If there is one thing that will get you into the festive spirit, it is visiting a Christmas Market.
The Christmas markets in Europe are renowned for their incredible atmosphere, delicious food and unique trinkets that make the perfect presents for your loved ones. But did you know that Canada also has some world-class markets to help spread Christmas cheer?
Here’s our top picks for the must-visit Christmas markets in the Great White North.
Toronto Christmas Market
The Toronto Christmas Market is iconic, and is regarded as one of the top ten in the world. Situated in the historic distillery district, it would be easy to spend a couple of days browsing the hundreds of stalls. Indulge in some traditional Christmas market cuisine in the form of German schnitzel and fresh baked pastries. But don’t worry, there are still stands devoted to poutine!
DON’T MISS: Look out for the life-sized gingerbread house that will entertain the kids for hours. Also take in entertainment from Bavarian brass bands and Ukrainian folk dancers! This really is a European-inspired market with a distinct Canadian twist.
Quebec City’s German Christmas Market
Quebec really does have something for everyone during the festive season. There are two separate markets running in December. Enjoy a German-inspired fare for the first two weeks, before this transforms into a crafts market. Wooden huts will be jam-packed full of unique Christmas gifts and delicious Christmas food. With the first market running at the same time as the Quebec City Lights Festival, there really is no better place to go for some festive cheer.
DON’T MISS: Visit the enchanting Ravensberg Chalet for an experience with magic in the air. Need some present inspiration for the little ones? Check out the Christmas market specifically set up for children within the complex.
Ontario’s Christkindl Market
Situated in Kitchener – one of the oldest and largest German communities in Canada – Christkindl Market has been taking place since 1996. With 35,000 visitors each year, it is one of the most popular in Canada. People cannot get enough of the traditional German atmosphere – candlelit processions, bands and dancers included.
DON’T MISS: For the most authentic Christmas market experience possible, check out the German crafts and blacksmith demonstrations. Make sure you pick up a hand-blown glass ornament for that incredible unique gift.
Vancouver Christmas Market
Situated in the city centre in the Jack Poole Plaza, the Vancouver Christmas Market is the perfect place to both get into the festive spirit, and to enjoy panoramic views of the waterfront. Painted beer steins are just one of the beautiful exceptional gifts you can purchase for your loved ones. When the weather gets a little chilly, be sure to try a bowl of ‘feuerzangenbowle’ – rum soaked sugarloaf set ablaze and left to melt into mulled wine. If that doesn’t leave you full of Christmas cheer, we don’t know what will!
DON’T MISS: The Craft Circle Christmas Market in December, which showcases the work of local Canadian artists. Want to get creative with your presents? This market holds DIY workshops to help you create the perfect homemade gifts.
Banff Christmas Market
One of the most famous towns in the Canadian Rockies, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year to explore Banff. This market is for one weekend only – 24th – 26th November – and is the perfect way to start the festive season. Incredible BBQ food and homemade chocolate are stand outs in the dozens of delicious delights that await you – all of which can be enjoyed in either the outdoor bar or the fireside lounge.
DON’T MISS: For a once-in-a-lifetime winter experience, wrap up warm and enjoy a sleigh ride in the Rockies. Alternatively, get an unforgettable gift for that special someone with a carving from one of the native Inuits.
Which of these incredible Christmas markets would you love to visit first? Let us know in the comments below!