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If there was one time of year you should come to Germany, winter would be it. Yes, it’s cold and often gloomy but with the approach of the Christmas season, comes the warmth of the holiday spirit and a warm cup of Glühwein surrounded by friends and family.
Towns, villages and cities throughout Germany deck out their city centers in the most vibrant, jolly, Christmas decorations and line up rows upon rows of adorably decorated wooden stalls filled with the most exciting Christmas gifts and goodies!
The smell of roasted chestnuts, spiced red wine with Jack Frost nipping at your nose truly bring the spirit of Christmas alive in the towns across Germany.
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Germany is one of the best European destinations to visit in the winter. We have thousands of Christmas Markets around the country, we have picturesque towns coated in white fluffy snow doubling that magical Disney-esque appeal and mountainous peaks worthy of skiing every day, therefore, Germany is one of the best Christmas destinations in Europe!
But nothing can compete with the magical of German Christmas Markets. Visiting a Christmas Market is one of the best things to do in winter in Europe and everyone waits all year for the four weeks of Christmas magic!
Dresden Striezelmarkt, Saxony
November 26th to December 24th, 2020
Considered to be the oldest Christmas Market in Germany, Dresden’s Striezelmarkt has been welcoming millions of visitors for the last 586 years! Since 1434, Dresden’s Christmas Market has been belovedly known as “Striezelmarkt”, a reference to a sweet delicacy popular in the region, known as Hefestriezel, or more commonly known as the Dresden Christmas Stollen. Scattered throughout the historic city center, encircling the Frauenkirche and across the river, you’ll find several markets, focused on selling traditional and locally made items, such as Nutcrackers, Christmas Pyramids and other knickknacks hand carved in the Ore Mountains. You’ll also find a variety of yummy foods and drinks, ranging from traditional Glühwein, to Glühbier, Gingerbread Hot Chocolate and so much more!
Abensberg Kuchlbauer Hundertwasser Weihnachtsmarkt, Bavaria
Dates TBD for 2020
Located just 30 minutes outside of Regensburg, this Christmas market can be found at the Kuchlbauer Brewery surrounding the artistically, unique Hundertwasser Tower designed by the famous Viennese artist Friedrich Hundertwasser, making it one of Germany’s most interested Christmas Markets.
There is so much to do here, there is bound to be something for everyone! From horse-carriage rides to a ride on the Christmas train, live music as well as plenty of stalls offering unique artisan crafts and gifts.
After a stroll through the Christmas market and you have filled up on Bratapfel Glühwein, meander through the Kunst Haus (Art House) which is dedicated to the life of Friedensreich Hundertwasser and his artwork making this Christmas market especially loved by those with children!
- Mon. & Tuesday: Closed
- Wednesday & Thursday: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
- Friday: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Saturday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Sunday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m
Heidelberg Romantic Christmas Market, Baden-Württemburg
November 23 – December 22, 2020
By far one of the most romantic Christmas markets in Germany, this one is bound to encourage some smooching with your lover. With 140 stalls spread out in 6 locations across the town, with the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle perched above the town, this market is likely to leave you breathless.
Just beneath the castle at Karlsplatz is an ice skating rink perfect for young and old to relish in the holiday joy. For those who prefer to watch, they can sip on a cup of warm Glühwein near the rink or shop around at one of the many “Old World” stalls.
Or if you’re looking for a unique experience, head up to the Heidelberg Castle and peruse the Castle Christmas Market!
Nuremberg Christkindlmarkt, Bavaria
November 27th – December 24, 2020
Of all the festive Christmas markets that fill every town center in every major city throughout Europe, Nuremberg’s Christkindlmarkt is one of the most famous Christmas Markets in Germany and if you had to choose ONE, this would be the one to visit!
With over 200 stalls, a unique Christkind opening ceremony on the Friday before the first Advent, historic Lebkuchen and Nuremberger sausages, what else could possibly be better?
The historic market sits in front of the Frauenkirche while Gold Angels watch over the market, there is an international Sister Cities market as well as a Children’s Christmas Market where you can even have your picture taken with Santa!
Regensburg Weihnachtsmarkt, Bavaria
November 23nd – December 23, 2020
Slightly overlooked by its other more popular neighbors of Munich or Nuremberg, the Regensburg Christmas Market offers plenty to entice you to come for a visit! With four different markets located throughout the town, including at the Schloss Thurn & Taxis Romantic Christmas Market, each with its own unique character, there is bound to be something for everyone making for one magical affair!
The main market surrounding the Neupfarrkirche with St. Stephan’s Cathedral off in the distance offers the most bustling, focal point of all the markets. Here you can enjoy watching glass-blowing, live music and two children’s carousel.
Christmas music, toys, arts and crafts, Christmas decorations and the sweet wafting scent of the Christmas bakeries create a wonderful atmosphere perfect for the whole family.
Rottacher Adevent – Weihnachtsmarkt at Tegernsee, Bavaria
TBD (November 30th – December 1, 7/8th, 14/15th, 21st, 22nd 2020)
For a high class Christmas market in Germany, head on down to Lake Tegern outside of Munich for an off-the beaten path, upscale Christmas market. In this region alone, there are 6 different options to visit a market, but two are the most memorable.
Upon arrival in Tegernsee, check out the Christmas Market at the Castle which is small and quaint but offers some pretty unique gifts, such a hand carved wood figured or ornaments.
Dates TBD for 2019: Christmas Castle Market Tegernsee
Sat./Sunday 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
When you’re done, hop aboard the shuttle boat which will take you to the other side of the lake to the most magical market, with wooden huts lined along the banks of the river offering posh food and luxury gifts. Here, if Glühwein isn’t your thing, sip on a glass of champagne while perusing the stalls or warming your hands at one of the open fire pits.
Dates TBD for 2019: Rottacher Advent
2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Stuttgart Christmas Market, Baden-Württemburg
November 25th – December 23, 2020
One of the oldest Christmas Markets in all of Europe first mentioned in 1692, the Stuttgart Christmas Market is by far one of the most beautiful in Germany, as there is a competition every year as to which Christmas stall is the most beautiful! It is also one of the largest with 290 beautifully decorated stalls spread throughout the entire city center offering everything from hand crafted knickknacks to a wide variety of food enchanting some 3.5 million visitors each year.
Visitors have a chance to enjoy live concerts daily, a children’s fairy tale land with carousel, a real steam engine train and so much more! It’s illuminations are incomparable to any other market and you won’t want to miss it!
Esslingen Medieval Christmas Market, Baden-Württemburg
November 24th – December 22nd, 2020
After you’ve visited your far share of Christmas markets, they all begin to look and feel the same, but Esslingen’s MEDIEVAL Christmas Market will raise the bar, as it is one of the most unique Christmas Markets in Germany! Banners and flag, gypsies and pirates, blacksmiths and glass-makers take you back in time. Fire lit torches light up the night, warm honey mead, Glühbier or Glühwein in clay cups keep you warm as you stroll from one tent to the next. The medieval town tall and all the half-timbered houses are the backdrop of this unique Christmas market. Jugglers, street artists and musicians liven up the atmosphere as you shop through self-crafted, handmade items.
Schweinhütter Christmas Market, Bavarian Forest
December 5th & 6th, 2020 from 2:00pm – 9:00pm
December 12th & 13th, 2020 from 2:00pm – 9:00pm
If you’re looking for a mystical Christmas Market in Germany, look no further than the Bavarian forest! Tucked deep in the woods, covered in snow is a special Christmas Market unlike any other! An enchanted forest where gnomes play games on you, the sweet and enticing smell of Christmas treats wafts from a real Gingerbread House but where even Krampus creeps in the darkness. Here at theSchweinhütter Weihnachtsmarkt, you won’t find hordes of tourists but instead, locals offering up a sip of homemade Schnapps gathered round a blazing fire in a small hut. Bring your snow boots, as lanterns guide your way from one stall to the next decorated in forest themes along snowy paths.
Ludwigsburg Baroque Christmas Market, Baden-Württemburg
November 24th – December 22nd, 2020
An easy day trip from Stuttgart, the Ludwigsburg Baroque Christmas Market is one of the most enchanting Christmas Markets in Germany. Angels truly watch over you as you do your Christmas shopping at over 170 booths. Majestic angles spread their wings to welcome any visitors and illuminate the crisp December nights. Towering over the Christmas Market are two baroque churches at opposite ends of the square. In the center of the square are several glass encased booths illuminating the market like twinkling candle boxes. Peruse some of the traditional German Christmas gifts such as collectible miniature half-timbered houses, nutcrackers and smoking Santas. Best of all, you can find some of the best Glühbier ever here!
Stay tuned as I add more Christmas Markets to this post!
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!
Other Christmas Markets in Europe:
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