11 Best Christmas markets in Germany

author ALEX C. . October 06, 2022

Although Santa Claus lives in Lapland, the most beautiful Christmas market in the world is the German Christmas market.

Thousands of stalls with delicious products, pastoral landscapes, installations with millions of lights, and the historic buildings of German cities create an idyllic atmosphere.

In the winter holidays, the German Christmas markets await their visitors with lots of goodies, souvenirs, activities, and concerts for the whole family.

Every year, cities around the world compete in organizing the most beautiful Christmas markets. But the most famous and good Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte) take place in Germany, where you can find the best Christmas markets in Europe.

Fortunately, a short holiday getaway in Germany is not impossible and allows you to experience all that the fair has to offer. The old squares and medieval castles are a charming setting for a favorite Christmas tradition.

1. Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg

Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg

Although there are several famous Christmas markets in Germany, Christkindlesmarkt in the medieval city of Nuremberg is probably the best known. Since 1628, a Christmas market took place here every year, with festivities attended by the Teutonic Knights.

The central market is full of visitors who enjoy the colors and quality of the objects on sale. At this Christmas market, all objects put up for sale are handmade, because the presence of mass-produced objects is forbidden.

Obviously, grilled spicy sausages, gingerbread, and mulled wine can't be missed. A local specialty is the small plums made from plums. Next to the central square, there is another one specially designed for children.

There is also a beautiful toy museum in Nuremberg, in the house where the painter Albert Durer lived and worked.
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2. Berlin Christmas Market

Berlin Christmas Market Berlin Christmas Market

For those who want to experience the unmistakable charm of the German Christmas Markets, in Berlin you can find the biggest German Christmas market, being the "capital" of the German Christmas Markets with no less than 60 Christmas fairs organized all over the city.

The main boulevards, markets, and museums will wear festive clothes. Visit the famous Christmas Markets at Charlottenburg Castle, Gendarmenmarkt Square, Potsdamer Platz, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church near Kurfürstendamm.

Feel the touch of the past centuries during a walk on Unter den Linden Boulevard, take time to visit the many museums that house precious works of art, spend in the typical Berlin style at one of the local taverns (Kneipe) on the main boulevards, enjoying a beer true.

If you want diversity, it's good to get here and you will enjoy all the delicacies you want, memorable shows, and a fairytale atmosphere.
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3. Marienplatz Christmas market, Munich

Marienplatz Christmas market, Munich Marienplatz Christmas market, Munich

The history of the Munich Christmas Market begins somewhere in the 14th century when a fair dedicated to Saint Nicholas was organized here, selling traditional Bavarian gifts, wooden sculptures from Oberammergau, gingerbread from Nuremberg, and of course Bavarian glassware and crystals.

Things are not very different even today, although Christmas-specific consumerism has taken us a little away from traditional gifts and brought Christmas decorations: globes, wreaths, floral arrangements, table arrangements, etc.

The Christmas fair is organized in the main square of the city, Marienplatz, and is seasoned with classical music concerts (every evening from 17:30), held from the balcony of the City Hall, but also with workshops for children in which they can learn for free something about crafts.

But Munich has not only one Christmas market, in total, but there also are around 20 Christmas markets in the city and even at the airport. Kripperlmarkt is also a market open during Christmas, where only statuettes and ornaments for the nativity scene are sold.

Another Christmas market open in Munich, Tollwood, is rather a market dedicated to multiculturalism, with many tents that resonate with international music, small plays, and mini-shows, and where you can find handicrafts and crafts from various areas of the world.
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4. Christmas Striezelmarkt, Dresden

Christmas Striezelmarkt, Dresden Striezelmarkt, Dresden

The Striezelmarkt Christmas is the oldest Christmas market in Europe, about 600 years old.

It was first opened in 1434. Every year, at the opening, a huge cake is made with raisins and beautifully woven rum, which is distributed to all participants. This is where the name of this market comes from, from the word "strizel".

The approximately 250 stands offer a wide range of culinary delights such as Christmas cakes, glazed apples, striezel, and the indispensable gluhwein.

There are also traditional Christmas decorations handmade from wood, glass, and ceramics. Not only can you return home with a fondly crafted memory, but you can see the artists directly in action at the specially arranged stands.

The Dresden Fair is also an ideal destination for children. Here they will discover a magical world - the house of the elves, the Christmas bakery, themed houses, the enchanted forest, the puppet theater, and of course, Santa Claus who can't wait to listen to their strongest wishes.
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5. Christmas Market, Cologne

Christmas Market, Cologne Christmas Market, Cologne

One of the most impressive cities to spend the winter holidays is Cologne, Germany. No less than 7 best Christmas markets are waiting for you here around Christmas.

Among them, four are famous: the one from Cologne Cathedral, the Old Square (Alter Markt), the New Center (Neumarkt), and Rudolf Square (Rudolfplatz). Every year, these fairs attract an impressive number of visitors: over 2 million tourists.

The Christmas market in front of the cathedral is the most famous, especially due to the size offered by the building in the background. Around the largest Christmas tree in the Rhine region, you will discover 160 wooden pavilions, where you can find everything from sweet delicacies, crafts, and watches, to mulled wines to enjoy from festively decorated ceramic mugs.

At the Christmas market in the city, visitors find jewelry, Christmas tree decorations made of wood, and glass, handmade wooden toys, teddy bears, chocolate, hollow wooden figurines, puppets, candles, shoes, and more.

The exhibition in the old square takes place in front of the former City Hall. It has a special, idyllic atmosphere. It is especially addressed to children, there are elements of an amusement park - a carousel, puppet theater, Santa's cave, and many toy stands.

The little ones receive a visit from Santa Claus and can attend acrobatic shows or concerts with medieval musicians.

But perhaps the most suitable fair for them is the one open in Rudolfplatz Square, where the fairytale world of the Brothers Grimm comes to life.
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6. Christmas Markets in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Christmas Markets in Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Markets in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

The city has quite a few attractions to offer for a provincial town of only 11,000 inhabitants, but the main attraction for Rothenburg, beyond castles and romance, is Christmas.

It is said that Rothenburg is the city where you can experience the Christmas atmosphere every day, and this is because there is the Christmas Museum, which hosts an exhibition with Christmas decorations open throughout the year.

Thousands of Christmas ornaments and Christmas decorations, over 150 "vintage" Santa Clauses from 1880 to 1950, ready-decorated Christmas trees, and photos… all tell you about how Christmas was celebrated before.

The museum is located in the same building as Christmas Village, a shop with Christmas decorations, some more modern, and trendy, others more traditional.

Even though both the museum and the store have visitors all year round, during Christmas, with the opening of the German Christmas market, the city of Rothenburg is surrounded by the spirit of Christmas.

Rothenburg's Christmas Market, with a history of over 500 years, is called the Reiterlesmarkt, after a local legend, with a rider carrying the souls of the dead.

Numerous events take place daily in the city, during Christmas, and if you visit the city on Friday or Saturday, you can climb the City Hall tower to enjoy the panorama of the market and the Christmas fair.

Among the goodies at the fair, do not miss Schneeball or snowballs, made of sweet dough covered with powdered sugar or chocolate. If you want something other than Christmas and romance, you can visit the Kriminalmuseum - Museum of Crimes and Punishments, where all kinds of instruments of torture are exhibited and explained.
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7. Christmas Market Stuttgart

Christmas Market Stuttgart Christmas Market Stuttgart

The Christmas market in Stuttgart is one of the biggest German Christmas markets but quite crowded, especially on weekends when you have nowhere to throw a needle in the alleys of the hundreds of houses.

Over 260 wooden huts, adorned with fir beams and all sorts of globes, statuettes, tinsel, and roof lights are lined up as in the exhibition.

You need a few good hours to go through each one and carefully research the miracles that came out of the hands of the craftsmen. And behind the square, on the facade of the City Hall is projected a huge Advent calendar, which prepares us for Christmas.

All kinds of natural wax candles, wooden toys - like the ones we had as children, hand-painted glass globes, pottery, gloves, and scarves woven by cute grandmothers, rag dolls, or tree ornaments from straw or perforated wood.
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8. Römerberg Christmas market, Frankfurt

Römerberg Christmas market, Frankfurt Römerberg Christmas market

Frankfurt's Christmas Market takes place in several places in the central area of ​​the city. There are wooden houses that sell mulled wine, sausages, gingerbread, and other high-calorie delicacies in the Hauptwache area.

Then you meet other stalls as you head towards Römerberg, let's call it the centerpiece of the Christmas market, the place where a tall fir tree and a carousel were placed.

I confess that I liked Hauptwache the most, because everything is more airy, unlike Römerberg, where you step on your feet because of the relatively small space between the booths.

Stands that sell what? Well, almost everything is possible. Gingerbread stands, in all kinds of shapes, of all sizes and colors, catch your eye.

Then there are the hot drink stands and the kurtoskalacs stands. If you've been to Germany, or not only, you've probably seen those large, round grills, hung by 3 chains, that jam with white and red sausages, pieces of the neck, and stalk.

You can't resist the temptation to serve a sausage in a bun with a lot of mustard. At least not me. Fair prices are common sense. A sausage is 4-4.5 euros, and a cup of mulled wine reaches 3.5-5 euros. In other words, for 10 euros, a person feels good. And with 20…better!

Frankfurt's Christmas Market is one of the oldest German Christmas markets. It is said that the first market took place in 1393. If you do not arrive this year, you could do it next year.
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9. Leipzig Christmas Market

Leipzig Christmas Market Leipzig Christmas Market

Christmas traditions and centuries-old festivities abound in the cities of the region - which is why the German federal state of Saxony is considered the country of Christmas.

Just like 500 years ago, today's Leipzig Christmas market integrates perfectly into the historic setting of the city center. With over 250 stands decorated originally, this fair is one of the largest and most beautiful German Christmas markets.

In Augustusplatz, a large wheel offers unique views over Leipzig, and in Salzgässchen tourists can take a ride in a historic carousel.

The culinary temptations are many, from delicacies such as freshly baked pretzels, Pulsnitzer gingerbread, and Leipzig-specific spiced wine to the much-appreciated punch made from red wine and sparkling rum, being a tempting invitation for anyone.

The world-famous Thomanerchor Boys' Choir will perform at St. Thomas Church on Advent. Children will be able to make their way into the fairytale forest of Augustusplatz or participate in the craft activities of the elves.
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10. Heidelberg Christmas markets

Heidelberg Christmas markets Heidelberg Christmas markets

There are over 150 Christmas markets in Germany, which attract millions of tourists from all over the world every year.

In Heidelberg, the city with the oldest university in Germany, the Christmas markets, six in number, are even more lively, with waves of young people, many students from all over the world, rushing to live the spirit of the holidays.

Located just below Heidelberg Castle and along Europe's longest pedestrian alley, Hauptstrasse, the fairs lure visitors with regional delicacies, ripe chestnuts, mulled wine, and handicrafts.

The Heidelberg Christmas markets are some of the best in the country, and if you find yourself in Germany during the winter months, they are definitely worth a visit.

The Heidelberg Christmas markets are located in the historic old town, which is situated on the bank of the River Neckar. The main market is held on Heiliggeistplatz, but there are also smaller markets scattered throughout the old town.

f you're looking for traditional German gifts, handicrafts, or food, you'll find it all here. Be sure to try some of the delicious Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Glühwein (mulled wine), and Bratwurst (sausages) while you're browsing the stalls!

The Heidelberg Christmas markets are open from late November until just before Christmas Eve, so you have plenty of time to enjoy all that they have to offer.

If you're planning a trip to Germany during the holidays, be sure to add the Heidelberg Christmas markets to your itinerary—you won't regret it!
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11. Hamburg Christmas market

Hamburg Christmas market Hamburg Christmas market

When we say the Christmas market in Hamburg we refer to all the Christmas fairs that are organized in the city, so we have the fair in the town hall square "RATHAUSMARKT", the fair on MÖNCKEBERGSTRASSE, the fair in ALTONA / OTTENSEN, the fair KLÖNSCHvaack, and a few more fairs.

RATHAUSMARKT is a children's paradise full of toys, MÖNCKEBERGSTRASSE with its 150 stalls offering things for children and adults, ALTONA / OTTENSEN has an unexpected offer of 1001 gift ideas for children and adults, KLÖNSCHNACK is dedicated to gourmets and is delicious for all tastes.

There is something special about the Christmas market in Hamburg. Located right next to Cityhall, the market focuses on regional specialties. The stalls are filled with wooden sculptures that are lovingly made in Tyrol and flavored gingerbread.

It is one of the best Christmas markets in Europe and you can explore it while enjoying a city break.
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Tips for organizing a trip to a Christmas market
Do you want to go to a Christmas Market? Whether we are talking here about one in Europe, outside it, or in your country, there are some important things to consider when organizing your trip.

Planning the period for visiting a Christmas market
In general, Christmas markets begin at the end of November. Set at least a month in advance, with family or friends, where you want to go.

Choose a hotel in advance, to avoid exaggeratedly high prices around the holidays. Compare prices, check on the opinions of those who have stayed at the respective hotel on booking.com, and consider breakfast, especially if you are going to travel with a child.

Airbnb is a very good option too if you don't want to stay in a boarding house or a hotel, but to live for a few days like a local, in an apartment, and the prices are also diverse and affordable.

Booking airline tickets for visiting a Christmas Market
Booking airline tickets for visiting a Christmas fair is just as important. We all know that as the winter holidays approach, prices also rise, like accommodation.

In addition, you risk not finding tickets at all. It is recommended that the plane tickets be purchased also at the beginning of October.

Check, in advance, the proximity of the central airports and the means of public transport that make the connection between the airport and the accommodation.

Usually, visiting a Christmas Fair is equivalent to a city break. That's why flying is the best way to save time and not get tired at the destination.

If you still want to go by car, be interested in the best road, fill up and arm yourself patiently, because the roads are usually crowded during the winter holidays.

Finally, we must mention that whatever Christmas market you choose, you will enjoy an absolutely magical atmosphere, delicious dishes, and new culinary experiences, but also an event fueled by goodwill.

Which Christmas fair is next on your list?

I am born to explore the world. I don’t know where I’m going, but still, I’m on my way. Travel as much as you can, wherever you can, and as long as you can. Life is too short to be lived in one place.