These enchanting Christmas markets have everything from beautiful lights to festive handicrafts and delicious local delicacies.
Ask any Singaporean about Christmas markets, and their mind will probably drift to our annual Christmas Wonderland affair at Gardens by the Bay. But many other countries around the globe also host such markets of their own. Think larger, grander bazaars complete with cool, chilly weather and snow-blanketed streets that we just can’t get living on the equator. In the mood for a bit of travel this holiday season? Check out our list of the best Christmas markets in the world.
Best Christmas markets in the world
1. Frankfurt Christmas Market, Germany
Ever picked up a snow globe and wished you were within its beautiful miniature setting? The Frankfurt Christmas Market is like one of these magical domes brought to life. Admire a glittering 30-metre Christmas tree, a vintage carousel and countless stalls selling grilled sausages, candles, ornaments, jewellery and art. And this is just one of many that Germany has to offer. Want to explore them all? Consider signing up for a tour that’ll take you to all the Christmas fairs and bazaars you can find from Frankfurt to Munich. We like this one from Contiki.
2. Rathausplatz Christmas Market, Austria
Feed your Christmas spirit at the Rathausplatz in Vienna. This charming market exudes the delicious aromas of freshly-baked Christmas cookies and candles. Feast on gingerbread and festive fare, and stock up on Christmas gifts for the family. If that doesn’t satiate your hunger for the holidays, you might want to go on this tour by Trafalgar. It’ll take you on an eight-day Christmas fair trip to Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
3. Strasbourg Christmas Market, France
Here’s a quick fun fact: Strasbourg Christmas market has been running annually since 1570, making it one of the oldest Christmas bazaars you’ll find in Europe. Join in on the festivities and enjoy mouthwatering Alsatian cuisine and cups overflowing with mulled wine. If you want to find out more about the food and festive traditions of this market, book a slot on a walking tour with Eating Europe.
4. Bath Christmas Market, UK
It’s gifts galore at the Bath Christmas Market. Thousands make their way here each year to partake in the festivities, spirit and cheer. It’s no secret why this bazaar is so well-loved. Along its various wooden chalets, you’ll find sellers hawking unique homeware, handcrafted jewellery and artisanal presents to surprise your loved ones with. Dig into pancakes, mulled wine and hot soup. And we’d recommend putting on your skates and giving the winter ice rink a spin. If you’re in the UK for the hols, consider a day trip down with Williams Travel.
5. German Christmas Market, Quebec City
This market evokes the grandeur of European Christmases right in the middle of Canada. Its gorgeous lights illuminate the heart of Old Quebec, giving it a charm straight out of a fairytale. Be treated to gorgeous decor, pop-up performances and a delicious selection of German treats. Are you a foodie, too? Hop on this culinary walking tour by Tours Voir Quebec that’ll take you to historic sites and the best food spots in the market.
6. Basel Christmas Market, Switzerland
Oh yes, the smell of mulled wine is in the air at this fair. Situated in the historic Old Town of Basel, it’s home to 155 wooden chalets helmed by passionate artisans doling out goodies, gifts and culinary delights. You’ll find grilled sausages and gingerbread around every corner. But what we’re looking forward to the most is its delicious Swiss raclette. For a more enriching experience, sign up for a city tour by Swiss Activities to learn about old customs and Christmas traditions.
7. Tokyo Christmas Market, Japan
Now that Japan is open for travel, there’s no reason to miss this event in Tokyo. Here, you’ll find a 14-metre Christmas tree (shipped all the way from Germany), stellar illuminations, and plenty of stalls and shops to keep you entertained. Keep warm on mugs of hot chocolate while watching live performances and taking part in Christmas workshops. As capacity is limited, don’t forget to grab your tickets in advance on Tokyo Cheapo.
Now go forth and enjoy the best Christmas markets around the world!