Travel Inspiration

The Best Christmas Markets Around the World

The Best Christmas Markets Around the World

It’s that time of year again. Supermarkets are competing for the best Christmas advert, diets are being thrown out the window and one by one Christmas markets are popping up around the world. Mid-November sees cities transform into winter wonderlands, with festive markets sporting their brightest lights and jolliest Santas. And how we embrace them – greedy helpings of mulled wine and bronzed bratwurst never seem to get old. Eager to step into Christmas? Read on for our roundup of some of the best Christmas markets around the world…


  1. New York City, USA
  2. Vienna, Austria
  3. Toronto, Canada
  4. Singapore
  5. Dresden, Germany


New York City, USA

Thanks to movies like Home Alone and Elf, New York City is synonymous with Christmas. Each year, the city’s steely streets are transformed by the arrival of twinkly fairy lights and cosy Christmas markets. Union Square Holiday Market is one of our favourites, with its maze of European-inspired stalls decked with candles, clothes and candy. Or there’s Bryant Park Winter Village where you can slip and slide across a 17,000-square-foot ice rink. New York’s a city that knows Christmas inside out, making Union Square and Bryant Park some of the best Christmas markets around the world.


Vienna, Austria

Vienna and Christmas markets go back a long way – all the way to 1298, in fact, when the world’s first Krippenmarkt (Christmas market) was held. Not many cities’ CV’s can boast over 700 years of festive fun, so it’s no surprise that Vienna’s a fierce contender for hosting the best Christmas markets around the world. Hours spent browsing the likes of Christkindlmarkt are complemented by the smell of sugar roasted almonds and mulled wine, and stalls are watched over by the Rathaus city hall and oversized Christmas tree. With traditions old and new (plus a potential dusting of snow), what’s not to love?


Toronto, Canada

Come December, Toronto is gripped by cold weather, festive cheer is second nature and markets take hold of the city. Over at the Distillery Winter Village, cobblestone streets and 19th-century buildings are dressed in strings of lights and boughs of holly. If the daily average temperature of -1°C chills you to the bone, then cosy up in one of the bars fitted with roaring fires and Ontario-spiced apple cider. And if your belly’s aching for more, check out their stalls serving dishes from across the globe – Swiss raclette, Venezuelan pies and Mexican churros. Divine.



The proof is in the (Christmas) pudding – you don’t need a white Christmas to feel festive. While Singapore’s daily average temperature of 26°C is hotter than England’s summers, their Christmas markets embrace wintry traditions with the energy of a sugar-filled five-year-old on Christmas morning. Their famous Gardens by the Bay promises fairground activities, an illuminated igloo complete with fake snow and a tunnel of twinkling lights. Dressed in short sleeves and sandals, it won't be a Christmas you’re used to, but it certainly won’t be one you’ll forget.


Dresden, Germany

Last on our list of the best Christmas markets in Europe and around the world is Germany’s Dresden. The first market, Dresdner Striezelmarkt, popped up in 1434 and the city was crowned Germany’s Christmas capital. Today, the market attracts around 2.5 million visitors a year, all eager to test drive their traditions. How about tucking into a pflaumentoffelm? This sweet treat, in the shape of a miniature man, is made from dried prunes and is modelled on 19th-century chimney sweeps. The market is decked with a Ferris wheel, puppet theatre and traditional crafts, and has enough festive cheer to last all year.


Written by Evie Buller