As the winter chill settles in Canberra, the city prepares to host a Christmas market experience that traditionally belongs to the picturesque landscapes of Strasbourg, France.
Christmas in July is Canberra’s most festive winter event, where you’ll find authentic chalets, traditional Christmas market food and drinks and live music.
In this guide, you’ll find relevant information like the exact dates of Christmas in July Canberra 2023, opening hours and what to expect at the Xmas festival.
Prepare to immerse yourself in a fun atmosphere illuminated by fairy lights, with mulled wine warming you up as you wander the market, with comforting melted cheese specialties, quiet igloos and fire pits to protect against the winter cold.
Christmas in July Canberra 2023
Anticipate traditional wooden huts with unique gifts, artisan crafts, artwork, gourmet food, and a live music line-up.
The festival delivers an authentic taste of Canberra’s Christmas spirit paired with an enticing array of local food stalls hosted by providers from the ACT and surrounding region.
Dates and Location
Christmas in July dates: Thursday 29th June to Sunday 2nd July 2023.
Location: Parkes Place Lawns, Canberra.
Thursday: 4pm to 11pm.
Friday: 10am to 11pm.
Saturday: 10am to 11pm.
Sunday: 10am to 8pm.
Low sensory hours: 10am to 12pm.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten-free: Yes, but limited.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
If you must drive, park at Questacon carpark, Treasury Carpark or John Gorton Carpark. Do not park on the grass. Parking is free on weekends.
Public transport: Bus #6 goes past King Edward Terrace every 15 mins and a number of buses go past Commonwealth Avenue.
Reason to visit: Australia’s biggest Christmas in July festival. Traditional food stalls reflect Canberra’s diverse food scene.
Recommended tour in Canberra: City highlight tour. Great for first time visitors to Canberra.
Specialities: Raclette, Dutch stroopwafels, handmade Canberran chocolates, French-inspired specialties.
Where to stay: Hotel Kurrajong Canberra is located not far away from Parkes Place Lawns, near Capital Hill.
Hotels near Xmas in July
Canberra is a relatively small city that’s easy to get around. If you’re visiting and want to stay near the festival, then I recommend Hotel Kurrajong Canberra, which gets excellent reviews and is only a few minutes away from Parkes Place Lawns, the location of the Xmas in July festival.
Location of Christmas in July Canberra
Xmas in July
Food at Christmas in July
- French Macarons: The light, airy French macarons on offer at the Canberra Christmas in July market are a delightful treat. Filled with creamy ganache and available in an array of colours and flavours, these delicate pastries will transport your taste buds straight to a Parisian patisserie.
- Portuguese Pasteis de Nata: Baked fresh at the market, the Portuguese Pasteis de Nata are scrumptious, bite-sized custard tarts. With a creamy centre encased in a flaky, buttery pastry, these little wonders will give you a sweet taste of Portugal.
- Italian Arancini: These crispy, deep-fried risotto balls are a traditional Italian delicacy. Stuffed with a variety of fillings such as mozzarella, peas, and ragù, they are a warm, comforting treat on a cold Canberra day.
- Swiss Raclette: Melted Swiss cheese scraped onto piping hot potatoes is a crowd-pleaser at the Christmas in July festivities. Often served with pickles and cured meat, raclette provides a hearty and warming option.
- Dutch Stroopwafels: Sweet, sticky, and delicious, these Dutch treats are a favourite at the Canberra Christmas in July market. Two thin waffles sandwich a layer of caramel syrup, creating a delightfully sweet, chewy experience.
- Charcuterie: A selection of curated meats and cheeses offers a sophisticated savoury snack. Paired with a glass of mulled wine, this charcuterie spread provides a perfect opportunity to rest and refuel during your market exploration.
- Moules-Frites: Fresh mussels steamed with garlic and white wine, served alongside crispy fries – a classic Belgian dish – offer a unique seafood option amid the festive fare.
- Japanese Doughnuts: Soft, fluffy, and slightly sweet Japanese doughnuts provide a delightful alternative to traditional Christmas sweets. Paired with a warm cup of matcha tea, these doughnuts bring a taste of Japan to Canberra.
- Bavarian Christmas Market Specialties: The market brings the charm of a traditional Bavarian Christmas to Australia, offering specialties like pretzels, bratwurst and glühwein to keep you toasty and satisfied as you browse the stalls.
- Chocolate-filled Churros: A Spanish favourite, these crispy doughnut-like treats are fried until golden, dusted with sugar, and filled with warm, gooey chocolate. They’re a delightfully decadent way to end your festive feast.
- Chocolate-dipped Strawberries: Fresh strawberries dipped in rich, melted chocolate offer a refreshing yet indulgent treat. The combination of ripe fruit and smooth chocolate creates a sweet sensation that’s hard to resist.
- Mulled Wine: Warming and aromatic, mulled wine is a Christmas market classic. In Canberra, local wines are used as the base, gently heated with spices like cinnamon, star anise, and cloves, along with a bit of sugar and slices of citrus.
- Hot chocolate: Warm and sweet with optional marshmallows.
What to Buy
- Handmade Candles: Browse through a mesmerising collection of handmade candles. Each one is carefully crafted by local artisans, emitting fragrances that warm up the cold Canberra winter nights. Whether for gifting or personal use, these candles promise to bring a cozy, ambient glow to any space.
- Eco-friendly Gifts: Show your love for the planet with a range of eco-friendly gifts. The market offers a variety of sustainable products, from bamboo cutlery sets to reusable shopping bags, giving you the chance to make this Christmas green.
- Christmas Snowglobes: Relive childhood Christmas memories with beautiful Christmas snowglobes. Each globe encapsulates a magical winter scene that mesmerises as the snow flutters around. A classic Christmas gift or a delightful addition to your own festive decorations.
- Artisan Gin: Indulge in locally-crafted artisan gin. Made in small batches and bursting with unique botanicals, these gins offer a taste of the Canberra region. An ideal gift for gin enthusiasts or a special treat for your own festive celebrations.
- Jewellery: The market features a variety of handcrafted jewellery. From elegant necklaces to bespoke rings, you’ll find unique pieces that make for perfect Christmas gifts. Each piece is a testament to the craftsmanship of the local artists, adding a special touch to your holiday shopping.
- Woollen Products: Keep yourself warm with a selection of high-quality woollen products. With everything from snug scarves to cosy blankets on offer, these products are both practical for the chilly Canberra winter and beautiful, making for thoughtful and functional gifts.
- Canberra Honey: Canberra’s clean environment provides the perfect conditions for beekeeping, resulting in high-quality local honey. Available in different varieties depending on the flowers the bees have foraged on, this sweet treat is both a local speciality and a delightful gift.
Queanbeyan-Palerang Christmas Market
Just a stone’s throw away from Canberra, the Queanbeyan-Palerang Christmas Market holds its own special charm.
This bustling market is filled with local crafters, artisans and growers showcasing their talents and produce.
As you stroll among the many stalls, you’ll discover an assortment of unique gifts, fresh produce and mouth-watering food, all set within the vibrant atmosphere of festive celebration.
It’s a lovely mix of community spirit, local shopping, and Christmas cheer.
Queanbeyan-Palerang Christmas Market dates: 8th July 2023.
Opening times: 9am to 3pm.
Location: Queanbeyan Showground.
Queanbeyan-Palerang Christmas Market
To help plan your festive trip July, I’ve created a detailed guide on the top Christmas in July celebrations across Australia, providing all the essential information to help you make the most of this winter experience.
If you’re visiting Canberra, I’d recommend checking out Visit Canberra for information on practical advice on things to do and experience in the city.
Sustainable Christmas in July Tips
Here are a few tips on how we can travel more responsibly in Canberra at the Christmas in July event.
- Sustainable Hotels: Consider booking a sustainable hotel during your stay in Canberra, meaning a hotel that uses renewable energy for its electricity and supports environmental and social initiatives.
- Food Waste: Be aware of portion sizes when ordering food at Christmas in July markets. Only order what you know you can eat and consider sharing dishes to reduce food waste.
- Ethical Consumption: Purchase thoughtfully at Christmas in July events. Be sure to only buy what you really need and look for gifts and souvenirs at the markets that are ethically made, supporting local artisans and sustainable practices.
- Sustainable Diets: Canberra has a number of eateries that promote sustainable food practices, from sourcing local organic ingredients to offering plant-based menu options. Favour these when eating out in Canberra.
- Sustainable Transport: Reduce your carbon footprint by using Canberra’s extensive cycling network, which offers over 3000km of paths throughout the city. Alternatively, make use of Canberra’s efficient public transport system.
Canberra’s Christmas in July takes place from Thursday, 29th June, to Sunday, 2nd July 2023.
Christmas in July is located in Parkes Place Lawns, in the heart of Canberra, near Old Parliament House.
The festival opens Thursday: 4pm to 11pm. Friday: 10am to 11pm. Saturday: 10am to 11pm. Sunday: 10am to 8pm. Low sensory hours: 10am to 12pm.
Canberra experiences a dry winter, with temperatures typically ranging from 1°C at night to 12°C during the day. It can get quite chilly, especially in the mornings and evenings, so warm clothing is recommended.
There are several options for accommodation near the Christmas Market, with the Hotel Kurrajong Canberra being a highly-rated choice due to its great location and quality service.
Another notable Christmas market nearby is the Queanbeyan-Palerang Christmas Market, which offers a unique festive experience with a strong local community feel.
Canberra in winter has its unique charm, with crisp days and cool nights adding to the city’s appeal.
The Christmas market at Xmas in July brings warmth and energy that lights up the city, offering you a wonderful opportunity to discover local crafts, flavours and traditions.
Comment below if you want to leave a Christmas in July Canberra review.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Canberra, Australia. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.