The World’s Must-Visit Christmas and Holiday Markets

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The World’s Must-Visit Christmas and Holiday Markets

The holiday season and festive markets go hand in hand, whether you’re shopping for the perfect gifts or reveling in the tasty food and drinks that only come around once a year. While you can probably find a holiday market close to home, there’s something special about heading to a destination known for its Christmas cheer. Can’t decide on a festive adventure? Here are the must-visit Christmas and holiday markets around the world.

Galway Christmas Market: Ireland

One of Ireland’s top holiday attractions, the Galway Christmas Market features 20 wooden chalets in Eyre Square offering delicious seasonal treats like handmade Irish fudge and uniquely crafted items. Festive music, twinkling lights, a Ferris wheel and the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus, are just a part of the excitement in store this year.

Dresden Striezelmarkt: Germany

Dresden’s Striezelmarkt is the oldest Christmas market in Germany, attracting visitors from all around the world. Beautifully adorned stalls, a traditional Ferris wheel and the world’s largest walk-in candle arch are only a sampling of the fun that awaits. And don’t forget to check out the Pflaumentoffel, the traditional handcrafted edible figurines made from dried plums.

Christmas in Strasbourg: France

Known as the “Capital of Christmas,” Strasbourg has six different market areas with over 300 stalls. Join the more than two million visitors as they shop for Alsatian Christmas delicacies and crafts created by local artisans, admire the Great Christmas Tree and brilliant lights and learn about the region’s distinct traditions.

Advent Zagreb: Croatia

Croatia’s Advent Zagreb is holiday fun for the entire family, with beautifully decorated wooden huts, irresistible foods like gingerbread and vanilla half-moon cookies, and festive music everywhere. Stroll through the streets of the capital and enjoy performances, exhibits, a live Nativity scene, and a magical tram ride with Santa.

Christmas in Tivoli Gardens: Denmark

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen is a magical place year-round, but there’s something exceptionally special about the third-oldest amusement park in the world around the holidays. Visit with Father Christmas, check out the food stalls, see a performance of The Nutcracker, marvel at the sparkling light displays and bundle up for the Christmas Day fireworks.

The Distillery Winter Village: Canada

Toronto’s historic Distillery District is transformed into an outdoor holiday market complete with vendors in adorable wooden cabins selling food and other gift items. Walk the cobblestone paths, take part in a carol sing-along and snap a pic at a festive photo wall. At the heart of the market is a 51-foot-tall white spruce Christmas tree adorned with 70,000 twinkling lights, over 2,000 gold and blue ornaments and 1,000 custom DIOR star charms.

Winter Wonders: Belgium

Winter Wonders in Brussels is considered one of the top Christmas markets in the world, with close to 250 chalets featuring food, gifts and more. There’s fun for all ages, including a sound and light show on the Grand Place, street performers, a large ice skating rink, art exhibits and a beer pavilion where you can sample local brews.

Christkindlmarket: USA

Inspired by the 16th-century market in Nuremberg, Germany, Christkindlmarket brings the European tradition to the Chicagoland area. Named for the Christkind, the German Bearer of Gifts, it’s the perfect place to shop for artisanal products like hot sauces and raclette cheese or handcrafted ornaments and candles and sample strudel, pretzels, hot spiced wine and fine Belgian chocolate.

Munich Christmas Market: Japan

Sapporo’s Munich Christmas Market celebrates its German sister city each year with dazzling light displays, workshops and picture-perfect stalls selling German food, mulled wine and more. The snowy city is the perfect backdrop for outdoor concerts, and if you’re lucky, you might even receive a gift from Santa Claus.

Christmas Wonderland: Singapore

Christmas Wonderland in Singapore takes over Gardens by the Bay with impressive light displays, a two-story carousel, carnival games and even snow. Shop for gifts in Mistletoe Alley, say hello to Santa Claus, stop by ElFresco for fine food curated by some of Singapore’s best restaurants and end your day with the Garden Rhapsody light and sound show.

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