The delightful, traditional Christmas markets that adorn the nation during this merry season are the epitome of what Christmas is all about in Germany. Visit the Christmas markets in Germany for the best holiday experience, whether you decide to peruse the busiest ones or those tucked away in some charming, less-known medieval villages!
1. 10 Best Christmas Markets in Germany
There is nothing you can’t discover at a German Christmas market, from traditional handmade goods and unusual ornaments to delicious regional specialties and sweet-scented mulled wine. Apart from holiday shopping, they provide guests a charming experience combining culture, entertainment, and seasonal happiness in a fantastical setting.
1.1 Dresden Christmas Market
The Dresden Christmas Market, also known as Striezelmarkt, a traditional Christmas market, is the oldest and unquestionably one of the best Christmas markets in Germany, with a history that dates back approximately 600 years. Every year at the end of November, it takes place in the city center’s baroque Old Town against the commanding backdrop of the Church of Our Lady.
Some of the standout attractions are:
- the Stollen Festival
- the Pyramid Festival
- a sizable Christmas carousel
- the largest nutcracker in the world
Twinkling lights enhance the lovely ambiance, and foodies are spoilt for choice with a variety of Saxon delicacies.
1.2 Leipzig Christmas Market
The second-oldest Christmas market in Germany is held annually in the city of Leipzig. Even though it takes about nine hours to get there from Calais, Leipzig has some of Germany’s busiest Christmas markets, and it’s not hard to see why.
- Leipzig’s Christmas market dates back to 1458 and has more than 250 stalls.
- Six districts make up the market proper, which you can wander through while holding a mulled wine.
- A trombone concert is held in the main square, and Santa Claus makes frequent appearances.
- Another attraction is the pyramid on Ore Mountain, where guests can partake in a round of Feuerzangenbowle, a traditional German fire punch.
One of the most beautiful things you can do in Leipzig is to take a tour of this market.
1.3 Berlin Christmas Market
Berlin is unquestionably the Christmas market capital of Germany, with approximately 70 marketplaces. Consider going on a walking tour of the holiday markets. While some Berlin Christmas markets begin at the end of November, others, which are smaller and more regional, only take place for a single weekend around Advent.
- The modest 16th-century Jagdschloss at Grunewald offers the ideal historical setting for a classic Christmas market.
- Charlottenburg Castle is home to Berlin’s largest palace and its most romantic Christmas market.
- The Christmas Botanical Garden show and the Kurfurstendamm Christmas lights should not be missed.
- The festive decoration is created by wooden huts and marquees that are totally decorated with natural materials.
1.4 Cologne Christmas Markets
Christmas markets are popular during the festive season of Advent, and Cologne is no exception. Many different themed Christmas markets entice tourists to stroll, buy, and explore:
- smells of cooked apples
- delicious cinnamon biscuits
- mulled wine wafting through the alleyways.
One of the most well-known markets in the city is the Cathedral Market. The Weihnachtsmarkt am Dom is a maze of shops offering traditional cuisine and is located in the middle of a large Christmas tree with a gorgeous cathedral as a backdrop.
The House Elves’ Winter Fairytale Christmas Market, which honors the Heinzelmännchen folklore from the region, is another must-see market in Cologne. Once more, the market is crowded with vendors that are all divided into tiny alleys that are fun to explore while sipping glühwein and taking in all the extra details.
1.5 Stuttgart Christmas Market
In addition to being one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe, Stuttgart’s grandeur and beauty make the 7 hours and 26 minutes it takes to get there from Calais worthwhile.
Beginning on December 1:
- Stuttgart Town Hall is transformed into a massive advent calendar that displays a new image every day until Christmas.
- The stalls are also decorated, and each one has a distinctively styled roof.
Finnish Market at Stuttgart’s Karlsplatz offers:
- A Christmas hamlet
- wooden stalls offering Glögi (Finnish mulled wine)
- Flammlachs are unique compared to other Christmas markets (salmon cooked over a fire).
1.6 Düsseldorf Christmas Market
Calais is about four hours and forty minutes away from Düsseldorf. Düsseldorf’s Christmas markets are unique since they take place at seven different places around the city. It is one of the most popular Christmas markets around.
- A large open-air ice rink at Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz is free to use.
- You can shop for handmade Christmas decorations and presents in the colorful huts outside the town hall.
- With a merry-go-round and enormous Santa Claus hats, Schadowplatz is ideal for family entertainment.
- Engelchenmarkt is the spot to go for the hearty taste and aromas of traditional German food.
- The promenade along Königsallee with large chestnut trees covered with millions of tiny lights.
1.7 Trier Christmas Market
One of the most charming Christmas markets in all of Germany is the one in Trier. The beautifully decorated stalls provide a great setting for this wonderful event, located on the medieval Main Market and in front of the majestic Trier Cathedral. The title of “Best Christmas Market in Germany for 2021” has been given to Trier, and it is well earned.
The main market:
- has 95 stalls
- features handcrafted decorations
- local specialties like “hot mulled Viez” (apple wine) are also celebrated
1.8 Munich Christmas Market
One of the famous German Christmas markets in Marienplatz in Munich hosts the customary Christmas market, which is a sight to behold. The location is surrounded by charming old structures like the Old and Neo-Gothic New Town Halls, which provide even additional tourist attractions.
- The wooden stalls lining the square give it the feel of a true winter wonderland.
- The stalls give the best delight of chestnuts, stollen, wine, and other exquisite German foods.
- They are magnificently decorated with lights, garlands, and ornaments.
For even better memories to share with family and friends back home, you can also do Christmas shopping and buy authentic Bavarian handicraft souvenirs.
1.9 Erfurt Christmas Market
This is a unique Christmas market. The more than 200 wooden constructions created a stunning festive atmosphere filled with exquisite handicrafts, ornaments, and traditional German foods. This is the ideal place to begin if you want to experience some of Germany’s best cuisine or get a sense of its history and culture.
The following are a few of the most breathtaking aspects of the Erfurt Christmas Market:
- a beautifully decorated Christmas tree
- 12 m tall Erzgebirge Christmas Pyramid
- the Christmas Scene (human-size wooden figures)
- Wooden stall with colorful decorations selling a variety of homemade goods and local specialties during a traditional Christmas floral fair.
This Christmas market is one of the liveliest events in all of Europe and is situated among some of the best-preserved buildings in Germany.
1.10 Frankfurt Christmas Market
Frankfurt has had one of the world’s largest, oldest, and most interesting Christmas markets since the 14th century. You simply have to be in this location, which is spread out throughout Frankfurt’s historic Old Town next to Town Hall and surrounded by fairy lights on vintage half-timbered buildings.
- Offers some of the greatest mulled wine in Germany
- authentic roasted nuts
- fragrant gingerbread, and delectable baked apples
- The Frankfurt Weihnachtsmarkt is well-known for its Bethmännchen, hot apple wine, and small dried plum figurines.
- About everything is available at more than 200 stalls, including genuine honey-based items, ornaments, and original native artwork.
2. When do German Christmas Markets Start?
In major cities, German Christmas markets often begin on the final weekend in November and conclude on December 23 or 24. Nonetheless, Christmas markets are typically held over a weekend in smaller communities. In smaller cities, they are typically only hosted over a weekend or even up to a week just before Christmas Eve or Christmas.
Additionally, several German cities and towns open their markets earlier than others, usually on the Friday before Advent. Several Christmas markets have already begun, even a few days before the First Advent Sunday.
3. 8 Facts about Christmas Markets in Germany
1. The markets have existed for a very long time—since the late Medieval Ages.
2. Christmas markets are a popular tourism paradise that draws millions of people every year.
3. In Germany alone, there are more than 2,500 Christmas markets.
4. With more than 250 vendors, Dresden is home to the biggest Christmas market in the entire world.
5. Most markets have stalls with gifts, ornaments, and holiday decorations set up in town squares.
6. Germany’s Bautzen hosted the first-ever Christmas market in 1384.
7. German Christmas markets can be seen in American cities, including Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.
8. It is believed that the earliest Christmas markets began in Germany in the late Middle Ages. Winter markets were conducted at that time to give people a location to purchase products and necessities.
Find the top Christmas market getaways in Germany’s most picturesque locations. One of the top Christmas places in Germany is where you can enjoy Christmas decorations, magnificent Christmas trees, and the best place to discover unique Christmas gifts for the entire family.
If you’re searching for some wintertime festive fun, you absolutely must visit the traditional Christmas Markets in Germany at least once in your lifetime. They offer a unique experience that should not be missed.