Top 5 German Christmas Markets

Categories: Shopping

Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt
Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt

[ source: Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt - own website]

Many people associate Christmas foremost with stress. First, you rack your brains about what presents to buy for your loved ones, then you raid through various overcrowded shops to hopefully find those items you have thought of and in the end you usually spend much more money than you planned on. Additionally, you need to write and send Christmas cards to family and friends, decorate your house with all the Christmas lights and other stuff you have bought over the years and stored in the attic, and also bake some Christmas cookies. Within all this hustle and bustle it is difficult, not to say impossible, to really enjoy the Christmas season. However, should you be lucky enough to spend the weeks before Christmas in Germany, there is only one thing you need to do to get into a festive mood instantly: visit a traditional Christmas market. Basically every town has one and they are all lovely, but of course some of them are just a little bit better than others. Live Like a German has picked the top five German Christmas markets for you to visit and enjoy.

The Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg

At the top of the top five list of German Christmas markets, the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg (Nuremberg vacation rentals | Nuremberg travel guide) is the most famous Christmas market in the world and attracts more than two million visitors every year. In 2011 it starts on the evening of the 25th of November with the Christmas Angel reciting the solemn prologue from the gallery of the Church of Our Lady in the Middle of Nuremberg’s main market square. In the about 180 wooden stalls you can find all the typical Christmas articles you can think of, but the must-haves at Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt certainly are the spicy gingerbread and the so—called Nuremberg Plum People, little figures made from prunes.

Christmas Market in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburgob der Tauber (Rothenburgob der Tauber vacation rentals | Rothenburgob der Tauber travel guide) is commonly known as the capital of Christmas, where you can buy Christmas decoration all year round. So it is not surprising that this town’s Christmas market is amongst the best ones in the country. It is a very small market located in an alleyway in the Old Town, surrounded by half—timbered houses and decorated with thousands of little Christmas lights. A children’s choir singing Christmas carols enhances the peaceful and festive atmosphere even more.

The Dresdner Striezelmarkt

Are you in the mood for a little Stollen? Not to be left off of any top five list of German Christmas markets, the Dresdner Striezelmarkt in Dresden (Dresden vacation rentals | Dresden travel guide) is the oldest Christmas market in Germany and was first celebrated in 1434. Today the Striezelmarkt is mostly known for its giant wooden pyramid, which is almost 50 feet high, contains 42 handcrafted figurines and is even listed in Guinness World Records.

International Christmas Market in Essen

Because of its size, the International Christmas Market in Essen (Essen vacation rentals | Essen travel guide) might not be as atmospheric and romantic as many of the other smaller markets all over Germany, but here it is almost guaranteed that you can buy everything Christmas—related that you can think of. In Essen you are not limited to the traditional German Christmas articles, like wooden cribs and tree angels or bakery goods, like gingerbread and stollen, you can also find Belgian chocolates or English Christmas pudding, as well as arts and crafts products from all over Europe.

Leipzig’s Christmas market

[=destination:leipzig:Leipzig's:] Christmas market is not only the second—oldest one in the country but also the most fun to visit with children. Its main attraction is a freestanding Advent calendar, which is known as the biggest one worldwide. Additionally, children can stroll thought the fairytale forest, visit Santa Clause during his office hours in the afternoon at the main market square or even get creative and make their own Christmas decorations a the Wichtel workshop.



About this Article

Kathrin Wagner

This travel guide has been written by Kathrin Wagner.

She grew up in a small town in Bavaria and then studied Media studies, Literature and History in Erlangen and Munich. As a student she already spent half a year in London and moved back there after graduation in 2006. She is still living in London, where she works in publishing.

Find and book quality Germany Vacation Rentals and Holiday Apartments ...

By Vacation Theme: Alpine Villages, Beach Vacations, Farm Vacations, German Castles, Historic Old Towns, Lake Vacations, Metropolitan Cities, Small Villages, Spa Towns, Themeparks, [ + ] more ...

By State: Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Baden-Wurttemberg, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bavaria, Berlin (region), Bern (Canton), Brandenburg, Bremen (region), Burgenland (Austria), Canton of Jura, Canton of Uri, Carinthia (Austria), Fribourg (Canton), Geneva (Canton), Glarus, Graubünden, Hamburg (region), Hesse, Lower Austria, Lower Saxony, Lucerne (Canton), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Neuchâtel, Nidwalden, North Rhine-Westphalia, Obwalden, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Salzburger Land (Austria), Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schaffhausen (Canton), Schleswig-Holstein, Schwyz (Canton), Solothurn, St. Gallen (Canton), Styria (Austria), Thurgau, Thuringia, Ticino, Tyrol (Austria), Upper Austria, Valais, Vaud, Vienna (Austria), Voralberg (Austria), Zug (Canton), Zürich (Canton), [ + ] more ...


Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Germany, Germany

[ view larger map ]

Related Links

Leipzig

www.leipzig.de/de/buerger/freizeit/maerkte/weihnacht/index.shtml


Essen

www.weihnachtsmarkt.essen.de


Dresden

www.striezel-markt.de/striezel/html/eng.html


Rothenburg ob der Tauber

rothenburg-tourist.de/de/weihnachtsmarkt.htm


Nuremberg

www.christkindlesmarkt.de/english/






Nearby Destinations Where You Can Find Nice Germany Vacation Rentals

Kassel

Kassel

With almost 500,000 residents, Kassel is located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse. This city is home to numerous parks and palaces, including Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Having first been mentioned in written sources from…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Kassel Vacation Rentals


Königsee

Königsee

Königsee is a town in the district of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, in Thuringia, Germany. It is situated 12 km east of Ilmenau, and 35 km south of Erfurt.  [ + ] More Details

Related: Königsee Vacation Rentals


Göttingen

Göttingen

Göttingen is a college town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Göttingen. The Leine river runs through the town. In 2006 the population was 129,686.  [ + ] More Details

Related: Göttingen Vacation Rentals


Weimar

Weimar

Although Thuringia may not be on the itinerary of most American tourists, this state offers an array of very interesting cities, not the least of which is the small city of Weimar. Weimar's fame is warranted on various counts, including the fact that…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Weimar Vacation Rentals


Eisenach

Eisenach

Located in the state of Thuringia, Eisenach is situated between the northern foothills of the Thuringian Forest and the Hainich National Park. As of 2006, the city's population was about 44,000. Automobile manufacturing is an important part of Eisenach…  [ + ] More Details

Related: Eisenach Vacation Rentals



Feedback, comments, questions?

Bettina Kraft

If you have visited here please share your experiences with our readers on Facebook. Or, if you have other cool trip suggestions and would like to contribute a travel guide here, please drop me an email. We also are encouraging free-lancers, travel guide writers or publishers who have great Germany related content to send us an email and get in touch with us.

Subscribe to the latest Germany travel guide articles in a reader (RSS)

Ask a Local for special travel insider tips!

We make it easy for you to post your travel questions and get them answered by local residents and our property owners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This way you get unqiue travel tips, personalized to your needs. Just type in your destination in the search box and go to your desired destination guide. From there look for the "Ask a Local" box, type in your question and submit. Typically you'll get 2-3 responses within less than 24 hours.

Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!

Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!Register for our free monthly Germany travel newsletter and download as a gift this valuable eBook: "10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation" - written by Bettina Kraft, owner of the Live Like a German site.
[ + ] More Details

Add the "Best of Live Like a German" to your web site or blog!

Best of Live Like a German Badge

Get the Best of Live Like a German badge, which shows the latest Germany travel tips, popular vacation packages, special trip plans, and a selection of travel guides. It can be integrated easily into your web site or blog.
[ + ] More Details