15 of the Best Christmas Markets Around the World for Holiday Shopping

Nothing sets the holiday mood quite like a Christmas market. Every year, vendors around the world gather to peddle decorations, sweet treats and stocking stuffers to locals and tourists alike. Those looking to purchase gifts for friends and family will find no shortage of handmade goods. Many markets also feature kid-friendly activities, including ice skating rinks and photo ops with Saint Nick himself.

Ahead, 15 festive Christmas markets that can’t be missed.

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best christmas markets around the world, Heart-Shaped Gingerbread Cookies or Lebkuchen stall at Christmas market at Viennas Rathaus, Austria. (Photo by: Andrew Michael/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Vienna Christmas Market.

Dating back all the way to the 1200s, Vienna’s Christmas market is by far one of the most traditional. Set beneath the stunning scenery of the city’s historic rathaus, snack on gingerbread and shop more than 100 vendors from late November through Christmas Day.

Edinburgh, Scotland

best christmas markets around the world, EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Christmas goods for sale at a market stall on December 07, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Christmas Market is situated in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh and has a number of stalls and attractions such as an ice rink, carousel, Big Wheel, and has been open since late November and runs until January 7, 2017.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
The Edinburgh Winter Festival in 2017.

The Edinburgh Winter Festival, open from late November through the first week of January, is chock-full of stalls for shopping handmade goods, gifts and tasty treats. Take a spin on the fair’s ferris wheel or enjoy other rides including a Helter Skelter slide and the Starflyer swing.

New York

best christmas markets around the world, NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: People visit holiday market at Bryant Park on November 29, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images)
Bryant Park Winter Village in 2022.

With more than 100 kiosks to browse, visitors to Bryant Park’s Winter Village can shop a huge selection of goods, including apparel, decorations, jewelry and artwork. Open from October to January, the expansive market also features an outdoor ice skating rink.

Hong Kong

best christmas markets around the world, People shop for Christmas items at a market in Hong Kong on December 12, 2022. (Photo by Peter PARKS / AFP) (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)
WinterFest in 2022.

Hong Kong’s waterfront WinterFest features plenty of holiday cheers. Stop by between late November and early January to catch a glimpse of colorful Christmas lights, watch musical performances and meet Santa Claus.

Vancouver, Canada

best christmas markets around the world, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - DECEMBER 05: People shop at Das Nutcracker Haus at Vancouver Christmas Market on December 05, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images)
Vancouver Christmas Market in 2021.

Vancouver’s version of the traditional European Christmas market occurs from late November until Christmas Eve. Adults can sample German and Austrian beers, while children are sure to revel in activities like the lantern parade and a holiday-themed carousel.

Cusco, Peru

best christmas markets around the world, PERU - 1998/01/01: Peru, Near Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Pisaq, Market, Pottery For Sale. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Cusco, Peru

Winter visitors to Cusco will enjoy more than snow-capped mountain scenery and ancient Incan sites. Santurantikuy, the city’s annual holiday market, has taken place every Christmas Eve since the 16th century. The festive fair is best known for its selection of hand-carved figurines.

Basel, Switzerland

best christmas markets around the world, Christmas Markets. Basel. Switzerland. (Photo by: Giovanni Mereghetti/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Basel Christmas Market.

One of the largest holiday markets in Switzerland is Basel’s Christmas Market. Open from late November to Christmas Eve, the annual bazaar features nearly 200 booths boasting baubles, gingerbread and Feuerzangenbowle (rum) punch.

Cologne, Germany

best christmas markets around the world, 02 December 2022, North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: View from above of the Christmas market at the cathedral in Cologne. In many places in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Christmas markets are as busy as they were before the Corona pandemic. Numerous tourists are traveling again this year for the special experience. (to dpa: "Longing and coziness: Christmas markets popular as before Corona") Photo: Sascha Thelen/dpa (Photo by Sascha Thelen/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The Christmas market at Cologne Cathedral in 2022.

Millions of visitors flock to Germany’s “cathedral city” each year to attend its local Christmas markets. While there are several scattered across Cologne, perhaps the most scenic is set beneath its famous Gothic church — the largest in Northern Europe.


best christmas markets around the world, Photo taken on Nov. 26, 2021 shows a giant Christmas tree and the sound and light show at the Grand Place during the Winter Wonders in Brussels, Belgium. Featuring activities like the sound and light show, Christmas market and so on, the Winter Wonders 2021 in Brussels started on Friday. With rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, strict measures were imposed during the event, such as checking COVID Safe Tickets, wearing face masks and keeping distance. (Photo by Zhang Cheng/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Winter Wonders in 2021.

Taking place from November to January, Brussels’ Winter Wonders spans the entire city center. Sip on hot cocoa and peruse the more than 200 stalls, or check out attractions including the market’s ferris wheel and multiple merry-go-rounds.

Zagreb, Croatia

best christmas markets around the world, ZAGREB, CROATIA - DECEMBER 22:  A stal sells Christmas sweets at the Advent Market in the city centre on December 22, 2015 in Zagreb, Croatia. Zagreb was voted last week European Christmas Market of the year and one of the top Christmas destinations in Europe.  (Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)
The Advent market in 2015.

Zagreb’s Advent is considered one of the best Christmas markets in Europe for a reason. Enjoy numerous attractions including ice skating, live musical performances and pop-up bars. Take the Jolly Christmas Tram to travel the market’s expansive grounds.

Barcelona, Spain

best christmas markets around the world, BARCELONA CATALONIA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 09: Balls to decorate the tree for sale at the Christmas market of the Fira de Santa Llucia, on December 9, 2022, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The Consorci Turisme de Barcelona this year wanted to position the Catalan capital as a destination characterized by the "artistic and creative DNA" of the city through a campaign whose slogan is 'Barcelona, the scene of Christmas'. This is why the city of Barcelona has become a kind of Christmas stage open to all audiences and outdoors. (Photo By David Zorrakino/Europa Press via Getty Images)
The Fira de Santa Llucia in 2022.

Since 1786, the Fira de Santa Llúcia has enchanted Barcelona with holiday goods, Nativity scenes and Christmas carolers. Today, the fair lasts nearly three weeks and boasts hundreds of food and craft vendors.

San Francisco

best christmas markets around the world, CALIFORNIA, USA - NOVEMBER 19: Great Dickens Christmas Fair opens its doors to visitors at the historic Cow Palace in south of San Francisco, in town of Brisbane, California, United States on November 19, 2022. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a one-of-a-kind immersive adventure into Victorian London, an elaborate holiday party with hundreds of costumed players performing and interacting with patrons in over 140,000 square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance floors, and festive shops. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair in 2022.

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a holiday market that will transport visitors back to Victorian England. This one-of-a-kind immersive experience, taking place in Brisbane, California, just south of San Francisco, features costumed performers, British pubs and boutiques selling everything from vintage goods to mulled wine.

Budapest, Hungary

best christmas markets around the world, BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - DECEMBER 16: A stallkeeper offers gingerbread at the Christmas Market in front of the Szent István Bazilika (St. Stephen's Basilica) on December 16, 2018 in Budapest, Hungary. The best-known Christmas Market of Budapest is organised from year to year in front of Szent István Bazilika (St. Stephen's Basilica) at the Szent István tér (St. Stephen square). (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)
The Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival in 2018.

The oldest holiday market in Budapest is the Christmas Fair and Winter Festival. The facade of the picturesque Gerbeaud Cafe is transformed into a giant advent calendar, and visitors can enjoy light shows, folk dances and obviously, plenty of shopping.


best christmas markets around the world, People visit a Christmas market at the Skansen open air museum during Advent Sunday on November 27, 2016 in Stockholm.   / AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND        (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)
The Skansen Christmas market in 2016.

Skansen, the world’s largest open-air museum, is also home to one of Sweden’s most famous Christmas markets. Dating back to 1903, the annual fair features a wide selection of native goods including sausages, spices and handmade candles.


best christmas markets around the world, BERLIN, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 25: Christmas nutcrackers stand on display for sale at the annual Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt square on the market's opening day on November 25, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Traditional Christmas markets, known for mulled wine, Christmas decorations and sausages, are opening across Germany this week.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
The WeihnachtsZauber Christmas market in 2019.

Many Christmas markets take place in Berlin each year, but the WeihnachtsZauber at Gendarmenmarkt is considered one of the best. Open from late November to New Year’s Eve, venture to the fair’s numerous wooden huts to shop handicrafts like wood carvings and paintings.

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