5 festive fairs to get you in the Christmas spirit!

28 Nov 2016

With the festive season upon us, there’s no greater joy than browsing the local Christmas markets to pick up some decorations, try artisan food, or simply get into the spirit of things. We’ve put together a short list of some of our favourite Christmas markets from around the world!

1. San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Christmas market

Taking place in over 120,000 square feet, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair converts the San Francisco bay area into Victorian London, complete with costumed actors performing, street vendors selling roasted chestnuts, and the scent of food filling the air above bustling crowds!

With a theatre atmosphere, there are music halls and Christmas shops galore, all full of stage actors representing characters from Victorian literature – chief among which is “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens.

See the world of literature brought to life on the stage while you sip some mulled wine to keep the cold at bay. Eat, drink, and be entertained to your heart’s content in this magical Christmas fair!

2. St. Gallen, Switzerland

St.Gallen Christmas market

St. Gallen in Switzerland is absolutely magnificent. With a beautiful abbey in the centre of its old town as the backdrop to the ultimate Christmas market, this is not an occasion to be missed!

Not only is the town picture-perfect, St. Gallen is home to the tallest Christmas tree in Switzerland at 20 metres high – a delight to all visitors to the market. With historic houses dating to the 16th and 18th centuries, and car-free streets, the atmosphere is one of calm and relaxation, not the hustle you might expect of the Christmas season.

Stand back and enjoy the lights on the abbey and mulled wine in this idyllic Christmas market setting.

3. Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb Christmas market

The Christmas market in Zagreb, Croatia, must be seen to be believed. It was voted the ultimate European Christmas Destination by European Best Destinations in 2016, and it’s easy to see why.

With stunning lights and traditional Christmas market stands, the city is perfectly in the spirit of the season! With colours and lights, it is simply a dream getaway for fans of Christmas who want to celebrate in style!

With tourist numbers growing year on year, there’s not a better time to experience Croatia’s capital! Boasting an ice sculpture festival, a skating rink, singing, dancing and plenty of choice of food and drink, it’s clear to see why this market is award-winning!

4. Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg Christmas market

Strasbourg, the oldest Christmas market in Europe, was founded in 1570, and is one of the most famous of all Christmas markets in France due to its scale and location. Many of the city’s town squares become Christmas markets, hosting wooden huts and offering their own unique offering.

You can find Christmas markets by the Strasbourg Cathedral, Place des Meuniers (which offers Alsace’s food – regional delicacies), The Three Kings’ market in Place Benjamin-Zix, the Carré d’Or market at Place du Temple-Neuf, and the market in Place Saint Thomas are all well worth visiting, each with a unique offering of food, gifts, and beverages.

Additionally, the Sharing Village in Place Kléber boasts a fantastic Christmas tree – the decorations are nothing short of sensational.

5. Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem, PA, USA

Bethlehem Christmas market

Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem has been running for over twenty years, offering visitors the length and breadth of the US a delightful, old-world charm and incredible craft gifts for five weeks around Christmas.

Additionally, you can have a go at blowing your own glass decorations at the market, hosted by The Hot Glass Studio. What better way to remember the market than by a memento you have created yourself!

Bethlehem, PA has incredible history, from the Moravian Bethlehem District to the post-industrial revitalization of the Bethlehem Steel plant into an arts and cultural campus. It has something to offer everyone, whether you’re visiting for the Christmas market or not!