7 European-Style Christmas Markets to Visit in the U.S.

These markets have all the fairy-tale appeal—no passport required.

An outdoor Christmas market in Philadelphia, daytime view

All over the country, U.S. Christmas markets capture Europe’s holiday magic.

Courtesy of Christmas Village in Philadelphia

When it comes to festive travel experiences, few things compare to the sights and smells of European Christmas markets. But there are plenty of European-style markets right here in the United States that pull inspiration from across the pond, featuring traditional foods and appealing handmade goods.

So whether you’re craving German glühwein or Danish hygge, these seven Christmas markets will make you feel like you’re spending the holidays in Europe.

1. Christkindlmarket

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois
  • Dates: November 17–December 24, 2023

Chicago sure knows how to impress during the holidays, right down to the last window display on State Street. One of the city’s biggest yuletide attractions is its annual Christkindlmarket, inspired by the classic Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany. If you can blur out the Chicago landmarks in your periphery, you might believe you’ve been transported to Bavaria, with wooden stalls hawking handmade gifts and the scents of that region’s gingerbread and bratwurst in the air. If you’re there with kids, don’t forget to take a picture with the Christkind, “a fairy-like being dressed in gold and white robes with a crown up on her golden locks.” She’s the namesake for the Chriskindlmarket, and in German folklore she’s the bearer of gifts to children.

Philly's ornate City Hall makes a very European backdrop for its Christmas Village.

Philly’s ornate City Hall makes a very European backdrop for its Christmas Village.

Courtesy of Christmas Village in Philadelphia

2. Christmas Village

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Dates: November 18–December 24, 2023

Yet another German-inspired market, Philadelphia’s Christmas Village feels like a European wonderland with its dozens of wooden huts, illuminated beer garden, and thousands of twinkling lights. (The fact that it’s backed by Philly’s ornate, second empire–style City Hall only adds to the European feel.) The market features a double-decker carousel and a German food vendors, where visitors can fill up on bratwurst, Belgian fries, warm plates of spätzle, and lots of beer and spiced wine. Most Christmas Village dates align with the neighboring Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market (also near the Ice Rink at Dilworth Park and the municipal Christmas Tree at North Broad), so the district surrounding Love Park is busy with holiday cheer this time of year.

3. Savannah Christmas Market

  • Location: Savannah, Georgia
  • Dates: November 16–January 1, 2024

Now in its third year, Savannah’s Christmas Market in the Plant Riverside District combines Austrian tradition with Southern charm. Here you’ll find a small collection of stalls lined up right along the river, selling mulled wine, beer, pretzels, and chocolate treats for the kids. The wide range of holiday-themed events this year include a Tree Lighting Ceremony (November 24) and Savannah Harbor Boat Parade of Lights (November 25), as well as live music performances, children’s activities, photos with Santa Claus, and more each night.

4. Kerstmarkt

  • Location: Holland, Michigan
  • Dates: November 18, 24, 25, 2023; December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 2023

Holland, Michigan, is perhaps best known for its springtime tulip festivals (like its namesake), but the town leans into its Dutch heritage just as heavily during the holidays. Its annual Kerstmarkt pays homage to the Christmas markets that pop up around the Netherlands in December, with food, drinks, and crafts sold across a variety of booths. The vendors offer a mix of traditional Dutch cuisine and local Michigan treats, so be prepared to chase your bowl of erwtensoep (split pea soup) with some maple syrup candy.

Blue illuminated snowman on sidewalk in Solvang’s annual Julefest

Denmark comes to California in the town of Solvang’s annual Julefest.

Courtesy of SolvangUSA.com

5. Solvang Julefest

  • Location: Solvang, California
  • Dates: November 24, 2023–January 6, 2024

If you can’t make it to the Christmas festivities at Tivoli Gardens this year, you can still get a fix of Danish culture at Solvang Julefest, an annual celebration held north of Santa Barbara in the town of Solvang, which calls itself “the Danish capital of America.” For more than a month, the city’s downtown area transforms into a charming Christmas village straight from a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, complete with gløgg and brunkager (Christmas cookies), visits with Santa, and scavenger hunts to find the mysterious Solvang nisse—basically the Danish version of Elf on the Shelf.

6. Scandinavian Christmas Fair

  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Dates: December 2, 2023

Hosted every year by a local Swedish American organization, this fair brings Scandinavia to Raleigh with traditional folk dances, visits with Tomten (Santa), and gifts ranging from Norwegian sweaters to painted gnomes. This year marks the 28th anniversary of the Julmarknad (Swedish for “Christmas market”), which is a great excuse to load up on Swedish meatballs, pea soup, glögg, and kanelbulle (cinnamon buns). Tickets cost $7 per person, and all proceeds go toward scholarships and local Scandinavian initiatives.

7. Texas Christkindl Market

  • Location: Arlington, Texas
  • Dates: November 24–December 23, 2023

The impact German immigrants have had on Texas is visible in many of the state’s small towns and cities, as well as during events like the Texas Christkindl Market in Arlington, which celebrates its 13th iteration in 2023. The open-air market partners with Bavarian town Rothenburg ob der Tauber to offer handicraft merchandise and collectibles, including ornaments and nutcrackers from German Christmas-decoration company Käthe Wohlfahrt. Market performers range from the German Band of North Texas to an alphorn quartet known as the Swiss Longhorns. But you can also embrace the Texan side of things by perusing vendors like Texas Rib Rangers.

This article original appeared in 2021 and is updated annually with new information.

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