With less than 23 days until Christmas Day, the infectious holiday spirit is catching on everywhere, especially in the enchanting Christmas Markets in Germany where cobbled streets lined with quaint wooden huts and sparkling lights captivate tourists and delectable aromas of roasting chestnuts, grilled sausages, ginger bread and mulled wine fill the air.
Germany’s Christmas markets usually start in the last week of November and run through to Christmas Eve or a day or two before. Opening hours are from around 10am to 9pm (sometimes later). If you’re visiting Germany this December, here are five Christmas Markets that you should visit.
Christmas Market Highlights
The Christkindlesmarkt radiates the charm of the holiday season with more than 500 years of tradition. Every weekend evening, the impressive Renaissance “Rathaus” (Town Hall) turns into a huge Advent calendar as twenty-four angels make music while standing in the windows of the
This market features the largest Christmas music box in the world. Atmospheric bright lights illuminate the Old Town as a lovingly restored children’s merry-go-round from 1907 turns and festively decorated stalls offer craft works, wooden toys, or sweets. St. Nikolaus visits each day to open a window on the huge Advent calendar in front of the “Rathaus” (City Hall) where the Peace of Westphalia was signed in 1648.
Heidelberg is renowned for its romantic ambiance and never does the “fairytale of times past” come more alive than when the magic of Christmas illuminates the Old Town where the market extends over six squares. Heidelberg’s essential winter experience,
“Christmas on Ice”, offers the opportunity to skate in an open-air rink at the very foot of the world-famous castle.
Traditional Christmas markets are situated in the historical Old Town near Sanssouci Palace as well as in the midst of the UNESCO world cultural heritage site Bornstedt Crown Estate, where a nostalgic atmosphere with its children ́s railway and steam-powered merry-go-round, dating to 1893, prevails. In the renowned Dutch Quarter, the “Sintaklaas” Christmas market takes place in a Dutch tradition with culinary delights from Holland.
Erfurt ́is a historic Old Town and the “Mariendom” (St.Mary ́s Cathedral), where Martin Lutherwas ordained as a priest in 1511, provide a magical atmosphere at Christmas time and the Cathedral Square, with its giant Christmas tree, is an ideal place for the Christmas market. In Erfurt, the famous Thuringian sausages are sold at the market as well.