Edinburgh Christmas Market, Scotland
If you’re in search of a charming and festive experience, the Edinburgh Christmas Market is a truly magical place to visit, being voted one of the top Christmas markets in the UK. Edinburgh’s traditional Christmas Markets are world-renowned, and this year, over 80 stalls will be located across the city, from East Princes Street Gardens to George Street. The local and international stalls will sell everything from handmade gifts and bespoke products to tasty treats and delicious drinks. If you want to enjoy a panoramic view of the historic city, taking a ride on the ‘Forth 1 Big Wheel’ is a must-do activity. From there, you can admire the stunning Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat. Additionally, you can have fun ice skating at the rink on George Street and afterwards warm up with a hot drink at the nearby artisan market.
Basel Christmas Market, Switzerland
The Christmas market in Basel is a magical and charming place that looks like it’s been taken straight out of a Disney movie. Held annually in the charming Old Town of the Swiss city, the market spreads across Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz squares, boasting 155 wooden chalets that sell everything from waffles, mulled wine, and grilled sausages to Swiss raclette and a local delicacy called Basler Läckerli – a spiced biscuit similar to gingerbread. The market is the perfect place to shop for unique hand-painted Christmas ornaments, handmade toys and jewellery, and anise-flavoured cookies, all while taking in some of the best views that Basel has to offer.
Hotel de Crillon, Paris
If you’re looking for something a bit different and luxurious, the magical Hotel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel, is hosting its first-ever Christmas market this year, where guests can indulge in an enchanting experience amidst the historic Les Salons Historiques. This charming market will feature 19 luxurious French brands, carefully selected to offer a range of delightful products for everyone, including children’s gifts, lifestyle items, accessories, fashion, and beauty. Guests can explore the market on December 16th and 17th, from 10am to 7pm, and browse through the enchanting selection of brands, including the likes of Sisley Paris, Band of Sisters, and Lalide a Paris. The room rates for the hotel start at €1,746 per night, and guests can combine their stay with the magical experience of the Christmas market.
Experience the festive ambience at Vörösmaty Square Christmas Market by breathing in the aroma of mulled wine, browsing through the culturally-inspired Christmas huts, admiring the light installations, and indulging in roasted chestnuts. At this market, you can purchase locally made jewellery, and Christmas souvenirs with a Hungarian twist and attend workshops where you can create gifts such as candles. Foodies will delight in the delicious offerings, including Lángos (Hungarian fried bread typically topped with cheese and sour cream) and Mangalica sausages (cooked using Hungarian Mangalica Pork), among other tempting treats. Vörösmaty Square Christmas Market really is the perfect destination to get into the holiday spirit while relishing local flavours.
Waterford’s Winterval is a magical festival that celebrates Christmas with over 40 events to enjoy, half of which are free. You can enjoy a traditional Christmas Market, a festive fairground, Winterval on Ice, a Gerbola Christmas Circus, a Narnia Christmas Show, the Winterval Illuminates light show, a Viking Yule Settlement, and much more. And for the little ones, you can bring them to visit Santa Claus, ride the Winterval Mini Express train, and enjoy the Glow Gardens and a virtual ride in Santa’s sleigh.
Yulefest Christmas Markets, Kilkenny
A festive spectacle, the Yulefest Christmas Markets are a must-see attraction for anyone looking to get into the holiday spirit while visiting Kilkenny. Visitors can find local artisans nestled in beautiful wooden huts selling local crafts, tasty food and delicious treats, with family entertainment, live music and a range of festive food delicacies. With dazzling Christmas lights, Yulefest has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a festive staycation or family fun activities.
Galway Christmas Market, Galway
The Galway Christmas Markets, located in Eyre Square, offers a festive and magical experience with 50 wooden stalls selling a variety of delicious treats, including Irish handmade fudge, chimney cakes, and mulled wine. And if you’re looking to sleigh in the gifting department, the markets also offer a variety of beautiful handmade crafts that would make perfect Christmas gifts. The atmosphere is magical, with the beautiful lights and decorations shining brightly in Eyre Square and the Christmas music playing throughout the day. Visitors can also enjoy popular attractions such as the Beer Tent, Santa’s Grotto, the traditional Carousel, and the 32-meter high Big Wheel.
Follow Megan Virgo’s travels on Instagram at @meganvirgo.