In Europe the Christmas Markets take over the town center, the market square, or the narrow, cobblestone streets and they all come alive in the dark of winter with festive decorated wooden stalls offering hot wine, regional food, Christmas decorations, sweet confections, toys, regional crafts and local entertainment.
Here we highlight some of the German Christmas markets, celebrating the magic of the season with holiday decorations and traditions such as Gingerbread, and Christmas Carols.
Winter is a wonderful time to visit the beautiful German Christmas markets. If you are looking for the best Christmas gifts, the wonderful smell of a Christmas tree or the sound of Christmas carols, check out the following with the whole family – the best Christmas markets in Germany.
AACHEN Christmas Market – 20th November – 23rd December
Just before Christmas the squares and streets round the Cathedral and the Aachen Town Hall are transformed into a paradise of lights, colors, festive sounds and seductive smells.. The fair offers an enormous choice of goodies big and small fascinating young and old alike.
Christkindelsmarkt – BADEN-BADEN – 23rd November – 31st December
Located in the world-famous green corridor “Lichtentaler Allee” at the start of Baden-Baden, visitors will encounter small streets of festive stalls, where thousands of shimmering lights create a romantic atmosphere. The entire experience is capped with wonderful entertainment catering to all ages.
One of the region’s largest and prettiest Christmas markets with around 100 stalls offering a selection of arts and crafts, Christmas decorations, handcrafted nativity scenes and more you are invited to marvel, browse and shop. Younger visitors enjoy Christmas treats, a children’s bakery, merry-go-rounds and a program of Christmas entertainment on the open-air stage.
The baroque Charlottenburg Palace in City West is a plush backdrop. Elaborate lights bathe the market, the palace, the trees and decorative fence of the palace in a romantic glow. The highlight is a pyramid in front of the palace’s main entrance.
Wood huts and tents, decorated with natural materials offer a wide range of crafts and impressive culinary choices. In addition to traditional stalls selling hot chestnuts, crepes or Hungarian langos, many hotels and restaurants from Berlin and Brandenburg offer fine dining in heated tents.
The Winterwald (winter forest) in front of the small orangery offers magical attractions for children, including a carousel, an air swing and a small railway. In the Märchenzelt (fairy tale tent) little ones can make their own arts and crafts. Combine a visit to the market with a palace tour or walk through its garden.
COLOGNE – 23 November – 23 December 2015
In Cologne the magic of Christmas can be felt throughout the festively decorated city. The scent of baked apples, cinnamon biscuits and mulled wine drifts through the alleys. You will be enchanted with Cologne’s Christmas Markets that draw millions of visitors from around the world. The larger markets in the downtown and the small markets throughout the town offer different themes and invite you to stroll, shop and explore.
DRESDEN – 26th November – 24th December
If you like Christmas, you’ll love Dresden with its eleven completely different Christmas markets, from traditional stalls to the charm of après ski alpine huts. Dresden’s churches brim with festive insider tips, from the many oratorios, Advent, organ and gospel concerts, holiday sounds fill the air throughout the city.
Christmas tales come to life in the city’s theatres, museums host special exhibitions and bejewelled, lighted boats glide along the Elbe. If only Christmas could last longer
DUSSEFDORF – 19th November – 23rd December
The city gears up for Christmas after the St Martins Parade.. The traditional Christmas market Is set up at various locations throughout the City centre. Elaborately designed theme worlds are set up around the Königsallee to lead visitors on a discovery tour.
More than 200 huts decorated in Christmas splendor transform the city into a winter wonderland for the whole family.. One of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany, Düsseldorf provides unique experiences for visitors.
LEIPZIG Christmas market – 24th November – 23rd December.
This market dates back to 1458 and is set up in 6 different areas in tune with the historical scenery of the Leipzig city centre. With more than 250 twinkling stalls set in the historic centre, the Christmas Market is one of the oldest and largest in Germany. Visitors enjoy a multitude of festive and culinary delights: or can explore the city’s traditional medieval market.
The main area is Marktplatz (market square) where a Saxon spruce Christmas tree as high as twenty meters stands and a wide variety of performances are offered on the market square stage. Seasonal views can be seen from the 38-metre-high ferris wheel on Augustusplatz square.
NUREMBURG – 27th November – 24th December
Enjoy the aroma of gingerbread, mulled wine and grilled sausage at the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt. First mentioned in 1628, its roots probably go back to the time of Luther, when giving children Christmas presents started. Since then the 180 stalls decorated in red and white offer a unique atmosphere with traditional wares such as handmade Christmas decorations and culinary treats.
The Market is opened on the Friday before the first Advent by the “Christkind” a blonde curly-haired lady wearing a golden crown and golden white gown. She proclaims “You men and women who once were children, be young again”, as she welcomes guests to the Nuremberg Market Square. Childish enthusiasm awaits as you explore Christmas tree decorations, tinsel angels, wooden nutcrackers, cribs and colored stars walking through the romantically lit market.
ROTHENBURG – 27th November – 23rd December
The medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber transforms into a fairytale winter wonderland at Christmas time. Celebrated since the 15th century tradition has changed little over the last 500 years and the historical customs have been closely followed. Find your heart desires at this charming market, from traditional Christmas pastries, mulled wine, Gadgets and treasures as well as lovingly crafted Christmas decorations.
STUTTGART- 25th November – 23rd December
During the weeks of Advent the Stuttgart Region is bathed in a yuletide glow. With its 287 stalls and a tradition of more than 300 years, the Stuttgart Christmas Market is one of the loveliest in Germany and one of the oldest and largest of its kind in Europe. Ornately and lovingly decorated the stallholders compete for a jury awarded prize for the most beautiful stall. The town hall is transformed into a gigantic Advent calendar. Each day a “door” is opened, revealing by degrees the coats of arms of Stuttgart’s boroughs.