There’s nothing like visiting a holiday market filled with festive trinkets and unique souvenirs to get you in the holiday spirit! While we all have our favorites we like to visit year after year, we are sharing some of the best holiday markets to visit around the world with the JG Black Book Collection. From South America to London to Bali, there are many holiday markets to discover for all of your gifting needs!
A Christmas tradition in the heart of the Imperial City with Condor Travel: Cusco is a city that is known for showcasing Peruvian history at almost every turn. With its cobblestoned streets, classic churches and Inca ruins, the entire city evokes a past where Spanish and Andean cultures fused to become one.
As Christmas time comes around, the Imperial City proudly displays another tradition inherited from the colonial period: the Santurantikuy. Translated to ‘sale of saints’, it is a fair that begins on December 24th in the city’s Main Square where local artisans, sculptors and artists have a chance to showcase their finest pieces for Cusco natives and tourists. Although one can find numerous craft products during this fair, religious figures are definitely the main attraction, with the ‘Niño Manuelito’ – or baby Jesus – being the undisputed star of the fair. This traditional fair is also the perfect place to find original and high-quality products to assemble a one-of-a-kind nativity scene. As a unique variation of the Christmas mood, this annual event is something to experience at least once in a lifetime with Condor Travel as your guide to get an in-depth look at what the holiday spirit feels like at the Imperial City.
Winter Wonderland and Southbank Centre with The Stafford London: Located only minutes away, The Stafford London is ideally situated to visit Winter Wonderland, the number one Christmas market in the UK. This free-to-enter event spread across Hyde Park gets you into the Christmas spirit with warming bars, winter markets, delicious food, festive rides, romantic chalets and of course plenty of Christmas decorations and mulled wine. Activities include a magical Ice Kingdom, a German village, a Giant Observation Wheel, a Zippos Circus and a beautiful interpretation of Cinderella on Ice.
Additionally, the Winter Market at the Southbank Centre in London is also a must-see to pay tribute to Christmas fun. The market brings together top traders from across London with festive food and gifts at the beautiful riverside. Enjoy mulled wine, quality food and handmade crafts from Nordic-inspired wooden chalets whilst taking in the sights of the London riverbank at wintertime.
Nizwa Souq with The Chedi Muscat: The Nizwa Souq, one of the oldest souqs in Oman, is an extensive marketplace dedicated mostly to fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, all of which are housed behind the great crenulated piece of the city wall that overlooks the wadi. Join the crowds and experience the liveliness and uniqueness of the Friday Goat Market in Nizwa, where local farmers gather early in the morning to trade livestock, mainly goats, cows and sheep – a centuries’ old tradition. Or visit the part of the souq dedicated to handicrafts that caters specifically to the passing tourist trade. While you’ll have to try hard to find a bargain for antiques and silver, the local craftsmanship is incredible and worth the splurge – especially the silver khanjars, or tribal curved daggers, for which Nizwa is famous for!
So be sure to experience the historic Nizwa Souq with its amazing collection of coins, antiques and more during your next stay in Oman with The Chedi Muscat. The hotel’s concierge will be more than glad to arrange your trip to the Nizwa Souq!
Shanga at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge: Shanga is open all year around, so you don’t have to wait until Christmas to find special gifts to take home with you from Tanzania. Shanga, part of the Elewana Collection’s Corporate Social Responsibility commitment, is located at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge and comprises of a workshop for glass-blowing, weaving, sewing, “tingtinga” painting, bead-making and metal work, as well as a shop showcasing handmade Shanga products.
This year’s Christmas theme at Shanga is ‘Kitenge Christmas’. Kitenges are bright and colourful fabrics with varying patterns and designs to represent different meanings. The Christmas Collection is based around a specific Kitenge, and highlights the creativity and skill of everyone at Shanga! The collection incorporates many Christmas must-haves including tree decorations, homewares, table decorations and some intricately glass blown designs. You can find a large variety of items including the Christmas collection and other gifts – all of which are easy for visitors to tote while travelling, while larger items can be shipped directly to you! So don’t forget to pass by the workshop and try your hand at glass blowing, weaving, beading or even to learn sign-language during your next stay with Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge!
Machilla Magic with Azura Retreats: During your next stay with Azura Retreats at Azura Benguerra Island or Azura Quilalea Private Island, both in Mozambique, you must visit Machilla Magic – a well-known local craft market – for all of your holiday gifting needs! Machilla Magic is a community arts and crafts endeavour where all products are handmade by the local community and materials are sourced from within the country of Mozambique. While Machilla Magic started out as a small village project, it has now become a vibrant venture attracting customers from all over the globe! Over 50 independent artists share their talents and skills here, resulting in a diverse range of Mozambican handcrafts to purchase and bring home as gifts or souvenirs. With items ranging from wood carvings to shell masterpieces, beaded jewellery and more, we know you’ll find something for everyone on your list here!
Holiday Market in Ubud with The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah: Everyday is a holiday in Bali! With the local’s creativity and artistic talents, local Balinese markets are quite common and filled with a lot of native arts and crafts. As the cultural hub of Bali, Ubud market is an iconic spot to find unique souvenirs or knick knacks for any occasion – think batik fabrics, hanging cotton dreamcatcher, Balinese leather puppets, sea shell coasters and more! All perfect for holiday gifting, and the excitement doesn’t stop there!. The experience of exploring small alleys and discovering authentic goods, as well as interacting with the humble locals, are things which set the Ubud market apart from the others. Be sure to visit the Ubud market during your next stay with The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah!