Also known as Christ child market “Christkindlmarkt” or Christmas Eve market “Weihnachtsmarkt,” the famous Christmas markets in Germany are a tradition started in the German-spoken parts in the Middle Ages in Europe. The unique winter markets in Germany dated back to the 1300s.
The Christmas season is observed during Advent, i.e., four weeks till the holiday. They are well known for festive stands offering regional crafts and treats and exuding all kinds of Christmasly cheer. Today, all the European cities follow the tradition of hosting Christmas markets.
But Germany still tops the list. If you are getting here this season, don’t forget to visit the best Christmas markets in Germany listed here.
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When do Christmas Markets start in Germany?
The best Christmas markets in Germany are usually held during the Advent month of Christmas in popular tourist towns and major cities. The famous Christmas markets in Germany typically start from November 25 and serve daily until just before Christmas.
On average, the famous Christmas markets in Germany usually last till December 23. Usually, the Christmas markets are not held on December 24 or December 25 in Germany.
When it comes to timings, the markets are open from 10 am to 8 pm in Germany. To visit the prettiest Christmas markets in Germany to capture the lights in the darkness, be sure to visit by late afternoon or early evening.
Markets generally remain crowded on Friday and Saturday evenings. Christmas markets usually remain quieter on weekdays.
10 Best Christmas Markets in Germany
Set under the Rhine’s largest Christmas tree with the backdrop of gothic Cologne Cathedral, the Weihnachtsmarkt Am Kölner Dom is the most popular and top-rated Christmas markets in Germany. It is well known for offering handmade gifts and wooden pavilions like tree decorations, wood carvings, and soaps.
With a great focus on organic and locally-produced foods, it is a foodie’s heaven. So, grab a mug and fill it up on gluhwein to join in the festivities with dance and song on the streets. There is a perfect entertainment scene for people of all ages. Enjoy the ride of a traditional merry-go-round or spin the wheel of fortune.
The Angel’s Christmas Market is the oldest in Cologne, which has a lot of mulled wine stands and artisan stalls. The sprinkling of magic is an added charm along the alleyways.
You may spot Santa Clause riding the horse if you are in luck. Some other markets you should visit are the Harbour Christmas Market located around the chocolate factory and the Old Market Christmas in front of the town hall.
Start Date: Markets starting from November 25 till December 23, 2019
If you are visiting Berlin during this festive season, you will be spoilt for choices. Visit the Charlottenburg Palace for a memorable and magical experience where you can pick wintertime treats and gifted crafts like the roasted chestnuts. If you have kids, you can head to the winter forest for a train ride or a spin on the carousel.
Gendarmenmarkt, the most beautiful square in Berlin, becomes the most eye-catching Christmas market in Germany top 10. Spot the intricately carved wooden gifts and the stalls sewn by the local dressmakers.
A lot of artists gather here to display their work of art, including different fire-eaters and jugglers, along with several musicians. At Jagdschloss Grunewald, the 17th Fairy-Tale Christmas Market makes for a beautiful day trip from around the city center.
Well placed by the reflective lake, the market stalls open in Berlin’s courtyard of the oldest palace during the weekends of the Advent month. The fairy tale characters like Gretel and Hansel greet the visitors here.
Start Date: The celebration starts November 25 till December 31, 2019
Related read: When you do visit Berlin, make sure to also visit the towns and villages not more than an hour away from this beautiful capital!
The Nuremberg Christmas Market or Christkindlesmarkt is one of the most popular and top Christmas markets in Germany. The Main Market Square on Nuremberg is said to host the Christmas market since the way back in 1628, but locals believe that it is even older.
No matter what, following, and keeping the tradition is the key. Most of the stalls are selling locally-made items. Even the wooden stalls are made of locally sourced spruce themselves. More than 30 wooden huts are dated back to 1890.
More than 180 wooden huts are offering everything from Prune Men to design the houses to the Original Nuremberger, which are named as if they are produced in the city limits and weigh up to 23g.
You will also be greeted by a serene view through the whole Main Market Square when you climb up to the Church of Our Lady’s balcony.
Start Date: The season starts on November 29 till December 24, 2019
The very own ‘capital of Christmas’ to Germany, Dresden hosts the Christmas market from the end of November to Christmas Eve. Dresden is the most happening place with so much Christmas charm and history during Advent. The Striezelmarkt is going to be one of the best Christmas markets in Germany 2019 tours.
It is also one of the early Christmas markets in Germany. It exudes its endless charm every year since 1434. During the initial years, the market was serving as a meat market for just one day when it was founded, especially for the people looking for the best Christmas roast.
The craftsmen and salespeople eventually came all the way to grow the market. Today, it houses more than 200 stands and huts, offering everything like local food and woodcrafts.
This historical attraction is visited by over 2.5 million people to taste the hot Glühwein. Along with it, there are several pretty markets around the historic center.
Start Date: Christmas markets starting from November 27 to December 24, 2019
Dwarfed by the magnificent Old Town Hall and centered on 300 stalls of the historic Marketplatz, the Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt is located as one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe, Germany, since 1458. The stalls are lined by the streets bombarded with music, lights, and parades.
So, be sure to board the 38m high Ferris wheel for breathtaking views above the square and witness the magnificent Advent Calendar.
Start Date: Christmas market starts from November 26 to December 23, 2019
Hosting over 300 ornately designed stalls, with prizes for the best, it goes without saying that Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt is one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe. Take a medieval stroll to the impressive views of Old Castle, New Castle, and Collegiate Church. Enjoy the local dishes, be amazed by the choirs, and have some fun at the ice rink.
The lively Esslingen Medieval Market is located nearby. Here the stilt-walkers in costumes and the well-known European performers head to the streets lined by timber house to take the town and the tourists to the Middle Ages. Be careful of pranksters and enjoy the spine-tingling performances of the artists.
Start Date: Christmas market starting from November 27 to December 23, 2019
The grounds before the Town Hall and the well-lit Aachen Cathedral become the oh-so Christmas village each winter, where wooden chalets greet the crowds to Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt.
Along with tasting the so-called Aachen Printen gingerbread, also meet the 6m tall mascot of Printen gingerbread man. There are gifts for everyone, i.e., from the traditional to very special. Visit the well erected fair, which is equally loved by tourists and locals.
Start Date: Christmas markets starting from November 22 to December 23, 2019
The very traditional and the main market of Munich, the Münchner Christkindlmarkt, winds up the Marienplatz shopping street till the Richard Strauss Fountain.
Do check out the hand-painted glass balls with Bavarian extravaganza and taste some home-brewed Beerenglühwein. Stroll around the well-lit stalls by the huge Christmas tree behind the town hall as well as 2500 candles forming a merry glow.
Start Date: Christmas markets starting from November 27 to December 24, 2019
Hosted on the grounds of Schloss, the pastel-yellow castle, the Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Guteneck has been hosting the Christmas market. With strings of lights covering the trees and roaring fires for added warmth since the Middle Ages.
Expect jugglers, clowns, and minstrels roaming around the stalls and farm animals petted there. The markets open on the weekends only and come up with something different every time, including camel rides, fire dancing, and falconry.
Start Date: Christmas markets running from November 29 to December 22, 2019
The very own Hamburger Weihnachtsmarkt is placed in the largest square in Hamburg, with over 80 vendors placing stalls in the backdrop of the serene town hall. Father Christmas himself, announces with ‘ho, ho, ho’ on his reindeer-driven sleigh when you enjoy the rides on a huge model train with your kids along the toy lanes.
Forget all the gadgets you have because you will be feeling lost in the antiqued streets and charmed by the unique gifts. Be sure to try the locally-produced Glühwein by a small winemaker for the market.
Start Date: Markets starting on November 25 until December 23, 2019