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The Best Canadian Christmas Markets to Visit This Holiday Season

Take in the twinkle lights, hunt for unique gifts and get your glühwein on at these five traditional markets

Gorgeous lights line the sky above the Christmas market in Toronto's Distillery District

Skip online shopping this year and browse one of these traditional Christmas markets across the country.

1. Toronto Christmas Market

Four friends smile for a selfie at the Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery Historic District 

Ranked as one of the best Christmas markets in the world by Fodor’s Travel and Mashable, the Toronto Christmas Market takes over the picturesque Distillery Historic District for its ninth year. Enjoy craft stalls, family-friendly entertainment, beer gardens and European street food under a canopy of Christmas lights. Features include a 15-metre Christmas tree, Ferris wheel, carousel and, of course, Santa.

With more than 675,000 visitors last year, the event can get hectic. Take advantage of the free admission on weekdays or get lost in the crowd on a Friday or Saturday night.

When: November 15 to December 23

Where: Toronto

Admission: Free Tuesday to Friday until 5 p.m.; Friday after 5 p.m. and weekends, $6

2. Christkindl Market

A shot of outdoor vendors in Kitchener for the Christkindl Market 

For a more traditional experience, the 22-year-old Christkindl Market offers 100 indoor and outdoor vendors, a train room with a model railway, blacksmith demonstrations, German folklore and a live nativity. 

When: December 6 to 9

Where: Kitchener, Ont.

Admission: Free

3. The Museum’s Christmas Market

A crowd of people checking out the Christmas Market inside the Canadian Museum of History's Grand Hall 

More than 80 exhibitors gather in the Canadian Museum of History’s Grand Hall to showcase their wares at the Museum’s Christmas Market. With choices from Christmas decorations and gourmet treats to crafts and handmade jewelry, this market provides a one-stop shop for everyone on your nice list.    

When: November 29 to December 2

Where: Gatineau, Que.

Admission: Free, plus free coat check

4. Marché de Noël Allemand de Québec

People in outdoor winter wear walking around the European-inspired market at the Marche de Noel Allemand de Quebec 

Experience the warmth of a European-inspired market at the Marché de Noël Allemand de Quebec. Live musical performances and festive lights entertain shoppers on a break, while vendors in pretty little kiosks sell everything from mulled wine and gingerbread to artisanal creations and imported goods.

When: November 22 to December 23

Where: Quebec City

Admission: Free

5. Vancouver Christmas Market

A sculpture sits on top of a fountain at the Vancouver Christmas Market surrounded by vendors 

Wander the magical twinkling pathways at the Vancouver Christmas Market and discover handcrafted gifts, the spiced citrusy goodness of glühwein and a delicious selection of authentic German sweets and savoury dishes, such as bratwurst, goulash and schnitzel. The market also features holiday entertainers and a spectacular Christmas carousel for the kids.

When: November 21 to December 24

Where: Vancouver

Admission: Adults, $10; youth, $5; children 7 and under, free

Feeling the winter spirit?

Try these Ontario ski hills and check out these gadgets that will warm up your outdoor adventures.

If you’ve brought home a few festive items from a Christmas market, be sure to follow these safe holiday decorating tips as you deck your halls.

Image credits: Tourism Toronto, Courtesy of Christkindl Market christkindl.ca; © Canadian Museum of History; Steve Deschênes/Quebec Tourism; Lindsay Elliott/Vancouver Christmas Market