Starting around July, travel vendors, and city tourism boards begin promotions for upcoming Christmas Markets, in hopes of enticing travelers to come to their cities to visit and shop. But, what exactly is a Christmas Market, where do they happen, and which ones are the best ones to visit? We’ll answer these questions and more below.
A Christmas Market is a street market that involves vendors selling goods and gifts in celebration of Christmas. Some of these are more religiously focused on Christ and the church than others. They are usually set up about a month before Christmas day the week of Thanksgiving, but some are much shorter in length.
The best and most popular Christmas Markets also entail live shows and entertainment making it more than just a shopping event. For example, you could watch a Christmas play, try some new desserts, or spend the evening ice skating on a temporary ice rink.
Many tourists love Christmas Markets because they see the launch of them as a kickoff to the holiday season. They are a great way to get all your Christmas gifts in one place, and see some exciting spectacles.
Where can you find a Christmas Market?
They pop up all over the world. The first ones historically date back to the Late Middle Ages to areas where German-speaking Europeans would reside. However, these days Christmas Markets are found in a wide variety of destinations including France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Australia, Canada, Peru, and several states in the United States. There are even Christmas Markets in regions of South Africa, the Caribbean and Singapore.
Where are the best Christmas Markets?
Considering they gained popularity, and originated in Germany, it’s probably no surprise that Germany boasts some of the best Christmas Markets each year. The other two countries that have the best Christmas Markets in our opinion are Austria and Czech Republic.
German Christmas Markets
There is virtually no city in Germany that doesn’t have some form of a Christmas Market. But, the most popular ones are in Stuttgart, Rothenberg ob der Tauber, Nuremberg, Cologne, Munich Frankfurt, and Berlin. Though they all feature vendors selling goods, food, and drinks, they all offer unique entertainment and things to see.
Austria Christmas Markets
Like Germany, it feels like everyone in Austria is celebrating Christmas by way of a market too. Still, the most popular of them are in Vienna, Innsbruck, and Salzburg. If you visit one in Vienna, be sure to make it over to the Christmas World at City Hall. The historic setting combined with the handmade goods, yummy eats, and specialty treasures is practically guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit!
Czech Republic Christmas Markets
The two main Czech Republic markets happen in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square. Though these two markets are a mere five minutes from one another, they each have their own unique elements that makes them special. The best part about them being so close together, is that you can explore both in a single day. This doesn’t mean however that you should only spend one day exploring them. Each day of the season is filled with new and exciting festivities to enjoy.
Want to learn more about the Christmas Markets of the world, or to book a trip to visit one? Call Ingenious Travel at 888.695.0321, today. We look forward to helping you create the holiday getaway of your dreams!