In big cities and small towns all around the world, streets have been transformed into twinkling fairy tales plucked straight from the blueprints of Santa’s Village. Whether you’re shopping for gifts or just taking part in the joyful festivities there’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than by visiting one of these pet-friendly Christmas markets with your furry elf.
Posted by Billy Francis
Quebec City German Christmas Market
At Canada’s Quebec City German Christmas Market, leashed dogs can join you to celebrate all things Christmas in the German tradition. Browse a variety of handcrafted items from local artisans, delightful holiday decorations, traditional food and beverage options, and more. Fido can even have his photo taken with Santa! The market will be held at five different sites, including City Hall Garden, City Hall Square, Sainte-Anne Street, Place d'Armes and Place d'Youville.
This event takes place on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 23 to December 23, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. all other nights. Make a full weekend of your time in Quebec and stay at nearby Monsieur Jean Hotel Particulier.
Christmas Village in Philadelphia
The moral of every Christmas story is that love always prevails during the holiday season. Perhaps that’s why Christmas Village in Philadelphia is held in Love Park, named for its re-creation of the famous Love sculpture by Robert Indiana. The festival organizers clearly adore pups. Fido will quickly discover a couple of vendors dedicated to pets offering a bounty of doggie Christmas treats and eats. The Village will also host dog adoptions on December 2 and 16 in partnership with the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society.
Christmas Village in Philadelphia will be held daily from November 19 through December 24. The Hotel Palomar Philadelphia is just a few blocks away and welcomes pets of any size for no additional fee.
Tallinn Christmas Market
Tallinn, Estonia’s historic capital, is a seaside town with houses that look like they’re made from gingerbread. The cityscape makes the perfect backdrop for a yuletide marketplace. Tallinn Christmas Market, also known as Tallinna Jõuluturg, is held in the quaint town square, decorated with lights and often a white blanket of snow. The centerpiece is the huge tree in the middle. On this spot, a tree has stood every year since 1441. Explore the wooden cabins stocked with seasonal trinkets and traditional snacks before taking Fido to meet Santa Claus and his reindeer.
Tallinn Christmas Market will take place from November 25 through January 8. Spend a few days in this historic city with a stay at the Hotel Telegraaf, where pets of any size are treated to luxurious 5-star accommodations in a gorgeous 19th-century building.
From its futuristic skyline to its expansive green spaces, Singapore is a vibrant and manicured jewel. This attention to detail and beauty is reflected in its annual pet-friendly Christmas Wonderland. Held at Gardens by the Bay, the already impressive SuperTree Grove becomes a glittering forest for the market. Don’t let Fido hike a leg at these unbelievable artificial trees covered in living vegetation. Christmas Wonderland contains a blizzard area, a mirror maze, a snowman swing and popular festive stalls. You’d need days to take every Instagram-worthy pic around one of the most popular markets for dogs on our list. Start with a slobbery pup kiss at Mistletoe Alley!
Christmas Wonderland will be held from December 2 to January 1. For a nearby pet-friendly hotel, look no further than the 5-star Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore.
Silverton Christmas Market
The Silverton Christmas Market is a dog-friendly event sure to put everyone, including Fido, in the holiday spirit. Walk through over one million lights, sing carols, stop for a drink in the Biergarten, and be sure to snap a photo of your pup with Old Saint Nick. With a vendor market offering artisan goods, ornaments, German nutcrackers and more, you’re sure to find perfect gifts for everyone on your list. End the evening by warming up around one of the wood-burning fire pits with hot cocoa or a German soft pretzel. The shuttle is not dog-friendly so you’ll need to purchase VIP parking if you’re bringing your pet.
The Silverton Christmas Market will take place daily from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. from November 25 through January 1. If Fido isn’t completely exhausted after the market, he’ll have plenty of sidewalks and grassy areas to roam during his stay at Silverton Inn & Suites.
The most widely adopted Christmas tradition in the world is tree decorating. This fun task was first thought to have taken place in Strasbourg in 1605 when locals began adorning fir trees with apples. More than four centuries later, Strasbourg is the self-proclaimed capital of Christmas. The annual Christkindelsmärik Strasbourg is home to 300 different stalls and vendors where any last-minute Christmas purchases can be made. More than 2 million visitors attend the festivities every year, so it’s best to leave skittish pups at home.
Christkindelsmärik Strasbourg will be held from November 25 through December 30. The market is closed on Christmas Day, and only certain stalls are open from December 26 to 30. Treat your pup to a stay in a traditional Strasbourg property at the pet-friendly Hotel Rohan. The central location makes it an ideal base for two- and four-legged tourists.
Winter Wonders and Christmas Market
Hop on the pet-friendly metro and visit Winter Wonders and Christmas Market for your annual dose of glad tidings in Brussels this winter. The big white Ferris wheel dominates the sky, reminiscent of a snowflake shimmering under the lights. Watch the revelers try to stay on their feet on the ice rink, sample the mulled wine, and see if you can unearth any treasures in the stalls with your pooch by your side. To get away from the crowds, swing by Bois de la Cambre. From here, you and your pup can take a boat ride to the pet-friendly restaurant and cocktail bar, Chalet Robinson, where you can enjoy Belgian cuisine overlooking the lake.
Winter Wonders and Christmas Market will be held from November 25 to January 1. All that Christmas fun can be tiring, but your search for a pet-friendly hotel in Brussels doesn’t have to be. NH Hotel Du Grand Sablon lies just 10 minutes from Egmont Park, a nice place for a quick stroll with the dog.
Christmas Village in Baltimore
Located at West Shore Park at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Christmas Village in Baltimore welcomes four-legged shoppers to join their owners throughout the outdoor areas and in the large sections of the indoor tent, with the exception of the vending area. Let Fido tag along while you shop wooden vendor booths filled with international holiday gifts, ornaments and crafts, and European food and drinks. Stop in to have your pup’s photo taken with Kris Kringle or you might spot Gingy the Gingerbread Man out and about for a photo op.
Christmas Village in Baltimore will take place from November 24 to December 24. Stay with your pooch at Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore and you’ll be conveniently located within walking distance of the market and all the festivities.
Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market
England’s second city is the setting for one of Britain’s best-loved markets. Twinned with Germany’s Frankfurt, the city borrows a bounty of German traditions for Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market, the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. Pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts and roasted almonds are on the food menu, and Fido will drool when he sees the giant Frankfurter sausages being served.
Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market will be open from November 3 through December 23. Book a room at the Britannia Hotel, located just minutes from the market and New Street Train Station.
Toronto Christmas Market
The distillery district in Toronto once housed a large whiskey distillery, but nowadays, the buildings contain a number of hip bars, boutiques and restaurants. The cobbled streets surrounding the Victorian-era buildings become the canvas for a real-life Advent calendar during The Distillery Christmas Village. Bring your merry mutt along to shop for carefully crafted tree decorations, interesting knickknacks and delicious traditional food.
Toronto Christmas Market will be held from November 17 to December 31. Begin your Christmas escapade by checking in at the elegant and pet-friendly Omni King Edward Hotel, located close to the market.
Christmas Market Weekends
Visiting Old Mecklenburg Brewery with Fido is great fun any time of year, but during Christmas Market Weekends (Weihnachtsmarkt), it’s extra cheerful and festive. Dogs are welcome outdoors in the Biergarten which turns into a German-style Christmas Village for the month. Shop with Fido through traditional huts filled with gifts and goodies, try out festive food and drinks including OMB’s staple brews, snuggle around fire pits and enjoy thousands of Christmas lights and holiday tunes.
Christmas Market Weekends (Weihnachtsmarkt) will be held each Friday through Sunday from November 25 to December 18. Book a room at nearby Hyatt House Charlotte Airport and spend the weekend exploring all of pet-friendly Charlotte.
Bigger isn’t always better, as your Chihuahua will tell you. Ulmer Weihnachtsmarkt is located in a small medieval city in Germany and is full of charm and tradition. Located in the central square, the Christmas market takes place next to Ulm Munster, the tallest church in the world. Model train enthusiasts can marvel at the miniature locomotives making their way around the snowy track, and if your pooch is well-behaved, you can take her to look at the nativity set with real-life animals. Ulm is a quiet market, which makes it the destination of choice for dogs who don’t like crowds.
Ulmer Weihnachtsmarkt will be held from November 25 through December 22. If you want to stay close to the market during your visit, reserve a room at the centrally located and pet-friendly Hotel Goldenes Rad.
Dogs are welcome in the outdoor areas of Christkindlmarket Chicago, where they can join the one million tourists who visit Chi-town for the festivities every year. Inspired by the 16th-century Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, Chicago's version is known for the vendors’ high-quality gifts and food. Fill your stocking with Christmas cheer, commemorative Chicagoan baubles and scrumptious snacks. Unfortunately, Fido will have to miss out on the inside areas, such as the warming tent, Timber House and walk-in booths. Your jolly pooch is also welcome at nearby Christkindlmarkets in Aurora and Wrigleyville.
Christkindlmarket Chicago will be held from November 18 through December 24. Spend the night just down the street at Staypineapple, An Iconic Hotel, The Loop.