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Germany’s finest Christmas markets

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

1. Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt (open from 29/11/19 to 24/12/19)

Christmas market in Nuremberg. Photo: Gerhard G. via Pixabay

Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt is arguably the best and one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany. It is very traditional and extremely beautiful. The festively decorated Old Town creates a one of a kind atmosphere, where you are enticed by the smells of mulled wine, roasted almonds, the traditional Nuremberg Bratwurst, the Drei im Weggla (three in a bun), Zwetschgenmännle (prune men) and regional Lebkuchen, baked in Nuremberg for over 600 years. Traditional hand-made products such as the famous Nuremberg Rauschgoldengel and specialities from the Franconian regions are sold and the Christkind, a young woman dressed in white and gold, spreads hope, warmth and joy to all.

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2. Striezelmarkt Dresden (open 27/11/19 to 24/12/19)

Dresden Christmas Market is considered to be the first genuine Christmas market in the world. It was first held in 1434 and is traditionally held in the town square. On the opening night of the market, onlookers welcome the Christkind acted out by a local child and listen to traditional German Christmas songs such as O Tannenbaum and Stille Nacht. The market’s name comes from the word Strüzel, a type of fruit cake sold at the market, now famously known as Christstollen. At the centre of the market stands a 20-metre-high spruce from the Tharandt woods, surrounded by stalls selling traditional crafts such as wooden ornaments, candle pyramids, Schwibbogen, Räuchermänner, Lusatian blue-printed fabrics, Moravian stars and Nussknacker. Striezelmarkt is renowned for not only its Stollen, but its Pflaumentoffel, Magenbrot and Pulsnitzer Pfefferkuchen.

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3. Erfurter Weihnachtsmarkt (open from 26/11/19 to 22/12/19)

Erfurt’s Christmas Market is spread across Domplatz, Fischmarkt and Willy-Brand-Platz and along Anger and Schlösserbrücke. St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Church of St. Severus create a stunning backdrop for the city’s Christmas market. More than 200 wooden huts sell regional food and goods, such as the Thüringer Rostbratwurst, Erfurt Schnittchen, traditional blue-dyed fabrics and a large collection of pottery and crafts from the Erzgebirge Mountains.

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4. Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt (open 25/11/19 to 22/12/19)

Heidelberg’s Christmas Market can be found in its Old Town, extending over the historic Kornmarkt, Marktplatz, Universitätsplatz, Anatomiegarten and Bismarckplatz. Heidelberg Castle creates a romantic, fairy-tale background for the wonderful market. The smells of roasted, almonds and Heiße Maronen waft through the city centre, whilst people twirl on Germany’s most beautiful ice-rink in Karlsplatz or wander through the Winterwäldchen at the Kornmarkt. Over 140 stalls sell regional crafts and delicacies.

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5. Dortmunder Weihnachtsmarkt (open 21/11/19 to 30/12/19)

Dortmund has one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany and the world’s largest Christmas tree creation, standing more than 45 meters high and made of 1,7700 spruces from Sauerland, and decorated with a four-meter-high angel. Additionally, it has a large, rotating candle pyramid. Glühwein, Glühbier, Dortmunder Reibekuchen, Westphalian barbecued ham and Dortmunder Salzkuchen are sold by various vendors under the tower Christmas tree in the city centre.

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6. Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt (open 25/11/19 to 22/12/19)

Frankfurt Christmas Market is one the most popular and oldest Christmas markets in Germany. Hundreds of wooden huts line the streets from Hauptwache to the historic and picturesque Römerplatz. Regional specialities include Heißer Apfelwein and Bethmännchen, traditional Marzipan pastries.

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7. Berlin Weihnachtsmärkte (Various)

As Berlin is such an enormous city, it is no wonder there are over 70 Christmas markets! The best ones include Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz, Weihnachtsmarkt auf dem Alexanderplatz, Weihnachtsmarkt am Gendarmenmarkt, Weihnachtsmarkt am Schloss Charlottenburg, Berliner Weihnachtszeit vor dem Roten Rathaus and Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt in der Kulturbrauerei. Lucia Christmas Market (open 24/11/19 to 24/12/19) deserves a special mention, as it is a beautiful, cosy market named after the Nordic goddess of light, surrounded by historic brewery buildings and focuses on traditional goods, crafts and food from Scandinavia such as Glögg and Kanelbullar, a sweet cinnamon pastry.

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8. Weihnachtsmarkt am Kölner Dom (open 25/11/19 to 23/12/19)

Located at the base of the city’s most famous landmark, Cologne Cathedral, and beneath the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland, the Christmas market offers a range of German specialities such as Glühwein, Currywurst and Südtiroler Speck.

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9. Münchner Christkindlmarkt (open 27/11/19 to 24/12/19)

Munich’s Christkindlmarkt is located in Marienplatz, surrounded by historic buildings. Hundreds of wooden stalls sell traditional Bavarian food such as Kletznbrot, Fatschnkindl, Stolen, roasted chestnuts, berry mulled-wine and Bavarian handcrafts such as hand-painted glass ornaments.

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