Daily Escape

Santa Claus Village

Photo by Getty Images

Santa Claus Village

Lapland, Finland

Is Santa Claus real? It may take a trip to Lapland, Finland, located in the Arctic Circle, to find out. Here, Santa Claus keeps an office -- elves built it in an effort to keep his year-round digs a secret, or so the story goes -- where families can pop in with wish lists. They can also visit the old post office, where Christmas letters are delivered, or take a reindeer sleigh ride. It’s Santa’s busiest season, but he’ll still make the time to visit with boys and girls -- whether they’ve been naughty or nice.  


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Vienna, Italy

Vienna, Italy

The Vienna Magic of Advent fair features more than 150 stands where shoppers can purchase Christmas gifts, decorations and warm drinks. 960 1280

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Bath, England

Bath, England

In the center of Bath, 170 “chalets” offer holiday shoppers an array of typical British goods from mince pies to Christmas ornaments to toys.  960 1280

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Dresden, Germany

Dresden, Germany

Dresden hosts Germany’s oldest Christmas market, which features crafts made by local artisans, toys and holiday treats, most notably, Dresdner Stollen, a traditional sweet bread stuffed with dried fruits.  960 1280

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Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

In addition to traditional crafts and food, Tallinn’s picturesque Christmas market, in the Estonian capital’s center, features reindeer, a mini zoo and snow sculptures.  960 1280

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Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, France

Billing itself as the Capital of Christmas, Strasbourg is not to be missed during the holiday season. The Christkindlesmarik was established in 1571, the first market of its kind in Europe. Indulgent foods such as foie gras, locally brewed beer, and baked goods are signature items, as are traditional Alsatian handicrafts.  960 1280

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Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden

An abundance of holiday items are on display at Stockholm’s Old Town Christmas Market. Specialties include smoked reindeer, elk meat, knitted hats and Glogg, a traditional hot, mulled wine.  960 1280

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Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

In Budapest, at the annual Christmas market on St. Stephen’s Square, you’ll find traditional crafts in wooden market stalls. The center of the market is home to a skating rink.  960 1280

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Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

The market is one of many attractions that make up Edinburgh’s Christmas Festival in Princes Street Gardens. The Festival, which also includes games, rides and an ice rink, runs from mid-November until January 7 each year.  960 1280

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Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Christmas vendors take over Madrid’s Plaza Mayor from late November through December. The prime products pedaled are tiny clay figurines to set in the Christmas Belen (nativities).  960 1280

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Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Christmas Market at Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens is a winter wonderland that includes 60 stalls selling holiday wares, as well as rides, games, music and more. Other markets in Copenhagen include this one in Hojbroplads.  960 1280

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