With Christmas and New Year just around the corner doing a peek, to add more excitement and colour to the festivities these are the list of top 10 Destinations for any shopping enthusiast on the lookout for their perfect match(In terms of Goods).
- Copenhagen, Denmark
Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market, on the grounds of this amusement park is converted into a Christmas Village for the occasion adorned with lights throughout and spreads of delicacies like, aebleskiver – Danish pancakes and glogg – combination of warm red wine and spices.
Dates: 14th November to 3rd January
- Strasbourg, France
Christkindelsmärik, larger of the Christkindelmarket’s around the world is the oldest market established around 1570 AD. One of the oldest by far it consists of 12 markets spread around the city organized product wise. Keeping to the Alsatian tradition visitors can sample away regional bests like bretzels, quenelles – oval shaped dumplings, and wines.
Dates: 29th November to 31st December
- Toronto, Canada
True to the city’s multicultural nature the Toronto Christmas Market is a blend of the old world and the new. The visitors can have a go at anything ranging from the wooly hat to alpaca shawls. The regional favorite the Maple Syrup is also up for grabs. This market is another favorite for being children friendly with its key attraction being the Ferris wheel, Santa’s Lane, Rudolph’s Reindeer Zoo and a forest maze right out of a fairy tale.
Dates: 20th November to 20th December
- Manchester, England
8 Markets spread across Manchester, the one at Albert Square is a crown hauler. Local as well as European vendors offer everything form handcrafted leather bags to specialty dishes. To quench the taste bud’s craving trans-continental culinary bests to the likes of Dutch Pancakes, German Sausages, French Macrarons etc. can be bought. To add to the festive atmosphere strong blends of spirits and fruit juices mark the popular beverages.
Dates: 17th November to 21st December
- Vienna, Austria
During the holiday season, Vienna’s perfect squares are transformed as if the magic of Christmas has come early. Another leaf taken out of a fairy tale, Vienna Magic of the Advent and Schönbrunn Christmas Market are two of the many markets in Viennna that never fail to mesmerize the throngs of visitors every year. The must try culinary highlights include raclette with bread and gröstl – pan-fried potatoes served with various ingredients such as eggs, pork, and onion. Austrian wine and Mulled wine are alos people favorite and as a souvenir mulled wine mugs are collectible.
Dates: 13th November to 23rd December
- Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn Town Hall Square, the location of the world’s first documented Christmas tree, a picturesque of an ideal Christmas setting. Small chalets sell handcrafted items such as buckwheat pillows, felted wool hats, wooden bowls etc. and the tourists/visitors can have a sample of anything from marzipan sweets to blood pudding. The local chefs clink away their knives to treat the enthusiasts the typical Estonian cuisine.
Dates: 20th November to 8th January
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A worthy trip to a German market at the heart of the States is something that takes form as the Christmas Village in Love Park in Philadelphia’s City Centre. Modelled into the traditional German Market there are 50 vendors up and about in the trade of hand crafted artifacts such as nested dolls, Indian folk art, hats, pottery, vintage toys etc. each having the artist’s touch making it desirably unique. Tinkling your taste buds are the Nutella topped waffles, strudels, gingerbread and the favorites – soft pretzels.
Dates: 26th November to 27th December
- Chicago, Illinois
Another one of the Christkindlmarkets, another taste of german authenticity in the soul of Chicago. Collating with its ancient counterpart in Nüremberg, this market offers a wide variety of German artifacts to take and if you go hungry from seeing the stockade, you can treat yourself to stollen, potato pancakes, roasted nuts, baked apple and schnitzel.
Dates: 20th November to 24th December
- Barcelona, Spain
The heart of Christmas celebrations, the halls of Fira de Santa Llúcia in Barcelona is revamped to accommodate more than 280 stalls each selling artisanal works and wares. Stands are divided into four portions: Greenery and plants, nativities and figures, crafts and simbombes(traditional instruments used for caroling). If you get tired from shopping the people can take a break to listen to carols or watch Catalan dance performances.
Dates: 27th November to 23rd December
- Lille, France
The gate way to winter wonderland, Lille Christmas Market is one of a kind market with wooden chalets sourcing apparels from Russia, Poland, Belgium, Quebec and also Native American goodies. Key source of attraction seems to be the giant Ferris wheel in the main square appended by a giant 18 meter high Christmas tree flamboyant with decorations. If you are a Nutella freak be sure to try out the fresh crepes with Nutella and chopped walnuts which will leave you in a cliffhanger craving for more.
Dates: 18th November to 30th December
By: Achyuthan Ramaswamy