What Is the Chemnitz Christmas Market Like?

Chemnitz Christmas Market with water color frame

Saxony in Germany has quite a few lovely places to discover and if you’re visiting in December, why not stop by the Chemnitz Christmas Market? It’s snug right in the center, and albeit not big, it’s charming indeed. Plus, it can be nicely combined with a visit to nearly Dresden Christmas Market and the Xmas market in Leipzig.

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What Is the Chemnitz Christmas Market Like?

Chemnitz Germany Christmas market Key info

When is the Christmas market in Chemnitz open?

  • 29 November to 23 December 2019
  • 10am to 8pm Sun-Thu, 10am to 8pm Fri-Sat
  • 23 Dec 10am – 8pm

Where is the Christmas market of Chemnitz located?

The main market is located in front of the town hall on the market square. Next, there’ the street Innere Klosterstraße with plenty of stalls as well. Here’s a list of the Chemnitz Christmas locations:

  • Markt
  • Neumarkt
  • Rosenhof
  • Jakobikirchplatz
  • Innere Klosterstraße
  • Lichtenstein Palace
  • Winterdorf Chemnitz

What makes the Xmas Market in Chemnitz special?

The historic marketplace and town hall of Chemnitz are a pretty sight as such but during December, the twinkling lights and gorgeous decorations enhance the magical feeling.

Fun fact: the town hall is made up of two buildings: the Old Town hall from the 15th century and the Modern Town hall from the early 20th century. Their iconic tower is from the 12th century even and used to be the residence of the local governor.

In total, the Chemnitz Xmas market features 230 stalls, many of which sell products from the ore Mountains. This is reflected in the décor as well.

There is a five-storey (12 meters/39 feet) high Christmas pyramid in Chemnitz and a 5 meter (16 feet) high, traditional candle arch (Schwibbogen), too. Around the market, larger than life Christmas figures and an oversized musical box complete the look.

It all makes for great photos! After all, the theme here is “Erzgebirgisches Weihnachtsambiente” (Ore Mountain Christmas Atmosphere).

Besides the central Christmas market, you can attend a medieval Christmas market in Chemnitz as well. Vendors are dressed in historic outfits, you can get fire roasted meats, hot mead and listen to some medieval tunes. There’s even a giant wooden swing for kids.

Last but not least, step into the Lichtenstein Palace. Inside, you can look at 140 Nativity scenes from 33 countries and four continents! I bet it’s hard to pick a favorite.

Christmas ornament hut at Chemnitz Christmas Market, Germany

What’s the Winterdorf Chemnitz?

Winterdorf translates to winter village and it’s a separate winter market that is hosted by a local restraint near the river. Here, you can eat and drink around the ice rink. It’s possible to rent it for larger groups or events to have entirely to yourself.

The Chemnitz Winterdorf open from November 30 onwards daily after 6pm. Renting for an hour costs 40€. There’s also a separate ice stick rink for playing ice stick shooting games.

illuminated stall at Chemnitz Christmas Market, Germany

What are the best souvenirs to bring home?

Sticking with the Ore Mountain theme, let’s start with souvenirs from the region. A classic German must have for creating Christmasy smells at home are the carved pipe-smoking figures, usually depicting bearded old men in pointy hats doing crafts and chores. Locally they are called Raachermann and across Germany they are referred to as Räuchermännchen.

Figurines nowadays come in all shapes and forms and can even be a smoking chimneys. When you buy yours, don’t forget to stock up on the incense cones either as they are locally hand-made. The good ones don’t smell like anything if they are unlit so ask the vendor about the different scents.

Bring home some more German Christmas decorations in the form of wooden nutcrackers or ornaments and figurines of miners, angels and snowmen.

As always, you can pay the deposit when you order a hot beverage like mulled wine (Glühwein) or brandy punch (Feuerzangenbowle) and keep the mug. Those are collectibles among Germans and the differ each year and for each market (often even within the same city).

Most foods sold at Christmas markets is perishable and you might not be able to take it home. Though a lebkuchen heart doesn’t really go bad. It just hardens and is no longer edible but makes for a nice piece of decoration.

Ore mountain decorations at Chemnitz Christmas market, Germany
Ore mountain decorations

Is there an event programme?

As is typical with Christmas markets in Germany, Chemitz too has an event schedule with special performances. The most important ones are commonly at the start of the Christmas market.

For instance, on the day prior to the first Advent Sunday, the Miners Parade comes into town. A marching music band of 1000 musicians and singers in folk attire parades through Chemnitz Christmas market and brings some Christmas cheer to the night. Afterwards, they will stop and play a little concert.

Ceiling of lights above Chemnitz Christmas market
Ceiling of lights above Chemnitz Christmas market

Where is Chemnitz?

Chemnitz is the third largest city of the German federal state of Saxony and is located in the Southwest of the state. It was named after the river that flows in its North.

You can easily reach it via German train or intercity buses like Flixbus.

What Is the Chemnitz Christmas Market Like?
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