Best Christmas Markets in Germany
Christmas is only a month away and the Christmas markets in Germany have opened their doors. So what are the best Christmas markets of Germany to attend? I’ve asked my fellow travel bloggers which place in Germany is their favorite when it comes to Christmas markets. I’ve added my own favorites to the list.
Christmas Markets in Germany
This year Christmas markets in Germany 2022 are happening again. Here are 12 of the most magical ones in Germany.
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
Hamburg is located in the North of Germany and it’s Germany’s second largest city. Especially around Christmas it’s a fantastic city to visit, it hosts 20+(!) Christmas markets in total.
All the Christmas markets are spread throughout the city, each has its own theme. In the evening the markets are lit up with lights and the most beautiful to visit.
To name a few of the 20+: the oldest Christmas market of Hamburg is at Bergedorf. St. Petri has a traditional market, and there’s a historical market at Am Rathaus. This last one is the most famous of all the markets. St. George has a pink Winterpride and Sankt Pauli, dubbed Santa Pauli during this period, has a ‘red light’ themed one.
All the shops and streets are illuminated and decorated during this period. Adding to the Christmas spirit. On all 4 Saturdays of the Advent period a Christmas parade goes through downtown. The parade has angels, Santa’s and reindeers.
Get a Hamburg Christmas mug. You get your drinks at the stalls in these mugs. You can also return them and get your deposit back, but they make a perfect souvenir. On the markets you can get German treats, such as roasted chestnuts, lebkuchen, pretzels, curry wurst, glühwein and hot chocolate with rum.
Hamburg can be reached by car, plane and public transit.
The markets are held from the middle of November till December 23rd, a few continue after Christmas. The weather can be cold, there can be rain or even snow. I recommend 2 to 3 days to visit all 20.
Contributed by Cassie from Cassie’s Compass.
If you’re looking for a truly magical Christmas market experience, Heidelberg is the place to be. Heidelberg actually has six Christmas market squares along the main road in Old Town. They are within walking distance from each other and can be found at Bismarckplatz, Anatomiegarten, Universitatsplatz, Marktplatz, Kornmarkt, and Karlsplatz.
What makes Heidelberg unique is Schloss Heidelberg which is perched on the hillside above the city. Enjoy the festive Christmas markets with a gorgeous castle illuminated above you. The markets have all the classic twinkling lights and festive decorations. Stalls sell everything from handmade toys to delicious holiday treats. You will find a carousel and even a mini-train that circles one square. Plus, Karlsplatz has an ice rink right in the middle of the market, making it the perfect place to enjoy a festive day out. A unique food to try is the kurfurstenkugel, a chocolate specialty of Heidelberg.
The market dates are November 21st through December 22nd from 11am to 9pm. Dress warm as the weather will be quite cold and potentially snowy. Plan for a minimum of one afternoon spent here. The train station is within walking distance from Bismarckplatz. However, if you have more time, you could easily spend 2-3 days enjoying each market.
Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
Cologne is a city in Western Germany and has one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. There are 7 Christmas markets in Cologne Germany. 5 of them are downtown, one is at the harbor and one outside the city center. The markets are located on Neumarkt, Rudolfplatz, Alter Markt/Heumarkt, Schaafenstrasse, Chlodwig Platz, the Kölner Dom (cathedral) and the chocolate museum.
The Christmas market in the shadow of the Kölner Dom has 160 stalls with Christmas trinkets and German food treats, it’s a romantic market and the most imposing market of the 7. The one at the harbor near the chocolate museum is beautiful with the lights and a large Ferris wheel. The Rudolfplatz Christmas market has a fairytale atmosphere. The Alter Markt market has a historical Ferris wheel. On Schaafenstrasse and Chlodwigplatz are more local markets being hosted.
Heumarkt has an ice skating rink. On Rudolfplats there are also Christmas shows being held.
Get a Christmas mug with the year on it. You get your warm drinks such as glühwein in them. These mugs make for a perfect souvenir. Next to that get the German Christmas market food such as roasted chestnuts, curry wurst, lebkuchen and pretzels.
You can reach Cologne by car or by train. Cologne is a popular destination, so expect trouble finding a parking space downtown. Arriving by train is the better option. All the markets (except the one on Chlodwigplatz) can be reached on foot.
The markets are open each year from the middle of November to December 23rd. You can visit all the markets in one day. The weather can be cold and it can be raining.
Contributed by Megan from Megan & Aram.
The Christmas markets in Frankfurt Germany are some of the best! The biggest, brightest, and most famous is the Weihnachtsmarkt Frankfurt Römerberg. This renowned market is located in Römerberg main square and stretches to Paulsplatz. There are endless stalls of Christmas decor, souvenirs, and tasty treats like sausages, pretzels, candies, potato pancakes (kartoffelpuffer), and roasted nuts! This market also boasts a 30-meter tall Christmas tree, rides, games, and visits from Santa.
Although this is Frankfurt’s largest and oldest Christmas market, dating back to 1393, there are a few other markets scattered throughout the city. Check out the smaller, though just as charming, Christmas market at Hauptwache, a central plaza in the city. A more non-traditional market is the City Beach Christmas market and it is one of the best things to do in Frankfurt during the holiday months! It’s located on a rooftop beach club that turns into a winter wonderland come the holidays, with gorgeous views over the city. You can also enjoy a cup of hot mulled wine or a snack at the cozy, charming TNT Christmas market in Thurn-und-Taxis Platz. Or, head to Friedrich Stoltze Platz to check out the Pink Christmas Market, a fantastically decorated LGBTQ Christmas market.
For dinner plans, skip the restaurant, and dine at one of the markets, where there’s a plethora of tasty German treats to try. While most of these markets are open all day, it’s extra magical to go at night when everything is lit up by twinkle lights. Make sure to bundle up because after nightfall, temperatures usually fall to the upper 30s(F). It’ll be an evening well spent, enjoying the lights, atmosphere, and delicious foods!
Oberhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
Oberhausen is a city in Western Germany. There are 2 different Christmas markets in Oberhausen. One at CentrO Mall and on the Altmarkt. Oberhausen is a perfect stop on a Christmas road trip.
Altmarkt has a smaller market with some 15 to 50 stalls that are in between a forest. It’s a more intimate market. The Christmas market in the mall is large, with some 150 stalls. It has a fairytale atmosphere with Christmas trees, lights and Christmas decorations. The stalls are divided over 3 parts: Bergweihnachtsmarkt, Santa’s Village and Wichtelmarkt. The Bergweihnachtsmarkt has an Alps theme. The 60 stalls are like chalets from the Alps. Santa’s Village has some 50 stalls and is decorated as the village of Santa. The Wichtelmarkt is centered on kids and families.
There’s also the Oberhausener Weihnachtswald on the Altmarkt with 300 illuminated Christmas trees. There’s a podium with shows. The Bergweihnachtsmarkt also hosts Après-skiparties. Santa’s Village has Santa’s walking around. Wichtelmarkt has a fairy train, talking Christmas trees, fairytale characters and a merry-go-round.
At CentrO you can get German treats such as potato pancakes, bratwurst, lebkuchen and glühwein. The Bergweihnachtsmarkt has cookies and products from the Alp region for sale. On the Altmarkt there are fairytale stalls which sell pancakes.
The CentrO Mall is located outside of the city center. It’s located close to the autobahn. There’s no train station here, but there’s a tram and bus stop close by. The one on the Altmarkt can be reached by car or train.
The markets are open from half way of November till December 23rd. It can be cold and rainy. One day should be enough to visit both markets. CentrO is the largest shopping mall in Europe.
Contributed by Asha from Home Travel Guide.
The Christmas market in Baden-Baden located in the Northern part of the Black Forest is a must-see for anyone visiting the city during the holiday season. There are several markets located throughout the city, each with its own unique charm. These charming and cute markets have entertainment for the whole family from choirs to live music and a special visit from Father Christmas himself for the little ones.
You can buy some beautiful souvenirs from the festive huts including wooden toys, crafts and Christmas gifts along the Marktplatz, Königstraße, and Lichtentaler Allee. But the highlight of any Christmas Market is ofcourse the delicious Christmas market food options. Just follow the fragrance of roasted almonds and mulled wine. This year the market will be open from 24th November to 6th January 2023. Dress up warm as you may even get snow this time of the year which just adds to the beauty of this lovely Christmas market.
Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels.
Düsselfdorf is a city in Western Germany and one of the best Christmas markets in the world. There are in total 6 Christmas markets being held in Düsseldorf. You can find them on Heinrich-Heine Platz, Stadtbrucken, Flinger Strasse, Marktplatz, Shadowplatz and Gustaf Grundgens Platz.
The Christmas market locations are all squares and they have connected them through Christmas decorations. Each market has its own unique theme. The market on Heinrich-Heine Platz is in Jugendstil style. It’s nicknamed the Angelsmarket, since it has a lot of cast iron angels. Marktplatz has stalls in the same historical style as the surrounding buildings. At this market the old skills take center stage. Stadtbrucken is nicknamed the Starsmarket, because of the beautiful illuminations. At Flinger Strasse the stalls resemble the craftworkmen houses in Düsseldorf.
Gustaf Grundgens Platz has an ice skating rink and the Shadowplatz has a puppet theater for the little ones. It also has the most delicious bites and drinks. Try out glühwein, roasted chestnuts, curry wurst, pretzels and lebkuchen.
You can visit Düsseldorf by car or public transit. The main train station is close to the Christmas markets. The markets are dotted throughout the city center. The Christmas markets at Düsseldorf have been voted the best in Germany.
The Christmas markets in Düsseldorf are being held from the middle of November till December 30th. The weather can be cold and rainy. One full day should be enough to see all 6 of them.
Contributed by Kyle from Via Travelers.
Nuremberg is famous for its Christmas market and it’s one of the largest in Germany, making it one of the best things to do in Nuremberg each and every year. The market is open from November to December, but it will be at its most spectacular in December when it features more than 100 stalls offering traditional toys, ornaments, and food.
The Christmas market is located at the heart of Nuremberg’s historic old town area and is easily accessible from many parts of the city. It’s located in the middle of a cobblestone square, surrounded by medieval architecture such as the 15th-century church, Frauenkirche, making it an ideal spot to take in some of Nuremberg’s incredible architecture while shopping for traditional Christmas gifts.
The stalls at the Nuremberg Christmas market offer many different types of goodies, including toys made from wood, handmade ornaments, and seasonal treats like gingerbread cookies. You can also find plenty of food stalls offering traditional Bavarian fares like bratwurst and sauerkraut.
Local craftsmen offer a wide range of handcrafted items including wooden toys, nativity figures, and ceramic ornaments made by local artisans.
If you are feeling festive you need to try the mulled wine, bratwurst sausages on pretzel rolls (Nürnberger Rostbratwürste) or the amazing gingerbread cookies baked fresh each day in traditional ovens powered by wood fires—the perfect accompaniment to strolling through this atmospheric old city center.
Contributed by Bec from Wyld Family Travel.
Visiting Europe in winter is one of the best times to experience so many beautiful things. For many Christmas markets are top of the list and are the reason many people plan a trip to Europe in winter. The scene of the traditional wooden stalls in the town square with carolers around with a sprinkle of snow falling lightly is one that most people aim for. While it can never be guaranteed you are certain to find the perfect Christmas market scene in Munich.
There are abundant Christmas markets in Munich and you can find the biggest in the city in Marienplatz. While this is the most famous it is also the most expensive.
If you have time you can venture to the Munich Residenze where a smaller but more local-feeling market is held in one of the outer courtyards. Here you can have a hot cup of Gluhwein to warm up before heading off on another trip. There are plenty dotted throughout the city and they all have different themes. You will find a medieval theme market off Odeonsplatz where many people are dressed in medieval clothing and the stalls sell items modelled on that period of time which is very different from the usual souvenirs from other markets.
Wandering the markets at night is always a wonderful idea but if you can also go around lunchtime you will have the time to enjoy the market before the hoards of tourists get there. If you are able to get some local advice on where the smaller squares that hold markets for the locals you are also really in for a treat.
Contributed by Mark from Visit the Alsace.
The Ravennaschlucht Christmas market located out of Freiburg is held in the middle of the forest. For some, that is stunning enough but the large arched train bridge that spans the length of the gorge sets it apart from so many others. During the day the traditional stalls are perfect against the forest and bridge backdrop but at night is when it really proves why it is one of the most stunning markets in the world.
Dotted throughout the market are small fires where people gather around and warm themselves, toast sausage or chat with friends. The fires throw a flickering colour against the small wooden stalls and the arches of the bridge. Every now and then you will see a train coming lighting up more of the surroundings and brightening the forest even if just for a short time. Red, yellow, green and blue lights shine underneath the bridge at intervals as well adding to the unbelievable ambience the market has.
For families visiting the Ravennaschlucht market, there is a holiday-themed story that weaves its way through the forest with storyboards and a voice-over that is heard as you walk. Unfortunately, it is in German and there is no English translation but the delight of the children and the adults walking is enough to make anyone happy!
This market is so popular with locals that you do need to book tickets to the market and you also must book parking that you will be guided to by attendants when you get there. Having some gluhwein by the fire is a great idea and if you do not like alcohol or have children in your group you can also try some Kindergluhwein.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bayern
Contributed by Marianne from Pasta Pretzels & Passports.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber is located in the Franconian region of Bavaria, Germany. This gorgeous medieval town is considered one of the best places to visit in Germany at Christmas, and should definitely be on your bucket list.
Officially known as the “Reiterlesmarkt,” Rothenburg ob der Tauber’s Christmas Market is smaller in comparison to other German markets, but the historical backdrop of the town certainly makes up for it.
The majority of the Christmas market stalls can be found at Marktplatz, which is the town’s main square, with others spread along Grüner Markt, Kirchplatz, and the Rathaus. The stalls are filled with exquisite Christmas ornaments, local artisanal gift items, hand-made apparel, household décor, and other hand-crafted works, so finding the perfect gift or souvenir should be a breeze.
Enjoy listening to local musicians and choral groups setting the holiday mood as you stroll through the market. And be sure to try some local Franconian specialties like crispy fried Bratwürste, savory Flammkuchen, and finely-seasoned Lebkuchen while in the market.
Of course, visiting the Rothenburg Christmas market would not be complete until you warm up with a glass of spicy, piping-hot white, mulled Glühwein, which is unique to Franconia.
After you have made your way through the market, be sure to stop in at the famous Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store. Filled to the brim with Christmas decor, ornaments, and everything you could possibly need, it is definitely worth a visit.
The Christmas Market runs for four weeks from the end of November until December 23rd.
Contributed by Sophie from Just Heading Out.
If you’re looking for a wide variety of Christmas markets in Germany, then Berlin is the best place to go. The German capital hosts over 50 Christmas markets annually, ranging from big to small. Some of these are pop-up markets that you can visit for a single day or weekend. Several markets are only open on the four Advent weekends. And then there are a handful of big markets that you can visit daily between November 21st and December 22nd. One or two big markets stay open until the end of the year, for anyone visiting during the holidays.
The Christmas markets in Berlin are a good reflection of the city itself. There are hipster markets on industrial terrains full of street art, an LGBTQIA+ market with drag bingo, cozy markets with sustainable handicrafts, glamorous markets next to the Opera and Charlottenburg palace, and two big markets on Alexanderplatz with rides and a Ferris wheel. Whatever your taste, there’s a Berlin Christmas market for you.
Food is an important aspect of all the Christmas markets in Berlin. Aside from classic German Christmas market dishes, such as bratwurst and raclette, you can also find international and vegan food stalls. And plenty of glühwein to wash it down with, of course. If you’re looking to buy souvenirs, it is best to visit the smaller weekend markets. Here you’ll find handmade arts and crafts from local vendors that make the perfect Christmas gift. As is the case everywhere in Berlin, cash is king. So, bring plenty of it to the markets.
So These Are the Best Christmas Markets in Germany
That’s a wrap on all the magical Christmas markets Germany has to offer.
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