The Blog Brew Collaboration – Christmas: Christmas Markets all over the Globe.

Covid might still be very much a thing but we really can’t let it dull our Christmas spirit. Especially with how this year has already gone. So as part of the Blog Brew Collaboration this month and sticking to the theme of Christmas I wanted to share some of the top Christmas markets all over the world! Just because we can’t physically travel to them or they might cancelled due to Covid 19 doesn’t mean we need to forget about them, especially because we can keep up the Christmas spirit!

So here are some of the most beautiful Christmas Markets around the globe. Personal opinion and preference pending here! I’m doing this from my preferences and likes, If I miss any awesome Christmas markets let me know in the comments! I wanna research and add those bad boys to my bucket list! I will also be posting which Christmas market was my favourite that Ive been too (Hint: Its in Norway).

And before you say it, no, Winter Wonderland does NOT Make the cut.

None of the photos below are mine except for the Lincoln, Manchester & Oslo Market pictures

Vienna, Belvedere Palace

This Christmas market is a lot smaller than your usual Christmas market, you can go to a larger ones elsewhere in Vienna. This market is open for longer than usual, from mid November all the way through to the New Year which gives such a good time frame to visit. Plus its located in Belvedere and is also hosted along side a palace! A baroque palace! THE Belvedere Palace which I bet is beautiful and absolutely breathtaking when it comes to a Christmas markets, there are plenty of stalls and amusements for all the family but the main focus is on couples for this one.

Sweden, Liseberg

You can head to Liseberg for an incredibly magical and family friendly Christmas market, with endless light shows, loads of Christmas stalls, they have an ice rink which they do shows on for an audience, they also offer Christmas with RABBITS? HOW SICK IS THAT. There is something magical about rabbits at Christmas. plus you’re in Sweden!

New Zealand, Wellington, Underground Market

New Zealand, Wellington has this pretty cool underground markets you can shop in and in the run up to Christmas these markets turn into Christmas stalls! Although this only happens on the weekends throughout December, In the week they are just your normal stalls and admission is completely free.

Canada, Vancouver

I’ve always really wanted to go to Canada, I bet no Christmas market is as magical as a Christmas market in CANADA. Not only do they have Santas Grotto, a kids day, plenty of stalls with for and drink, Christmas presents and gifts. THEY HAVE A WALK IN CHRISTMAS TREE? I don’t know about you guys but I’m moving to Vancouver. Plus a majority of the food and drink is all local or locally sourced, they also have their own mascots? Holly and Jolly! It is also situated right on Vancouver Harbour so you can watch the lights reflect off the water!

Singapore, Gardens by the Bay

I definitely feel this is the most impressive market. With the market itself spanning across 8 football fields of amusements, food, drinks and the most amazing lights, whats not be impressed about? Oh, not to forget it is held in the STUNNING Gardens by the Bay. I don’t think I really need to say much more than that. Not only that but there is also a parade and endless theatrical entertainment! They also offer a Flower Dome. I’ll let you look that one up yourself. AMAZING. BOOKING MY FLIGHT NOW.

Peru, Santurantikuny

Now is Cusco, Peru they don’t so much hold a Christmas Market but a market that is held on December 24th where you go to buy yourself a gift and no one else! This event is actually a National Cultural Event and recognised by National Institute of Cultural Heritage which is Pretty awesome if you ask me. It is based on the Retablos, the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Santurantikuny stands for ‘Saints for Sale’ and is the largest craft market in Peru.

Birmingham, Frankfurt Style Market

Being from the UK its definitely on my bucket list to go to Birmingham Christmas market, its hugely popular and mimics the Christmas Market in Frankfurt which is what its really popular and well known for, it is also the largest Christmas market outside of Germany! Unfortunately it has been cancelled due to Covid but we continue to be festive. With 80 stalls all Christmas themed and endless mulled wine on every corner its a great place to explore and see friends and family. Birmingham itself is also supposed to be a greta city, so why not check out the rest of it whilst you’re at it?

Markets I’ve been too!

Manchester Christmas Market

After a heavy heavy night at WHP (Warehouse project Manchester) seeing Bicep we were all a bit reluctant to check out the market with the way we were feeling but I am so glad we did it, a hot chocolate with marshmallows and walking between the stalls it was so beautiful and very aesthetically pleasing. It also had some amazing Christmas lights and decorations. We managed to get lucky and go on a really nice day so the weather was glorious but cold and we managed to meet up with a good friend there as well who was in the city the same time we were so it was really great to experience something this GRAND with friends.

Lincoln Christmas Market

I went to university at Lincoln so of course I have visited it every year I was there, unfortunately the first year absolutely killed it for me because I was doing a tourism study on the market so I went up Steep Hill EVERY DAY. It was worth it because of course I got all the data I needed but i also go to experience all different aspects of the market. Lincoln market has so many stalls to offer of all varieties, its really good for your Christmas shopping and the best mulled wine is definitely form the BAR BUS which can usually find outside of the castle walls in the amusement area! Oh yeah, the start of the market is in the castle grounds, how beautiful is that? Its always really enjoyable and also has stalls by the cathedral but its a real shame because the past few years the market has gotten smaller and smaller, so I am hoping that come Christmas 2021 it will be back and teeming with life. It holds a lot of memories with all my friends from Uni and also my family when they visited for the market. Here is hoping for a better Christmassy 2021.

My all time favourite;

Oslo Christmas Market, Norway

This was without a doubt one of the most beautiful experiences of my life! I’d never been to Christmas market in another country so this was such a fun experience. Oslo Christmas market isn’t huge but it has all the essentials from Locally made Christmas gifts and clothes to the yummiest waffle and food stalls. And my god, the mulled wine was the best mulled wine I had ever had. There is a light tunnel you can walk through, an absolutely huge ice rink running through the middle and a beautiful big wheel where you can see the whole market and some of Oslo. They also have two talking moose heads in the bar area and at the entrance and they are SO funny. It was such a great vibe to go with some of my girlfriends as well, such a memorable experience.

Whats been the best Christmas market you’ve ever been too?

Sri Lanka – DISCOVERING KANDY

So today is a free half day, with some scheduled excursions first followed by a free afternoon! And wow did we do some exploring, I urge you to watch the YouTube footage because it was all so beautiful and amazing.

We woke up and headed over to our usual breakfast spot located directly across the road from the mission called Kandayan King!

Just getting across the road was a mission itself. Although there is a zebra crossing you are lucky if they stop for you! You have to wait for solid lul in the traffic to get across. Then once you’re halfway they’ll stop for you! But only if!

Here we had our typical breakfast of Toast, spreads, fresh fruits and omelettes. Ready for a day full of tea, spices, gem factories, amazing street markets and Buddha views!

Gurunanda Tea Factory!

We arrive at the tea factory in our busload and were taken around the factory itself to see how tea bags and loose leaf tea is made! It was amazing to see.

We saw where the tea leaves are dried and then where they are placed in machines to be sieved and it is incredible how fast it can go from harvesting tea to drinking the tea itself! It was a very nice and fast insight into how the tea is made in the factory.

Once we had seen all the machines and learnt how everyone was processed we were brought upstairs to a nice dining area where we were able to try some fresh tea, it was so lovely and I LOVE a brew so I was over the moon.

Afterwards I brought an entire tub of loose leaf Jasmine Tea and Vanilla Tea to bring home with me. They are without a doubt the nicest flavoured teas I have ever purchased or had and taste amazing.

The Spice Gardens

Once we were done with drinking tea we headed over to a Spice Garden!

Once we arrived we were ushered down a pathway where we were given fresh coconut water straight from a coconut! We watched him hack the top off and pop in a straw! It was so lovely and fresh. There was also the most beautiful puppy, so naturally we were all crowding around the fussing the little furball.

Once the puppy and coconut excitement had passed we were given a full tour of the area where they grew pineapples (which I learnt in my 21 years of life are grown from the ground? I was absolutely astonished). We also saw where all the other herbs and spices are grown, cinnamon, garlic, aloe etc. It was really interesting especially when they grind and blend these herbs into herbal remedies.

We were then seated and had a lesson on how these remedies were made and what they could assist with medical wise and then were given the best shoulder and neck massage with their homemade Aloe Vera. Man it was amazing I could’ve quite honestly gone to sleep afterwards I felt so relaxed.

Then we were shown to their store full of herbal remedies, where everything was massively overpriced so I bought nothing. I enjoyed the massage though and cuddled the puppy instead of browsing their shop, a great alternative.

Gem Factory

Our next stop was the gem factory.

Here we learnt about the mining of diamonds and the process in which is taken to get these diamonds into our jewellery and just as they are! We arrived and were taken down a fake underground mining area where it showed how the miner would dig these stones out from these shafts and bring them up with them.

The gem industry is huge, we then watched a 15 minute video on how these gems were brought to manufacturers and how they are made. We were shown how these gentleman within the building were cleaning these precious stones and shaping them ready to be placed in jewellery or sold as they are. We were taken into a small viewing room where there were all different types of diamonds and gemstones dotted around with explanation of their origins and where they were found. 

It was really fascinating to see the process and afterwards were lead downstairs to their gem shop. My favourite gems being the Topaz gem stones, a beautiful pure blue gem which was only £17! It makes you wonder how much of the gem trade is a real hoax.

LUNCH? DOMINOS M8

We were dropped off back at the mission with a mission to find FOOD. And we had seen on the bus through our journey in Kandy that there was a Dominos not far from the mission. You best believe we found that Dominos and ATE our body weight in pizza. It was SO tasty and everything we needed ready for our free afternoon!

TEMPLE OF TOOTH

So the first place us group of girls headed was Kandy’s sacred Temple of Tooth. A beautiful temple where you could visit at a price. We headed into the ground and enjoyed the building for what it was but we did not pay to go inside as it was very busy and you can only go inside at certain parts of the day.

I personally enjoyed putting on our sarongs, we all had such beautiful and colourful clothing options as you cannot bare skin so shoulders and legs must be covered due to be it being a place of worship. It was also located next to the Kandy lake, or Bogambara lake, and was just such a beautiful setting for a beautiful building.

The Temple of Tooth is named this due to housing the sacred relic of the canine tooth of the Buddha and was erected in 1595. The building itself is all white on the outside and is known to be very calming even though it does get very busy, it is recommended to take flowers as offerings for the Buddha! There are stalls located outside of the temple where they are lined with the most beautiful of flowers to offer to the Buddha!

MARKETS (& UNDERGROUND MARKET) OF KANDY

Next up was the markets!

We walked over to the markets that were inside a large white building with rows and rows of tuk tuts outside! It was SO Busy, these stalls included fresh meat and fish, little trinkets and souvenirs, endless hareem pants, sarongs and general items of clothing! It was really interesting to see how this is where the people of Kandy would do a lot of their shopping. We even saw red bananas!?

The market itself was two stories high, we headed into a small shop that offered lots of incense sticks that smelt heavenly and we all collectively brought half the shop. I love burning incense.

There was also an underground market which was centred in a roundabout! There was amazing street art and it was so cool knowing that this hustle and bustle of the market was going on underneath a busy road and roundabout!

we split off into two groups and then re-conveined afterwards by the entrance where all the Tuk Tuks were for the next and BEST part of the day!

BAHIRAWAKANDA VIHARA BUDDHA STATUE

We jumped in 2 separate tuk tuks and it was amazing! We were heading straight for the Bihirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue at the top of the mountain in central Kandy!

They tuk tuk drivers agreed a price for all of us and also agreed to wait for us whilst we explored and also drive us back down the mountain! it certainly was a rickety journey and terrifyingly tight at some points with the cars and trucks zooming past as as we made our way up! We were even holding hands between tuk tuks!

Check the video here!

The views were stunning and the Buddha itself was beautiful. We covered ourselves up and headed up the stairs where we were given a piece of paper of instructions and rules and then said a small price as donation. We had a photoshoot on the stairs up to the buddha because it was an absolute must, and then headed upwards to explore!

The top of the Buddha was closed but that didn’t stop Shaista and I from climbing as high up on the Buddha as we could! It was late afternoon and the sunset was just phenomenal. It was so beautiful and serene, Me, Mel, Shannon and some of the other girls bought flowers as inside the Buddha itself you could give the buddha offerings!

It was a really beautiful experience and I was so happy to share it with the most amazing girls!

We got the tuk tuk down the mountain once more and headed back to the mission. All in all a very successful day!

Stay tuned for the final few excursions and days of the trip!