7 of the best Christmas markets

29 November 2016

Piping hot glühwein. The mouthwatering smell of sausages and caramel. Twinkling lights on tiny wooden huts...

The Christmas markets are open and that means the festive season is most definitely upon us!

From the world’s oldest Christmas market in Germany to wooden huts adorning quaint English streets, there’s plenty to see and do in these cities. And there’s nothing quite like roasting chestnuts and mugs of mulled wine on a cold winter’s evening to start the countdown to Christmas...

Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg, Germany

When: 25 November - 24 December 2016

Christmas Market in Nuremberg, Germany

Enchanting and utterly beautiful, it’s hard to beat the magical atmosphere at one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets. Thought to date back to the 16th century, Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt is a feast of red-and-white-striped huts, intoxicating spicy aromas, and charming handicrafts. Tasting a Nuremberg Bratwurst (sausage) and nibbling Nuremberg gingerbread are must-dos while you’re here!

Chicago Christkindlmarket, USA

When: 18 November - 24 December 2016

Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Germany, this traditional Christmas market transforms downtown Chicago into a delightful winter wonderland. Expect wooden huts with candy stripes, twinkling lights and festive tunes provided by the roaming Alpine Brass band. And don’t miss the daily Advent Calendar – each day a visitor opens the calendar and wins a gift from one of the market stalls!

Christmas in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark

When: 19 November – 31 December 2016

Decoration at Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens are picturesque at any time of year but add in the wooden huts of the Christmas market and glistening snow, and it becomes something from a fairytale. Everywhere you look there are twinkling lights (there are more than half a million of them dotted around) and Christmas decorations, and the moreish caramel scent of roasted almonds. You might even spot Santa Claus and his reindeer here, too…

Winter Wonders (Plaisirs d’Hiver), Brussels, Belgium

When: 25 November - 1 January 2016

Christmas tree at La Grand-Place Brussels, Belgium

Over 200 chalets, a magical fairground and an ice skating rink transform Brussels’ heart into an exciting winter playground. There’s a show-stopping explosion of colour and music at the Christmas parade and plenty to keep little ones entertained. Don’t forget to gaze up at the giant homegrown Christmas tree at La Grand-Place. And keep an eye out for the spectacular light and sound show which adds further magic to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed market square.

Lincoln Christmas Market, England

When: 1 – 4 December 2016

Held around the historic Cathedral Quarter in Lincoln, more than 280 stalls are nestled in the quaint cobbled streets. There’s entertainment galore for the whole family alongside the market stalls, and plenty of food stalls if you’re feeling peckish. And seeing Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral lit up at night makes for a truly magical moment.

Stockholm Christmas Markets, Sweden

When: 26 November – 23 December 2016

Christmas market in Old Town Stockholm, Sweden

From traditional Christmas markets to a farmer’s market with a festive twist, Stockholm’s city centre plays host to six different Christmas markets. Head to the Skansen Open-Air Museum for traditional treats, or the Christmas edition of the farmer’s market for local produce. Visit the Old Town to wander among the tiny red huts and shop for Swedish goodies. Explore Beckmans College of Design for art and design pieces. Wander through the beautiful garden at Rosendal for flowers and food, or discover artisan food and handicrafts at Drottningham Castle.

Manchester Christmas Markets, England

When: 10 November to 20 December

Dotted across Manchester’s bustling city centre are over 300 wooden stalls and chalets. Selling everything from handcrafted gifts to locally produced artisan food, this dazzling market takes visitors on a journey through the city centre. If you’ve yet to visit this vibrant Northern city, don’t miss seeing Manchester in all its Christmas splendour.

Ready to wander from stall to stall, past roasting chestnuts, mugs of mulled wine, and cheer?

Whether you’re hoping to visit the Christmas markets for a day or spend a little longer exploring the cities, get in touch with your Travel Counsellor to plan your festive break.

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