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December 14, 2023
Tips and tricks

Best Christmas markets in the world

Choosing the best Christmas market is an important matter in holiday season. We created a list of the best Christmas markets in the world including the German Christmas market, European Christmas market, and the best Christmas markets in the US. Let’s explore the best Christmas markets all around the world together!

Arzu Özkan-  Digital Marketing Manager
Zeynep Lengerli
Content Marketing Specialist

Is someone looking for the best Christmas Market? Or should I say 20? Here is a list of Christmas Markets all around the world, presented by Retable.

Ahh Christmas… It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A magical time when everywhere is decorated with bright Christmas lights, and everyone from children to the elderly is filled with Christmas spirit. Although Christmas is a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus, it has now become a tradition of joy all around the world.  Which brings us to the best tradition: Christmas markets! Christmas market is the first thing that comes to mind when it’s that time of the year. They are the best places to go Christmas shopping, socializing, enjoying, and feeling Christmas at its deepest. 

If you want to experience the spirit of Christmas in the markets, check our list of the  best Christmas markets in the world including the locations, starting and ending dates, ratings, and images of the world's best Christmas markets!

Table of Contents

History of Christmas markets

Christmas markets first originated in Germany, but are now held all over the world. This culture was first held in 1434 and one of the first Christmas markets can be found in Vienna. Traditionally, Christmas markets are held in the town squares which look like street markets where every booth is filled with entertainment, cultural or local food, beverages, and seasonal items for shopping. On the opening and ending nights, there are usually activities based on entertaining people to welcome Christmas. Every region has its own culture and tradition, and we listed the best Christmas markets in Europe, the best Christmas markets in the US, and the best countries for Christmas markets.

World’s Best Christmas Markets

World’s best Christmas markets

As for the best Christmas markets in the world, we gathered the list from Vienna Christmas Market to Vancouver Christmas Market, Munich Christmas Market to London Christmas Market… You can find the best Christmas markets in Europe, the best Christmas markets in the USA, and basically the best Christmas markets in the world. 

vienna christmas market

1) Vienna Christmas Market

Christmas lights, wine, decorations, and laughter… As Christmas approaches, celebrations begin all over the world. Austria is one of the countries that pioneered these entertainments, and although there are many Christmas Markets in the country, the most popular is Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz. Here’s what you need to know at this Vienna Christmas Market, which offers a wonderful Christmas experience to everyone who participates:

  • Vienna Christmas Market is located in front of the City Hall, where transportation is very easy
  • It is the most famous Christmas Market in Vienna
  • The area is surrounded by colorfully decorated trees and Christmas lights in the Vienna Christmas Market.
  • There are delicious traditional mixture punch and food all over the Market
  • Contains 100 booths
  • You can enjoy the Tree of Hearts which is the iconic tree of the  Vienna Christmas Market
  • There is an area where you can ice skate with your loved ones
  • An estimated 3 million people visited in 2022, which is why Christkindlmarkt is the first Christmas Market we gave place in our list of best Christmas Markets!
the best Europian christmas market 2023

2) Winter Wonders

You can enjoy this Christmas market from 24 November to 31 December in Brussels. It includes some great local zones like Sainte-Catherine, Place de la Monnaie, Place de Brockére and, Black Tower. Winter Wonders include:

  • All sorts of sweet and savory foods
  • Sound and light show
  • Brussels Christmas Tree
  • Countless Christmas market stalls (selling everything from wooden socks and home decorations to all kinds of food and drinks)
  • Ferris wheel
  • Ice skating rink
  • Merry-go-round carousels
Berlin Christmas market

3) Gendarmenmarkt

One of the best German Christmas markets is Gendarmenmarkt in Bebelplatz. It’s located around one of the Humboldt University buildings, the Hotel de Rome, St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, and the Berlin State Opera House. With a 2 euros entry fee, you can find:

  • Traditional German foods, in addition to Austrian and other cuisines
  • Great beverages
  • Gifts and souvenirs
  • A guide to Berlin Christmas Market
London Christmas market

4) Southbank Market

One of the best London Christmas Markets is located on The Queen’s Walk, Southbank Winter Market. Walk along the Thames under twinkling Christmas lights and enjoy the Christmas market all of December! What you will experience:

  • Christmas gifts for your loved ones
  • Warming drinks and snacks
  • Entertaining shows for kids
  • Performances including Nutcracker, Reuben Kaye: the Butch is Back, and Christmas Actually.
Christmas market Chicago

5) Christkindlmarket Chicago

Christmas Market Chicago is one of the best markets in which you can see the German history and tradition of Christkindlmarket first seen in Nuremberg. Christkindlmarket unites Germanic tradition with Europe creates an international atmosphere in Chicago, and is one of the best Christmas markets in the US. You have to buy a ticket to enter the Christmas market festival. What is included: 

  • Opening Christmas market night party
  • Foods and drinks
  • Ornaments and decorative items 
  • Face painting, scavenger hunts, entertainment for the kids
Munich Christmas market

6) Marienplatz 

Munich Christmas market is one of the greatest places to experience Christmas markets in Germany because the Christmas market tradition comes from Germany. You also have to get a ticket to enter this Christmas market, and look what’s included in the price below:

  • 90 to 120-minute guide tour in English
  • Christmas treats
  • City guide
  • Foods and beverages
Vancouver Christmas market

7) Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market is a great place to feel the Christmas spirit in Canada. Compared to the Toronto Christmas Market, the Vancouver Christmas Market is more entertaining. It includes:

  • Festive foodies
  • German and Austrian beers
  • Christmas performances on the flying stage
  • A perfect Christmas atmosphere for families
amsterdam christmas market

8) Museumplein 

The largest Amsterdam Christmas market is Museumplein. It’s a wonderful combination of ice skating and  shopping in a magical atmosphere. It is easy to visit this Christmas market due to its location where there are world-famous museums around. You can have great fun in one of the best Christmas markets in Europe by

  • Contributing to evening canal cruises
  • Having fun on ice skating rings
  • Eating foods and drinking
Columbus Christmas market

9) Columbus Circle Christmas Market

Columbus Circle is one of the best Christmas Markets in the USA. It is very important to feel the Christmas spirit in New York City and this is the place! The annual Christmas bazaar includes:

  • Booths filled with art, jewelry, food and home decor
  • Great restaurants
  • Drinks

10) Fira de Santa Llucia

One of the best Christmas markets in Europe is located in Avinguda de la Catedral de Barcelona filled with light, illusion, and fun. Traditional Christmas market includes:

  • More than 15 illuminated Christmas trees
  • Fun activities
  • Nativity scene exhibitions
  • More than 160 Christmas stands
  • More than 30 stands for Christmas gifts
USA Christmas market

11) Christkindl Market

The Atlanta Christmas market is one of the best Christmas markets in the US, located in Atlanta. It provides an amazing space for over 50 vendors and is a pet-friendly Christmas market. Includes:

  • Musical events
  • Pictures with Santa
  • Foods and drinks
European Christmas market

12) Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market

Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market is a must-see European Christmas Market in Budapest, Hungary. With its captivating atmosphere, you can feel Christmas deeply by:

  • Smelling the scent of traditional cookies and foods
  • Watching children’s performances also having fun with your kids in the playhouse
  • Tasting local foods and drinks
Canada Christmas market

13) Distillery Winter Village

Distillery Winter Village is Toronto’s Christmas Market in downtown Toronto. It’s a perfect holiday experience you can have with your friends and family. Toronto Christmas Market is best known for its majestic centerpiece Christmas tree in Trinity Square. This Christmas market includes:

  • Distillery restaurants and cafes
  • Outdoor shopping cabins
  • Food and drinks
  • 11 outdoor bars
Switzerland Christmas market

14) Basel Christmas Market

The Basel Christmas Market, declared the “Best Christmas Market” by “European Best Destinations”. The Christmas Market is located in Barfüsserplatz filled with Christmas spirit all around. There are:

  • Wide variety of Christmas gift items
  • Food stands
  • Hot drinks
  • A greatly decorated Christmas tree in front of Basel Minister
Manchester Christmas market

15) The Winter Gardens at Piccadilly Gardens

The Winter Gardens is the best Manchester Christmas market in Manchester, England. It is filled with street foods and Christmas lights all around. It is one of the best places to go for Christmas markets due to its decoration and activities. You will experience:

  • Amazing foods
  • Live entertainment each night
  • Traditional log-fires
Frankfurt Christmas Market

16) Frankfurt Christmas Market

Frankfurt Christmas Market is one of the oldest and largest Christmas markets in Germany. With approximately 200 Christmas-decorated stalls, extending to the banks of Main, Stoltze Square, and the Hapupwache, it is the best Christmas market in Frankfurt. Includes:

  • Mulled wine stalls
  • Snacks and heated taverns 
  • Rustic products
  • Including vegan and vegetarian products
Christmas market San Francisco

17) Dickens Christmas Fair

The Dickens Christmas Fair offers a unique experience of London and Charles Dickens in San Francisco. It is the most entertaining Christmas Market in San Francisco, including:

  • Music halls
  • Theaters
  • Pubs and dance parties
  • Hand made crafts
  • Delicious foods
Edinburgh Christmas Market

18) Edinburgh Christmas Market

Edinburgh Christmas Market is a fantastic place to visit for a great Christmas market experience. Includes a whole host of events, markets, festivities, and shows, Edinburgh Christmas Market gives the opportunity to participants see:

  • The Castle of Light
  • The Torchlight Procession
  • Disco Party
  • Stunning views
  • Street parties
Hong Kong Christmas Market

19) Hong Kong Christmas Market

Hong Kong Christmas Market offers you a great festive atmosphere in Hong Kong. Best Christmas markets include a huge Christmas tree with great decorations and Christmas lights which Hong Kong Christmas Market has, as well as:

  • Breathtaking pyrotechnic displays
  • Fireworks 
  • Colorful ornaments
  • Shops
Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham

20) Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham

Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham is a mixture of UK and Europe, colliding visitors and residents. The largest German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria is Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market. It is a great place to:

  • Enjoy live music on Victoria Square
  • Buy handcrafted wooden decorations
  • Listen to Lorna May
  • Have your kids watch West End Kids

How to choose the best Christmas market

It is hard to choose the best Christmas market when you have a lot of options. Here are some fundamentals that you can pay attention to while looking for the best Xmas markets:

  • Location
  • Date
  • Budget
  • Family-friendly entertainment

Find the best Christmas market location

Location is probably the first factor that will affect your choice. When looking for a location, remember that transportation is very important. Usually, Christmas markets are in the center of cities, therefore it is easy to travel.

Thanks to Retable’s map view, you can easily discover the Christmas markets in the most suitable location for you and add them to your travel list!

Choose the best date for you

You should plan your trip according to your schedule of course, but we recommend you see the Christmas market you choose on weekdays especially from Monday to Wednesday to avoid the crowd. 

Thanks to Retable’s calendar view, you can easily create your Christmas market travel calendar by following the starting and ending dates of all Christmas markets in one place!

Plan your budget

Some Christmas markets, especially the European Christmas markets have a ticket entry and some are free, you should check before visiting so that you can be on budget. Also don’t forget to bring cash with you!

You can get help from Retable's budget planning spreadsheet templates to plan your Christmas market entertainment budget!

Family-friendly entertainment

All Christmas markets are designed for you to enjoy your time with your family, friends, and kids. Don’t worry about thinking if your kids are going to have fun or not, because they are going to have a great time! But don’t leave your kids out of your sight, because Christmas markets are very crowded.

Have fun enjoying the best Christmas markets list we gathered for you! 

Also, if you need to know more about Christmas you can check out our other Christmas guides here! 

How can Retable help you to plan everything

Retable is an online spreadsheet platform where you can manage all your data in minutes and keep them safely, sharing with your organization, and colleagues or simply keeping them to yourself. Retable allows you to collaborate with your team, in real-time, whereas it helps you assign tasks, track the performances of your team and create solutions. 

You can visualize, organize, and manage all your data, and don’t forget that Retable’s support team is there for you from start to end. You can also create lists like our world’s best Christmas markets, organize and share! 

Listing and organizing are a must when it comes to planning. Thankfully Retable is here for you when you need organization. Above you can find the best places for Christmas markets, organized, listed, and detailed just for you! Don’t forget to let us know if you visit the famous Christmas markets around the world and have a Holly Jolly Christmas! 🌲

Just enjoy Christmas, Retable will organize your business! 🎅🏻🎁

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