Christmas Markets 2022: Where to Go and What to Do

Our top picks for the best Christmas markets in 2022

Nomad team

Nomad team, Marketing Team

Dec 14 · 5 min read

If you find yourself with the lucky opportunity to be traveling this festive season, one of the first-world problems you may encounter is the difficult choice of where to go and what to do.

This month, Nomad brings you something absolutely unique! Instead of our standard Travel Picks, three Christmas and New Year-related blogs are waiting for you. First up is Nomad's list of Christmas markets to visit this year.

Source:  https://www.travelandleisure.com/
Source: https://www.travelandleisure.com/

First, let’s get a few key tips out of the way. If you plan to soak up the Christmas atmosphere at a Christmas market this winter, here are a couple of things you should know!

Bring cash

While some vendors are more flexible in accepting cashless payments these days, this is definitely not guaranteed, and having cash on you is the best way to go! There may not always be an ATM nearby, so be sure to bring enough to cover your expenses for the day.

Bring a big reusable shopping bag for your purchases

With the large variety of European ornaments and goods at Christmas markets, it’s almost certain you will be able to find something interesting. So, channel your inner Santa and bring a big bag with you to lug around your finds! Here are some ideas if you’re looking to pick up something from a Christmas Market:

  1. Christmas market mugs
  2. Authentic European Christmas ornaments
  3. Handicrafts
  4. Lebkuchen (Gingerbread) cookies and hearts
  5. Local Food Products
  6. Mulled wine

We have also put together a list of some Christmas Markets over the world that you should check out!

  • Basel, Switzerland
  • Munich, Germany
  • Strasbourg, France
  • Tokyo, Japan

1. Basel, Switzerland

Voted the best Christmas market in Europe in 2021, the Basel Christmas market is right in the city center and stretches from Barfüsserplatz to Münsterplatz. The Basel Christmas market in 2022 has 155 stands, with the theme Enchanted Forest.

The area in Münsterplatz is very exquisitely decorated and is great for soaking up the Christmas atmosphere. The stands in the area focus largely on Swiss delicacies. On the other hand, the stands at Barfüsserplatz focus more on the variety of goods and items rather than food and atmosphere. You will be able to get the best of both worlds in a couple of hours!

Source:  https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/christmas-markets/basel/#content
Source: https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/christmas-markets/basel/#content

Be sure to also stop by the Basel Cathedral, located at Münsterplatz to catch a view of the Christmas lights from St. Martin’s tower. The stairwell of the tower will also be illuminated from Monday to Friday, 4 pm - 6 pm, from 28 November to 22 December 2022.

Location: Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz

Dates: 24 November - 23 December 2022

Time: 11.00 am to 8.30 pm

(On 23 December 2022, the market at Barfüsserplatz will be open until 8.00 pm and the market at Münsterplatz will be open only until 6.00 pm.)

Nomad Tip: If time permits, you can also head over to the courtyard of the Basel City Hall – about 15 minutes away from the markets – to write down your Advent wishes in the traditional Basel Wish Book!

2. Munich, Germany

Try this for an alternative take on Christmas Markets - Munich’s Mittelaltermarkt (literally Middle Ages Market i.e. the Medieval Christmas Market) recreates the atmosphere of a real German market from the Middle Ages. In the hand-carved wooden stalls, you’ll find merchants in medieval costumes selling quality craft products, jewelry, ceramics, clothing, and other items that are fashioned from the medieval period.

Source:  https://myvacationitineraries.com/munich-christmas-markets/
Source: https://myvacationitineraries.com/munich-christmas-markets/

Even the mulled wine is made following an ancient recipe, boiled in a cauldron. You can find it under the name Würzwein (spiced wine) or Drachenblut (dragon’s blood - a type of spiced drink). The alcohol is served in handmade ceramic goblets; the sausages and bread are roasted on open fires; even the oil torches are lit by hand, making for a really immersive atmosphere.

Source:  Foursquare
Source: Foursquare

A couple of things to note about Munich’s Christmas Markets in general - the mulled wine can be pretty expensive (10 - 12 Euros) because it includes the cost of the ceramic mug in which it is served (the deposit is called a pfand). This is not because they expect you to take it home (though, you could if you wanted to) but because Munich tries to encourage sustainable consumption - you’re expected to return the mug in order to get part of your money back.

Dates: Like most of Munich’s Christmas markets, the Mittelaltermarkt is open from November 21st to December 23rd, 2022 - it is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

Time: 11.00 am - 9.00 pm

Address: Wittelsbacherplatz, 80333 München (the equestrian monument, within the Old Town)

3. Strasbourg, France

If you are in France and have a couple of extra days, why not jump on a train to explore one of the best Christmas Markets in Alsace? There are beautiful Christmas markets in Paris and other cities in France, but Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region, is where you would want to be for the quintessential fairytale Christmas market. The Strasbourg Christmas Market is the oldest Christmas Market in France, dating all the way back to 1570.

Source:  https://www.wtravelmagazine.com/your-complete-guide-to-strasbourgs-christmas-market/
Source: https://www.wtravelmagazine.com/your-complete-guide-to-strasbourgs-christmas-market/

This year, the Strasbourg Christmas Market has in total of 14 sites, with more than 310 chalets. The distances between the sites are short, and you will be able to easily walk from one market to the other while soaking in the festivities.

The Strasbourg Christmas Market is huge: you can easily spend a whole day strolling around, more if you participate in the workshops and activities. Actually, it is made up of different Christmas Markets, set in different locations.

Address: Grande Île de Strasbourg.

Dates: 25 November 2022 - 24 December 2022

Time: 11.00 am to 8.00 pm.

Note that the Christmas market will close at 6 pm on 24 December.

Nomad Tip: The Advent Village at Square Louise-Weiss will be converted to the After Village from 27 December 2022 to 6 January 2023. You might want to check out some of the workshops and shows if you will be in Strasbourg over the New Year!

4. Tokyo, Japan

While we would typically associate Christmas markets with European destinations, we have seen Christmas markets popping up across Tokyo in recent years as Japan adopted this tradition. While not of a similar scale, the Christmas markets in Japan do a relatively good job of bringing the Christmas spirit to Asia.

Source:  https://twitter.com/tokyochristmas/status/1601571499072028672/photo/1
Source: https://twitter.com/tokyochristmas/status/1601571499072028672/photo/1

With the backing of the German Tourism Association and the German Embassy, the Tokyo Christmas Market at Hibiya Park is the biggest Christmas market in Tokyo. The Tokyo Christmas Market is a European food and drinks market, with a few booths selling gifts and ornaments. There are seating areas available for visitors, with performances and live music organized during the Christmas market.

To limit the crowd, the Christmas Market is a ticketed event, and visitors are bound by a 2-hour slot. It is recommended to purchase the tickets in advance. The admission fee comes with a mug which you can use for the purchase of warm drinks in the market.

Address: Hibiya Park Fountain Square, a 1-minute walk from Exit A14 of Hibiya Station on the Hibiya Line or Chiyoda Line

Dates: 9 December 2022 - 25 December 2022

Time: 11.00 am - 10.00 pm (last order at 9.30 pm)

Tickets: You can purchase them here.

Fees: 1,000¥ (~$7.2) on weekdays / 1,500¥ (~$10.9) on weekends / 500¥ (~$3.6) for children under 12 years / Free for children under 5 years

Nomad Tip: There are other Christmas Markets set up across Tokyo. As an alternative, you might also want to check out the Roppongi Hills Christmas Market, which aims to reproduce the traditional Christmas markets in Stuttgart.

While shopping, don’t get burned by data roaming charges, purchase some of our data plans here or at the Nomad App.

P.S. We have a gift for you this Christmas! Don't miss our Christmas promo and get 15% off on all 10GB and above data plans using promo code: NOMADXMAS15.

P.P.S. The next Nomad blog is on Christmas beyond the Christmas Markets. Stay tuned and follow us on Instagram.