Holiday markets are serious business in these cities. To help plan your December travel, we created a guide of where to get a big dose of Santa & Co, as well as see some pretty lights and perhaps ice skate!
Berliner Weihnachtzeit at Roten Rathus - From its charming created street scenes to a skating rink, a ferris wheel and classic German foods, the oldest holiday market in the city continues to deliver great holiday cheer.
Weihnachtszauber Gendarmenmarkt - Located between the beautiful churches of the Franzosischer and Deutscher Doms, this Mitte neighborhood market is always busy. Especially with nearby Brandenburger Tor (gate) and the instagram-ready, tree-lit boulevard of Unter den Linden.
Weihnachtsmarkt Schoss Charlottenburg - Holiday markets are always a little more fun with a palace as their back drop. If that's your thing, then this spectacular palace-setting is for you, along with German crafts and holiday foods.
Try ice skating at Alexanderplatz under the city's iconic Fernsehturm Tower.
Christmaskindlmarket - This traditional German-style market is located at the center of Chicago's famous Loop Business District. A great way to enjoy an evening with nearby Broadway show theatres, and the newest restaurants of the Fulton Market West District.
Ice skating in Chicago
Southbank Centre Winter Market - Holiday booths, the nearby London Eye ferris wheel, and cheerful lighting make this Thames riverside market very popular.
Winter Wonderland Hyde Park - The most seriously expansive holiday market we've seen, including a huge selection of amusement rides and lights.
And don't forget, Oxford and Regent Streets are lit head-to-toe for the holidays. Try ice skating in the lovely courtyard of Somerset House.
NEW YORK CITY
Bryant Park Winter Village - At the center of this holiday village is an ice-skating rink and a theatrical setting of lights, skyscrapers, and the historic New York Public Fifth Avenue Library.
South Street Seaport - In a newly renovated and preserved area of Downtown Manhattan is this broad street with its own major holiday tree, new shops, cafes and entertainment.
Union Square Holiday Market - Filled with locals, this sprawling holiday village plays an annual leading role in NYC's seasonal offerings and festive atmosphere.
In addition to Bryant Park, there's ice skating at Rockefeller Center and Wollman Rink in Central Park.
Village de Noel at Champs de Mars - The arrangement of holiday tents takes place dramatically at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, providing you with perhaps the best light show ever to shop under.
Le Village de Noel at Les Halles - One of the city's larger holiday markets, Les Halles offers endless crafts and classic French holiday bites. Its location is a bonus, as you're just blocks from the narrow streets and little shops of the always charming Le Marais district.
There is ice skating in front of the Hotel De Ville, as well as in the Tuileries Gardens.
For additional info on Paris: Paris Visitors Bureau.
Old Town Square - (Pictured) With the spires of Tyn Church and the famous Astrological Clock Tower as a back drop, this location is about as charming and classically Christmas as you will find anywhere.
Republiky Square - Located at the foot of the Obecni dum (Municipal House) is this holiday market of hand-crafted Czech gifts and traditional foods.
Wenceslas Square - The setting here is a long open boulevard lit for the holidays and running up to the front doors of the elegant National Museum.
Ice skate in the center of Old Town at the outdoor space of Ovocny Trh.
Christmas Market Schonbrunn Palace - Held in the front courtyard of Marie Antoinette's childhood summer home, the stalls and food purveyors will entertain and amuse you in the best Viennese style.
Christmas Village on Maria-Theresian-Platz - Near the city's historic center, and in-between two of its most famous art institutions, the Kunsthistorisches-museum and the Naturhistorisches-museum, is this holiday market of classic crafts and quick bites. Also in town is the Christmas Market at the beautiful Belvedere Palace.
Enjoy Prater Amusement Park with its rides, food markets and holiday entertainment.
Ice skate in Vienna in front of the city hall at Rathausplatz.
Vienna Holiday Markets Information.