There’s nothing like experiencing the magic of New York City during the holidays.

Even after living in the city for over a decade, I still get giddy as the end of November approaches.

Right after Thanksgiving, the city transforms into a sparkling and cheerful bubble bursting with tourists and locals who want to soak in every bit of holiday cheer.

My friends and I keep our own holiday traditions, which include hitting happy hour, then wandering over to the tree at Rockefeller Center after 10:30pm to avoid the mess of tourists that normally squeeze into the small plaza where the tree sits.

After that we wander up 5th Avenue towards Central Park, stopping to see the light show at Saks 5th Ave. and to admire the iconic window decorations at luxury stores like Cartier and Bergdorf Goodman.

We also always set aside one Saturday to hop around all the NYC Christmas markets.

The city has some really amazing holiday markets that feature everything from artisanal soaps to unique crafts, and my favorite, tons of delicious food stalls.

After over a decade of hitting up these booths, I’ve basically become a holiday market expert.

This guide to the best Christmas markets in NYC will tell you everything you need to know to plan the ultimate holiday shopping trip.

Best Christmas Markets in NYC


1. Bryant Park Winter Village

Bryant Park’s Winter Village
is my all-time favorite Christmas market in NYC.

I used to work a few blocks away and would hit this place up all the time during my lunch breaks.

They’ve got tons of cute shops, plus a hot chocolate stand that I’m obsessed with.

Plan to spend at least a few hours here shopping and snacking.

I normally hit the food stands, but if you’re feeling fancier, you can book a table at The Lodge, a pop up restaurant next to the ice rink.

Or book an igloo for an Instagrammable holiday meal.

If you want to try ice skating, book a time-slot early. It’s free if you have your own skates, or you can rent a pair.

Dates: October 27, 2023 – January 2, 2024 (food stalls stay open until early March)

Hours: Monday – Friday 11 am to 8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 8 pm

Address: Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue

2. Columbus Circle Holiday Market

With over a hundred vendors and its prime Upper West Side location, Columbus Circle Holiday Market is easy to hit up for a bit of holiday shopping.

You’ll find everything from unique kids’ gifts to handmade jewelry and holiday ornaments.

Plus, fantastic truffle fries and grilled cheese sandwiches. I can’t remember the names of the stands, but you’ll notice them quickly by the lines. 

I always dump my fries on top of my toastie in order to let the crust of the sandwich soak up some of that delicious truffle.

If you’re feeling athletic, head over to nearby Wollman Rink for a bit of ice skating.

Dates: November 28th to December 31st, 2023 (closed Christmas Day)

Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Sundays from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Address: Columbus Circle – West 59th Street and Broadway

3. Turnstyle Holiday Market

This underground market next to Columbus Circle is open year round, but is especially charming when it’s celebrating the holidays.

They’ve got 19 food vendors, 10 retail shops, and some fun pop-up shops to browse.

Since it’s underground next to the subway turnstiles, it’s an easy stop while you’re planning which train to take.

Dates: Open year round with extra holiday cheer during December

Hours: Individual stall hours vary

Address: 59th Street Subway Station (no metro card required)

4. Union Square Holiday Market

I have such fond memories of checking out Union Square Holiday Market with my friends over the years.

This is the perfect market to hit up before heading to dinner or happy hour in the village.

They have a great hot chocolate and donut stand, plus tons of decorations and gift stalls to check out. 

There’s close to a hundred stalls, so plan to spend at least an hour wandering through this NYC Christmas Market.

Dates: November 16 to December 24. Closed Thanksgiving November 23.

Hours: Weekdays 11 am to 8 pm, Saturdays 10 am – 8 pm, Sundays 11 am to 7 pm. On Christmas Eve, December 24, the market closes at 4 pm.

Address: Union Square at 14th Street

5. The Market at Westfield World Trade Center

You can visit Westfield World Trade Center any time of year for an afternoon of shopping, but over the holidays it’s an extra festive spot to shop for your “secret Santa”.

You’ll see about twenty holiday pop-up shops as you stroll through their “winter village”.

If you time your visit just right, you may even catch a performance by carolers, who on rare occasions, the Rockettes.

Dates: Open year-round with a winter village in December

Hours: 10 am to 8 pm Mon-Sat and 11 am to 7 pm on Sundays

Address: 185 Greenwich Street at the Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center

6. Grand Holiday Bazaar

The Upper West Side’s long running Grand Bazaar takes on major holiday vibes starting at the end of November.

I used to swing by this market at least once a month when I was living in the neighborhood.

They’ve got tons of cool antiques and vintage clothes, plus a couple of food stalls to munch at.

This is the perfect stop to shop for your cool artsy friend’s holiday gift.

Dates: November 26, December 3, 10, and 17, 2023

Hours: 10 am – 5 pm

Address: 100 W 77th St, New York, NY 10024

7. Grand Central Holiday Fair

Head to Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall to shop their epic annual holiday fair.

You’ll find beautiful jewelry, home goods, crafts, and delicious food to shop while enjoying the warmth of this indoor market.

It’s the perfect place for tourists to add to their to-do list, since they’ll also be able to check out Grand Central’s stunning architecture and world-renewed ceiling.

Dates: Monday, November 13, 2023 – Sunday, December 24, 2023. Closed Thanksgiving, November 23.

Hours: Monday through Saturday 10 am to 7 pm, Sundays 11 am to 6 pm and Christmas Eve 10 am to 6 pm.

Address: Grand Central Terminal – 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

Final Advice

best christmas market nyc 2

Just remember when the holiday stress starts, to grab something sweet, sit down, and take a breath.

The city becomes a madhouse during December, especially as Christmas gets closer.

Prioritize yourself and time with friends and family. It’s never the gift, but always the memories we make together that stand out the most at the end of the day.


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