Travel the World
8 Must-Visit Christmas Markets From Across the Globe
Christmas markets have spread to every corner of the world, and thankfully, you won’t be far from one no matter where you find yourself in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the best places to stay, rounds up 8 must-visit Christmas markets. Prepare yourself for one-of-a-kind gifts, heart foods and carol singers.
Toronto Christmas Market (Nov. 18 to Dec. 22)
Located in the historic Distillery District, the Toronto Christmas Market offers visitors a sense of celebration and romance under sparkling lights. With everything from a beer garden to a life-sized gingerbread house, everyone is guaranteed to have a good time at this Santa-approved market. Be sure to grab your loved one and stop at the heart-shaped sculpture, titled “Under the Mistletoe.”
In the heart of Toronto, the Fairmont Royal York Hotel is perfect for guests seeking access to some of the city’s hotspots in addition to the market. If you need more Christmas presents, the Eaton Centre and Queen St. West shopping district is just a short walk or streetcar ride away. If you want to relax, on the other hand, this eco-friendly hotel has a skylit indoor pool and five on-set dining options.
Prague Christmas Markets (Dec. 3 to Jan. 4)
Between its architecture and culture, Prague is already a magical place, but during Christmas the city really shines! Set in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, this winter wonderland offers traditional treats, unique handicrafts and famous Czech beer. During this time, there are plenty of walking tours and river tours to further explore this beautiful city. Not to mention, Prague’s opera and ballet season is in full swing!
Located right beside the Old Town Square, where the Christmas market takes place, the historic Residence Agnes is the perfect place to stay. The four-star boutique hotel is also within walking distance of first-class restaurants and shopping. Make sure to indulge in the hotel’s delicious breakfast-ideal for fuelling up for the market and touring around.
Christmas City, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Nov. 18 to Dec. 18)
Dubbed the Christmas City for a very apparent reason, Bethlehem’s Christmas markets attract over a million people each year who want to browse the aisles of festive wooden vendors selling delicious food, mulled wine and handmade gifts. The market also features a number of demonstrating artists and hands-on activities for the whole family, such as making your own ornaments.
Full of character, the Historic Hotel Bethlehem has been standing since 1922 and features a unique ballroom decorated with murals showing the history of Bethlehem. Its central location allows guests to explore the area (including the Moravian museum) and seek out Christmas shopping.
Tivoli Christmas Market, Copenhagen (Nov. 19 to Dec. 31)
Home to the concept of Hygge (the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures), Tivoli Christmas Markets allows visitors to join in on the festival spirit with the Copenhagen community. Immerse yourself amongst the delicious smells of traditional glögg and æbleskiver, while enjoying the warm atmosphere (even when it’s cold out!). Visitors can browse over 50 Christmas stalls and enjoy the incredible illuminations lighting up Tivoli Lake.
Located in Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens, the Nimb Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel set in an impressive Moorish-style building which boasts beautiful views of Tivoli Park. Rated for the best value in Copenhagen, guests can relax after a busy day at the Christmas markets in their cozy rooms with a fireplace.
WinterFest Christmas Markets, Hong Kong (Nov. 25 to Jan. 1)
From North Statue Square to Disneyland, Hong Kong’s Christmas markets create a magical winter wonderland. Though you won’t find real snow in this climate, WinterFest transforms the city by placing Christmas lights on 40 buildings along the Victoria Harbour wonderland. Similarly, Disneyland has interactive computerized floats with almost a million LED lights and optical fibres to light up the night. Let’s just say Christmas isn’t only for kids.
If you’re seeking something a little more luxurious for your Christmas getaway, look no further than the Peninsula Hong Kong, a five-star hotel with an old world charm on the edge of Victoria Harbour. Guests can relax in the roman-style indoor pool during the day and enjoy Hong Kong’s illuminating lights from the rooftop restaurant at night.
Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg, Germany (Nov. 25 to Dec. 24)
The world’s oldest Christmas Market, dating back to the 16th Century, is definitely a must-visit. With more than 180 stands, the market includes the holiday’s finest wines, roasted almonds and gingerbread. For a special gift for a loved one, bring back one of the traditional Christmas ornaments, such as the local gold-foil angel, Zwetschgenmännlemade!
Located minutes away from the fascinating Lorenzkirche church and the central railway station, Hotel Drei Raban allows you to explore the area beyond the Christmas markets. This four-star hotel offers the choice of a unique themed room that tell mythical stories about Nuremberg. There’s nothing like a good tale to get in the festival spirit!
Bath Christmas Market, UK (Nov. 24 to Dec. 11)
The UK’s biggest Christmas markets occur in the historical city of Bath. Located on one of the picturesque streets surrounding Bath Abbey, 87 per cent of the 150 vendors at the market are made up of local gift and food vendors-so visitors can experience a true English Christmas. Some of the vendors include names such as Stencil Shed, Gemani Games and Puzzles and Wild Wool.
Set amongst the Belvedere Terrace, dating back to 1760, Hill House offers traditionally decorated rooms to retreat after a busy day at the Christmas markets. Guests can enjoy the communal aspect with a large table in the breakfast room-making anyone feel right at home. The house is also within walking distance of the Bath Assembly Rooms and the famous historical Roman Baths, so guest can continue their exploration.
Vancouver Christmas Market (Nov. 26 to Dec. 31)
Inspired by authentic German Christmas markets, the colourful décor of Vancouver’s Christmas market, creates the perfect atmosphere to grab a drink, feast on traditional food and take in a wide variety of cultural activities and entertainment. Home to Vancouver’s only Christmas carousel, you are guaranteed fun for all ages.
Just across the road from the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Robson Street Shopping District, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia is in the perfect location for sightseeing before the market. In addition to an indoor saltwater pool, spa and gym, guest can take in some local delights at the hotel’s Bel Café or sample cocktails at the 1927 Prohibition Bar.