Some of the best German Christmas markets to visit this winter.
At JWT Travel we would like our customers to get into the Christmas mood and discover the magic of traditional German Christmas markets joining our Escorted Tours this winter.
German traditional Christmas markets also known as Weihnachtsmarkt or Christkindlmarkt, date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. At this time Christmas markets received a big boost as protestant reformer Martin Luther suggested that the birth of Christ was a more appropriate day for gift giving than other Saints’ days. It was from here that the practice of buying gifts at Christmas time began to gain popularity, as well as seasonal festive markets.
There are about 3,000 Christmas Markets in Germany alone (nationalgeogrphic, 2019)/(McKeever, 2019), and are generally open at the end of November and close one or two days before Christmas Eve.
Whether you visit the big ones, or tiny markets, you will enjoy them all. Here is a list of the best German Christmas markets for you to enjoy this festive season:
Düsseldorf Christmas Market is in fact seven different markets each with its unique theme, spread across the city.
Dusseldorf will keep you busy for days and at the city’s Christmas markets you will find anything from traditional Christmas food, beautiful gifts and countless decorations.
One of our favorites is the market square “Handwerker-Markt”, where the City Town Hall and square transforms into beautiful winter wonderland.
Probably the most famous and spectacular of the German Christmas markets are the ones in Cologne, especially the Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market, Weihnachtsmarkt am Dom. Located at the city’s iconic Cathedral, this market has a stunning backdrop and is full of stalls selling lots of goodies such as traditional food, beer and coffee.
Visitors can also enjoy other beautiful Christmas Markets such as ‘The House Elves’ Winter Fairytale Christmas Market, Heinzels WinterMarchen, with its impressive decorations. In this winter wonderland, tribute is payed to the Heinzelmännchen house elves who, according to local legend, take care of locals’ housework as they sleep. This market has richly decorated chalets, a central skating rink and little Heinelmännchen (elves) everywhere!
The Bonn markets may be some of the best German Christmas markets if your looking for something a little more off the beaten track. The Christmas market scene in Bonn is less known to international visitors, meaning it feels more local and intimate.
The heart of Bonn’s Christmas Market can be found in Münsterplatz, where there are many classic Christmas market stalls selling gifts, ornaments and delicious seasonal food.
Every year, Koblenz is transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland, where the scent of mulled wine and gingerbread flows through the streets and is the perfect place to go find hand made, individual gifts.
A must-see in Koblenz is Jesuitenplatz, where you will find the city’s largest Advent calendar, composed of colourfully lit dormer windows of the baroque town hall.
Taking a detour to the Deutsches Eck, you can take the cable car up to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress Cultural Center, where the Christmas lights and sound installation “Christmas Garden” is one of the highlights of the Christmas season in Koblenz.
Dresden has the largest number of Christmas markets in the eastern part of the country and lays claim to the title of being the oldest seasonal event in Germany, with its centuries-old Striezelmarkt, dating back to 1434.
As well as the most traditional, Dresden’s Christmas Market scene is one of the most famous and beloved in Germany. There are many customs surrounding the main city market including local industries like mining, woodworking and pottery.
The Striezelmarkt attracts visitors not only for being the oldest Christmas market in Germany but also for its interesting features, such as the world’s tallest, 14.61-metre-high Ore Mountain step pyramid, what is likely to be the world’s largest walk-in candle arch, and a great programme of cultural Christmas events.
Berlin has a huge variety of Christmas markets, from nostalgic to action-packed, ensuring that you will always find your favourite one.
Spandau’s old town is the perfect setting for a nostalgic Christmas market. In Berlin, many stalls selling food, crafts and gluhwein bring the Christmas cheer out to squares and cobbled streets across the city.
Domäne Dahlem Estate market is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Christmas in the big city and breathe in the country air. In this market you will find handmade delicacies such as marzipan and nougat, organic regional products and hands on activities for children such as making your own Christmas presents.
We hope you enjoy our blog about the best German Christmas Markets. If you would like to visit some of these amazing markets, we will be travelling there in November, take a look at our upcoming tour: Christmas markets in Germany 2023.
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