Travel Picks: Top 10 Christmas markets

Fri Dec 9, 2011 1:34pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The mingled aromas of mulled wine and gingerbread, thousands of starry lights and stalls heaving with crafts and gifts. There's nothing like a Christmas market to put you in the holiday spirit. That's why online travel adviser Cheapflights ( has come up with this top 10 list of Christmas markets. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg's Christmas market takes pride of place in front of the sublime, towering Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg. It's the largest and oldest Christmas market in France. For more than 400 years the city has welcomed visitors to its Christkindelsmarik. Beautifully made Christmas decorations, Nativity figurines and traditional delicacies (spiced bread, mulled wine and foie gras) fill the stalls. Each year, a different country is celebrated; in 2011, it's Switzerland's turn. Place Gutenberg will host a Swiss market featuring authentic delicacies, concerts, dancing and exhibitions from its cantons. Running until December31.

2. Quebec City, Canada

Just four years old, Quebec City's Christmas market has become a fixture on the festive calendar. Its setting is beyond compare. The cobble-stoned streets of Vieux Quebec are made for Christmas cards and the guaranteed cold weather cries out for the hearty fare and drinks that are on sale from the cheery vendors. Among the delicacies are traditional raisin-studded gingerbread, pretzels, roast chestnuts and delicious Santa-shaped chocolates. Running until December 11.

3. Copenhagen, Denmark

Tivoli Gardens, the famous amusement park, hosts Copenhagen's Christmas markets. The willow trees are festooned with lights, there are almost four miles of colorful stalls and the little ones will be able to see how the residents of Nissekbing spend their time. The market welcomes about 1 million visitors each year, most of whom will want to take a ride on the carousels, Chinese lantern and Elves' Train. Running until December 30.

4. Chicago, Illinois, United States

The Christkindlmarket in Chicago is inspired by Nuremberg's ancient market. Daley Plaza on Washington Street is where you'll find red-and-white tents groaning under the weight of festive delicacies and traditional handcrafted gifts that will satisfy the pickiest customer. Warming German delicacies like sausages, sauerkraut and potato pancakes keep out the cold and soak up the gluehwein and German beers. Running until December 24.   Continued...

<p>Tourists enjoy ice skating near Strasbourg Cathedral as of part the traditional Christkindelsmaerik (Christ Child market), November 28, 2009. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler</p>