Christmas Crazy

Go "Christmas Crazy" with a German-style market, a gingerbread house competition and the brightest light displays, plus the coolest ice sculptures and the most extreme Santas on Earth.

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Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

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

DIETER NAGL  

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

Paolo Ferla  

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

Sean Gallup  

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

AFP  

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

The Image Gate  

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

SVEN NACKSTRAND  

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

ATTILA KISBENEDEK  

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

Jeff J Mitchell  

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

Denis Doyle  

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

Francis Dean  

Christmas in Salzburg, Austria

Christmas in Salzburg, Austria

The squares and streets of Salzburg, Austria, come alive with the sound of Christmas music during the festive holiday season. In Cathedral and Residence squares, you’ll find stalls, shops and street performers. 960 1280

JTB Photo, Getty Images  

Christmas in Salzburg, Austria

Christmas in Salzburg, Austria

The musical town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and setting for The Sound of Music, celebrates the Christmas season with plenty of music and carols amid the festive holiday shopping. 960 1280

JTB Photo, Getty Images  

Cologne Christmas Market

Cologne Christmas Market

With seven separate Christmas markets, the Cologne Christmas Market, nestled amid the town's landmark cathedral and Old Town Hall, attracts 2 million visitors annually. 960 1280

bernsmann, iStock  

Cologne Christmas Market

Cologne Christmas Market

The Cologne Christmas Market showcases 160 wooden stalls, helmed by merchants selling wares such as classic holiday ornaments, wooden decorations and children's toys, as well as plenty of snacks and warm, spiced wine. 960 1280

bernsmann, iStock  

Prague's Old Town Square

Prague's Old Town Square

Prague's Old Town Square is home to the city’s annual Christmas market, complete with an illuminated tree -- the centerpiece of plenty of holiday cheer that runs from late November through the first days of the New Year. 960 1280

IRYNA BERESTYUK. Adagi0, iStock  

Prague Christmas

Prague Christmas

Prague's wooden stalls bring Bohemian crystal, wooden toys and tasty food to the masses. 960 1280

gornostaj, iStock  

Dresden's Christmas Market

Dresden's Christmas Market

Dresden's Christmas market, the Striezelmarkt, has been a holiday tradition since 1434, making it Germany's oldest Christmas fair. Check out market’s centerpiece attraction -- the world's tallest Christmas candle pyramid, more than 45 feet tall. 960 1280

Juergen Sack, iStock  

You’ll find shopping galore at Dresden's Christmas market, with holiday decorations, toys and unique handicrafts in the city's historic district. 960 1280

iStock  

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt takes place in the city’s Main Market Square. As one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany, the event features some 180 booths selling Christmas goods such as mulled wine, spicy gingerbread and roast sausages. 960 1280

Thomas Langer, Getty Images  

Copenhagen Christmas at Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen Christmas at Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen hosts a Christmas market with a twist at the city's famous Tivoli Gardens, the second oldest amusement park in the world. 960 1280

Arjan de Jager, iStock  

For a small fee, Christmas in Tivoli offers the classic market experience, combined with amusement park rides like swings and carousels, as well as live entertainment. 960 1280

Esben Theis Jensen, flickr  

10 Photos
Santa Comes to Town

Santa Comes to Town

Every year the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade ends with Santa coming to a stop in front of the department store on 6th Ave, marking the beginning of the Christmas season in the Big Apple. Come explore some of the timeless traditions of Christmas in New York City. 960 1280

Eric Liebowitz / NBC / NBC NewsWire / Getty Images  

Wollman Rink in Central Park

Wollman Rink in Central Park

Make the best of New York City's cold weather and enjoy ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park (on the east side between 62nd and 63rd Streets). 960 1280

Miguel Sanz / Moment Open / Getty Images  

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

At the center of the iconic NYC skyline sits the Empire State Building. During the months of November and December, the top of the building is lit up with red and green lights to celebrate christmas. The first lighting each year coincides with the opening night for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. 960 1280

Stuart Monk / iStock / Getty Images Plus  

The Rockettes

The Rockettes

Speaking of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, don’t miss out on seeing the Rockettes’ show-stopping leg kick precision chorus line 5 days a week during the holidays at Radio City Music Hall.

 

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Mike Pont / WireImage / Getty Images  

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Started in 1933, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has become a timeless tradition for New Yorkers and tourists alike. The tree is on average between 69 and 100 feet tall, and its lighting ceremony is accompanied with a live broadcast in early December. 960 1280

Rob Young from United Kingdom (Christmas @ Rockefeller Plaza) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

5th Avenue Holiday Window Displays

5th Avenue Holiday Window Displays

Shopping in NYC during the holidays can be a nightmare due to the tourist-packed streets. But there is definitely a redeeming quality to making the trek into the crowds: holiday window displays! Every year in mid-November, the biggest department stores in New York City create one-of-a-kind presentations of holiday-cheer in their exterior windows, usually with an original theme or throw-back to years past. (Shown here: one of Macy's Herald Square 2014 holiday window displays). 960 1280

Ben Hider / Getty Images  

Gigantic Holiday Cheer

Gigantic Holiday Cheer

Giant ornaments are displayed annually during the holidays at different locations in NYC, including Rockefeller Center (across the street from Radio City Music Hall) on 6th Avenue. 960 1280

Roff Bruderer / Blend Images / Getty Images  

Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square Holiday Market

Open yearly from mid-November to Christmas Eve, the Union Square Holiday Market is the perfect place to get unique handmade gifts for everyone on your list. 960 1280
Sledding in the City

Sledding in the City

If weather trends stay on course for New York City, you'll want to prepare yourself for some major snow this holiday season. Take advantage of the wintery weather and join the fun at any of the dozen local parks for some sledding! Prospect Park in Brooklyn (pictured here) or Central Park in Manhattan are classic locations to enjoy some slip-sliding fun. 960 1280

Spencer Platt / Getty Images  

Dyker Heights Holiday Lights

Dyker Heights Holiday Lights

For a look at what happens in the boroughs during the holidays, take a trip to Dyker Heights in Brooklyn and tour their annual holiday decorations. The residents won’t label it a competition, but it’s hard not to see it that way when each new year brings bigger and brighter displays. 960 1280

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