Special Note: Check market websites and local information before attending any markets as the situation regarding Corona Virus continues to evolve and further restrictions or cancelations may occur. This post will not be updated. All pictures are of previous years.
Toronto, Canada - The Toronto Christmas Market
The Toronto Christmas Market is one of the few markets on our list that isn’t entirely free to enter. While weekdays are free, weekends cost for admission. Take heart though, the proceeds go to various local charities to help those in need during the holiday season. And there is good reason this Canadian market draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The market offers rides, walking tours, music, and artisan goods.
2020 Covid Restrictions: The market is canceled for 2020. Look for the annual event next year.
New York, New York - Union Square Holiday Market
One of the biggest holiday markets in the US, the Union Square Holiday Market boasts more than a hundred stalls and millions of market-goers. The market features delicious New York food, and plenty of gift possibilities including jewelry, clothing, art, and more. https://www.urbanspacenyc.com/union-square-holiday-market
2020 Covid Restrictions: This year the market is canceled. Look for the annual event next year.
Minneapolis, Minnesota - Holidazzle
Holidazzle is a market typically filled with fun activities ideal for families. Past activities include outdoor holiday movies, shopping, visits with Santa, and ice skating. This year kids can enjoy virtual fun on the website with puzzles, crafts like printable coloring pages and paper snowflakes, and a YouTube presentation by Santa. https://www.holidazzle.com/
2020 Covid Restrictions: The market is virtual this year.
San Francisco, California - The Great Dickens Fair
Victorian-era London comes to life in this Charles Dickens inspired fair featuring hundreds of costumed players to interact with in the midst of recreations of centuries old English pubs and lamplit shops. This lively holiday fair - created by the same minds that brought renaissance fairs to life - is a uniquely interactive experience. https://dickensfair.com/
2020 Covid Restrictions: The 2020 fair is canceled. Look for the annual event next year.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania - Christkindlmarkt
With a name like Bethlehem, it’s no wonder why this city embraces the Christmas spirit with festive live music, plenty of shopping opportunities for artisan crafts such as ornaments, and unique gifts for your loved ones. https://www.christmascity.org/christkindlmarkt/
2020 Covid Restrictions: The 2020 Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem is going forward with the requirement that all patrons wear masks while indoors or outdoors.
Mexico City, Mexico - Mercado de Jamaica
Mexican Christmas markets are known for their poinsettias, piñatas, and authentic handmade crafts. You can also enjoy delicious Christmas food and drinks unique to Mexico like tamales, ponche, and champurrado (atole hot chocolate).
2020 Covid Restrictions: Intermittent lockdowns may affect the availability of the market. Masks are required when lockdown is not in effect.
Vienna, Austria - Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt
If you are looking to explore one of the most historic markets, this one dates back to the 13th century. Set in front of the grand architecture of the Viennese city hall and draped in lights, the market carries the scents of Austrian sausages, gingerbread cookies, and boozy Christmas punch.
2020 Covid Restrictions: While the market itself seemed intent on going forward with face coverings required as a safety measure, the Austrian federal government’s lockdown may prevent the market from opening.
London, England - Christmas By The River
London is no stranger to markets all year round so it’s no surprise that they have an abundance of markets that glitter with Christmas lights and seasonal cheer. Christmas By The River offers some of the best views of the London skyline and Tower Bridge along the Thames, while also delivering on all the best parts of markets: yummy food and great shopping. https://tudormarkets.com/christmas-by-the-river-2020/
Additionally, the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is well worth a visit when it returns in 2021 with it’s shows, rides, festively themed bars and eateries, Santa Land and an expansive market. https://hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/
2020 Covid Restrictions: While Christmas By The River has not been officially canceled, London’s lockdown situation has thrown the market’s status into question.
Strasbourg, France - Christkindelsmärik
Arguably one of the most famous and certainly one of the oldest ongoing Christmas Markets, dating back to 1570, the Christkindelsmärik in Strasbourg is a sprawling holiday extravaganza that dominates the city affectionately referred to as the “Capital of Christmas”. As a border city which had belonged previously to Germany, the market draws influence from it’s multi-European history with wooden chalet market stalls featuring handcrafted decorations.
It would be impossible to fully describe the Christkindelsmärik but take note that it would require much more than a single day to explore this city of Christmas. From its behemoth sized Christmas tree and Nativity plays to its specialty mulled wine and holiday themed foods, this Christmas Market is the gold standard of markets. https://noel.strasbourg.eu/en/accueil
2020 Covid Restrictions: The more than 300 market stalls of Strasbourg will not be open this year due to a recent French mandate. The status of planned parades and concerts is tenuous but still yet to be canceled at the moment of writing this article.
Budapest, Hungary - Vörösmarty Square Christmas Fair
The Vörösmarty Square Christmas Fair has all the feel and flavor of Hungary with stalls selling traditional fur, sheepskin, and leather goods. You can also embrace the local culture through native dishes like goulash and chimney cakes as well as enjoying live music and folk dancing.
2020 Covid Restrictions: The market has been canceled for 2020. Look for the annual event next year.
Germany - Various Markets
The world is full of Christmas markets as you can tell, but it is the Germans who sparked this fascination for open air Christmas markets and you can find their influence in many of those Christmas markets throughout the world. However if you are looking to experience the real thing, Germany has more Christmas markets than I can hope to list. Nearly every city seems to sparkle with joyful Christmas pop-ups. Just a few of the possibilities include Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Dresden, and Berlin.
Tokyo, Japan - Roppongi Hills Christmas Market
Roppongi Hills Christmas Market is an instagramable delight. Thousands of twinkling lights create a dazzling winter display along with cheery music and the scents of mouth-watering authentic christmas foods. This is one of Japan's most popular Christmas events and it is easy to see why.
2020 Covid Restrictions: Many closures have occurred as Japan deals with Covid so it is best to keep looking for updates from local officials.
New Taipei City, Taiwan - Christmasland
In conjunction with Disney, New Taipei City is bringing forth a fairytale holiday to remember. Family fun rides, carollers, the Disney animated characters you love, and a festive market atmosphere will lure you in to this interactive Christmasland. https://christmasland.ntpc.gov.tw/en/index.php
2020 Covid Restrictions: So far there is no indication of Christmasland closing this year. Face masks are required.
Singapore - Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay are an attraction in their own right but the magic of Christmas transforms it into a spectacular visual display. The holiday light installations are sure to wow even the most Grinch-like personalities. https://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en.html
2020 Covid Restrictions: Christmas Wonderland is currently set to go forward but we recommend checking for Singapore’s travel requirements.
This article could go on and on with more wonderful holiday themed markets around the world, so if you have a favorite market that didn’t make the list feel free to include it in the comments below.