There's no point denying it any longer. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Come December, Sydney turns it up a notch with a shiny trail of dedicated Christmas markets to shop, each with a smorgasbord of festive feeds to dig into.
If you’re wondering what’s on the holly jolly cards this year, you can expect a heap of eco-friendly vendors, Euro-inspired markets, cherry pickling workshops, gingerbread decorating and illuminated laneways to light up your last-minute Christmas shopping and send you into a festive wonderland.
Here are the best Christmas markets to hit in Sydney.
The Rocks Christmas Markets
The Rocks is typically a pretty magical place, with laneways and cobblestones and old-timey pubs. So it's an idyllic spot for Christmas Markets. The Rocks Christmas Markets are the perfect place pick up a handmade gift or just to immerse yourself in the Chrissy spirit and sing some holiday tunes.
Expect a whole lot of homemade baked goods, as well as hand-designed greeting cards and award-winning gingerbread. You'll also want to suss out the “Do Good” section of the market. This area sells a big selection of eco-friendly and sustainable bits and pieces from the likes of RetroKitchen, By The Sea Collection and Eco Food Wraps.
Should you get peckish (and you will), there’s also a pop-up Chrismas bar worth getting around which churns out French champagne and freshly shucked oysters.
When: Thursday 5 December until Sunday 22 December
Where: The Rocks, Sydney
French Christmas Markets Sydney
Ask any French person and they will tell you that the French practically invented Christmas (or at least Christmas markets). So, it makes total sense that the Lycée Condorcet International French School of Sydney is putting on quite a show for their Marché de Noël. There will be live music and over 40 market stalls selling French-inspired fare for all your Christmas shopping needs. If you’re in the market for a crepe or two, there will also be amazing French food stalls on offer. Head here for more info.
When: Saturday 7 December, 10am - 4pm
Where: Lycée Condorcet Sydney, Maroubra
Cambridge Christmas Markets
For a waterside Christmas blowout, head straight to the Cambridge Christmas Markets in Cronulla. This one goes over two whole days (looking out on the glorious Wanda Beach) and will host more than 150 stores. The stalls here offer everything from homemade and boutique toys, clothes, festive food, plants, hats, jewellery, swimwear, art, pet treats, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, trees, Chrissy hams and a whole heap more.
When: Saturday 7 December and Sunday 8 December
Where: Don Lucas Reserve, 1 Mitchell Road Cronulla
Xmas In Paris
If you’ve ever hit the official Bastille Markets in Sydney, you’ll know how legit they are. Now, the brains behind this big Parisian celebration are throwing the ultimate “Christmas in Paris” market and you’re in for one solid food coma. There’ll be over 50 pop-ups stacked with all the French food (including roast turkey and oysters) and live French singers to soundtrack your day. Head over here for all the details.
When: Sunday 8 December, 9am - 2pm
Where: Club Willoughby, Willoughby
Christmas Markets At The Tramsheds
We’re not going to lie, Tramsheds definitely knows how to throw a holiday market. Packed with tasty Christmas treats, local produce and all the botanical arrangements, this one's guaranteed to be a fruitful market trip. If you have a real sweet tooth around Christmas time, you’ll also want to make sure you get into the gingerbread decorating workshops. Head over here for more info.
When: Wednesday 11 December, 3.30 - 9pm
Where: Tramsheds, Forest Lodge
Artisans Christmas Market Glebe
At this artisanal Christmas market, absolutely everything is handmade, which, in turn, will make you the undisputed winner of Secret Santa. You’ll come across some damn beautiful ceramics, wooden toys perfect for the niece or nephew on your Christmas list, minimal homewares and amazing jewellery like dainty silverware from A Silver Circle and show-stopping resin looks from CatKe Design.
When: Saturday 14 December, 10am - 3pm
Where: Foley Park, Cnr Bridge Road and Glebe Point Road
Whilst this is not technically a Christmas market, we’re of the opinion that everything in December is, at the bare-minimum, Christmas adjacent. The Makers Nest is a biannual design market filled with irresistible, gorgeous, locally-made goodies that make the perfect Christmas presents. This December, there will be 50 artisans selling bits and bobs, so you’ll want to dedicate an entire day to this one.
Makers we’re especially excited to check out include Farn, a Melbourne-based fashion line with the cutest prints; 9R, an accessories label that recycles leather from old couches to make new products and Studio Flos, a multi-disciplinary paper artist.
When: Sunday 15 December, 10am – 4pm
Where: The Community Hall, Tramsheds Sydney
Paddington Christmas Night Markets
For your dose of night markets (arguably the best kind), hit up the Paddington Christmas Markets. If you're familiar with Paddington's Saturday markets, this will be an amped up version, made festive. Pick up some last-minute gifts and partake in some complimentary gift wrapping. Live music will also be on the cards, and you’re in for an epic sling of food stalls to fuel your Christmas shopping too. Head here for more info.
When: Thursday 19 December, 4pm - 9pm
Where: Paddington Markets, Paddington
Carriageworks Christmas Farmers Markets
Carriageworks' Chrissy market will be an absolute foodie dreamscape. Hot on the line-up this time around is fresh seafood from superstar sustainable chef Josh Niland’s Fish Butchery, oysters from Mimosa Rock Oysters, Christmas hams from Linga Longa Farm and Melanda Park, and festive drinks by Freeman Vineyards, Wildflower Brewery, Hunter and the Harp and a heap more.
You’ll also find botanicals from Mayfarm Flowers and Christmas puddings, mince tarts and gingerbread from Flour and Stone, Nonie’s Foods and Gumnut Chocolates.
As for the cherry pickling workshop, it’s a must-do. Despite the recent closure of Marrickville’s beloved Cornersmith Cafe, founder and pickling master Alex Elliott-Howery will still be at the ready to teach you everything you need to know about pickling your own cherries in two different styles. At the end, you’ll get to take home cherries in a boozy syrup to serve alongside your Christmas ham.
When: Saturday 21 December, 8am - 2pm
Where: Carriageworks, Eveleigh
Christmas At The Grounds
All in celebration of Disney’s Frozen 2, you can now find The Grounds' Enchanted Forest packed with autumn leaves and its "Crystal Lane" decked out in diamonds and illuminated trees. Not strictly a Christmas market, but if you don't feel Christmas vibes being surrounded by snowy Frozen-themed magic—well, who even are you.
While you visit, tuck into treats like "The Ice Queen", a vanilla sponge cake topped with raspberries and cream cheese frosting, or "Frost Bite", which is a vanilla cookie decorated with white icing. "Olaf’s Delight" is a tart for two loaded with rhubarb and apple. You’ll also be able to do your annual Santa photos (until Tuesday 24 December) and The Grounds’ Snow Lane. Head here for more info.
When: Throughout December
Where: The Grounds Of Alexandria
Got time to spare? Here are the best spots to see Christmas lights in Sydney.
Image Credit: Supplied