German Christmas Markets
Christmas time is coming soon and nothing starts the season better than a visit to one of many German Christmas markets. But which market/city to choose? Here are our favorites.
Nuremberg (28 November to 23 December 2019)
The Christkindlesmarkt of Nuremberg dates back to 1628 and is one of Germany’s oldest and also most famous Christmas markets. The market is held in the city’s largest square (Hauptmarkt) and offers handcrafted goods and various culinary treats such as the famous Nürnberger Rostbratwurst (extra small sausage) or the Nürnberger Lebkuchen (gingerbread).
Only a 1 hour drive from Nuremberg, you’ll find the two immaculately-preserved medieval Bavarian towns of "Rothenburg ob der Tauber" and "Dinkelsbühl". Both towns are just magical all year round with its imposing town walls, steep-roofed gable houses and cobbled streets. They become even more magical during Christmas time. What are you waiting for?
Frankfurt (25 November to 22 December 2019)
The Frankfurt Christmas market dates back to 1393 and is spread across the Römerberg square, which is surrounded by pretty traditional half-timbered houses.
The market is especially famous for its local culinary treats such as hot apple wine and Bethmännchen (traditional marzipan and almond biscuits). Over 200 festively decorated stalls sell handcrafted products, a giant Christmas tree and choirs singing heavenly carols add to the atmosphere.
Munich (22 November 2019 to 6 January 2020)
Whether you would like to visit a magic forest, a medieval Christmas market, or give Bavarian curling a try – Christmas markets in Munich offer something for everyone. From Bratwurst or roasted almonds to the famous Feuerzangenbowle, a punch based on rum and red wine, the culinary specialties do not disappoint.
Besides its spectacular and cozy Christmas markets, Munich is worth a visit on its own. And after spending a few days in the city, how about a trip to the mountains? The stunning Neuschwanstein Castle is only a two hour drive away from Munich.
Hamburg (25 November to 30 December 2019)
Surely there is not a city in Germany with such a variety of Christmas Markets as Hamburg. You can visit the historic Christmas market located in front of Hamburg’s stunning town hall with artful handicrafts and culinary specialties. If you are looking for a little more unconventional Christmas market experience, however, why don’t you pay a visit to ‘Santa Pauli’, located on Hamburg’s famous Reeperbahn, or Winter Pride, the LGBTQ community’s Christmas market?
Erfurt (26 November to 22 December 2019)
Martin Luther himself once said that Erfurt is "in the ideal location...the perfect place for a city". About two hours by train from Frankfurt is Erfurt, a city that dates back more than 1,270 years. All of Erfurt’s well-preserved medieval city center turns into a Christmas Wonder Land, attracting some two million visitors yearly.
More than 200 vendors offer their holiday goods and delicious treats throughout the city. Stroll over cobble stone streets and enjoy local favorites such as the Thuringian Bratwurst or the Erfurt Schnittchen (a Stollen like cake). Discover ornaments and other handcrafted products from vendors all over Germany at this beautiful Christmas market.
Dresden (27 November to 24 December 2019)
If you are a big fan of traditional Stollen cake (rich dried fruit and marzipan enhanced cake), then the Dresden Striezelmarkt is the right place to be. The Christmas market of this wonderfully rebuilt city dates back to 1434, making it one of the oldest in existence. It boasts the world’s tallest Nutcracker and the tallest Christmas pyramid.
The highlight is the Stollen Festival on the second Saturday in Advent. A giant Stollen will be processed through the streets, cut and distributed among the crowd for a small token (the proceeds go to charity).
Cologne (25 November to 23 December 2019)
The “Am Dom” Christmas market has most probably the most stunning backdrop of all German Christmas markets, since it is located right in front of the Cologne Cathedral.
The spellbinding Gothic building took more than 600 years to complete and is the largest Cathedral in Germany. Over 160 stalls offer traditional holiday themed products and of course the famous Glühwein (mulled wine).
Berlin (25 November 2019 to 5 January 2020)
With more than 60 Christmas markets, Berlin has something for everyone. The main market takes place at the Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) and is popular for its handmade products and its daily live plays that will make sure to get you into the Christmas spirit.
The Winter World located at Potsdamer Platz is considered one of the favorites by the locals. Prepare yourself to ride down Europe’s largest toboggan or hang around for the live DJ and après ski party in the evening.