Updated: 2019-04-28.

Last year, we posted an infographic about twelve different Christmas markets from around the world.

Well, this year, Dealchecker, who published the previous one, went ahead and had a new one created – but this one is a bit different.

They’ve identified twelve alternative Christmas markets that should satisfy the tastes of even the most jaded Scrooge, from the heat of Dubai to J-Pop in London.

Here are 12 “alternative” Christmas markets from around the world:

Christmas Festival Dubai

Alternative Christmas Markets 1

Christmas Festival, Dubai: “Why not combine winter sun and snow this year? Despite being 26°C in December, at Dubai’s Christmas Festival you won’t miss out on festive traditions. Visitors can participate in workshops for gift-wrapping, ornament personalising and gingerbread making. For those missing the chill back home, there is even an artificial snow-fight zone – snowball fans, get rolling!”

Santa Pauli Hamburg

Alternative Christmas Markets 2

Santa Pauli, Hamburg, Germany: “The Santa Pauli Christmas Market in the atmospheric German city of Hamburg is perhaps the epitome of an alternative Christmas – think Anne Summers meets Santa. Dubbed ‘Germany’s most frivolous Christmas market,’ visitors can enjoy erotic sex shows, a drink-service from topless ‘angels,’ try ‘porn karaoke’ and select sensual gifts from a variety of stalls.”

Licques Festival

Alternative Christmas Markets 3

Licques Festival, Licques, France: “The town of Licques, otherwise known as ‘Turkey Town,’ celebrates the holidays in a unique way. This festival features a parade of hundreds of turkeys, whilst spectators pick one for their Christmas table and sip a glass of local liqueur. Factor in the enormous regional food market selling local produce and you’ll return with Christmas dinner in the bag – literally!”

Christkindlmarket Chicago

Alternative Christmas Markets 4

Christkindlmarket, Chicago, US: “Although described as a ‘traditional holiday market,’ the Christkindlmarket in Chicago sets itself apart from more classic events by holding a ‘McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade’ hosted by the fast food giant. The procession features marching bands, giant helium balloons, decorated horses, and appearances from Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald himself (sic).”

Medieval Fayre Caerphilly

Alternative Christmas Markets 5

Medieval Fayre, Caerphilly, Wales: “Travel back in time at Caerphilly’s medieval themed Christmas Fayre. With shoppers and sellers dressed in traditional attire, and colourful stalls lining the town and its historic castle, this fayre is fantastically atmospheric. Visitors can enjoy wood-carving demonstrations, coo over the animals in farm displays (including reindeer), and chuckle at court jesters clowning around.”

Hyper Japan Market London

Alternative Christmas Markets 6

Hyper Japan Market, London, England: “The Hyper Japan Christmas Market in London’s Olympia celebrates Japanese culture and cuisine during the festive season. Soak up the experience with martial arts shows, J-Pop music performances and traditional drumming displays – there’s also a huge variety of unusual Christmas gifts and decorations available to buy.”

Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt Munich

Alternative Christmas Markets 7

Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt, Munich, Germany: “Munich’s incredible Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt has the solution to any gift dilemma amongst its handmade, quirky wares. Showcasing local artists, craftsmen and designers, this unconventional market was founded in the 70s and has been growing ever since. This year’s Global Cuisine Tent is a highlight – who wouldn’t want a glass of Eritrean mead to sip on whilst doing their Christmas shopping?”

Great Dickens Christmas Fair California

Alternative Christmas Markets 8

Great Dickens Christmas Fair, California, US: “Celebrate the festive season by getting in touch with your inner Bob Cratchit – California’s Great Dickens Christmas Fair spreads the good will and festive cheer with an incredible, Victorian knees-up. The streets are lined with old-style apothecaries and food markets and Dickensian get-up is actively encouraged, just watch out for Ebenezer Scrooge lurking around the corner!”

Fira de Santa Llúcia Barcelona

Alternative Christmas Markets 9

Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona, Spain: “Although Fira de Santa Llúcia Market has all the hallmarks of a traditional festive gathering, dig through the seasonal produce and you’re in for a surprise. This market is the best place to pick up a traditional Catalan ‘Caganer,’ a figurine with dropped trousers, leaving a special kind of present. Often added to nativity scenes, a Caganer makes a great gift for those who’ve been naughty, not nice.”

Orchard Road Christmas Market Singapore

Alternative Christmas Markets 10

Orchard Road Christmas Market, Singapore: “Fans of Christmas sparkle will be spellbound by Singapore’s Orchard Road Christmas Market. Leaving no surface uncovered by fairy lights, this festive event includes street parades, carols, food and gift stalls. Most important though, is the annual ‘Best Dressed Building Competition,’ which sees locals try to outdo each other with dazzlingly eccentric decorations.”

Made in the Cape Festive Fair Cape Town

Alternative Christmas Markets 11

Made in the Cape Festive Fair, Cape Town, South Africa: “Gifts don’t come much more innovative than at Cape Town’s incredible Made in the Cape Festive Fair. With every seller a skilled artisan, many of the products on sale are upcycled from everyday items and are all made locally – why not have yourself a sustainable Christmas this year?”

Christmas at Skansen Stockholm

Alternative Christmas Markets 12

Christmas at Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden: Discover a traditional Scandinavian Christmas at Skansen in Stockholm, a historic village which celebrates the festive season in style. Chill with real reindeer, sing along with Nordic carols and drink in the magical atmosphere of a bygone era. You won’t be able to resist sampling the local specialties like red cabbage with cheesecake and saffron buns by the plateful!”

For more on Swedish Christmas, check out our guide to the Julbord Christmas meal.

Alternative Christmas Markets Sources

Alternative Christmas Markets Sources

This infographic come from the folks over at Dealchecker. It was edited down here into separate slides to reduce the page load time of the entire, large graphic, but you can find the full infographic here »

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