For Kiwis, nothing spells the festive period quite like going to the beach or enjoying a family barbeque in your back garden.

However, on the other side of the world, celebrations are rather different. For a change, why not plan a trip to a winter wonderland where you can wrap your hands around a mug of warm mulled wine while strolling under twinkling fairy lights?

With the help of, we've rounded up some of the world's most magical magical Christmas markets for you to dream about.

Essen, Germany

A shimmering jewel of the Advent period, the Essen Christmas market invites visitors to delve into the world of the Middle Ages at Flachsmarkt market square. Running until the 23rd December, the 250 plus stall markets glisten under a canopy of 45,000 lights, bustling with gift ideas and culinary delicacies. Once you've shopped for homemade soaps, incense, pottery and furs, branch out and sample some medieval treats at Burgküche kitchen.


Where to stay: Ideally situated beside the pedestrian zone and main railway station in Essen, the TOP CCL Hotel Essener Hof is just a short stroll away from the medieval festivities of the Essen Christmas Market. This traditional hotel is also ideal for day trips to Essen's green surroundings and is a great choice for travellers interested in markets and shopping for clothes.

Vipiteno, Italy

In the mountains of Vipiteno in northern Italy lies a Christmas market offering the perfect mix of delicious goods and snowy scenery for visitors. Situated almost 1000 metres above sea level, Vipiteno is transformed into a winter's fairytale each year, this year ending on 6th January 2019. Local vendors will serve freshly baked goods against the backdrop of crackling fireplaces and decorated Christmas trees.

The Christmas market lights up in Vipiteno, Italy. Photo / Getty Images
The Christmas market lights up in Vipiteno, Italy. Photo / Getty Images

Where to stay


is set in the pedestrian area of Vipiteno city centre, a 5-minute drive from the Monte Cavallo ski area. Its rooms are decorated in a classic Alpine style and the hotel boasts a free on-site wellness centre including a hot tub, Turkish bath and Finnish sauna.

Frankenmuth, Michigan, USA

Each year during the first weekend of December, Christmas vendors selling fresh chestnuts, handmade garlands, fresh apple cider and more, converge at the Frankenmuth Farmers' Market for their version of a European-style Christkindlmart. If one weekend of festivities isn't enough, indulge all year round at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, the world's largest Christmas store. The store is spread over a huge 27 acres and attracts over two million visitors each year.

Where to stay: Boasting both an indoor and outdoor pool, the Four Points By Sheraton offers a relaxing stay at this modern location. Just a short drive from the centre of Frankenmuth, guests can enjoy the spacious interiors and comfortable suites.

Mulhouse, France

In contrast to the usual red and green, the Mulhouse Christmas Market celebrates the festive season in multicolor, with locals labelling it the most colourful market. With its heritage in the textile industry, Mulhouse marks the season each year by creating a festive fabric which is then adorned around the market's 100 huts. Local craftspeople produce delicacies of foie gras, gingerbread and Bredeles for visitors to taste in the city's most famous square, Place de la Réunion, up until 23rd December.

The Mulhouse Christmas Market in France. Photo / Getty Images
The Mulhouse Christmas Market in France. Photo / Getty Images

Where to stay

: Continue this colourful theme at the nearby

. This brightly decorated building is home to a superb guesthouse, which proves particularly popular with couples. This artsy abode offers a great location, just a short walk from Mulhouse Train Station, and excellent facilities including an on-site shop.

Taipei City, Taiwan

Travel to Taiwan to experience the vibrant and family-friendly Christmasland in Taipei City for a truly unique holiday experience. Visitors can enjoy the annual winter wonderland's festive activities, performances, food, games and homemade treats from local stores. With the event lasting several weeks, guests can marvel at light displays, dancing Christmas lights, a huge Christmas market, carol singers and more.

Christmasland in New Taipei City, the biggest Christmas festival in Taiwan. Photo / Getty Images
Christmasland in New Taipei City, the biggest Christmas festival in Taiwan. Photo / Getty Images

Where to stay

: Situated in a great spot for exploring Taipei,

offers simple but clean and comfortable accommodation. Guests can enjoy a hearty breakfast and fresh coffee each morning, in the shared lounge and kitchen. Travellers can also opt to have their own private room if they need a good night's sleep after exploring the Christmas markets.