Hello December. Hello Christmas! Around this magical time of the year, cities and towns across the world brighten up with spectacular Xmas lightings and decorations. The jolly-man-in-red, Santa Claus comes to fulfil your wishes, and Christmas trees beautify every corner of the streets and homes. The beauty of the annual Christian festival can be observed in the Christmas markets too. Shopping at these colourful and vibrant markets is an experience in itself! So, if you’re planning to travel during this Christmas break, here’s a list of the best Christmas markets in the world that are worth adding to your travel itinerary.
1. Frankfurt Christmas Market, Germany
Taking place for over 600 years in Germany, the highly admirable Frankfurt Christmas Market is the biggest of its kind in terms of size and attendees. This Xmas market is visually pleasing to the extent that its mini-version is portrayed in the UK cities of Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. More than 3.5 million people visit the Frankfurt Christmas Market every year. There are even Christmas Market Tours available which are guided walks that will help you explore the best nooks and corners of this market. Don’t be surprised if delicious aromas of roasted nuts, baked apples and mulled wine waft around you, leaving you with a pleasantly heady feeling!
2. Southbank Centre Christmas Market, London, UK
No place like good ol’ London to celebrate this Winter Festival! Southbank Centre, on River Thames, converts into an enchanted wonderland selling Xmas gifts and crafts along with festive snacks and steaming drinks. Try out the German sausages, mince pies and spiced cider. Dance, music, acts and storytelling are performed for the audience. Apart from shopping till you drop, you can enjoy the jaw-dropping view of London’s iconic building and the Thames from the terrace of the Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Café.
3. Grand Christmas Market, Montreal, Canada
The Grand Christmas Market of Montreal brings everything you can possibly ask for, from food trucks to chilled beverages and delicious desserts. Fun-packed activities in the form of interactive displays, concerts, karaoke and choirs are conducted for spectators. Children can go for elves’ workshop, Santa’s sleigh and igloo put forth exclusively for them. And to add to all the fun, they can have their photos clicked with Santa!
4. Basel Christmas Market, Basel, Switzerland
The biggest Christmas market of Switzerland, the Basel Christmas Market presents over 100 artistically adorned stalls and wooden chalets selling Christmas gifts and culinary delights. You can relish hot chocolates, waffles, Basler Läckerli biscuits and grilled sausages. Write what you long desire in the wish book kept at the town hall courtyard. Museums in different parts of the city hold exhibitions for the interested individuals.
5. Christkindlmarket, Chicago, USA
Christkindlmarket, at Chicago’s Daley Plaza, is a Christmas market attracting a million visitors every year. With the passage of time, this German tradition has transformed into a Chicago institution at this location. A tall Christmas tree with nativity scene is placed at the Daley Plaza for the watchers. Vendors selling decorative items come from different places such as Ukraine, Austria, and Germany.
6. Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, Berlin, Germany
Germany’s Gendarmenmarkt is a popular square featuring a huge statue of Friedrich Schiller, a well-known poet. The German Christmas market – one of the best Christmas markets in the world – set here, provides a wide variety of handmade products created by artisans. You can treat your taste buds with lip-smacking snacks, meals and the conventional Christmas delicacies. Jugglers, fire-eaters and choirs grab the attention of passers-by with their talent. This is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, don’t miss it!