Some of the most popular and oldest Christmas markets running today can be found in cities around Europe. However, this festive tradition has travelled far and wide to other continents, and now you can find glittering stalls and mulled wine scents wafting through the air in various cities around the world. We take a look at some of our favourite Christmas market outside of Europe in locations around the world...
1. New York, USA: Holiday Market at Columbus Circle
We love New York all year round, but the Big Apple at Christmas time is even more so special. The city is illuminated with twinkling festive lights, and more often than not, the weather will add some seasonal snow to the mix. There are lots of markets around New York at Christmas, but one of our favourites is the Holiday Market at Columbus Circle. Here you can find many stalls selling everything from gingerbread houses to handmade jewellery.
Location: Intersection of Central Park West & Central Park South.
Dates: November 28th to December 24th.Book hostels in New York | New York podcasts, videos & free pocket guide
2. Toronto, Canada: Lowe's Toronto Christmas Market
Once again the epicentre of Toronto’s Christmas cheer will be at Lowe's Toronto Christmas Market! This festive event brings together all things traditional about the Christmas season along with lots of charm and heritage, while showcasing some unique, local products in a European market setting. You can also marvel at the 45 foot White Spruce Christmas tree as well as magical lighting, lots of musical entertainment, and not forgetting many beer and mulled wine (Glühwein) gardens!
Location: Distillery Historic District
Dates: November 30th to December 16thBook hostels in Toronto | Toronto videos, podcasts & free pocket guide
3. Sapporo, Japan: German Christmas Market
This popular Japanese Christmas Market originally came about to celebrate the sister city relations between Sapporo and Munich in 2002 and is still a much-loved event. There’s a real German-style feel to this market with many stalls selling gifts, decorations and an amazing selection of food. There are also lots of events taking place around the market area too including choirs, shows and Christmas themed workshops.
Location: Odori Park.
Dates: November 26th to December 24thBook hostels in Sapporo
4. Sydney, Australia: Sydney Boutique Markets Christmas Weekend
Even though it’s bright and sunny and it’s the optimal time of year to hit the beach, Sydney get’s in to the festive spirit for a two day shopping extravaganza with the Sydney Boutique Markets Christmas Weekend. Located at Rouse Hill Town Centre, it is the perfect place to visit to pick up some Christmas gifts and decorations, along with some great fashion, accessories and mouth-watering food. It’s the ideal place to get into the festive spirit, even if you are wearing your sunglasses and shorts!
Location: Rouse Hill Town Centre
Dates: December 15th – 16thBook hostels in Sydney | Book hostels in Sydney
5. Chicago, USA: Christkindlmarket Chicago
The biggest event on Chicago’s festive calendar, and one of the most popular events of the year is Christkindlmarket. This outdoor German Christmas Market takes place in The Loop and offers a unique seasonal shopping experience. There’s a great variety of shopping on offer from handmade gifts to beer steins. And the food and drink stalls are always the popular ones serving up sauerkraut to sausages that can all be washed down with a hot cup of traditional Glühwein.
Location: Daley Plaza, 50 Washington Street.
Dates: November 20th to December 24th.Book hostels in Chicago | Chicago free pocket guide
6. Philadelphia, USA: Christmas Village
Christmas Village in Philadelphia will transform Love Park in the city centre into a Christmas wonderland filled with traditional German Christmas markets. Right up until Christmas Eve there will be over 60 wooden stalls selling amazing gift ideas from decorations to crafts. There will also be the ever popular food and drink stalls too with waffles, sweets, Bratwurst and mulled wine to add to your market experience. It’s a great day out with a huge Christmas tree and sparkling lights filling the area.
Location: Love Park (JFK Plaza)
Dates: November 22nd to December 24thBook hostels in Philadelphia
7. Vancouver, Canada: Christmas Markets
If you’re after some mulled wine or handmade ornaments to hang from your Christmas tree this festive season in Vancouver, then make sure to check out its Christmas market. The scent of seasonal food and drink wafting through the air will be your guide to the Plaza at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Georgia Street. And your reward will a market setting like something straight from a German street. This popular market makes for a great outing with family and friends, where you can check out the crafts and gifts for sale, enjoy some great entertainment and sample some authentic festive food.
Location: Plaza at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Georgia Street
Dates: November 24th to December 24thBook hostels in Vancouver
8. Mexico City: Christmas Night Markets
Spending the festive season in Mexico City and want to get into the festive spirit? Then make sure you check out the Christmas night markets. Running in various locations around the city, these night markets bring festive cheer to the area selling everything from Christmas trees and displaying nativity scenes, as well as selling traditional food and drink including ponche navideño – a hot fruit punch that’s very popular at this time of year.
Location: Various including Hidalgo Market and Medellín Market
Dates: Throughout DecemberBook hostels in London | London videos, podcasts & free pocket guide
9. Cape Town, South Africa: Country Craft Market – Christmas Markets
To help you with your Christmas shopping this December in Cape Town, take a little trip outside of the city to Somerset West to Southey’s Vines. Over the Saturday’s leading up to Christmas there will Country Craft markets taken place where you buy some beautiful hand-crafted gifts and foods for all your Christmas needs. This outdoor market is in a park setting and will run on the Saturday mornings listed below from 8am until 1pm.
Location: Southey’s Vines, 186 Main Road, Somerset West, Cape Town
Dates: December 1, 8, 15 and 22Book hostels in Cape Town | Cape Town videos, podcasts & free pocket guide
10. Quebec, Canada: Quebec City German Christmas Market
Running for 10 days this year, the German Christmas market in Quebec is gearing up to be its best yet. The front of the City Hall is the setting from November 30th where visitors can dine of beautiful festive pastries, warm chestnuts and lots of other local food products. There will also be a vast range of seasonal gifts and crafts available to buy as well as free concerts. Don’t miss out on this spectacular festive event, it really will get you truly into the Christmas spirit!
Location: Place de l’hôtel de Ville, in front of Quebec City Hall and Basilica, Vieux Québecv
Dates: November 30th to December 9thBook hostels in Quebec