Enjoy German Holiday Traditions at the Vancouver Christmas Market

Aerial photo of the Vancouver Christmas Market with North Vancouver in the background

Photo: Vancouver Christmas Market/Lindsay Elliot

From Glühwein (mulled wine) to Tannenbaums (Christmas trees), get into the festive spirit with German holiday traditions at the Vancouver Christmas Market.


Christmas markets are an important part of the winter season in Germany and date back to the 1400s. In Germany, these festive events are often held in the town square and include food, drinks, and music. The Vancouver Christmas Market has been bringing this fun German custom to downtown Vancouver every winter since 2010.

The entire market is decked out for the holidays with twinkly lights and Christmas trees (known as Tannenbaums in German). There is even a giant walk-in Christmas tree and a Christmas carousel. The market also has daily live entertainment from local musicians and DJs with a generous mix of German Christmas music and carols thrown in.

Live music at the Vancouver Christmas Market

Musicians perform at the Christmas Pyramid. Photo: Vancouver Christmas Market

For many visitors, a hot mug of Glühwein (mulled wine) from the Christmas Pyramid is a must. Or grab an Erdinger or a Steigel from the Bavarian Beer Haus. If you want something non-alcoholic, head to Das Apfel Haus for traditional German apple cider.

Pouring Gluhwein into a commemorative mug at the Vancouver Christmas Market

Get a hot mug of Gluhwein in a commemorative mug. Photo: Vancouver Christmas Market

If you get hungry, there are tons of German food options including bratwurst sausages, kartoffelpuffer, schnitzel cutlets, spaetzle noodles, apple and cherry strudel, and schweinsaxe (pork shank).

Close up of a hand holding a bratwurst at the Vancouver Christmas Market

Get your bratwurst with sauerkraut, German-style! Photo: Vancouver Christmas Market

The marketplace area includes tons of cute gift ideas and souvenirs. Wooden nutcrackers have been a German tradition since the 15th century and there are lots of options on offer at the Vancouver Christmas Market. You can also shop for traditional German beer steins, German Christmas ornaments, stollen (fruit bread) and more.

A woman looks at a display of nutrackers at the Vancouver Christmas Market

Shop for a traditional nutcracker. Photo: Vancouver Christmas Market

While the market has its roots in German traditions, you can also visit dozens of local vendors selling Christmas crafts, chocolate, jewelry, toys, Christmas decor, food, and drinks.

A couple peruses the vendors at the Vancouver Christmas Market

Photo: Vancouver Christmas Market


How to Visit

Location and Getting There: The market is located in Jack Poole Plaza (at the Olympic Cauldron) next to Canada Place in downtown Vancouver. It is a short walk from Waterfront Skytrain Station, which is the easiest way to get there.

Hours: The market is open every day from November 16 to December 24. In November, it is open from 4 pm to 9:30 pm Monday to Thursday and from 11 am to 9:30 or 10 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In December it is open from 11 am to 9:30 or 10 pm daily.

Tickets and Admission: Buy your tickets online and book a timeslot. Once you have entered the market, you can stay as long as you like. Seasons passes for individuals and families are also available. You can also buy tickets at the gate, but the market often reaches capacity, so it’s best to book online in advance.

Good to Know: The market is outdoors, so dress for the weather. If you need to warm up, the Alpen Haus area is heated. The market is fully wheelchair accessible.


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