The popular Vancouver Christmas Market brings the festive ambiance of German Christkindlmarkts all the way to Vancouver every December.
Typically operating from mid-November until Christmas Eve, the event is one of the few of its kind in North America. So now you can partake in this joyful German tradition without hopping on a plane to Europe!
So, let’s take a virtual sleigh ride through the snowy lanes of the winter wonderland that is the Vancouver Xmas Market.
The Vancouver Christmas Market
Ever dreamt of a winter wonderland filled with twinkling lights, savoury treats, and the spirit of Yuletide? Well, dream no more! The popular Vancouver Christmas Market offers a charming European-style atmosphere right in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
This holiday extravaganza creates a perfect outdoor setting to revel in holiday window shopping and savour the delights of festive cuisine. So don’t forget to bring your appetite!
With over 80 artisan huts offering handcrafted gifts and the scent of Glühwein (Mulled wine) in the air, the market offers lively entertainment and activities, making it a delightful Yuletide destination.
Location and Time
The Vancouver Christmas Market is situated at Jack Poole Plaza, just outside the Vancouver Convention Centre and Canada Place. The square also contains the 2010 Winter Olympic Cauldron and offers spectacular views of the North Shore Mountains – making it the perfect setting for frosty nights and festive lights.
Vancouver Xmas Market Hours
The 2022 market welcomed visitors from November 12th to December 24th, operating under the following hours:
- November 12th to 25th: 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm
- November 26th to December 23rd: 11:30 am to 9:30 pm
- December 24th: 11:30 am to 6:00 pm
For 2023 dates and other information, check out the Vancouver Christmas Market website.
Vancouver Christmas Market Tickets
When purchasing tickets for the Vancouver Christmas Market, it’s worth noting that buying them at the gate usually incurs slightly higher costs. Thus, I highly recommend purchasing your tickets online to save some cash for the mulled wine.
If you’re considering multiple visits or you live in the area, I’d also recommend springing for a season’s pass.
In 2022, advanced online ticket prices were as follows:
- Adults (18 – 64) – $17.99
- Seniors (65 – above) – $14.99
- Youth (7 – 17) – $9.99
- Children (6 and under) – Free
A season pass offering unlimited entry throughout the season could be obtained for $35.99. So it is a great deal even if you plan to go 2 or 3 times.
It’s important to be aware that by the second weekend of November 2022, over 70% of the season’s passes had already been sold, so it is advisable to purchase in advance if you plan to attend this year’s Christmas market multiple times.
For tickets, see the official Vancouver Christmas Market website.
Vancouver Xmas Market Video
Check out this video for a glimpse of what you’ll see at the Vancouver Christmas Market.
What Awaits You at the Market?
If you are looking for an outstanding outdoor Christmas shopping experience and an array of quality gift ideas and culinary delights, Vancouver Christmas Market is right for you.
This popular attraction boasts European-style stalls with German-themed offerings like beer steins, artisanal goods, and craft spirits, ensuring high-quality choices.
Open from mid-November to Christmas Eve; the market features a 30-foot walk-in Christmas tree with lights, complimentary carousel rides (with donations supporting Make-A-Wish), and a tempting selection of festive treats and beverages.
Vancouver BC Christmas Market Zones
The Vancouver Christmas Market is organized into four main sections for smoother navigation, evolving from its initial two dozen vendors to over 90.
The most popular zones include the Christmas Tree Terrace, Artisan Market, Merchant Alley, Marktplatz, and Alpine Haus.
Noteworthy in 2022 were the Marktplatz featuring artisans, Gourmetstrasse presenting gourmet food products to take home, and Tannenbaum Terrace, which offers food and drinks of both sweet and savoury varieties.
Lovers’ Lane, the light tunnel, and Kaufmannsasse (Merchant Alley), with extra vendor stalls, mark some of the event’s most instagrammable sights.
Visitors with kids also enjoy the Christmas Carousel at the Marktplatz area, where rides are complimentary with admission.
The Walk-In Christmas Tree
Nestled amidst the venue, adjacent to the Olympic Cauldron, lies the Tannenbaum Terrace—a haven hosting a colossal Christmas tree that invites you to step inside and capture wonderful photos.
Because, after all, what would a Christmas Market be without a Christmas Tree?
The Artisan Market
Along the Cactus Club restaurant side on the western edge of the Vancouver Christmas Market, the Handwerkgasse, or Artisan Market, can be found.
This section showcases around 20 vendors offering diverse products, including craft-distilled liqueurs, handmade chocolates, and intricately crafted wood and glass items.
The Marktplatz and its vendors are usually near the market’s entrance, where you’ll find the popular carousel.
Stretching along the venue’s eastern edge, nearest to the Vancouver Convention Centre, lies the Kaufmannsgasse, also known as Merchant Alley. Here, you can find a wide array of Christmas decorations and artisan goods.
This section is home to approximately two dozen vendors, offering an array of items such as imported beer steins, unique apparel, and naturally crafted handmade goods.
Tannenbaum Terrace Eats & Treats
The central part of the Marktplatz usually hosts a few food and drink vendors. However, most options can be found in the nearby Tannenbaum Terrace area. This is my favourite spot, and you’ll soon see why.
The menu includes German favourites, such as cheese and potato raclettes, bratwurst sausages, schnitzel, and more. You’ll also find several stands with a strong Canadian and Asian influence, so if you aren’t a fan of German cuisine, you’re still covered!
Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Well, you’ll find decadent options to tempt you, like waffles, ice cream, German donuts, Belgian chocolates, and funnel cakes. So feel free to indulge because, after all, it is the holidays!
Situated at the northern boundary of the Marktplatz, overlooking Burrard Inlet, a spacious zone awaits relaxation and social interaction. The area embraces a ski-themed ambiance straight out of the Alps, hence the name Alpen Haus.
This is a great spot to chill and embrace the festive ambiance with your loved ones – with a glass of the famous Gluhwein in hand.
Vancouver German Christmas Market Map
The map above provides a visual representation of the market’s layout. But in truth, the market isn’t that large in size. So feel free to wander at your leisure.
To access the 2022 map, visit the Market Venue Map. The layout will probably remain the same for the 2023 edition. But we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
Entertainment at the Vancouver Christmas Market
The Vancouver Christmas Market also offers a variety of live music and Christmas carols. During weekdays, it will typically be offered in the evenings. At the same time, you’ll also encounter some festive tunes during the day on weekends.
In 2022, performances were held on the second-floor stage of the Christmas Pyramid from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and from noon to 9:30 p.m. on weekends. You can likely expect much of the same this year.
Stay updated on the 2023 entertainment schedule through the Vancouver Christmas Market website.
German Christmas Market Tips
- Check the forecast and try to visit during clear skies. I assure you, this will make the experience much more enjoyable.
- Dress for the occasion. Though Vancouver is mild by Canadian standards, it can still get quite cold – particularly at night. Sweaters, toques, and winter jackets are highly recommended.
- Waterproof footwear like boots is advisable to navigate puddles or slush in case of heavy rain or snow. Likewise, an umbrella is recommended in the case of rain (quite likely this time of year).
- Engage with the vendors; they often share captivating tales about their products and offer enjoyable conversations. And remember, it’s always good to support local small businesses.
- If weather permits, consider walking around Canada Place leisurely to see delightful December lights and decorations.
- Nearby FlyOver Canada offers Christmas-themed shows just a short stroll away. So consider stopping by before your visit.
- Bring your appetite! The event is full of sweet and savoury delights that’ll have you jingling all the way to Flavourtown!
Vancouver Christmas Market FAQS
All set for your trip to the Vancouver Christmas Market?
To learn more about this year’s edition of Vancouver’s annual German-themed Christmas celebration, please refer to the Vancouver Christmas Market website.
For other Christmas activity ideas, make sure to take a look at the Top Things to Do in Vancouver at Christmas to discover more of the best festive activities you can engage in during the Christmas season.
But until then, I hope you enjoy your trip to the spectacular Vancouver Christmas Market.