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Weird and wonderful Christmas markets
  • The UK’s biggest celebration of Japanese culture, cuisine and cool takes place on Tobacco Dock from 24 to 26 November, boasting a variety of performers, food stalls, cocktail shows, creative workshops and kooky gift ideas. Quirky Christmas market HYPER JAPAN is the ultimate destination to discover truly unique presents and when you’re finished shopping, there’s music, magic shows, fashion shows and sumptuous cocktails to enjoy. Stay: Qbic Hotel London City
  • Cool, modern and ironic, Hamburg's adults-only erotic Christmas market is a colourful event celebrated against the backdrop of the city's Dancing Towers. Drag queen Olivia Jones traditionally opens Santa Pauli, which takes place from 17 November to 23 December. Christmas time and a party atmosphere go hand in hand here, with nightly strip shows included. The repertoire of Christmas items on sale ranges from hand-crafted artisan pieces and naughty Christmas decorations all the way to wooden dildos. Stay: East
  • Visit Zurich this winter and expect to be enchanted by the Singing Christmas Tree at Werdmuhleplatz's Christmas market from 23 November to 23 December. The vertical stage that appears as an enormous Christmas tree hosts choirs wearing red hats as they spread Christmas cheer with their repertoire of Christmas carols. While watching the unusual attraction, there's plenty of gluhwein and fondue to enjoy while the kids have a ride on the carousel. Stay: Swissotel Zurich

  • Ever wondered where hipsters do their Christmas shopping? Holy Shit Shopping takes over a former power station (naturally) from 16 to 17 December. Here you'll find young Berlin designers presenting their latest fashion, matching jewellery and fancy artistic works. The pop-up design emporium will also offer mellow beats, drinks and street food for when you're shopped out. Stay: Adina Apartment Hotel Berlin Hackescher Markt

  • Dating from 1786, Barcelona's Christmas fair set around Barcelona Cathedral offers the most peculiar traditional gifts for Christmas shoppers: tió logs. From 24 November to 23 December, visitors to Fira de Santa Llúcia can pick up the unusual souvenirs which sport smiley faces and typical Catalan cap, the barretina. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, children make the tió log poop presents, sweets and nougat by beating him with a stick. As well as this fun gift, shoppers at Barcelona's Christmas market can buy decorations for the tree, mistletoe and nativity figurines. Stay: Hotel Barcelona Catedral

  • Attracting visitors far and wide with its maritime atmosphere, Emden Engelke-Markt is a Christmas market with a difference. Festively illuminated museum ships and traditional sailing ships welcome shoppers on board from 27 November to 23 December, with the smell of almonds, spices and gingerbread filling the air. In front of the town hall, the Christmas village features an illuminated Christmas pyramid, where mulled wine and punch are on offer. The festive stalls offer delicious delicacies and Father Christmas always appears on the stage of the city garden at 5pm to hand out presents to children. Stay: Upstalsboom Parkhotel
  • A tradition for over twenty years, Licques' annual Christmas market has the turkey as its star of the show and features many activities including a turkey contest, huge meals and dancing parties. Taking place from 9 to 10 December, the Turkey Festival's Christmas market is perfect for picking up local products, with 2,000 visitors attending the bizarre event each year. The main attraction is on Sunday when the 'turkey fellowship' leads a turkey herd to the top of the village and introduces its new members. Stay: Le Chateau de Cocove
  • Looking, sniffing, shopping - Berlin's Christmas Market for Dogs takes place from 9 to 10 December in the garden of the Forsthaus Paulsborn within the Grunewald forest. Dog lovers and their four-legged friends will find everything at this unique market, from festive dog biscuits to colourful dog collars. Owners can enjoy some treats of their own, with food and drinks in the Forsthaus. Stay: Louisa's Place