Whether traveling to Europe this winter or staying closer to home, there’s a holiday market to put you in the spirit of the season. From twinkling bright lights to festive activities for kids and adults alike, not an ounce of merry will be lost at these seven holiday markets.
If looking to visit one of the oldest Christmas markets in the world, the Munich Christmas Market dates back to the 14th century. With festive Bavarian music, crafting and baking workshops for both adults and children, and a nearly 100-foot-tall Christmas tree, the holiday spirit is hard to ignore. Not to mention, the market sits in the middle of Marienplatz, Munich’s main square since 1158 – a destination in itself.
Since 1970, The Great Dickens Christmas Fair has brought Victorian London to life in San Francisco. As the perfect outing for holiday family fun, you’ll be surrounded by costumed characters straight out of A Christmas Carol, storytellers, carolers, dancers and performers. From lamplit shops to cozy pubs to music halls, there isn’t a dull moment to be had.
Toronto comes to life during the holidays and is full of fun for the family. In the city’s Distillery District, the beautiful brick Victorians are romantic and magical. Equipped with strings of globe lights overhead and lamplit street corners, it’s the perfect setting for Toronto’s Christmas Market. Stop by for a serving of spicy mulled cider or a cup of poutine, or simply explore the area’s fashionable boutiques, bars and galleries alongside the cozy seasonal pop-up shops.
Nothing gets kids more excited than holiday lights, and the Tivoli Gardens’ Christmas Market does not disappoint. Drawing crowds from far and wide, the light show’s colors, music, fire, smoke, lasers and water leave visitors feeling festive and in awe. For the best view, watch the light show from the bridge above Tivoli Lake. But don’t miss out on the holiday market stalls which are magical and also worth the trip.
If you’ve ever visited Manhattan during the holidays, you know it isn’t officially holiday season until Bryant Park’s Winter Village comes to life. With 100+ pop-up shops, a 17,000-square-foot ice rink, a food hall, and a festively lit Christmas tree shining bright among the city’s skyscrapers and lights, you’ll become lost in the moment and forget you’re in the city at all. Come for the experience and you’ll leave feeling merry and magical.
The often harsh winter elements of December don’t keep Quebecois indoors. Instead, the city comes to life with its old-world-style holiday market, Marché de Noël Allemand. Full of charming wooden stands under glowing festive lights, the market will have you singing fa la la la la alongside the carolers. Grab a handful of hot chestnuts, sip on mulled wine or hot cider, buy a glass-blown ornament for your tree, or simply enjoy the storybook moment you’re living in.
Known as the “Capitale de Noël,” there’s no other place like Strasbourg to enjoy the holiday season. As the oldest in all of France and one of the oldest in all of Europe, Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmärik in Place Broglie has over 100 wooden chalets, each brightly lit competing against the others. For those who consider themselves “foodies,” it’s the perfect stop to pick up fresh cakes, beer, mulled wine, and delicious Alsatian pastries. Not to mention, the colorful and shimmering tree is said to be the highest decorated Christmas tree in Europe.