There is nothing more magical than a Christmas market, and nowhere more magical to experience one than at an original Christmas market in Germany. Enjoy the festive smells of apple cider, mulled wine, baked apples and freshly-baked gingerbread as you stroll through the cobbled streets of a traditional German town or village, surrounded by beautiful outdoor Christmas lights and maybe even a sprinkling of snow!
Christmas markets in Germany are an institution. From the oldest Christmas market in Germany to the exciting new cosmopolitan Christmas market in Berlin, there are so many to choose from. Winter trips in Europe are also technically off-season, meaning you may be able to snap up a vacation deal at half the price. Not only this, but the winter months in Europe can be a much quieter time to take a peaceful vacation before the hectic holiday season begins.
Most markets start at the end of November and run through to Christmas Eve. Visit in the day and at night/evening time to see the effect of the beautiful lights on the street. Most markets are usually open until around 9pm. It is also worth noting that most markets are closed on “Totensonntag” (Remembrance Day in Germany) that is held on the fifth Sunday before Christmas.
Find unique handmade gifts for your loved ones while experiencing the historic traditions of Germany at Christmas. Take a winter trip to Europe this year, get away from the busy shops and streets at home, and throw in some real Christmas spirit this holiday with these seven traditional German Christmas markets:
Am Dom Market, Cologne
23 November – 23 December
The Am Dom Christmas market in Cologne is probably the most famous Christmas market in Germany. Set beneath the largest cathedral in Germany that is also a World Heritage Site, Cologne Cathedral, the famous market is also home to the largest Christmas tree in the Rhine, as well as over 150 stalls, and plenty of mulled wine. Spend hours Christmas shopping or tapping your feet to traditional German music with a glass of the warm red stuff in your hand.
23 November – 31 December
Set in the heart of one of the most creative cities in Europe, the Gendarmenmarkt is both a historic and excitingly cosmopolitan Christmas market. Enjoy some of the country’s best food made by the city’s best chefs, as well as plenty of live entertainment to keep you in the festive spirit, including jugglers, acrobats, fire artists, choirs, and dance groups.
26 November – 24 December
The oldest Christmas market in Germany, Striezelmarkt is a winter wonderland of romantic Christmas lights, festive food and plenty of German charm. Famous for featuring the world’s tallest Nutcracker and Christmas Pyramid, the market features local craftsman selling their wares just in time for Christmas. If you can, try to visit the market on the second Saturday in Advent for the Stollen Festival – when a giant stollen is paraded through the streets, cut and handed out to the crowd for charity.
Stuggart Christmas Market, Stuggart
25 November – 23 December
Experience all of the wonders of Christmas at this traditional festive market that has been named one of the most beautiful in Europe. Overlooked by the beautiful Old Palace, Stuggart Market is set in an architectural paradise, with a Santa’s grotto, handmade arts, crafts and gifts and a miniature railway. This market is perfect for both children and adults.
27 November – 24 December
Travel to Munich, in the heart of Bavaria, and its Gothic architecture is home to the wooden huts and stalls of its Christmas Market in Marienplatz. Celebrating all things Bavaria, the market is a great place to buy Christmas gifts, enjoy local produce and even a concert or two at the impressive Gothic town hall that overlooks the spectacular market.
27 November – 24 December
One of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets and the most famous in Nuremberg, the Christkindlesmarkt is a great Christmas market for the whole family to enjoy. Surrounded by the impressive Alps, as well as the medieval Imperial Castle, the market features a traditional steam train and an old-fashioned carousel, as well as nearly 200 market stalls selling authentic local goods. This market is so authentic and traditional that the sale of mass-produced and modern items is strictly prohibited.
Schloss Guteneck, Nabburg
28 -29 November, 5-6 December, 11-13 December, 18-20 December
This medieval Christmas fair is unlike any of the other Christmas markets on this list. Held on the grounds of the Castle Guteneck, the Schloss Guteneck is both breathtakingly beautiful and traditional. Selling mostly ancient artistry and craft, including pottery, bread baking, shoe making and even paper processing, the market has heated and seated areas, with room for up to 1,000 guests. Just make sure you arrive early if you would like a seat as the fair is only open on the selected weekends above.
Take a Winter Trip in Europe with Auto Europe
Ready for the holidays already? We are too. No better time exists to embark on an adventure to the Christmas Markets in Germany than now, and with Auto Europe by your side, all your travel needs can be taken care of at the lowest prices around, leaving you some extra cash for gifts and family. Whether you need a luxury car rental in Germany, holiday hotel accommodations, or even international airfare, Auto Europe has your back. Give us a call today at, 1-888-223-5555, and get ready for the vacation of a lifetime.