Written by Staff Writer
It’s not only early shoppers looking for Christmas inspiration — the world’s largest Christmas markets are already making preparations for the festive season in nine countries across the world.
Though many markets around the world close their doors on 31 October, sellers are beginning to set up stands ahead of schedule — and you can join them.
There are, of course, plenty of other Christmas markets to be enjoyed all year round, and most capital cities in Europe and North America will host at least one, as well as major centers like New York and London.
From sauerkraut in Istanbul to mulled wine in Prague, you can find one right in your neighborhood.
9 Christmas markets still going ahead
And here are some markets going ahead.
Spurs Christmas market, located near Malarna Square in central Stockholm, will open on November 29. The festivities continue with children’s ski lessons on December 1 and ski tours and shopping the following day.
Christmas markets in Leeds, not to be confused with the Christmas markets in Manchester, England. Credit: Ebola/Shutterstock
Another UK city to benefit from having its own winter market, Leeds returns to Christmas with its famous Grimsby Market, originally inaugurated in the 1830s and brought back by the city council in 2005.
According to a press release from Leeds council, more than 120,000 people visited the Leeds Christmas Market in 2017, and 2.5 million people visited all the Leeds Christmas Markets combined.
Since Christmas is several weeks away, prices tend to be cheaper than in the city’s other markets, although visitors can expect to see some of the same stands returning, with the exception of new additions.
Prague, Czech Republic
CityPlace Christmas Market, located in the center of Prague, is one of the biggest in Europe. Credit: Deserte/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Close to Christmas, Prague makes all the right moves and switches to the Christmas market. What started as a two-week-long market in 1963 has now become a five-week-long tradition.
Visitors can find a wide range of festive goods, from traditional Christmas ornaments to wooden toys, to delicious holiday treats from chocolates to porridge.
Santa Svanogarry markets near the Madeira Terraces. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Last year, 26 Christmas markets were set up in London, attracting 3.5 million visitors. A total of 80 stalls were set up by 85 different Christmas vendors, with 40 different nationalities represented at the Christmas stalls.
According to the latest research commissioned by the London Christmas markets Association, 95% of visitors shop at the London Christmas markets, while 74% visit the streets in between stalls. The average visit is for around 40 minutes.
Mexico City, Mexico
More than one million people attend the Christmas markets in Mexico City, according to the capital’s tourism organization. Credit: Ahmed Al-Bazzi/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The Mexico City Christmas Market opened on December 9, 2016, and is set to remain open until January 7, 2019.
The market will feature some 7,400 cultural and cultural figures, as well as artists, performers and volunteers, and is the largest Christmas fair in Latin America, according to the website for the market.