The Top 20 Most Romantic & Best Christmas Markets in Germany
One of the
most romantic times to visit Germany is undoubtedly December. Picture glowing
light decorations, tall live Christmas trees, historic brass orchestras and the
wafting smells of all kinds of food. Since basically every town has its own
Christmas market, I handpicked the best Christmas markets in Germany for you.
everyone has their own taste and expectations when it comes to beautiful German Christmas
markets. As there are different types of winter markets, some romantic,
others very traditional, I divided them according to boarder regions.
planning your trip around
Germany in winter easier as you don’t have to traverse the entire
country on the hunt for the best
Xmas markets in Germany.
Individual dates for my selection of the coolest Germany Christmas markets will
be added as they become available throughout the year.
5 Best Christmas Markets
in Eastern Germany
Three things will greet you at one of Germany’s most beautiful Christmas markets: the 25 meter tall Christmas tree, the pyramid and candle arch, both from the Ore Mountains. They make for a perfectly charming picture and instantly amp up the Christmas spirit.
But of course, Striezelmarkt is not the only Christmas market in Dresden. There actually are a total of 11 Christmas markets spread out all over town with their own distinctive flair (and Christmas market mugs).
This way, you can easily combine your city sightseeing on your Dresden trip with Christmas market hopping. For instance, the Christmas market on Neumarkt with its more traditional approach is my personal favorite spot.
Erfurt Christmas market
Christmas than Dresden has the Thuringian capital. In total, there are 17 Christmas markets in Erfurt! That’s a pretty solid number and
the various locations are both outdoor and indoor, taking you around the Old
Town center and into gorgeous historic buildings.
gem of it all are the floating ceilings of strung up lights hovering over the
Merchants Bridge. Put it on your Erfurt sightseeing list to climb the bridge tower for an aerial
view. The entrance fee is small.
to Dresden, Leipzig also boasts multiple markets with local and international
focus. For instance, there are markets representing Tyrol and Finland. And of
course, the market in front of the old town hall with the gorgeous medieval
houses is all traditional.
dedicated to the Ore Mountains, which produce quintessential German Christmas
ware, such as wooden candle arches, pyramids and the iconic incense smoker
spending a few days in town, do check off a few of the coolest attractions in Leipzig, such as the zoo or art museum.
Yes, even the zoo is perfect getaway in winter. Heat up in the tropical animal
looking for truly historic looking Christmas markets around Germany, look no further than Goslar.
town will instantly put a smile on your face with its cute half-timbered
houses, a backyard filled with glittering lights on Christmas trees and a
gorgeous web of golden bulbs hanging over the old marketplace.
always worth a visit; after all, it’s one of the prettiest towns in Germany. But if you’re looking
on the official website, you can even see a counter to the
next Christmas market.
Thuringia has many Christmas markets, many even hosted in medieval, baroque
and Renaissance castles. One of the prettiest yet smallest Christmas markets in Central
Germany is hosted in Schmalkalden.
itself looks straight out of a German fairy tale, with its pastel rainbow
colors displayed in the ensembles of historic houses. Cobblestone streets are
decorated with Christmas motifs in golden lights, leading up to the town’s
castle with its glorious baroque church.
I was so happy
to be able to visit Münster because it’s just so gorgeous. Even though it was
heavily bombed during WWII, the town center was completely rebuilt in the
medieval merchant style, which then was inspired by Venice.
castles around, the harbor, a lake, … in short, Münster offers many activities. But no time compares to Christmas
when the historic town center transforms and about 300 Christmas stalls line up
underneath glorious lights.
Münster has five such xmas markets and using public transport is free on advent
Saturdays! There’s even free parking and a free shuttle service from the car
park at Parkhaus am Coesfelder Kreuz. A perfectly budget friendly German Christmas market trip!
Munster at night
one of the most iconic German cities. No wonder nearly six million visitors
flock to the Christmas market in Cologne! The market runs until a day before
Christmas and its many Christmasy locations will instantly draw you in.
at the Christmas pyramids in the Old
Town or dance underneath a canopy of lights at the Market of Angels. There’s
even a harbor Christmas market next to the chocolate museum. And chocolate is a
must for Christmas anyway.
the smallest Christmas market in the city is made up of only ten huts and you
can get here by tuk tuk shuttle.
Valley has many hip towns with cool art installations to offer. But during
winter times, you want to move a little away from the funky former mining dumps and get all bundled up at a Christmas market in Essen
with a mulled wine in hand.
has a very special market: it’s not a typical German Christmas market but an
international one. It runs from mid November to the day before Christmas Eve
and its 240 stands invite for a stroll around the world.
handmade souvenirs from Poland or Peru, you will surely find something very
special for your loved ones at home.
Essen Christmas; photo: Peter Wieler, EMG
Michelstadt im Odenwald
to the striking tower of the iconic, stilted town hall, you’ll find some of the
around 100 wooden huts inviting you on a Christmas outing.
more special than the gorgeous setting of the Old Town streets are the
life-sized wooden figures around the market place. They were handmade by the
local school for woodwork.
not just the Christmasy atmosphere that is alluring. The German town’s
Christmas market also offers an attractive musical and theatrical program.
One of the
best German Christmas markets in the North definitely is fairy tale town
Schwerin. With its striking castle surrounded by moats and landscaped gardens,
you have a magical setting.
walk into the Old Town and discover multiple markets around the historic
streets and in backyards. The most important part of the Schwerin Christmas market is strategically placed inheart of
town, overlooking the central boating pond with views over the Cathedral and
feet-tall (33 meters) ferris wheel allows for aerial views over the lively
market below. Should you want to attend the limited time market inside the
castle walls, check announcements in time. It’s usually hosted mid December.
Photo credit: Wolfgang Reimers
While most December markets in Germany
come in golden lights, the Potsdam Xmas market is all about vivid blues. Lined up
from the Brandenburg Gate (not the one in Berlin) to the central church, you
can enjoy an easy stroll along the many huts and shops, all decked out
typical for other Christmas markets in German towns, you can find a neighboring
market dedicated to theme park-like attractions, such as a ferris wheel or
rides. So you have the best of both worlds: the romance and the fun of
Berlin ranks high among the top
Christmas markets in Germany. Here again are plenty of different markets
scattered around town. From the romantic Christmas market at Charlottenburg Palace
(with its Swedish Christmas bazaar) to the xmas market on Alexanderplatz
popular may very well be the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market. It charges a
small fee but is very much worth it. To see an overview of the various markets
in 2020, click here.
If you can’t
make it to Berlin in December, you still have the chance to put on the skates
and enjoy the winter scenes at Potsdamer Platz. From the end of October to the
beginning of the New Year, the Winterwelt
One of the prettiest Northern Germany Christmas
markets is the magical city of Bremen. Yes, the one from the Brothers Grimm
fairy tale! Picture a grand town hall, cathedral and historic town houses overlooking
a sea of light covering about 175 huts and Christmas trees on the old market
time your visit right, you can partake in the official opening of the market in
the St petri Cathedral. Then, take a twirl on the merry-go-round or go on a casual
stroll around the inner city to kick off the Christmas season.
majorly attractive all year round for tourists but during Christmas its towns’
many charms really come to life. Germany is so diverse and you can really tell
a different between North and South, for instance, in its architecture and food.
Try the Franconian cookies and goodies!
On Christmas market trips to
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, you will find an absolutely gorgeous medieval town
nestled on a hill overlooking a green valley. While you might not get sugar
coated scenes (it doesn’t always snow when it should), you will be able to take
in hundreds of lights.
The core of the Christmas market is the Reiterlesmarkt square with its Reiterle. That’s a local figure bringing luck during its visits around Christmas. Plus, there’s the famous shop of Käthe Kollwitz features a special Christmas village during December (Weihnachtsdorf).
A list of German xmas markets
wouldn’t be complete with this one; you might have heard of if. Chances are big
as it’s said to be the oldest and most popular Christkindlmarkt in Germany and even the entire
world. A Christkindlmarkt is basically a Christmas market but it’s a more
regional name, such as a Christkindlmarkt
is absolutely fabulous, you’ll be right in the heart of town, on front of the elaborately
decorated Cathedral and close to the main attractions. Nürnberg is very
walkable and closely connected to nearby Fürth, in case you want to make the
most of your German Christmas
here, do make sure to try lebkuchen
(ginger bread) and spekulatius
(almond cookies), local Christmas delicacies. Another specialty is the Lichterzug, a lantern procession by the
wafting scents and glittering lights from Munich central station and wind your
way through the cities historic streets and many Christmas market locations. There’s
so much to explore, so much to taste and you’ll definitely want to pack your camera.
From shop windows
to beautifully illuminated historic buildings, such as the townhall or gates,
you will not want to stop your wonderful holiday experience. The main Christmas
market in Munich is set up on Marienplatz, right in front of the imposing neo-Gothic townhall.
the typical German Christmas market fare, expect local handicraft and cuisine. Plus,
there’s always something going on here, from live performances to ice rink
skating, you won’t be bored.
One of the most
unique Xmas markets in
Germany undoubtedly has to be that located in the ravine Ravennaschlucht.
Found in the Black Forest and located beneath a 40-meter-high (131 feet) arched
rail bridge, the setting is truly mesmerizing.
It’s a typical
but very small German Christmas
village with only 40 huts in total but if you get added snowfall, your inner
Christmas-spirit-o-meter will be bursting from sheer delight. Besides the huts
serving fare and Christmas items, there’s also a small path all the famous manger
small but just as alluring is the Christmas market in the Baroque town
Ludwigsburg, making it a great half day trip
from Stuttgart. It’s super easy to reach via local train and the market
staged right outside the opulent Baroque church.
angels and curtains made from light are hung around the market square, adding
an extra special flare to the lavish Christmas tree. The cherry
on top is the live Christmas music in the evening.
24 November to 22 December 2020
Goslar Christmas; Credit: S. Kuelcue (Shutterstock)
Extra Travel Tips for Your
Christmas Market Visit in Germany
Reserve your accommodation early. If you book on Booking.com, you can adjust the dates later. Click here to secure your accommodation.
If you can’t travel during the week and plan a Christmas market weekend break, be prepared for the crowds. On one hand, it makes everything much cozier, but also more crammed. Come just before sunset to still enjoy enough walking space.
I usually wear thermal underwear* to the markets because it can get rather chilly and you’ll be standing around a lot, drinking mulled wine or eating. Wear warm woolen socks* and proper winter shoes as well.
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