There are few towns and cities in Germany which escaped the destruction of the Second World War, and those that did, managed to survive with little to no damage. Esslingen am Neckar is one of those few towns which survived completely in tact, therefore, preserving its very special and unique medieval appearance. The town is home to over 200 picturesque half-timbered houses which feels like one is stepping back into history, 500 years before. And if you’re looking for unique Christmas Markets in Germany to visit, this is it! When Christmas comes around, the town puts on a show like no other. Medieval tents to peruse through searching for the best armor or perhaps the best stall to grab a cup of honey met (mead).
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You’ll find this amazing market is the perfect Christmas Market day trip from Stuttgart, just a mere 20 minute train/car drive away, spread throughout the town with a the beautiful backdrop of the impressive Rathaus (city hall). Upon entering the market, you’ll pass through what looks like perhaps a medieval entry with two towering guard stands. Directly in front of the Rathaus is an impressively tall Christmas tree with lights, which when thinking about it, now seem out of place.
When: November 22nd – December 22nd, 2022
Opening Times: Opening Day 4 pm – 8:30pm, then Sunday – Wednesday 11 am – 8:30pm, Thursdays – Saturdays 11 am – 9:30 pm
We planned to visit on the opening day of the Christmas Market and were greeted to a small stage performance by musicians and the town mayor giving a welcome speech to the visitors.
**TIP** Check the Program of the Christmas Market to catch any special events here.
With over 200 booths, merchants in historical costumes reenact selling their goods and wares just has they did hundreds of years ago. Blacksmiths, rope-makers, broom-makers, glass-blowers basket-makers and more demonstrate their craftsmanship by illustrating their techniques used to make their goods. It’s an amazing experience to stop and watch a blacksmith pound away at a piece of iron while it’s glowing hot and create something wonderful within a few minutes.
More on the Medieval Wine Town of Esslingen am Neckar
You’ll also be able to enjoy street artists entertaining market goers with juggling, music and other funny things. Locals will be dressed up in traditional costumes as they really bring this fairy tale medieval Christmas market to life making it one of the most family-friendly Christmas Markets in Germany! It’s definitely fun for the whole family! And the kids will certainly get a kick out of the costumed towns people!
You’ll be sipping on your hot Glühwein or Glühbier from traditional clay cups with the imprint of the Rathaus (City Hall) on it, but be careful, they’re hot without gloves! And let’s just be honest right now, half of the reason why we go to the markets is to drink massive quantities of one or the other and collect the cups, am I right??
Large torches are set up throughout the market to illuminate the Christmas market and medieval banners and flags are strung to and fro but the only thing I was missing was jousting and a prince charming!
The town doesn’t skimp out on any small details, as even the bathroom was a medieval wagon with soap that needed to be grounded in order to wash your hands!
Behind the Rathaus, the market flows into another square of yet more fun and interesting things to do. From participating in archery to boozing it up in a medieval hot tub with curious onlookers all jealous to sipping on yet more Glühwein or perhaps you might be interested in discovering your destiny by doing a Tarot Reading.
The Traditional Modern Market
While in Esslingen, you’ll also find a more traditional Christmas Market with modern gifts, stalls and Glühwein which can be bought from a lovely stall with a Christmas pyramid similar to Heidelberg’s. You’ll find doilies, nutcrackers and so much more here.
If you’re interested in visiting Germany and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!
Christmas Markets near Esslingen:
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Heidelberg’s Romantic Christmas Market
Germany’s Magical Christmas Markets
Replies to Esslingen MEDIEVAL Christmas Market
The market looks so atmospheric, especially with all those fairy-tale houses in the background. I wish I was there. 😛
Thank you! You should go! It’s amazing!
wonderful Christmas market!
You’re making me feel all christmassy and festive now, having not yet quite caught the bug. This looks like such an adorable market, I love it when they are a bit different from the norm and the medieval theme here sounds perfect. #citytripping
I was late too this year to catch the Christmas bug but with a visitor I jumped right in
I’m going to find it very tricky to decide which town in Germany to visit when I finally get round to having a Christmas market trip. You’re making things very difficult for me! #Citytripping
Sorry… not sorry! ?
I really think German Christmas markets are the standard all the other countries should aim for and Esslingen has set the bar even higher. I would love a stroll around these streets with a glass or two of gluhwein! #citytripping
They definitely did!
They definitely raised the bar! It was amazing!
Aww love Christmas markets, this one looks so cute! #citytripping
I love the traditional craftsmanship which is being shown off. I’ve not seen that before at Christmas markets. The setting sounds incredible with all the half-timbered housing. Magical. #citytripping
I’m absolutely obsessed with your market pictures… but you’re killing me. I want to be there SO badly!! I love the atmosphere of the markets. They’re just so festive and filled with holiday cheer. I swear, Christmas lives in those markets. That’s all I could think last year.
This looks like such a magical Christmas market!! I need to find one in London to get me into the Christmas spirit! #citytripping
These markets look so fun! I wonder how many of those mugs you’ve saved up in the past 5 years?! #citytripping
Um, probably around 15 because I also lived in Germany in 07-08!
This is an indeed a unique Christmas market which I would love to visit, Lorelei. I am adding Esslingen am Neckar to my bucket list right away! 😉
This is a really beautiful little Christmas market! Aren’t the ones in Germany the best?! We just got home from a trip to the Berlin Christmas markets and it was so lovely. #citytripping
Thank you for such a big dose of Christmas spirit! We are currently travelling in South America and I miss Europe’s awesome Christmas markets. We usually have an annual trip to discover a new one and Esslingen is now a firm contender for next year!!
Glad to have introduced you! You’ll love it!
This looks absolutely magical! I would love to visit there someday! #feetdotravel
The Christmas markets look so quaint and festive! I haven’t yet visited at this special time of the year. I will use your link to check out the upcoming events and perhaps make a trip 😀 thank you! #feetdotravel
I love how Germans take so serious the Christmas market business! As you may have seen, there are tons of post about markets circulating at the moment. It is like the smallest, more secluded town in Germany has a market. Would like to visit the country to experience the season. #feetdotravel
I do love a good Christmas market !! what’s your favorite one you’ve been too ?
Esslingen, Heidelberg, Strasbourg and now Vienna!
This market is a beauty. Love the theme and the theatre of it all. 🙂
Going to a market like this would definitely get me in the Christmas spirit! I love all of the lights and costumed characters!
Because of you I keep adding lovely German towns & Christmas Markets to my list of places to visit! Esslingen looks magical this time of the year! #WanderfulWednesday
Sorry… not sorry ?. This one is definitely with a visit!!
😛 Too bad, December is so short. 🙁
Oooh, I looooove the medieval look and feel of this Christmas market. Excellent!!
What a great place – I feel much more in the Christmas spirit – really enjoyed reading your blog – Merry Christmas
Oh so glad to hear that! A good Christmas Market is always uplifting!
Wow! this place looks positively awesome. I must visit one day!
I loove Europe’s Christmas markets! 200 stalls is very impressive and doesnt even compare to the small humble one we have in Tallinn, Estonia. It does make for a great night out though with mulled wine, handmade crafts and taking in all the medieval architecture. Glad Esslingen was relatively untouched by the devastating war.
We love Christmas markets in the first place, but in a Medieval style? How great is that? Definitely adding Esslingen to our bucket list for European Christmas Markets. It just looks so awesome! Thanks for putting this on our radar. 🙂 #FeetDoTravel
German Christmas markets are the best!! Especially in a medieval setting 🙂 I’ve never been to Esslingen before but I visited a medieval Christmas market in Munich and it was amazing 🙂
The hot drinks from the clay cups sound very interesting, I would love to try a few of those. The town of Esslingen with all the half timbered houses looks very Instagrammable too. This is definitely one of the more unique Christmas markets of Europe!
It definitely is! If you check out my other post on the town of Esslingen, you’ll see even more how beautiful it is!
I love Christmas Markets in the freezing cold, snow would be great, too! And Glühwein – a lot of Glühwein!!!
I love history and I love Christmas markets – this would literally be a perfect combination for me. They’ve nailed the look and I can imagine how cool it would have been walking around the market trying all the delicious stuff! Thanks for sharing!
What an adorable market, I love the medieval theme. Yes I admit that I am one of the people who likes to attend these markets for the Gluwein, it’s one of the main reasons to go right 😀 Pinned this delightful post and thanks for sharing. #FeetDoTravel
This looks like a perfect Christmas market, not too big. Now I want to head to Germany. #CityTripping