7 Holiday Markets Perfect for the Family

By Alexa Wheeler  ·  November 2021

Whether traveling to Europe this winter or staying closer to home, there’s a holiday market to put you in the spirit of the season. From twinkling bright lights to festive activities for kids and adults alike, not an ounce of merry will be lost at these seven holiday markets.

1  |  Munich Christmas Market | Munich, Germany

If looking to visit one of the oldest Christmas markets in the world, the Munich Christmas Market dates back to the 14th century. With festive Bavarian music, crafting and baking workshops for both adults and children, and a nearly 100-foot-tall Christmas tree, the holiday spirit is hard to ignore. Not to mention, the market sits in the middle of Marienplatz, Munich’s main square since 1158 – a destination in itself.

Hotel Recommendation: The Charles Hotel
Less than a 20-minute walk from Marienplatz and only a five-minute walk to Munich’s Central Station, The Charles Hotel is in a prime location to explore Munich and catch a train to nearby towns. Tip: Salzburg, Austria is less than two hours from Munich by train and hosts one of the world’s oldest Advent markets, The Salzburg Christkindlmarkt, which dates back to the 15th century. Visit two markets in one trip!

2  |  Great Dickens Christmas Fair | San Francisco, USA

Since 1970, The Great Dickens Christmas Fair has brought Victorian London to life in San Francisco. As the perfect outing for holiday family fun, you’ll be surrounded by costumed characters straight out of A Christmas Carol, storytellers, carolers, dancers and performers. From lamplit shops to cozy pubs to music halls, there isn’t a dull moment to be had.

Hotel Recommendation: Fairmont San Francisco
Centrally located atop Nob Hill, the Fairmont San Francisco is your perfect resting place to enjoy all SF has to offer. You’ll be only a short cable ride away from the bustling Downtown, Financial District, Union Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Image Credit: Great Dickens Christmas Fair, Instagram @disckensfair

3  |  Toronto Christmas Market | Toronto, Canada

Toronto comes to life during the holidays and is full of fun for the family. In the city’s Distillery District, the beautiful brick Victorians are romantic and magical. Equipped with strings of globe lights overhead and lamplit street corners, it’s the perfect setting for Toronto’s Christmas Market. Stop by for a serving of spicy mulled cider or a cup of poutine, or simply explore the area’s fashionable boutiques, bars and galleries alongside the cozy seasonal pop-up shops.

Hotel Recommendation: Fairmont Royal York
Toronto’s landmark hotel is the gateway to an essential Toronto experience. Located in central downtown, the hotel is minutes away from the city’s biggest events and attractions. To reach the Distillery District, you can take a short car ride or enjoy a 30-minute stroll along the waterfront (if it isn’t too chilly).

4  |  Tivoli Gardens’ Christmas Market | Copenhagen, Denmark

Nothing gets kids more excited than holiday lights, and the Tivoli Gardens’ Christmas Market does not disappoint. Drawing crowds from far and wide, the light show’s colors, music, fire, smoke, lasers and water leave visitors feeling festive and in awe. For the best view, watch the light show from the bridge above Tivoli Lake. But don’t miss out on the holiday market stalls which are magical and also worth the trip.

Hotel Recommendation: Nimb Hotel
With stunning views of the magical Tivoli Gardens and only a short 1-minute walk away, you’ll enjoy the Christmas Market’s lights all trip long. Not to mention, the hotel itself is worth the visit. Dating back to 1909, the Nimb blends classic Danish design with beautiful antiques from the Far East – intimate and magnificent all at once.

5  |  Winter Village at Bryant Park | New York City, USA

If you’ve ever visited Manhattan during the holidays, you know it isn’t officially holiday season until Bryant Park’s Winter Village comes to life. With 100+ pop-up shops, a 17,000-square-foot ice rink, a food hall, and a festively lit Christmas tree shining bright among the city’s skyscrapers and lights, you’ll become lost in the moment and forget you’re in the city at all. Come for the experience and you’ll leave feeling merry and magical.

Hotel Recommendation: InterContinental New York Times Square
The newly refurbished InterContinental New York Times Square is located in the heart of New York City’s action. Standing at the epicenter of Broadway theater, dining, fashion, media and business, you’ll never be bored. And, with a less than 10-minute walk from Bryant Park and a less than 15-minute walk from Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center, you’re just steps away from the holiday magic.

6  |  Marché de Noël Allemand | Québec City, Canada

The often harsh winter elements of December don’t keep Quebecois indoors. Instead, the city comes to life with its old-world-style holiday market, Marché de Noël Allemand. Full of charming wooden stands under glowing festive lights, the market will have you singing fa la la la la alongside the carolers. Grab a handful of hot chestnuts, sip on mulled wine or hot cider, buy a glass-blown ornament for your tree, or simply enjoy the storybook moment you’re living in.

Hotel Recommendation: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
No other hotel in Québec City is quite as iconic as the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Besides being a recognizable part of the city’s skyline, it’s also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Opened in 1893, the hotel is situated perfectly atop a cliff over Old Québec and the St. Lawrence River, and it’s only a four-minute walk from Marché de Noël Allemand.

Image Credit: © Francis Gagnon, Destination Québec cité

7  |  Christkindelsmärik | Strasbourg, France

Known as the “Capitale de Noël,” there’s no other place like Strasbourg to enjoy the holiday season. As the oldest in all of France and one of the oldest in all of Europe, Strasbourg’s Christkindelsmärik in Place Broglie has over 100 wooden chalets, each brightly lit competing against the others. For those who consider themselves “foodies,” it’s the perfect stop to pick up fresh cakes, beer, mulled wine, and delicious Alsatian pastries. Not to mention, the colorful and shimmering tree is said to be the highest decorated Christmas tree in Europe.

Hotel Recommendation: Hotel Cour Du Corbeau
Imagine yourself wandering through the corridors and passageways of a 16th century building that has housed famous travelers throughout its years. Hotel Cour Du Corbeau is a piece of history that was never forgotten. Located within a 15-minute walk from Place Broglie, you’ll enjoy exploring the cobblestone streets, cozy cafes, and stunning scenery of Strasbourg’s Old Town.

 


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