In the mood for a bit of holiday cheer?
Celebrate the holiday season no matter where your travels take you... if you're looking for a way to feel festive when abroad, visiting unique holiday markets and events is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture. You may also find some truly unique gifts for your friends, your family, and even yourself!
Here you'll discover some unique holiday festivities across the globe, from Europe to the USA.
Europe has some of the best traditional Christmas markets in the whole world. Italian Christmas markets are usually hosted in piazzas, where you can find unique antiques, interesting baked goods, mulled wine, and other excellent Italian delicacies. Bring cash for gifts, but come with extra cash and an empty stomach, too!
The most traditional market is the Mercatino di Natale at Piazza Duomo, or the market at Piazza Castello, where you can Christmas shop with the stunning scenery around you. Be entertained while you shop and find some of the best sweet treats in all of Italy at Il Villaggio delle Meraviglie at the Indro Montanelli Gardens.
For a 'Green Christmas' market, with all things sustainable, head to the Mercatino di Natale alla Fonderia Napoleonica.
At the Christmas Market at Sophienstraße you'll find all kinds of sustainable gifts and eco treats. Organic, fair trade, locally sourced and handcrafted... bratwurst, waffles, mulled wine and vegan dishes are served.
Or you can head for the rooftops, reindeer style, at the Christmas Market at Klunkerkranich. Known for their handmade local gifts, music and treats, and obviously for the view, this is a Berlin favorite.
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
The San Francisco Bay Area loves to get into the holiday spirit! San Francisco has an outdoor skating rink and a giant gingerbread house at the Fairmont Hotel to light up the eyes of little ones. If you want to give yourself a little holiday treat, sign up for the North Beach Holiday Wine Walk on December 14th, where boutique wine vendors open their doors for guests to sample wine and shop.
On December 16th, The AAACC host their annual Holiday Winter Fair for low-income families with face painting, crafts, and food for all. And if you're in the mood for a Victorian Christmas, don't miss the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in Daly City until December 17th.
Where to stay? The San Francisco Zen Center offers lovely, affordable rooms right in the heart of SF.
This gorgeous ski village in the Alps completes the picture of a winter wonderland with a magical Christmas market. Running on December 15th and 16th, the Saas-Fee holiday market has something for all ages. There are holiday performances, a Peace mass, and a church choir performance. For kids’ activities, try candle-dipping, gingerbread decorating, and lantern making.
You'll be in even better spirits with an overnight booking at WellnessHostel4000 where you can add a blissful spa experience and a hot toddy fireside!