Best Christmas Markets in the US

Discover the magic of the holidays with these popular Christmas markets

Handmade gifts, delicious food and a magical atmosphere - there's no better place to get into the holiday spirit than at a Christmas market. Also known as a Christkindlmarket, these festive gatherings are the perfect place to find beautiful handmade gifts from both local craftspeople and international artisans. Many Christmas markets in U.S. cities bring a touch of quaint charm to downtown centers. Some of the most popular Christmas markets even attract visitors from across the country. Whether you're shopping locally or have to travel to visit a holiday market, you're sure to find unique gifts for your loved ones at these magical marketplaces.

Travel to some of the best holiday markets in the country

Christmas markets originated in Germany and Central Europe, and most American markets borrow from their traditions. However, this doesn't mean that they are all the same - instead, Christmas markets in the U.S. combine Old-World traditions with local flair, making each one a unique experience. Some of the best Christmas markets in the country can be found in the following cities:

  • Chicago, IL: Since 1997, Daley Plaza has played host to the Christkindlmarket. Inspired by the market of the same name in Nuremburg, Germany, this holiday market features gifts and vendors from a number of countries, including the U.S., Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Ireland, India and Nepal. Enjoy some Stollen, a German fruit cake, from Chicago's own Dinkel's bakery, and keep an eye out for the Christkind, a beautiful, angel-like being that embodies the spirit of the market.

  • New York, NY: Located in one of the city's most famous spaces, the Union Square Holiday Market attracts over one million people each year. More than 150 vendors attend to sell jewelry, leather goods, spices, scarves, decorations and other handmade goods. One popular item is a brew-your-own beer kit, which is a great way to enjoy a 'hoppy' holiday.

  • Philadelphia, PA: Each year in Love Park, the City of Brotherly Love rings in the holiday season with Christmas Village. Shoppers can visit over 60 vendors selling a wide range of curios like hand-painted ornaments, mosaic lanterns, herbs and pottery, all while enjoying performances from dancers, choirs and local musicians. Nuremburg's own Christkind will also be on hand to open the market with a traditional speech.

  • San Francisco, CA: Every year, the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls transform into Victorian London for the Great Dickens Christmas Fair. Visitors can mingle with famous characters, literary figures, royalty and common residents of the English capital while shopping for everything from tailored menswear to handmade violins. Numerous stage shows and roving performers will keep you entertained, and cafes and shops throughout the market will give you a taste of Victorian delicacies.

  • Washington, D.C.: The nation's capital celebrates the season with the Downtown Holiday Market, which boasts over 150 artisans from throughout the region on a rotating schedule. Each day, 60 vendors offer unique gifts such as art, textiles, jewelry and antiques. Food vendors prepare organic fare, and a range of musicians perform everything from jazz to holiday classics.

Before traveling to Christmas markets, take time to outline your expenses

Though these are several of the more famous Christmas markets in the U.S., you're likely to find something smaller on a local scale. However, if you will be visiting one of the popular Christmas markets away from home, take some time to plan ahead for things like transportation, accommodations and more. Expenses can vary depending on the time of year and availability, so you may want to consider using a travel aggregator site to compare hotels or flights. Even if you don't need to travel far, remember that you will need to set aside money for food and entertainment in addition to your budget for gifts.

Use Citizens Bank mobile banking to plan and track expenses at holiday markets

Holiday markets allow shoppers to find unique gifts while enjoying a fun, festive atmosphere. If you decide to visit one of these winter wonderlands, start preparing for your trip using banking options from Citizens Bank. Open a checking account online to save for your holiday purchases and any trip expenses if you're visiting a market in another area. Plus, whether your market of choice is across town or across the country, Citizens Bank mobile banking lets you pay bills, transfer money and track spending so you can manage your money while you're away from home. To learn how to open a checking account online or how we can help you plan for the cost of your next holiday shopping trip, contact a Citizens Bank customer service representative today.


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