IT’S CHRISTMAAAAS! That means mince pies, mulled wine and novelty jumpers. If you want a place you can expect all of this, Christmas markets are perfect. They give you a chance to embrace all things festive while picking up some one-of-a-kind gifts along the way. If you’re lucky you might even hear some carols. If you live in London student accommodation, these are our top picks of Christmas markets in London and around the world.
Take advantage of these fantastic markets which are right on your doorstep…
Situated in Hyde Park, this market is the one everyone talks about and all the celebs visit with their kids. That’s because it’s one of the biggest and best Christmas markets in the country. And it’s free to enter!
In addition to traditional market stalls where you can pick up festive foods and gifts, there’s a whole host of activities to do. Whether you love ice skating, fancy a ride on the fairground or want to look at beautiful ice sculptures, you’ll find it all here. It’s open until 10pm so you can make a whole day and night of it. Why not finish the night off with some Christmas cocktails and karaoke in Bar Hütte?
Winterville at Clapham Common
Ideal for those who love something alternative, this Christmas market is not your traditional affair. There’s plenty of food and drink stalls from some of London’s finest local businesses and the indoor market is filled with goods from independent designers. There’s also a fully stocked bar if you get thirsty while you shop.
Once you’re done with shopping you can use the ice rink, visit the roller disco or play some crazy golf. Don’t forget to ride the ferris wheel.
Wintertime at Southbank Centre
If you want a market with a view, take a trip to Southbank Centre and shop by the riverside. Featuring 30 Nordic style wooden chalets, the market has offerings from worldwide traders as well as those closer to home.
The Bar Under the Bridge is the perfect place for a festive pitstop, hosted by The Hop Locker with plenty of craft beers available. If you fancy a pamper session head to the Finnish Rooftop Sauna overlooking the River Thames. Well, it’s one way to warm up!
Our Christmas Market Tube Map can help you with the rest of the best markets around London!
Around the world
Thinking of taking a trip elsewhere to soak in the festive vibes? Try one of these markets.
Tivoli Gardens – Copenhagen
Copenhagen’s city centre amusement park is filled with gorgeous wooden huts, twinkling lights and Christmas trees throughout the festive period. From traditional Danish fayre to unique Christmas decorations, the produce here is not to be missed.
The park’s 27 rides are still open for business, so you can spend your day having all kinds of festive fun. And, if you want to revisit childhood memories, you can always visit Santa Claus and his reindeer in the grotto.
You will need to pay admission to the gardens in order to visit the market. Adult fees are 110.00 DKK – 120.00 DKK.
Christmas Fair and Winter Festival – Budapest
Situated in Vorosmarty Square, this market is right in the heart of the city. This is one of the more traditional style markets in which the square is filled with huts for browsing. All the usual things are available, such as warm honey cookies, mulled wine and goods made with cinnamon.
You’ll be treated to light shows and live music as well as folk dancing for the traditional Hungarian experience. Work off those sweet treats with a skate around the ice rink. As Christmas markets go, this one is everything you’d expect, but the backdrop of Budapest makes it special.
Cologne Christmas Markets
We couldn’t have a list of Christmas markets without including one from Germany. Cologne is a city filled with markets at Christmas time, so you’ll definitely find something to your taste. The main one, situated near the city’s famous cathedral, surrounds a huge lit Christmas tree. Take in the tastes and smells while listening to some live music on the stage.
It’s all about exploring with this city as there’s a new market around almost every corner. The Angel’s Christmas market is the oldest in the city while the Harbour Christmas market will give you a lovely view of the Rhine (and it’s right next to the chocolate museum!). Take a look at this map for more information on these markets. You can also take a mini-train around the city so you don’t miss any out.
Alpine Christmas – Annecy
You may not have ever heard of Annecy in France… luckily one of our sources is an avid traveller and managed to bring you this little hidden gem! Located in South-East France, this beautiful lakeside city looks like something from a Christmas card.
There’s a quaint little Christmas craft market located in front of the city hall and also Village of the Alps in front of the Courier shopping mall. Here you’ll find food and drink as well as an ice rink. All this with the backdrop of snowy mountains and the beautiful lake makes this market just stunning.
If you’re studying French, this would be the perfect opportunity to test out your language skills in real life.
Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square Markets – Prague
If you’re looking for a picturesque, historical setting for your Christmas markets, look no further than Prague. Boasting two main markets within a few minutes’ walk of each other, The theme of this year’s markets is ‘The History of Prague”. Keep your eye out for the gables on the huts which represent some of the country’s most famous historical figures such as Emperor Charles IV and Franz Kafka.
Czech beers and local delicacies will fill you up while browsing the many stalls. This is the perfect market to treat yourself to some new Christmas decorations or gifts for the family.
Let us know how your Christmas market visits go in the comments!