Christmas – one of the brightest periods of the year – has just arrived! So everywhere all around the world, Christmas markets have become something very common – visitors can find almost everything Christmas-related – from varied handmade objects to tasty local food. Below there is a brief list of all the most popular Christmas markets in the world. It is worth visiting some of them, if not all, because otherwise, you will miss part of ‘that’ atmosphere Christmas time brings with. Vienna, Chicago, New York, Prague or Budapest are just a little part from the peak- destinations tourists choose to take into consideration before Christmas, when buying a lovely gift for the dear ones. Enjoy!
1. The first famous Christmas market is found in Vienna, c, and it is called Wiener Christkindlmarkt . It was first opened in the 13th century, managing to attract millions of visitors every year. One can find there almost 150 stalls from where you can buy almost everything – from toys to tree decorations and very tasty food. Food stalls offer their customers a wide range of dishes – mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and many other items. The traditional Christmas Market is found in front of the town hall. Before leaving Vienna, don’t forget to have lunch or dinner at Sacher Hotel, near Opera House, where the chefs invented “Sachertorte” (cake with chocolate) for Prince Metternich. The Christmas Markets in Vienna are situated in Rathausplatz, Schonbrunn Market and Opera Platz and they are opened from the 14th of November to 24th of December.
2. The Christkindlmarkt Chicago, USA, is the greatest German-style market in the world. It was first founded in 1996, in order to stimulate the American-German trade. There are many European items on sale and the more than 50 stalls gather anually about one million visitors. It is one of the city’s major events in the lead up to the holiday season. The food range is varied – from sauerkraut (sour cabbage), sausages, to Glühwein (boiled wine). Moreover, the items which can be offered as gifts are varied too – handmade clock and beer steins. Christkindlmarkt Chicago is situated in Daley Plaza, 50 Washington Street and it is open from November 25th to December 24th.
3. The fair held in Stockholm, Sweden is called Stortorgets Julmarknad. It is situated in the Old Town area and it was first built in 1915. The great items are sold in the about 40 stalls of the marketplace. Awesome hand-craft objects are sold along with delicious food specialties – gingerbread, sweets, the traditional glögg (mulled wine). It is found in Stortoget, Gamla Stan and it is open for its customers from November 21st to December 23rd.
4. Another famous Christmas Market is the one in New York, USA – Holiday Market at Columbus Circle. New York is an all-year-long-top-attraction but Christmas time makes it really unique! Every winter, very many children and adults are keen to be part of the pure atmosphere brought by this celebration. Carols singers, twinkling lights aplenty, the Big Apple also has a popular annual Holiday Market at Columbus Circle. This market is much alike to those in Europe, however, the stalls offering a variety of Christmas gifts and holiday decorations from around the world, draw very many visitors every year. It is situated at the intersection of Central Park West and c, and it is opened from the beginning of December, that is from December 2nd to 24th.
5. Europe is the continent with most varied Christmas Markets – London is one of the top-Christmas fairs organisers. It is called Winter Wonderland and it is much like the ones in Germany, because the German-style Christmas market is just one part of Hyde Park’s hugely successful Winter Wonderland. There are about 40 stalls, selling very many handmade items, holiday decorations. The food stalls tempt you with different smells and treats that can be sampled, such as gingerbread or Bratwurst (a small sausage of highly seasoned fresh pork, usually served fried). Besides, a main attraction of the market is London Eye, the big wheel from which you can have a magnific view of London and the largest outdoor ice rink in Europe. The Christmas Market in London, England is situated in Hyde Park, one of the greatest park of London City, which should not be missed no matter the weather outside. The market is open for its visitors every year, from the beginning of December.
6. Sapporo, Japan is also a famous host for its Christmas Market, a German-style one. It first opened its gates for its visitors in 2002 and its aim was to celebrate the link between Sapporo and its sister city Munich. Here there are many stalls offering as well gift ideas and items, tree decorations and food. The mulled wine is also a top attraction for adult-visitors of this market. It is located in Odori Park and it is open from November 27th to December 24th.
7. The Christmas Markets from Prague – Vanocni trhy – mean also wooden stalls, which welcome their visitors with handmade objects, food (baked corn, sausages and other local dishes). The main markets are held in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. There are many glass ojects, wooden toys, scented candels, Christmas ornaments, hand-crafted jewellry and many dolls. The Christmas Markets in Prague take place in Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, Namesti Republiky, Namesti Miru and Havelske Trziste, from November 28th to January 1st.
8. Denver, USA is also a top destination for Christmas-items seekers. The Christkindl Market 2009 is the 10th edition of Denver’s festive fair. Along with the traditional vendor stalls, this market also plays host to an enjoyable selection of musical events such as performances by the ‘Rockin’ Angels’. Many local choirs and bands perform while visitors buy brilliant presents. Sweets, scarves and more can be found alongside intricately crafted holiday ornaments. It is located in Sky Line Park, Arapahoe and 16th, from November 27th to December 24th.
9. Munich, Germany is one of the original markets, which all the others in the world draw inspiration from. It is one of Germany’s most well-loved Yuletide events. Sparkling at the heart of the city, the market’s focal point is a 30-metre high Christmas tree complete with 2,500 lights. Visitors can find more than 160 stalls, which provide a huge range of handmade items and unique food – from sweets – to Christmas angels. The mulled wine is also a very popular drink among tourists and not only. Christkindlmarkt is found in Marienplatz and it is open from November 27th to December 24th.
10. The last but not least popular Christmas Market in the world is Budapest Christmas Fair, from Budapest, Hungary. The most famous market here is Vörösmarty Square, chosen by very many visitors. It is believed to be the brightest Christmas Market in Europe. Internationally, the market is considered to be one of the greatest place due to its more than 150 shows – theater, music, popular dances. Children meet Santa Claus, who comes from Finnland to give them presents. You have the opportunity to hand craft your own Christmas decorations. Food is also a top attraction – the traditional baked bread with strudel, traditional kürtös kalács and sausages should not be missed. It takes place in Vörösmarty Square, from November 20th to December 29th.
Taking these into consideration, tourists should now that there are also other important Christmas markets in the world, which deserve all our attention, such as: Piazza Navona (Rome, Italy), Copenhagen, the Christmas Market from Frankfurt and many, many others.