Although the concept now exists worldwide, I feel there’s no denying that the Germans are the absolute master engineers at the perfect Christmas market. The right balance of shops and food, the cosy and atmospheric town squares, the miles of lights and fires… Christmas in Germany is truly a memorable event!If you can’t make it over this year, join me virtually in a photo essay of some of my favorite German Christmas Markets.
This is my favorite Christmas market in the whole world. It’s just so charming, with hundreds of stalls, the smells of cinnamon and mulled wine in the air, all tucked away in the city centre of Nuremberg behind the old city walls. If you can only go to one market in your life make it this one. It’s dreamy. Also, the Christmas shopping here is superb.
Stuttgart takes top marks for the largest Christmas market in Germany. There are the many concerts held daily, the squares full of ornaments, as well as the many food shops – take home some roasted chestnuts, gingerbread, candied almonds – though you’ll want to enjoy the fried sausages and tasty mulled wine while they’re still hot!
Also, the cookie above says “Merry Christmas” in German.
Cologne is another one of my personal faves – have been several times. That’s a good thing, because Cologne has not one but several markets – one large market underneath the towering Dom cathedral, plus a children’s market, a crafty market, and even a market on a boat! Come hungry with all the great food, and stick around to enjoy Cologne’s great shopping and other attractions.
The original Christmas Markets in Germany, now centuries-old, have the same purpose then as they do today: a fun occasion to have some winter cheer and add a bit of spice to those long winter nights.
Hamburg is home to many of of Germany’s millionaires, and so its no surprise the city rolls out the red carpet for Christmas. Museums host Christmas-themed exhibits, ships along the lake get decked out in lights, and the squares with amazing shopping, food, and games. Consider a boat tour for some great photo opportunities!
A huge market dating back to the 16th century, some day this market hasn’t changed over theh centuries – from the traditional word carvings, to the wonderful glassware from the Bavarian Forest. Munich has 20 markets, like the children’s market, the ethnic festival, medieval Christmas, and even a gay Christmas!
Dortmund is one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany, and has one of the largest Christmas treets in Germany – it’s made with 1,700 individual trees, all wrapped in thirteen thousand Christmas bulbs – it’s a glory to see! If you’ve got children, don’t miss the popular puppy show and magic acts. And as you can see, they have lots of tasty sweets!
While Frankfurt isn’t everyone’s favorite city, the skyscraper skyline becomes a backdrop for a wonderful array of parades and festivals during Christmas. Many of the stands and stalls at Römerberg and Paulsplatz have elaborate designs, and there are thousands of Christmas lights to make the night bright.
Dresden is Germany’s oldest Christmas Market, dating back to 1434. The market is named after a famous cake, known as German Christmas cake, that you’ll have to try while you’re here. From the traditional gifts to the many boutique food shops, I think this is one of Germany’s most romantic Christmas markets.
They say that when Santa goes shopping, he goes to the beautiful Mannheim Christmas Market. A wonderful place with arts and crafts, candies, candles, and other great Christmas decorations, but even just strolling through the aisles of this atmospheric market is an experience in itself.
One of the largest and oldest markets, Leipzig’s market lights the night sky with the nearly 250 stalls in the main town square. Check out the world’s largest Advent calendar, the many christmas choirs, the fairytale forest, or even the cute model railway on display – it’s not just a market but a festival!
I love the city of Heidelberg, with its castle ruins and wonderful shops along the main city street. It’s so pretty even in summer, but winter – with a dusting of snow – and it’s great for strolling, as the market spreads out across over five of the city’s main squares (Kornmarkt, Marktplatz, Universitätsplatz, Anatomiegarten and Bismarckplatz). Don’t miss the decorations at City Hall, the ice skating, and explore the city as given the market is in a valley, you can get some great views from afar.
Dusseldorf is so pretty at Christmas, some say it’s like being inside a gingerbread house! From the huge outdoor ice stake rink, to the tons of yummy treats and the town squares bathed in golden light, this is one great market. Don’t miss a few drinks along the many pubs in Dusseldorf’s “longest bar in the world.”
Last but not least, as one of Germany’s largest cities, Berlin offers no less than sixty Christmas markets – yes, sixty! From long boulevards lined with shops, to town squares with tents brewing hot wine and cold beer, all tucked under historic buildings and castles, this is a must-visit. Some don’t miss markets are Gendarmenmarkt, Charlottenburg Castle, Potsdamer Platz, and the largest, Spandau.