The 10 Best Holiday Markets Around the World
I cannot believe the holidays are already upon us. This season is especially exciting for me this year as I finalize our website for presales and wait for our packaging boxes to arrive. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! I cannot wait to introduce all of you to Adélie’s serums very soon!
In the meantime, I’ve been celebrating the season with all my usual traditions—early holiday shopping at local boutiques (you know I love to shop small businesses!), decorating our home for the holidays, and eating all of the fresh seasonal citrus I can! We are spending our first holiday in our new home in sunny Florida this year, so that makes it all the more special.
One the things I do miss is a good holiday market! I haven’t found one yet (the season isn’t over though!). I keep dreaming of beautiful holiday markets with local treasures, mulled wine, the aroma of roasted chestnuts, lots of sparkling decorations, and maybe even some snow! It’s one of my favorite things to do this time of year, so I wanted to take you all on a virtual journey with me to these 10 best holiday markets around the world.
Rathaus in Vienna is one of the largest and most beautiful holiday markets in the world. It’s probably my favorite, but really, who can choose? With handcrafted ornaments and decorations, the treasures you’ll find in this holiday market are all high quality, artisanal pieces that you will keep forever. The treats you’ll want to try are glühwein (mulled wine—they have the best in Vienna!), roasted chestnuts, and of course, fresh pretzels. Other highlights are the beautifully lit skating rink and the enormous Rathaus Christmas tree. This market is not to be missed! You’ll also want to check out the holiday market at Schonbrunn Palace, which is very kid-friendly. Visit the museum and enjoy the enclosed garden activities as a family.
Strasbourg is known as the capital of Christmas, and if you’ve ever been to visit between late November and the end of the year, you know this to be true! This city in northern France gets all dressed up for the holidays with the most stunning light displays and Christmas trees you can imagine. They have holiday markets peppered throughout the city, but the oldest, largest, and most popular is le Christkindelsmärik, which is located in Place Broglie. It contains more than 100 stalls filled with everything you could ever want to decorate your home and table for the holidays, as well as many handmade artisanal gifts, from Christmas ornaments to wooden toys to blown glass candleholders. Don’t forget to taste the pain d’épices!
One of the most charming holiday markets I’ve ever seen! Set to the picturesque backdrop of Heidelberg Castle and old winding alleys where you’ll want to get lost for hours, the holidays are truly magical in Heidelberg. The largest of the markets here is Universitätsplatz, where there is the most gorgeous carrousel that is over 100 years old!
The holiday market in Vorosmarty Square is so beautiful, and it starts as early as November 9th! It features locally crafted gifts, food stalls, wine tasting, and even free concerts. There is another market over by the Basilica that has laser projections onto the basilica. If your kids like seeing holiday lights, this is definitely worthy of a stop! Don’t forget to try some chimney cake!
Another market we loved in France was in the medieval town of Nancy. It was so kid-friendly and fun with lots of street entertainment, like folk dancing and Christmas caroling. Your kids will also love the handcrafted toys and local treats, like macarons and pain d’épices. Warm yourself up with some vin chaud (mulled wine)!
I have to include this holiday market in Metz because we made some great memories there. It also is quite popular with approximately 2 million visitors per year. It has tons of stuff to do with kids, including La Grande Roue (Ferris Wheel) by the Place des Armes market, ice skating at the Place de la République, and taking pictures with Père Noël (Santa Claus) at Centre St-Jacques.
I promise this is my last holiday market recommendation in France. I don’t want to play favorites, but as you can see, the French are quite skilled at creating the most festive, charming holiday markets! The one in Colmar is one of the most breathtaking I’ve ever seen. Just look at the photos! It’s a fantasy world! Just one warning: it is quite touristy, so if you’re looking for an authentic or off-the-beaten path experience, this is not the best option for you.
The only country that can give France a run for its money when it comes to holiday markets is Germany! There really are so many beautiful ones to see in Germany. Dresden is Germany’s oldest Christmas market. There are so many markets around the city to choose from. You’ll find locally crafted gifts, treats, weekly holiday-themed events, music, a Ferris Wheel, puppet shows, ice skating, and some of the best mulled wine ever!
This holiday market has it all: more than 200 stalls with handcrafted gifts, a Ferris Wheel, a carrousel, an ice skating rink, a sound and light show, and a giant Christmas tree! It also has a very festive ambiance this time of year.
If you’re looking to do something off-the-beaten path, the holiday market in Zagreb is such a hidden gem! It was voted best European holiday market three years in a row with good reason. It features ice skating, a carrousel, mulled wine, delicious treats, live music, incredible decorations, a live advent scene, and so many events to keep you entertained. This one is definitely on my holiday market bucket list!
What’s your favorite holiday market? Share in the comments below!