festive spirit. It’s close to the hottest bars, too, for your drinks afterwards. More information here.

📍Christmas Wonderland, 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.

More info here.

📍Wartburg, Germany

If you want to be transported back in time, this is your place to go. The Christmas market at the Wartburg in Eisenach, Thuringia, which is UNESCO World Heritage Site takes you back to the medieval ages. You’ll feel part of how it must have been living at a castle during that time. Candle makers, glassblowers, dressmakers, lantern makers, soap makers, stonemasons, herbalists offer their goods. More info here.

📍SANTA PAULI Christmas Market, Hamburg, Germany

You'll find numerous mulled wine stands, where you can try creations called "Streetwalker" or "Nutcracker". At one of the stands, the motto is "Do it yourself" where you can create your own mulled wine mixes. Of course, you can also eat the obligatory bratwurst or waffle at the Christmas market. Read more here.