22 November 2017
The festive season is fast approaching, so make the most of it by visiting a Christmas market on your next holiday. Whether you’re looking for lit-up Christmas displays, winter activities like ice skating or seasonal treats such as glühwein, you’re sure to find all the ingredients needed for a fabulous festive break. Here are seven spectacular Christmas markets you could visit in 2017.
When: 02 December 2017 – 06 January 2018
Immerse yourself in the seasonal vibe that grips Prague every year, when various Christmas markets take over the city. Collectively called ‘Vanocni Trh’ these markets include stalls selling everything from embroidered lace, wooden toys and scented candles, to spit-roasted ham and traditional hot sugar-coated pastries, so there’s something for everyone. A top market to visit is the one held at the Old Town Square. It is renowned for hosting the most impressive Christmas tree in all Bohemia, as well as Christmas carol concerts where children sing while wearing authentic Czech costumes!
When: 16 November – 23 December 2017
Rediscover the magic of Yuletide by visiting the Toronto Christmas market. It will be held in the city’s Distillery Historic District, which will be decorated with various light displays for the occasion. Watch performances from carollers, cultural dancers and award-winning singers at the market’s main stage. There’s even a ‘Santa’s Elves Sing-Along’ session for the little ones! Shop at over 80 boutiques, with everything from home furnishings to designer clothing on offer. Spend a night in the popular beer gardens and sample treats such as hot toddies and glühwein, giving yourself a warm seasonal glow.
When: 18 November – 23 December 2017
Explore not one, but six Christmas markets, in Stockholm during late 2017. Sample traditional delights like glögg – a type of Nordic mulled wine, gaze at the twinkly lights on massive Christmas trees and buy everything from flowers to designer clothes at these various markets. Highlights for your itinerary include the daily market at Gamla Stan, where you can taste local foods like elk meat and buy high quality Swedish handicrafts, as well as the weekly event at Skansen on Djurgården island. Dating back to 1903, this market is the world’s oldest open-air museum and serves as the site of the exciting Stockholm Winter Show; a family-friendly ski and snow sports demonstration.
When: 01 December – 24 December 2017
Dating back to the 16th Century, the Christkindlesmarkt is one of Germany’s oldest and most famous Christmas markets. Taste the local dishes like Nuremburg Bratwurst, roasted almonds and Nuremburg gingerbread which have been served here for centuries. Your kids are sure to love the decorated houses and puppet theatre shows held at the event’s children’s market. Come for the opening ceremony and meet the traditional Christkind angel – who gives gifts every Christmas. Stop at the market’s candy stripe-coloured stalls and buy everything from Christmas decorations to knitted items.
When: 25 November 2017 – 01 January 2018
Enjoy the wonders of winter in Brussels this Christmas season. Venture into the heart of city where you’ll find over 200 chalets and an ornately decorated Christmas tree at La Grand Place, which is the centrepiece of a fabulous sound and light show. Take the young ones for some fun on the ice rink, or to ride the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round at the enchanting fair ground. Visit the colourful stalls where you can pick up handicrafts to give to your loved ones for Christmas!
When: 17 November – 24 December 2017
Experience a traditional German Christkindlmarkt with an American twist in downtown Chicago. Embrace the season by listening to the market’s roaming Alpine Brass band belt out festive tunes, surrounded by twinkling lights and candy stripe-coloured huts. Settle at a "stammtisch" table and enjoy German treats like sauerkraut and Glühwein. There’s even Kinderglühwein for the kids! 2017 is an especially good time to visit with the family, as for the third time the Chicago market has invited its very own Christkind – a traditional Christmas gift giver – to open the Chicago Christkindlmarket!
When: 18 November – 31 December 2017
Stroll through Copenhagen’s enchanting Tivoli Gardens and see this iconic landmark transformed into a winter wonderland. With fairy lights strung around every corner, majestic spruces planted especially for the season, and glistening snow covering the greens, you’ll soon get into the spirit. Visit these markets’ famous traditional wooden huts, where you can buy leather products, crafts, deli treats and more. Dine on dishes such as roasted almonds, take the kids on rides like the Star Tower – a carousel for the brave, and watch cabarets at the nearby Glass Hall Theatre.