7 festive Christmas markets around the world to visit

1. Skansen Christmas Market, Stockholm

Experience the traditional Christmas spirit in the heart of Sweden. First held in 1903, this beloved market sells just about everything imaginable: traditional sausages, cheeses, homemade mustard, spices, honey, marzipan, embroidery, leather goods and more. Besides the wide array of items to buy, there are many interesting sights to see and activities to do at the world’s oldest open-air museum as well.

The light up at the Tivoli Christmas market. Photo credit: footagepics/ Shutterstock.com

2. Tivoli Christmas Market, Copenhagen

Every year, the iconic Tivoli Gardens plays host to stalls selling festive trinkets and snacks, with a variety of cosy restaurants also on hand to offer up hearty meals in the cold. Don’t miss the fireworks displays on 25, 26, 30 and 31 December, as well as Christmas performances such as “The Nutcracker”performed at various halls. As the sun sets, see the Gardens transform as the Christmas lights bring about an enchanting glow.

3. Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona

Dating all the way back to 1786, this historic Christmas market sees over 300 various stalls selling a plethora of wares – from Christmas trees to musical instruments and jewellery. The stalls are organised into categories: nativity scenes and figures, greenery and plants, crafts, and simbombes (a traditional musical instrument), so it’s easy to find what you want, or to simply browse the selection. Performances abound as well with traditional music band, dances for the winter and Christmas season, and even a puppet show.

Stalls at New York’s Winter Village. Photo credit: EarthScape ImageGraphy/ Shutterstock.com

4. Bank of America Winter Village, New York

Besides shopping for items including sweaters, jewellery, decorations, local foods and more at this Christmas market, you can also go ice skating – for free – at Bryant Park’s 1,580m² outdoor rink. Be sure to catch the tree lighting “skate-tacular,” an original Christmas tale featuring performances by Olympic skaters. The finale ends on a high with the lighting of the the tree, accompanied by dazzling fireworks. This year be sure to check out The Lodge, the new rink side food hall opened until 3 March 2019.

Christmas in Zurich. Photo credit: Paolo Trovo/ Shutterstock.com

5. Wienachtsdorf, Zurich

Embrace the holiday spirit at one of Zurich’s well-loved Christmas village. With over a 100 huts combined, there’s lots to eat, explore and experience. The food huts offer delicacies from all around the world, while the design market has a great range of gift ideas, both traditional and modern – stalls change every week so there’s always something new. Over at the rink, try out curling, a sport perfect for a group of family or friends during the winter season. Make sure to catch the shows and performances held at the rink too.

6. Winterville, London

There is plenty to do at this winter village in London. Besides the stalls, ice rink, and performances, Winterville offers some of the most exciting activities. Find your way through a mystical maze to discover an enchanted forest that features two cinema screens to catch a holiday movie at Backyard Cinema’s Christmas Labyrinth. If you’re up for some dancing on roller skates, head over to Twisted Wheels Roller Disco, with family fun on the weekdays and club nights on the weekend. There’s even an indoor golf course or a fairground for those in need of an adrenaline rush.

Gardens by the Bay Christmas By MU YEE TING
Gardens by the Bay at Christmas. Photo credit: Mu Yee Ting

7. Christmas Wonderland, Singapore

The warmest option on this list to be sure, Christmas in Singapore is no less dazzling when celebrated at Gardens by the Bay. Admire dazzling light sculptures, enjoy traditional fairground rides, visit Asia’s largest Santa’s Grotto and browse the myriad of market stalls at the city-state’s biggest Christmas fair. Sing along to Christmas favourites at Garden Rhapsody – The Christmas Special, or simply admire the view of the Supertrees as they come alive with multi-coloured illuminations, along to the beat of festive jingles.

SEE ALSO: The best city beaches in Europe

Additional reporting: Claire Ang

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