For some old-fashioned holiday shopping, top up the festive spirit and head to some of the world’s greatest markets.
From traditional Austrian hand-painted baubles to Italian festive foods, Insignia’s top festive markets are brilliant for scooping up original presents that you won’t find on the high street.
Contact your Personal Assistant today to book your festive market experience.
BOLZANO CHRISTMAS MARKET, ITALY
BEST FOR: ITALIAN CRAFTSMANSHIP
Visit Italy’s largest Christmas market, unchanged for the last 30 years. Governed by strict rules, the 80-strong stallholders in Piazza Walther are only allowed to sell items that are made locally: beautifully crafted wooden toys, handmade musical instruments, traditional festive foods and decorative candles. The market also includes an indoor space to watch craftsmen at work and a merry-go-round and puppet theatre to keep the little ones entertained.
Where to stay: Castel Hörtenberg (1.1 km away from market)
Dates: 29 November 2019 to 6 January 2020
SALZBURG CHRISTKINDLMARKT, SALZBURG, AUSTRIA
BEST FOR: A WORLD HERITAGE-LISTED SETTING
Located in the northern Alps, it almost goes without saying that you’ll experience a white Christmas in Salzburg. Festive markets in the Austrian city have been taking place since the 15th century. The largest is held on Cathedral Square where choirs regularly perform, children are read Christmas tales and there is no shortage of covetable stalls.
From gingerbread men and schnapps to hand-painted baubles and frankincense, everything associated with advent can be found here.
As the self-proclaimed ‘Capital of Christmas’, this picturesque Alsatian town boasts markets each with an individual feel. Eat plenty of Tarte Flambée and Choucroute Garnie washed down with the local wines.
Where to stay: Hotel Goldener Hirsch (550 m away from market)
Dates: 21 November to 26 December 2019
HELSINKI CHRISTMAS MARKET, FINLAND
BEST FOR: COOL DESIGN
Given Finland’s reputation for sterling design, it’s no surprise that there is a considered, stylish approach to what’s on offer in Helsinki. The face of the market has been created by the Finnish designer Linda Bergroth, whose projects include a zero-waste bistro installation at last year’s WantedDesign Manhattan fair.
Around 130 vendors set up pitches selling typically Finnish handmade products: Himmeli Ornaments (geometric mobiles made of straw), pine and birch tar candles, cosy wool socks and contemporary jewellery. Local restaurants have pop-ups serving special holiday menus, and there’s also a merry-go-round.
Where to stay: Hotel St. George (850 m away from market)
Dates: 6 to 22 December 2019
TOLLWOOD WINTERFESTIVAL, MUNICH, GERMANY
BEST FOR: QUIRKY GIFTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
In Munich, you will find as many as 24 markets. Visit Tollwood Winterfestival at Theresienwiese, where Oktoberfest celebrations also take place. It offers a lot more besides the usual crafts such as festive performances and art ranging from theatre and music performances to environmental activities and kids entertainment. This year, the winter Tollwood presents the premiere of the show “Paris de Nuit” by the Hungarian group Recirquel. Experience a homage to the exhilarating Parisian nightlife of the 30s in the unique atmosphere of the Spiegeltent. Book with your Insignia representative today.
Where to stay: Mandarin Oriental (2.4 km away from market)
Dates: 26 November to 31 December 2019 (market till 23 December)
BANK OF AMERICA WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK, NEW YORK, USA
BEST FOR: A SPRAWLING CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is Manhattan’s winter wonderland. This European inspired open-air market features food and artisanal boutiques offering delicious eats and exquisite gifts. Located along Bryant Park’s allées, plazas, and terraces, the Holiday Shops are housed in custom-designed kiosks. The
Where to stay: The Langham (0.3 mi away from market)
DATES: 31 October to 5 January 2020
THE RED SQUARE CHRISTMAS FAIR, MOSCOW, RUSSIA
BEST FOR: EASTERN EUROPEAN FESTIVE SPLENDOUR
The main attraction of the Journey to Christmas Festival, this market is held in the magical setting of Russia’s largest square, Red Square. The backdrop of the Kremlin, GUM and St Basil’s Cathedral is made even more beautiful with strings of fairy lights and
Where to stay: Ararat Park Hyatt (2.8 km away from market)
Dates: 30 November 2019 to 28 February 2020
TIVOLI GARDENS CHRISTMAS MARKET, COPENHAGEN
BEST FOR: DANISH DECORATIONS
Immerse yourself into Winter Wonderland with more than 500,000 lights that illuminate the winter darkness at the Tivoli Gardens. Listen to toe-tapping festive tunes played by the Tivoli Youth Guard band and explore Scandinavian-style wooden huts in the Christmas Village market, where you’ll inhale the unmistakably festive aromas of apple dumpling and mulled wine.
Where to stay: Hotel D’angleterre Gothersgade (1.4 km away from market)
Dates: 16 November 2019 to 05 January 2020
OLD TOWN SQUARE CHRISTMAS MARKET, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
BEST FOR: THE CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS SWITCH-ON
The biggest and the most popular market in Prague can be found
Where to stay: Four Seasons (550 mi away from market)
Dates: 30 November 2019 to 06 January 2020
VIENNA CHRISTMAS WORLD, AUSTRIA
BEST FOR: THAT MERRY CHRISTMAS FEELING
There is no better place to begin the Christmas celebrations than Vienna, where the tradition of Christmas markets has been perfected since 1298. More than 150 stalls will be overflowing with traditional decorations and ornaments, including well-known snow globes with Viennese landmarks inside; handicrafts (knitted angels, wooden puppets); and Yuletide foods from sizzling sausages to glühwein. Further fun can be had in the square in front of the City Hall, where you can enjoy reindeer rides and an ice-skating rink.
Where to stay: Grand Hotel Wien
Dates: 15 November 2019 to 26 December 2019
WINTER WONDERLAND, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
BEST FOR: A CITY-WIDE CELEBRATION
For the 12th year running, the largest Christmas fair in Hyde Park draws Londoners and tourists from far and wide. The theme of this year ‘The Christmas Carol’ will help you to get transported to the Dicken’s tale of goodwill, where organisers promise the largest outdoor ice rink, an ice bar, an après ski-inspired ‘village’, live shows and entertainment (from comedy to karaoke to ice-sculpting classes). Keep an eye out for food stalls serving up all kinds of dishes from around the world. Children can visit Santa in his festive grotto, visit family’s favourite Zippos Circuit and ride on the vintage carousels while the grown-ups scoop up great artisan-made gifts.
Where to stay: The Dorchester (0.2 mi away from market)
Dates: 21 November 2019 to 05 January 2020