The Most Popular Christmas Markets Around the World

Photo by Lucrecia Ferreyra.

The Christmas season is coming, and what better way to be prepared than learning more about the best Christmas markets you can visit either in person or online? Embrace the festive spirit and enjoy these events carried out in historical squares under glimmering light, wonderful decorations and impressive Christmas trees.

Here we profile the top 3 most popular Christmas markets where you can shop around for handcrafted gifts for your family and friends, sample traditional dishes, warming wines and delicious treats. Read on and travel with us to these amazing Christmas markets to keep the holiday spirit alive!

Dresden, Germany

The Dresden Striezelmarkt is one of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in the world, visited by millions of people every year. It usually has over 100 events in just 2 weeks and features more than 150 traditional dishes and craft beer for visitors to taste. Every year, German bakers prepare a giant fruitcake called stollen and parade it through the streets before giving out delicious slices to visitors for free.

Try out the crispy kartoffelpuffer served with apple sauce, flammkuchen (the German version of pizza!) or schupfnudeln, a traditional dish made of potato, meat and vegetables. You’ll also find a lot of vegan and vegetarian options to eat in the market!

Although this year’s celebrations are different due to COVID-19 (no foreigners will be coming to Germany for the event, unfortunately), the Dresden market is still on provided you are already in the country and wear a mask while maintaining social distance.

Budapest, Hungary

Photo of Budapest by Lucrecia Ferreyra.

Budapest is a magical city enhanced by its spectacular Christmas market. With over 200 wooden stalls, you’ll never run out of delicious dishes to try and gifts to buy! For example, you can experience the unique Hungarian cuisine and try Halászlé (the Fishermen soup), Főzelék (a kind of vegetable stew) or Somlói Galuska (a delicious sponge cake). Also, you can pick out handcrafted gifts your loved ones will adore while you enjoy the mesmerising light and music show that takes place every Saturday in December.

So, if you happen to be in Hungary this December, don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit this wonderful Christmas market!

Chicago, USA

The Chicago Christmas market has been one of the most popular wintertime attractions since it was established in 1996, featuring national and international vendors with offerings for all ages. Every November, visitors can soak up the Christmas atmosphere and find products like handcrafted ornaments, nutcrackers and cuckoo clocks in addition to candy, waffles and tasty pancakes.

In 2020, this beloved holiday event won’t take place in person due to COVID-19, but you can participate online! Access this page and you’ll find a themed online marketplace with incredible offers from the market’s vendors, family events and interactive activities for children and adults! Some of these upcoming events include:

  • Cooking demonstrations where you’ll learn how to prepare potato noodles or braised red cabbage,
  • Casual conversation groups in German and other languages,
  • Tutorials on how to craft holiday decorations,
  • Storytelling and singing Christmas carols,
  • And more!

Holidays are coming! Get into the festive spirit by visiting (either online or in-person) these charming markets around the world. You will enjoy live entertainment and taste mouth-watering dishes and beverages while undergoing a unique shopping experience.

And if you would like to take part in the foreign language conversation groups offered by the Chicago market or communicate with German or Hungarian vendors like a local, reach out to us! Our experienced instructors will prepare customised engaging lessons so you can achieve fluency in the shortest time possible!

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