It’s December and therefore tis the season to…SHOP. In the colder months it’s common for people to take shopping Christmas breaks to discover some of the beautiful Christmas markets the world has to offer. So stock up on wrapping paper and prepare for lots of mulled wine, here’s the top seven Christmas markets in the world.
Striezelmarkt- Dresden, Germany
Germany’s oldest and largest Christmas market can be found in the heart of Dresden boasting christmas charm and character. It first opened in 580 years ago in 1434 and is now one of the most famous christmas markets in the world offering a world record 46-foot Christmas pyramid, traditional music and local festive sweets. The markets name comes from Hefestriezel, a sweet delicacy which is now known as “Dresden Christstollen,” (German Christmas Cake).
Christkindlmarkt Chicago- Chicago
Chicago’s market mimics those in Europe but mixes tradition with international flair. Its unique shopping experience, typical German food and drinks, as well as diverse holiday entertainment has made the Christkindlmarket Chicago a preferred and popular destination around the world. Separating itself from the retail world the market offers visitors a wide range of articles include eclectic ornaments that are hand-blown and painted, and classic German products like nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, and beer steins.
Strasbourg Christmas Market- France
Founded in 1570, Strasbourg Christmas market is the oldest in France and can be found near the majestic Cathedral of Notre Dame as well as spread out over 12 locations within the city centre, making it one of the largest in Europe. Offering 300 stalls of arts and crafts, Christmas decorations, and sweet treats this Christmas market truly embodies Christmas spirit and tradition.
Old Town and Wenceslas Square – Prague
Prague’s famous Christmas markets open daily, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. They boast brightly decorated wooden huts selling traditional handicrafts: glassware, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, metalware, ceramics, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, hats, gloves and scarves, and puppets and dolls beautifully dressed in traditional costumes. But the stalls are not just about shopping. Visitors can observe traditional foods being made, and sample local produce.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland- London
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland offers a host of seasonal festivities including over 100 rides & attractions, ice skating, Christmas Markets, themed bars, cafes, restaurants and street food, as well as free live music. Although Winter Wonderland is free to enter tickets must be purchased for the main attractions: Ice Skating, The Magical Ice Kingdom, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, the Giant Wheel and Bar Ice. For more information visit their website here.
Winter Village Bryant Park- New York
Hosted by Bank of America, Byrant Park’s Winter Village is at the heart of New York’s Christmas festivities. The ice rink is the centrepiece of the Winter Village with free admission ice skating, skating shows, special events, and activities. The Village also features more than 125 boutique-style shops selling apparel, jewellery, decorative goods, local foods, and more. You can even meet the big man himself- Santa!
Salzburg’s Christmas market has been mentioned as far back as the 15th century, and can be found at the foot of the Hohensalzburg fortress and around the Salzburg cathedral. Experience a traditional Austrian Christmas with 95 exhibitors divided into six sections; Food & drink, Floral arrangements, Christmas decorations, candles, Crafts & Toys, Sweets & Coffee, This & That jewellery, Textiles and natural products.