When I discovered that Christmas markets were held in Germany, I didn’t think it would be so impressive until I experienced it. Can you imagine an entire city full of Christmas spirit, full of dream stalls where all kinds of craft products are offered in the purest storybook style? Christmas is one of the most important holidays for Germany and for the Germans, who prepare their stall throughout the year to offer a wide variety of local products: Glühwein or mulled wine, handmade figures for the nativity scene, carved decorative objects in wood from the Black Forest, sweets (many) such as caramel apples, cookie hearts with messages of love and prosperity (called Lebkuchenherzen) and chocolate-dipped fruit. Live music concerts enliven all this and are far from minimalist decorations. If you thought this would be fair, you are wrong since there are few things more authentic than a trip to the Christmas markets in Germany. And this year, they are open again and shining like never before!
Christmas markets in Germany
Christmas markets in Germany are known as Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) or Christkindlesmarkt (Christ Child Market), depending on which city you are in. They take place on Advent days, that is, from the end of November to the last weekend before Christmas, and they usually open from morning until nine or ten at night, with the city and day varying. The vast majority of municipalities in Germany join this party, highlighting the municipalities of Nuremberg, Munich, Freiburg, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart. You must attend the Augsburg flea market, too. The town hall windows become a giant advent calendar in which angels performed by the city’s children appear. In addition, each municipality offers a special cup you can get at any stall and use to serve yourself the liquors of each stall. It is the perfect souvenir!
Are you coming to virtually visit the Christmas markets in Stuttgart, Nuremberg, and the unknown but wonderful market in Heilbronn?
Christmas market in Stuttgart, Germany
Stuttgart, known for being the capital of Baden-Württemberg, is a city located in the southwest of Germany characterized by its southern character, proximity to the Black Forest, and its Mercedes-Benz museum, making it a city full of personality. During the Christmas market, almost 300 stalls invade the city’s historic center, creating a labyrinthine journey of Christmas scenes. It is the largest Christmas market in Europe, one of the oldest, and is considered the most authentic in Germany. I recommend you start your visit in Castle Square (Schlossplatz), a vast esplanade surrounded by historic buildings that house attractions for the little ones, an ice skating rink, and stages where live music and theater shows are performed. In addition, it serves as a meeting point and the start of the market, which runs through the city’s most important squares, Schillerplatz and Karlsplatz. Within the Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt, we can find several themed markets, such as a Finnish market and another for collectors. You will feel wandering among the rivers of people and the ostentatious Christmas stalls. It’s normal; this market is visited by more than 3.6 million people a year!
Christmas market in Nuremberg, Germany
Nuremberg is the second largest city in the Bavarian region after Munich and the capital of Franconia. It boasts of being a city full of leisure and its intense and delicious black beer, but if it is recognized worldwide for something, it is for its impressive Christmas market. To enjoy the Christmas market, you will have to walk through the city until you reach its heart: The Church of Our Lady, a gothic church in which every day, at noon, the clock’s figures offer a dance show. Under this cathedral, the Hauptmarkt expands, surrounded by historic buildings worthy of photographing, such as the Schöner Brunnen, a fountain-shaped Gothic spire surrounded by sculptures through which you cannot pass without touching the golden ring of the iron gate. Legend has it that it attracts good luck. On the balcony of the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) the opening proclamation of the Christkindlesmarkt is given with a message for all the men and women who were children at some point and for the children who have just begun to live. The Nuremberg Christmas market is undoubtedly the most famous in all of Germany. And it is not for less. The wooden stalls arranged in a grid are the most cared for in the country, and in them, you can try different types of Glühwein -the traditional mulled wine-, the typical Lebkuchenherzen -ginger cookie hearts- and other local sweets. Yum!
Heilbronn Christmas market, Germany
Heilbronn is a small city located north of Stuttgart, about an hour away. It is located at a strategic point since it is very close to such important cities as Frankfurt, Heidelberg, and Baden-Baden. And not only that, but it is also one of the most wine-producing cities in Germany! It was destroyed during World War II and later rebuilt with care and detail. Heilbronn has a much smaller Christmas market than the previous cities, but it is worth contemplating. Start your tour at the Rathaus, where the Town Hall is located, which has an astronomical clock that resembles a miniature version of the famous Prague clock. In this lively square, you will find a stage where folk music concerts take place, several stalls that will leave you speechless, a Christmas tree exceeding 4 meters high, and a carousel over 100 years old. Here, the best thing is to get lost in the streets of the historic center of Heilbronn and enjoy all the wooden stalls until you soak up a dreamlike atmosphere…
Christmas is a fantastic time in Germany, and beyond these Christmas markets, the entire country dresses up to celebrate this traditional festival. Any corner, market, and city are worth a visit on these important dates. And the country shines with its light. Would you like to live a fairytale Christmas for both adults and children? On a trip to the Christmas markets in Germany!