10 Holiday Festivals to Spark Your Festive Cheer

December 8, 2017 / articles, events

Traveling this holiday season? Don’t let the travels get you down! Stop in at one of these Christmas Festivals in some of our favourite places to keep up your festive cheer.

 

 

Prague Christmas Market, Prague, Czech Republic  

Photo by Rodney Ee

December 2, 2017 – January 6, 2018

Located in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, the Prague Christmas Market is in the heart of the city. With this year’s theme set as “History of Prague,” it’s the perfect opportunity to experience the city’s rich history along with the festival! Entertainment and activities include various concerts in churches and historic buildings, the opera and Nutcracker ballet, a Blacklight show and even a marionette theatre.

Where to stay in Prague:

The Grand Mark Prague, Prague Marriott Hotel

Find out more: https://www.pragueexperience.com/events/christmas-markets.asp

Photo by Rodney Ee - Prague Christmas Market
Photo by Rodney Ee - Prague Christmas Market
Photo by Dominique Cappronnier - Prague Christmas Market

 

 

 

Vörösmarty tér Christmas Market, Budapest, Hungary

Photo by Top Budapest

November 10 – December 31, 2017

Budapest’s Vörösmarty tér (Vorosmarty Square) plays host to the oldest Christmas market in Budapest. Keep warm by clutching a festive mug filled with mulled wine as you browse the stalls of traditional hand-made Hungarian gifts. There are many free concerts in the late afternoon, in a wide range of genres, as well as a light painting show.

Haven’t brushed up on your Hungarian lately? The folks over at Budapest Christmas have got you covered: “The pronunciation of the Christmas square may seem too difficult at first time, but saying it 2-3 times out loud will make it super easy. Say: verr-ersh-mor-ty tay-r) Ö in Hungarian is always pronounced as the ‘ir’ in girl or Shirley, while É with an accent, is always pronounced as -ay- as in ray, say, but we do not say the ‘y’.”

Where to stay in Budapest:

The Ritz-Carlton Budapest, Budapest Marriott Hotel, Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge, InterContinental Budapest, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest

Find out more: http://budapestchristmas.com/christmas-market-on-vorosmarty-square

Photo by Top Budapest - Budapest Christmas Market
Photo by Top Budapest - Budapest Christmas Market

 

 

Salzburg Christkindlmarkt, Salzburg, Austria

Photo by wildbild

November 22 – December 26, 2017 

Finding its home in the Altstadt (Old City) of Austria, you can experience the traditional mulled wine, food and drink. There are 95 exhibitors and 90 events including a number of musical performances, and the Christkind visits every Saturday! If you’re not quite prepared for Advent, there are plenty of floral and Christmas decorations and candles to make you Advent ready.

Where to Stay in Salzburg:

Hotel Sacher Salzburg, Hotel Goldgasse

Find out more: http://www.christkindlmarkt.co.at/English

Photo: www.christkindlmarkt.co.at, Salzburg
Photo: www.christkindlmarkt.co.at, Salzburg
Photo: www.christkindlmarkt.co.at, Salzburg
Photo: www.christkindlmarkt.co.at, Salzburg
Photo: www.christkindlmarkt.co.at, Salzburg
Photo: www.christkindlmarkt.co.at, Salzburg

 

 

Christmas Market on Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

Photo by Ian Hayhurst

November 27 – December 24, 2017

In the heart of the city, Munich’s Christmas Market on Marienplatz is a sight to see! Bask in the light of the 3000 “candle” Christmas tree and sing traditional Bavarian Christmas songs. Kids can learn about the Krampus tradition, participate in various other crafts and activities, or watch the famous Kasperl Show. Musicians play live from the town hall balcony as you shop the stalls for traditional Christmas balls, angels, and other items. Don’t forget to try the homemade bratwurst, flamed salmon and steaming hot beer!

Where to stay in Munich:

Hotel Königshof, Bayerische Hof, Platzl Hotel MünchenRocco Forte The Charles HotelHotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich

Find out more: www.christkindlmarkt-muenchen.de

Photo by Christian Kasper Muenchner Christkindlmarkt Verkaufsstand
Photo by Fritz Witzig - Christkindlmarkt auf dem Muenchner Marienplatz
Photo by Foto Lukas Barth Christkindlmarkt auf dem Muenchner Marienplatz
Photo by C. Reiter- Christkindlmarkt auf dem Muenchner Marienplatz
Photo by Bernd Roemmelt-Weihnachtsstern vor den Frauentuermen
Photo by Christian Kasper Muenchner Christkindlmarkt

 

 

 

Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremburg, Germany

December 1 – 24, 2017

Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is one of the oldest Christmas festivals in Germany.  The pre-Christmas event on Nuremberg’s Main Market Square dates back to the mid 16th century!  Take a stagecoach ride, drink the Rum Punch and mulled wine, and taste the Nuremberg Bratwurst and gingerbread. For some last minute shopping, you can purchase some festive Christmas tree decorations, Czech wooden Angels, or Prune Men (made from, as the name suggests, dried prunes). Take part in the Lantern Procession or visit the Market of the Sister Cities for some international flair.

Where to stay in Nuremberg:

Sheraton Carlton Hotel Nuernberg, Hotel FIVE

Find out more: http://www.christkindlesmarkt.de/en/

Photo by Jurgen Priebe - Nuremberg Christmas Market
Photo by Jurgen Priebe - Nuremberg Christmas Market
Photo by Jurgen Priebe - Nuremberg Christmas Market

 

 

Christmas in Trivoli, Copenhagen, Denmark

Photo by Sarah Ackerman

November 18 – December 31, 2017

Christmas in Trivoli will have you tasting traditional Danish holiday treats like Aebleskive (pan-baked donut), and glögg (spiced wine with raisins and almonds). There are approximately 60 stalls that include food and drink options as well as vendors to get your last-minute Christmas shopping done! The Glass Hall theatre plays the traditional “Crazy Christmas Cabaret is Planet Rump – The Farce Awakens”. Catch a ride at the Trainsbury Station and shop the trams, visit the Honey Cake Castle, or view the Christmas light show.  If you find yourself in Copenhagen for Christmas Day, you can take part in the Fireworks Festival held on December 25 and 26.

Where to stay in Copenhagen:

Marriott Copenhagen, Nobis Hotel Copenhagen, Hotel d’Angleterre

Find out more: https://www.tivoligardens.com/en/saesoner/jul

Photo by Maria Eklind - Trivoli Gardens Christmas
Photo by Kallu - Trivoli Gardens Christmas
Photo by Sarah Ackerman - Trivoli Gardens Christmas

 

 

Village de Noël Paris La Défense, Paris, France

Photo from Village de Noël Paris La Défense

November 28 – December 28, 2017

Village de Noël Paris La Défense boasts a whopping 350 exhibitors! Enjoy the 360˚ views as you skate on the roof-top rink installed at La Grande Arche of La Défense. In addition to the traditional chalets and vendors, this Christmas Village hosts Santa’s sleigh VR experience and a miniature village.

Where to Stay in Paris:

Hilton Paris La Défense, Renaissance Paris La Defense Hotel, Hotel Sofitel Paris La Défense

Find out more: http://www.ladefense.fr/en/vie-de-quartier/la-magie-de-noel-sempare-de-la-defense

 

 

 

Christkindlmarkt, Chicago, USA

Photo by Justin Kern

November 17 – December 24, 2017

You can reserve a table to enjoy the best of traditional German beer, Glühwein (mulled wine), and various other treats, both sweet and savoury! Shop for Christmas gifts amongst the many vendors including unique handmade items and ornaments. Entertainment varies throughout the festival including an outdoor youth nutcracker presentation, Hawaiian dance performances, and various musical performers. Christkindlmarkt Chicago even has their own Kinder Club (Kid’s Club)!

Where to Stay in Chicago:

Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago, W Chicago City Center, The Langham

Find out more: http://www.christkindlmarket.com/chicago/

Photo by Jay Nayegandhi - Christkindmarket Chicago
Photo by Jay Nayegandhi - Christkindmarket Chicago
Photo by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar - Christkindmarket Chicago
Photo by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar - Christkindmarket Chicago

 

 

Christkindl Market, Kitchener, Canada

Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market

December 7 – 10, 2017

Kitchener is home to several German cultural clubs and local German craftsmen making this Canadian Christkindl Market rich with German culture and authenticity. During the festival, entertainment includes an opening night lantern walk, a live nativity scene, model railway, local blacksmith, and the over 30 entertainers including cultural dance groups, bands, and choirs. Food and shopping are aplenty with more than 90 vendors outside in Carl Zehr Square and inside City Hall. Don’t forget your ice skates! Bonus: it’s only an hour outside of Toronto!

Where to Stay in Kitchener:

The WalperDelta Hotels Waterloo

Find out more: http://www.christkindl.ca/

Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market Kitchener
Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market Kitchener
Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market Kitchener
Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market Kitchener
Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market Kitchener
Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market Kitchener
Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market Kitchener
Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market Kitchener
Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market Kitchener
Photo Courtesy of Christkindl Market Kitchener

 

 

Toronto, Canada

Toronto Christmas Market

Photo Courtesy of the Toronto Christmas Market

November 16 – December 23, 2017

In addition to the shops and restaurants that already call the Distillery District home, the Toronto Christmas Market brings additional activities, food and gift vendors. The stage features over 450 performances throughout the festival including Traditional Tuesdays with bluegrass, folk, and roots, World Wednesdays with world music, dance, and cultural performances, Classical Thursdays with seasonal opera, oratorio, and cross-over Classical performances, Friday Night Jazz with holiday jazz and swing, Pop/Variety Saturdays featuring emerging artists in the afternoon and featured artists in the evening, and Ensemble Sundays with both Instrumental and vocal ensembles.

Find out more: http://www.torontochristmasmarket.com/event-calendar.html

Photo Courtesy of Toronto Christmas Market
Photo Courtesy of Toronto Christmas Market
Photo Courtesy of Toronto Christmas Market
Photo Courtesy of Toronto Christmas Market
Photo Courtesy of Toronto Christmas Market
Photo Courtesy of Toronto Christmas Market

 

Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square

Photo Courtesy of Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square

December 1- 23, 2017

Toronto has unveiled a brand new Holiday Fair at Nathan Philips Square! While Santa does stop by on the weekends, it isn’t strictly a Christmas fair. Vendors and entertainment are diverse with performers like Aarashido Taiko (traditional Japanese drumming), Silver Elvis, and comedians. Food vendors include various less traditional options like BeaverTails, tacos and butter chicken! Kids will love the Holly Jolly Midway and outdoor staking. Shopping is a must with handcrafted artisan items as well as other beauty, home, décor and toys.

Find out more: http://fairinthesquare.ca/

Photo courtesy of Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillip Square
Photo courtesy of Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillip Square
Photo courtesy of Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillip Square
Photo courtesy of Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillip Square
Photo courtesy of Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillip Square

 

Where to Stay in Toronto

SoHo Metropolitan Hotel, The Ritz Carlton Toronto, Courtyard Toronto Downtown, Delta Hotels Toronto 

  

Bonus Because It’s Awesome:

Winterlude, Ottawa, Canada

Photo by Jamie McCaffery

February 2 – 19, 2018

While it doesn’t quite take place during the holiday season, Winterlude is a must-do if you happen to find yourself passing through Ottawa in February. The frozen Rideau Canal makes the perfect place for fun and games. Skate the Canal, cheer on the racers in the Ice Dragon Boat Festival, be wowed by the International Ice-Carving Competition and visit Snowflake Kingdom for fun winter games and snow activities!

Where to Stay in Ottawa:

Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, Ottawa Marriott Hotel, Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre

Find out more: http://www.canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1416239267950

Photo by Jamie McCaffrey - Winterlude
Photo by Jamie McCaffrey - Winterlude
Photo by Jamie McCaffrey - Winterlude
Photo by Jamie McCaffrey - Winterlude
Photo by Takashi Toyooka - Winterlude
Winterlude - Francois
Photo by Francois

 

 

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