Where To Go Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping needn’t be an arduous chore – though increasing numbers shop online for convenience and bargain prices, nothing compares to an old-fashioned Christmas market, fair or specially decorated street for unique gift ideas, festive activities and delicious nibbles from around the world. From centuries-old markets to indoor exhibitions, we’ve collated the very best places to go Christmas shopping in the UK and overseas to help you find the perfect present, get in the festive spirit or simply warm yourself with a tasty hot chocolate or mulled wine.

1. Central London

It would be unfair to list just one of the capital’s shopping areas as the best for Christmas spending. Oxford Street, Regent Street and the meandering alleyways of Soho all boast Yuletide delights and decorations. Whether it’s Oxford Street’s star-studded Christmas light switch-on or Carnaby Street’s huge Christmas Shopping Party with 20% off in over 100 shops, bars and restaurants, central London offers some of the country’s most exciting seasonal events. Get in the festive mood early and head to West Oxford Street to see the famous Christmas light switch-on, hosted by Pandora and Capital, on 1st November from 2pm.

 

2. Edinburgh Christmas Market  

From November until January, Edinburgh city centre is set to be a (festive haven as Edinburgh’s Christmas gets underway. The six-week event will be home to funfair rides, a Santa Land and an ice rink, but most importantly will (bring back its hugely popular market stalls selling food, drink and traditional crafts. Spread out between St Andrew Square, the Mound Precinct and Princes Street Gardens, you’re sure to find plenty of unique gifts for loved ones. 

Open from Friday 18th November 2016 

 

3. Lille Christmas Market 

 Crossing the channel this Christmas? Be sure to stop off at Lille’s Christmas market, where you’ll find everything from oozing melted Camembert to a selection of crafted wooden toys for the little ones. Located in the city centre, the Christmas market comprises rows and rows of wooden chalets, an 18-foot Christmas tree and the famous giant ferris wheel.

 Open from Friday 18th November 2016 

 

4. Bicester Village 

If deals on designer goods and late-night closing times appeal to you, then put Bicester Village on your list of Christmas shopping hotspots. With some of the world’s most coveted brands at bargain prices (and located just one hour from London), this Oxfordshire outlet is a must for any savvy shopper.

5. 12 Days of Christmas, Dublin  

Inspired by German Christmas markets, Dublin’s 12 Days of Christmas is home to over 40 market stalls selling gifts, decorations and authentic festive food from the Continent. Don’t forget to have a gander at the gorgeous antiques on sale from the Antiques Fair Ireland traders and the work of promising talents from the DIT Graduate Show.

Open from Saturday 10th December 2016

6. The Shambles

Head to York’s most famous shopping street this Christmas for boutiques, markets and independent shops. Want to avoid the supermarkets for your festive grub? The Shambles Market, open daily, offers some of Yorkshire’s finest local produce, or try any number of traditional confectionery shops during your visit, such as Monkbar Chocolatiers. 

 

7. Skansen’s Christmas Market  

This Stockholm set-up has been an annual festivity enjoyed by locals and tourists since 1903. Stock up on traditional Swedish crafts, candles and cuisine for a touch of Scandinavian magic this season.

Open from Thursday 24th November 2016

 8. Spirit of Christmas Fair  

If sprucing up your home in time for the festive season is a number one priority, visit the Spirit of Christmas Fair at Kensington Olympia in London this autumn for all things decorative. With 750 independent boutiques at the exhibition, there will be no shortage of gifts and homewares to fill your basket. 

Open from Monday 31st October 2016

9. Bath Christmas Market  

Lining the streets surrounding the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey, one of the nation’s best-loved Christmas markets returns this year with 170 chalets filled with goodies. The majority of stallholders are Bath locals, so you’ll be supporting local trade as you shop – bonus!

Open from Thursday 24th November 2016

 

10. Christkindlmarkt  

For the authentic German Yuletide shopping experience, look no further than Munich’s Christmas market. Wooden huts selling Bratwurst, mulled cider and Lebkuchen will fill your bellies with warming fare; keep an eye out for the legendary Krampus Run, as people dressed in costume run through the market as a nod to the 500-year old tradition. 

Open from Friday 25th November 2016 

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