Best German Christmas Markets to fly to in 2021
Christmas time is approaching and nothing starts the season better than a visit to one of the many German Christmas markets. But which market/city do you choose? We are sure you will find the Christmas market in Germany that suits you best. Here are some of our favorites. What’s yours?
The Christkindlesmarkt of Nuremberg dates back to 1628 and was first mentioned in writing as "Kindles-Marck". It 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).
Due to Corona, the Christmas market is held this year decentralized in the old town. The historic stalls in part with their red and white fabric roofs will be located on the Hauptmarkt, Jakobsplatz, Lorenzer Platz and on Schütt Island. In coordination with the market merchants, a concept was developed that helps to avoid large crowds. At the Christkindlesmarkt, the focus is on the sale of goods. That is the reason why more space has been planned for the mulled wine stalls. This allows proper distancing for leisurely drinking the mulled wine.
Good to know: Only one hour drive from Nuremberg, you’ll find the two immaculately-preserved medieval Bavarian towns of "Rothenburg ob der Tauber" and "Dinkelsbühl". Both towns are magical all year round with their imposing town walls, steep-roofed gable houses and cobbled streets. They become even more magical during Christmas time. What are you waiting for?
The Frankfurt Christmas market dates back to 1393 and is spread across the Römerberg square, which is surrounded by traditional half-timbered houses.
In the past, the Christkindchesmarkt was open only to Frankfurt residents. The best down-to-earth handicrafts were offered, along with toys, sweets and Christmas gifts. Toys were mainly simple wooden balls, cloth dolls and wooden stick and rocking horses. Up until 1880, it was common for Frankfurt parents to buy toys for their children exclusively at the Christmas market.
Now 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 and of course, the big Christmas tree will be in front of the Römer again this year.
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.
Did you know that there are many great Christmas markets in Hamburg to choose from? The Wandsbeker Winterzauber (starting already from 5th November) for example and many more in Eimsbüttel, St. Petri, Eppendorf, HafenCity, Jungfernstieg and Bergedorf.
However if you are looking for more of an unconventional Christmas market experience, 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? The Winter Pride in Hamburg-St.Georg is unbiased and is the largest gay and lesbian Christmas market in Northern Germany. There is even a performance stage featuring a colorful program that provides plenty of entertainment.
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, Erfurt is a city that dates back more than 1,270 years ago. All of Erfurt’s well-preserved medieval city center turns into a Christmas Wonder Land, attracting some two million visitors yearly. The entire city center is aglow with lights and Christmas melodies and the scent of mulled wine and gingerbread fills the air.
Did you know that the Christmas market in Erfurt was voted one of the top 5 most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe in 2019? In Germany the market is even in first place! 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.
Important: The Erfurt Christmas Market on the fenced-in Domplatz will take place due to Corona under 2G (only vaccinated and recovered people are allowed). This means no minimum distance and no masks. Unvaccinated children with a test certificate from school are also allowed on the Domplatz.
We believe you will have a great experience in the Christmas city of Dresden - from the old town to the festively decorated winery and centuries-old craft traditions which delight people everywhere in Dresden and the Elbland.
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. Millions of guests come here every year. 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 paraded through the streets, cut and distributed among the crowd for a small token (the proceeds will go to charity).
A true Christmas experience awaits you in Cologne. A huge Christmas Tree is set up In the middle of the Roncalli square which is more than 25 meters high. The red spruce is the tallest Christmas tree in North Rhine-Westphalia. Next to it, the illuminated tents glow with over 70,000 LEDs.
Up to 150 stalls and booths offer culinary varieties, high-quality handicrafts and beautiful gift ideas and of course, Cologne speculoos and Dom Liquer. In addition, there are many events and participating activities, such as the sing-along concert "Los mer singe" with Stefan Knittler. The children are also included in the activities with handicraft designs, Punch and Judy, face painting or riding on the historic carousel.
The “Am Dom” Christmas market has the most stunning backdrop of all German Christmas markets, since it is located directly in front of the Cologne Cathedral. The spellbinding Gothic building took more than 600 years to complete and is the largest Cathedral in Germany.
Is that all? Of course not. Cologne offers so many unique Christmas markets to discover so be enchanted by: the Market of the Heinzel in the Old Town, the Market of Angels on Neumarkt, the Harbour Christmas Market, the Christmas Market on Rudolfplatz with the Santa Claus Village with very cozy half-timbered houses, the trendy Christmas Market in Stadtgarten, the Advent Market on Chlodwigplatz, Glühwein im Veedel, the smallest Christmas Market in the city and, of course, the Heavenue Gay Christmas Market. Here is the chance to fall in love with your favorite market.
If you want to visit the most diverse and colorful Christmas markets, you should fly to Berlin. No other city in Germany offers this many Christmas markets. 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 surely get you into the Christmas spirit.
How about the Winter World at Potsdamer Platz, the Winter Magic, all- inclusive Christmas Market on the Spree ( drinks and food are included in the entrance fee), the historic Christmas Market on the RAW grounds, the queer Christmas Avenue - LGBTQ Christmas Market, the Heissa Holzmarkt or the Berlin Dog Christmas Market (exclusively for dogs and their owners)?
Sounds crazy? That’s Berlin. How do you imagine the Christmas season? In Berlin, every Christmas wish comes true.
Q&A about traveling to Germany during the Christmas season
Is it safe to fly to Germany at the moment based on the current Corona infection figures?
Compared to other European countries, Corona infection rates are lower. These will probably increase by Christmas. But those who follow the Corona rules and are vaccinated should be safe. However, always make sure to protect yourself from possible infection, even if you are already vaccinated. Safety first.
What is the best German Christmas Market 2021?
Christmas markets are a tradition in Germany. That's why there are countless markets in almost every city. Which one is the most beautiful is difficult to say. After all, every visitor has different preferences. Some love the Dinnete bread (like pizza but with cheese spread, potatoes and bacon), others want to ride in the magical carousels and others prefer a wide selection of the mulled wine varieties. German Christmas markets are so diverse and unique that Germans also visit many of them during the Christmas season.
Our recommendation: don't focus on one market – visit many different ones. You will love it.
Will German Christmas Market be cancelled in 2021?
No. All Christmas markets will take place as planned. Of course, there may be restrictions due to possible Corona rules. As an example, you might be required to wear an FFP2 mask at the market in certain areas. Nevertheless, the Christmas markets will open and you will have fun.
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