Experience the magic of German Christmas markets which are held in nearly every town and city.
Historical town squares form a romantique backdrop to many markets. Streets, pedestrian malls, public buildings and shops are decorated with lights and Christmas trees and add to the beauty of the scenery.
Without doubt, Christmas markets in Germany are unique and should not be missed!
Christmas markets are known as Weihnachtsmarkt, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindchesmarkt and Christkindlmarkt. They usually open on the Friday before the first Advent and close one or two days before Christmas Eve.
The oldest markets date back to the 14th and 15th century. The original purpose of these early markets was to stock up for the long winters, and to add a bit of light to the dark months. The first markets were certainly not as enchanting as they are these days. During the centuries Christkindlmarkets became a source to buy Christmas presents for children, and an opportunity for local craftsmen and artists to sell their work.
Once you are in Germany, it is easy to visit the markets, they are held in nearly every town and city.
Okay, I guess you already have a plan, and you know which markets you want to see? Travelling on your own using German rail is a good way to get around in Germany in winter. You'll never know what the weather is like. For the romantic feeling you wish there will be snow, but snow could spoil the fun when you have to drive.
Don't want to visit Christmas markets in Germany on your own? No problem! What about hiring a personal driver & guide (See info below)? This would be the most relaxed way to enjoy your Weihnachtsmarkt experience in Germany.
If you want
Romantic scenery, an easy-going atmosphere, German Christmas tradtitions and the smell of mouth-watering treats are the main attractions of a Weihnachtsmarkt in Germany.
If you don't like the pace of modern, commercialised Christmas, a visit to German Christmas markets is just right for you. There is no hectic, everything happens in a lower gear.
Come along and enjoy, join a tour, or discover the magic of Christmas in Germany on your own. You will find ...
There are hundreds of Christmas markets and fairs in Germany, larger cities even have more than one! Now where to start?
Below I am going to list a few of the most famous Christkindlmarkets, some in truly scenic towns. However, when you decide to visit Germany for her Christmas markets, you should also pay attention to markets in tiny villages. They are also worth a visit. Just ask at your destination for unique markets in their surroundings. Weihnachtsmärkte in small villages are held on one weekend only during the Advent season.
The Augsburg Christkindlesmarkt is held in front of the Renaissance town hall on the Rathausplatz (town hall square). It is one of the oldest markets dating back to the 15th century. Well-known and most unique is the "Angel's Play" performed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 6:00 pm. The 24 angels turn the town hall into a giant Adventscalendar.
The World Heritage City has the most romantic backdrop for the Christmas season. The Bamberg Christmas market is held on Maxplatz in the heart of the Old Town. At the end of the square is a large nativity scene showing different scenes during Advent.
Additionally to the main market, smaller markets are held only on one weekend throughout the historical city.
Bamberg is famous for its nativity trail. Discover more than 400 nativity scenes which are spread across 40 stations in Bamberg's old city, churches, museums, public buildings and the cathedral. The nativity scenes tell various biblical stories surrounding Advent.
The Strietzelmarkt in Dresden dates back to 1434. The name Strietzel comes from the Dresdner Christstollen, that rich Christmas cake the city is also famous for. Although the Strietzelmarkt attracts many visitors, it is a very traditional market with a romantic and festive charme. Carved wooden items from the Erzgebirge and delicious ocal food is sold at the stalls. The world's largest Christmas pyramid (14 m high) stands at the heart of the market.
The Weihnachtsmarkt in Jena offers an unique atmosphere in the heart of the historic old town. On the opening day a 4m long Stollen is cut.
The Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt features the world's largest free-standing advent calendar, a fairytale forest and a medieval market.
The romantic medieval town is home to one of the prettiest Christmas markets in Germany. Rothenburg's Reiterlesmarkt is held between the town hall and St. Jacob's Church with a lovely backdrop of old houses. With snow, it is a winter wonderland.
Want to bring a bit of good old German Christmas feeling to your home?
Here are some suggestions for you.
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I will always remember how much I enjoyed the Christmas crib as a child. A nativity scene truly belongs to Christmas!
Looking for a nice hotel after visiting all those beautiful Weihnachtsmärkte?
Use the seach box to check out hotels and compare rates for any German city.
Travelling by train is the easiest way to get around in Germany, especially in winter.
Read more about public transport in my train travel guide