- 04 Feb - 10 Feb, 2023
THE BEST CHRISTMAS MARKETS TAKING PLACE IN 2022
- 03 Dec - 09 Dec, 2022
- Travel Diaries
There's nothing quite like a festive market to bring out the Christmas spirit in people.
While these events can be traced back to Vienna – the city's first recorded December market was in 1298 -- the tradition has spread across the world over the centuries. From Germany, to Switzerland, to New York, it's difficult to find a coveted destination that doesn't hold an impressive annual advent market. In fact, some have grown so popular, they've become tourist attractions in their own right. Over the past few years, a number of well-known festive markets were forced to either scale back or cancel festivities all together due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the vast majority are returning for 2022.
Here's our rundown of the some of the top Christmas markets around the world this year.
Wiener Christkindlmarkt, Austria
With reindeer rides, a giant Ferris wheel and a classic nativity scene to marvel at, Vienna's magical spectacle encapsulates the festive spirit fantastically. Although there are around 20 Christmas markets in the Austrian capital to choose from, Wiener Christkindlmarkt, held in front of City Hall, or Rathausplatz, is one of its oldest and most traditional events.
Basel Christmas Market, Switzerland
It's hard to find a destination that does Christmas better than Switzerland. Most Swiss towns are pretty much taken over by festive markets at this time of year and the atmosphere is incredible. Basel Christmas Market is the biggest and arguably the best around. Families attractions include the Christmas fairytale forest at Munsterplatz with activities such as gingerbread and candle decorating, a star workshop and a festive train. Basel Christmas Market opens on November 24 and is scheduled to run until December 2.
Strasbourg Christmas Market, France
One of Europe's oldest Christmas markets, Strasbourg began back in 1570, but it's evolved considerably since then. Spread over more than 10 locations, including a section of the UNESCO world heritage site of Grande Île, the hugely popular market lights up the city with thousands of twinkling Christmas lights and festive ornaments. Strasbourg Christmas Market kicks off on November 25 to December 24.
Brussels Winter Wonders, Belgium
Brussels really comes to life at Christmas time thanks to Winter Wonders, which is more akin to a festival than a market. The annual extravaganza, which extends across the Bourse, Place de la Monnaie, Grand Place, Place Sainte Catherine and Marche aux Poissons, is one of Belgium's biggest and most popular events. Brussels Winter Wonders will run from November 25 to January 1, 2023.
Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square Christmas markets, Prague, Czech Republic
To say Prague goes all out at Christmas is something of an understatement. The Czech Republic capital is the very definition of a winter wonderland during the festive period. While there's no shortage of markets throughout the city, the main ones are found in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. The markets will run from November 26 to January 6, 2023.
Fira de Santa Llucia, Barcelona
Dating back to 1786, Fira de Santa Llucia has grown from a one-day event to commemorate the feast day of Santa Llucia, which falls on December 13, to a three-week fair. There are also many festive activities like storytelling, a Christmas parade, and the caga tio, an enormous pinata-style Christmas log that spills out candy and gifts when beaten with a stick. Fira de Santa Llucia will be taking place from November 25 to December 23 in 2022.
Mercati Natale, Piazza Santa Croce, Florence
There's much to see at this enchanting market, but nothing can top the beautiful backdrop supplied by Santa Croce's Franciscan Basilica. Although this traditional fair is transported from Heidelberg, Germany to Florence every year, it's a very Italian affair in many ways thanks to the scenery and the many Italian treats, such as panforte, for sale. Mercati Natale begins on November 19 and is set to close on December 18.
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