With the festive season just around the corner, many of us are writing our lists to Santa and wrapping gifts for the ones we love. However, the weather outside is frightful, and often Christmas shopping worldwide is far from delightful.

Upgrade your shopping experience this year and head to one of these enchanting destinations. From traditional Christmas markets in Germany to shopping before ice skating at the Rockefeller in New York, check out our breakdown of the best Christmas shopping that the world has to offer!

Vienna, Austria

Woman on a christmas market in Vienna for Christmas Shopping worldwide

Offering some of the best Christmas lights in Europe, strolling along the Illuminated avenues of Vienna at this time of year is bound to get you in the festive spirit. The Viennese Christmas markets are world-famous, with the first-ever being held all the way back in 1298.

There are so many different options to choose from, but the market just in front of the City Hall is considered the best. Festive concerts and choirs throughout the city will keep you in the Christmas mood as you skate around the beautiful ice rink at the heart of this magically festive location.

You might be impressed by the baroque landscape and the variety of gastronomical offers, but also because Vienna is one of the peaceful cities worldwide – and perfect for everybody who needs to relaaaax! Take a look at this list of the quietest cities worldwide. For your little quiet time…

Cologne, Germany

Cathedral of Cologne with Christmas market
Photo source: www.Shutterstock.com / Mapics

Set amongst the backdrop of the frosty Rhine, Cologne is a truly stunning city and from the 25th November to the 23rd December, the whole city is dedicated to Christmas. Attracting millions of visitors from around the world, there are different Christmas markets in Cologne (AKA perfect for Christmas shopping). Each one offers a unique charm, a festive spirit, and plenty of Glühwein (like mulled wine but better).

If you are taking your kids for a Christmas shopping holiday, we’re pretty sure they will love a visit to “Nikolausdorf” (St. Nick’s Village) on Rudolfplatz.

New York, USA

Christmas Shopping worldwide in New York, Rockefeller Plaza
One of the best places worldwide to enjoy the Christmas season is in New York by the Rockefeller Center

Whether it is Christmas shopping at Bloomingdales, ice skating at the Rockefeller, or seeing Santa at the Plaza, Christmas shopping in New York feels like an experience that has been taken straight out of the movies (we’re thinking Home Alone 2, duh!)

Often considered one of the best places to shop in the world, like, at any time of the year, the Big Apple offers a mix of major department stores, stylish boutiques, and festive markets. Whether you are looking for a luxury gift for someone extra special or are on the hunt for budget finds, New York is unlikely to disappoint.

Pssst.. it’s not just the Christmas season that is THE time to go to New York. The month of March is also a time to shine in this amazing city! Why? Let’s check it out in our special about march vacation in the U.S..

Lille, France

Christmas market in Lille with a big wheel
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com / Christophe Painvin

The cobbled streets, Christmas lights, and gorgeous buildings make Vieux-Lille one of the most atmospheric places to do your Christmas shopping. Sip mulled wine, munch on roasted chestnuts and shop till you drop with plenty of choices available.

The Marche de Noels is one of the largest Christmas markets in the country and definitely worth a visit. It starts around 18th November and is situated in the center of the city. After a day hitting the shops, Lille has a vibrant nightlife scene, with a great party atmosphere and a huge choice of bars and restaurants.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Boats on a canal in Amsterdam with Christmas lights
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com / Steve Photography

Providing a fairy-tale festive atmosphere, Amsterdam provides a magical setting at this time of the year. For the best possible experience of Christmas shopping worldwide, The Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes) area, full of a wide range of fantastic boutique shops along the picturesque streets, is the place to be. For the busy high street, head to Kalverstraat or perhaps PC Hooftstraat for a luxury gift from a high-end store. With a huge Christmas market, ice rinks, and Amsterdam’s world-famous party scene, your Christmas shopping trip could easily turn into a holiday of a lifetime. 

When you’re traveling with kids, it’s (especially) super cool to visit Amsterdam during the Christmas season. Because this place is one of the child-friendliest cities in the world

Ghent, Belgium

Typical waffles in belgium
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com / Parilov

Although not quite as popular for Christmas shopping as nearby Bruges, Ghent offers a Christmas shopping experience like no other (and ladies, if you need another reason, Ghent is one of the safest travel spots for women traveling alone in Europe). It is not quite as busy as some of the more popular destinations and you will not need to fight through bustling crowds quite as hard. This ensures a cozy warm atmosphere with plenty of Christmas cheer to go round.

The Gentse Winterfeesten is the main Christmas market, and this is situated in the heart of the city. With hundreds of stalls providing unique gifts, souvenirs and yummy food and drink, a trip to Ghent promises to be a fruitful one.

London, UK

A street in London with Christmas lights and traffic
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com / Alexey Fedorenko

With huge glamorous department stores, quirky boutique shops, and traditional Christmas markets, the British capital is one of the world’s top destinations for Christmas shopping. London’s central shopping street, Oxford Street, welcomes millions of people each year, with the street illuminated with the best of Christmas lights. But if that’s more of a turn off for you, whether it is caroling, marveling at the festive window displays, or visiting Santa, there is so much more to see and do!

Tokyo, Japan

Christmas Shopping worldwide in Tokyos fascinating Christmas light decoration
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com / cowardlion

In Japan, Christmas is a big deal (yeah, yeah, where isn’t it?) and the decorations around Tokyo are truly jaw-dropping! The Solamachi area is particularly popular, with over 300 stores and restaurants and a wide range of gifts. On the fourth floor of the Sky Arena, you’ll also discover a traditional market with all manner of stalls and plenty of illuminations and decorations.

Alternately, if you are looking to shop on a much grander level, Aqua City in Odaiba has pretty much everything that you could possibly want, including department stores and boutiques.

Japan is definitely one of the craziest places on earth you should visit during the Christmas season! The city just had to be on our list of the best places you can go to to get your Christmas shopping worldwide done!

Toronto, Canada

Huge decorated Christmas tree in Toronto
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com / WJHWilson

Winter weather in Canada provides a perfectly enchanting background for your Christmas shopping and Toronto’s annual Christmas market is one of the biggest in North America. There is plenty of entertainment situated throughout the market, including choirs, live bands, and carollers. Head to the 50-foot Christmas tree in the center for an Instagram-worthy Christmas pic that could easily make the greetings cards next year.

Did you know that every year on the third Sunday of November there is a huge Santa Claus parade with 25 floats, around 25 bands and approx. 1,700 participants? Toronto – a perfect place to get a festive mood.

Lapland, Finland

View over Rovaniemi, Finland during the blue hour
Photo source: www.shutterstock.com / Smelov

There is nothing quite like a holiday in Lapland, and whilst obviously the main purpose of such a trip is to see the big man in red, it also makes a great Christmas shopping destination (especially in Rovaniemi, the hometown of Santa Claus).

Visit Santa Claus’ home and learn all about how the elves work ultra diligently to make sure that each child receives their Christmas wishes. Although it can get quite expensive, you might find its worth it when you imagine the little ones’ faces lighting up when you give them a gift – straight from Santa’s workshop.

And that’s how Christmas shopping worldwide is done. 🙂

Author

Hiya, I’m Maud. I’m an English girl who's moved to Berlin - because who wouldn’t fall in love with a country which has words like ‘Kummerspeck’ hidden around every corner... I love traveling and finding out the quirks of each country - and what better way to remember them then on a postcard?

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