No question: Saxony-Anhalt is enchanting at any time of year. But if you love Christmas splendor, you might want to plan your visit during the winter season: Festively decorated towns, romantic markets and castles bathed in the glow of the lights are just waiting to be discovered - ideally with a mulled wine in your hand and the scent of fresh gingerbread in your nose. We offer eight tips for a magical winter in Saxony-Anhalt.

1

The Magdeburg world of lights

The numbers alone are really impressive: More than one million LED lights, over 100 kilometers of fairy lights and about 60 luminous large figures transform Magdeburg at Christmas time into a veritable sea of lights. It's like being in a fairy tale when the artistic figures and sculptures slowly emerge at dusk. Their diversity is unique: fountains overlaid with light stelae, shimmering instruments, galloping horses, oversized lettering and water features made of golden LED lights ... Anyone who strolls through the decorated city center can't help but be amazed.

The illuminated cathedral square, light paintings with Magdeburg personalities on the facades of the buildings on the Alter Markt or musical moments at the illuminated fountain on Ulrichplatz are further highlights of the world of lights. Sparkling picture frames and walkable Christmas tree balls provide a spectacular backdrop for extraordinary souvenir photos.

By the way: If you miss the world of lights in the run-up to Christmas, don't fret: Magdeburg will be lit up until February 2, 2022! The ceremonial starting signal falls on November 22, 2021. There are daily guided tours on which visitors also learn all sorts of interesting facts about the city's history.

2

The Christmas market in Halle

On a guided tour of the Hausmannstürme you can enjoy both mulled wine and a unique view over the city
On a guided tour up the Hausmannstürme you can enjoy both mulled wine and a unique view over the city © Stadtmarketing Halle Saale GmbH

One of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the country Saxony-Anhalt you can find in Hall visit. It takes place every year from the end of November until shortly before Christmas - on the market square and down to the Hallmarkt. Even from a distance you can see the market's landmark glittering, the 15-meter-high Christmas tree in front of the Ratshof. Right next to it is the oversized version of one of the typical wooden pyramids of lights from the Erzgebirge. For children, there's a special bakery, a fairy tale forest, a walk-in nativity scene and even a real consultation hour with Santa Claus.

In addition, the Hausmann towers The towers of St. Mary's Church are decorated with countless fairy lights especially for the Christmas market and spread a romantic Advent atmosphere. By the way, you can climb the towers. Once you've reached the top, you can enjoy Halle's highest Winter Lounge warm up with two cups of mulled wine (included in the ticket) and enjoy the wonderful view over Halle and the Christmas market.

As part of the city's Corona concept, this year's market will be called "Winter market" on the market square and the Hallmarkt as well as "Winterzauber" on the Domplatz.

3

Naumburg in the cold season

Isn't it just wonderful, to drift comfortably through a city with a heartwarming atmosphere during the Christmas season? Naumburg unfolds a special charm even in the winter months and is definitely worth a visit.

There is a small, cozy Christmas market with culinary delights, Christmas products and a small stage.

A real insider tip for friends of regional craftsmanship is the market Marienzauber, which takes place on two days only (27/28 November 2021). Those looking for individual gifts are sure to find what they are looking for here among wooden Christmas decorations, handcrafted accessories, candles and pottery.

And also who still in search of real Christmas spirit, certainly can not escape the magic of the atmospheric lighting of the Marientor and St. Mary's Church!

A moment of rest and amazement visitors experience at the larger-than-life Christmas crib made of solid wood at the portal of the town church of St. Wenceslas.

4

Glitter world and candle scent in Döbbelin Castle

It's never too early to start looking forward to Christmas! Anyone who sees it the same way should follow the Döbbelin Castle pay us a visit. Because Christmas dreams come true here - 365 days a year! The exhibition presents almost 20,000 different Christmas articles in a festive atmosphere. Christmas baubles, candles, candlesticks, fairy lights and much more sparkle on 600 square meters.

The castle itself is a unique example of old-Marchan architecture and has been in the possession of the von Bismarck family for 19 generations. The owner of the house is Alexander von Bismarck, who restored the castle with great attention to detail and now lives there privately with his family. However, guided tours through the traditional architectural ensemble and the park are possible by appointment - and really worthwhile!

Who after so much Christmas and architectural beauty needs a little break: no problem! In the cozy café visitors are spoiled with homemade delicacies.

5

Christmas European Tour in Dessau

The flower garden in the Georgium: In the footsteps of Prince Franz's European journey © Stadtmarketinggesellschaft Dessau-Roßlau mbH, S. Kaps
The flower garden in the Georgium: In the footsteps of Prince Franz's European journey © Stadtmarketinggesellschaft Dessau-Roßlau mbH, S. Kaps

This recommendation is for everyone who loves to listen to (Christmas) storiesOn a guided walk through the Georgengarten in Dessau, you can follow in the footsteps of Prince Franz through Christmas Europe. Prince Franz of Anhalt-Dessau set out in 1765 on an educational journey that would take him to Italy, France, Holland and England. After his return, the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm where Prince Franz and his brother Johann Georg recreated their travel impressions - an educational journey through Europe in miniature, so to speak. Buildings, living conditions and customs of other countries can be impressively relived here to this day.

On four Fridays during Advent the public tour takes place: Visitors experience a foray through seven countries in 70 minutes, where they can marvel at well-known and unknown Christmas traditions as well as the origins of many a custom. This is not only very informative, but also entertaining!

6

Merseburg Winter Magic

Merseburg an der Saale is one of the oldest cities in Central Germany © Saale-Unstrut-Tourismus e.V., W. Kubak
Merseburg an der Saale is one of the oldest cities in Central Germany © Saale-Unstrut-Tourismus e.V., W. Kubak

Merseburg enchanted - and especially at Christmas time! For example, the traditional castle Christmas: from the second to the third Advent weekend, the scent of mulled wine wafts through the castle courtyard. Every day, Santa Claus and his little angels make children's eyes light up; there is a fairytale forest with an enchanted atmosphere, children's carousels and cabaret. Merchants offer jewelry, wooden art, spices and of course many typical delicacies. Those who like it a little quieter can simply stroll through the picturesque alleys of the old town with a mulled wine.

Extra Tip: Always on the 1st of Advent, the city offers a winter walk that includes Merseburg Christmas traditions and the true story about Hansel and Gretel's gingerbread recipe. Really entertaining!

7

Full steam through the Harz Mountains

Fascination Harz narrow-gauge railroad - especially beautiful in wintertime! © DEEPOL by plainpicture, P. Collani
Fascination Harz narrow-gauge railroad - especially beautiful in wintertime! © DEEPOL by plainpicture, P. Collani

With the narrow gauge railroad through the Harz Mountains - that is an experience at any time of the year! But when in winter the landscape is bathed in soft white and the whistle of the locomotive penetrates the clear air, then a very special atmosphere arises. The 140-kilometer network of the Harz narrow gauge railroads traverses the romantic low mountain range landscape on various routes. A highlight is, of course, the ride with the Brockenbahn up to the summit of northern Germany's highest mountain. 

For Advent there are also special trips that make the hearts of big and small rail fans beat faster: For example, the Advent Express to the historic Christmas market in Wernigerode or the St. Nicholas trains, in which St. Nicholas hands out little surprises to children.

8

Advent city Quedlinburg

Welcome to Quedlinburg: The setting for a Christmas market could hardly be more beautiful! © Quedlinburg-Tourismus-Marketing-GmbH, N. Reischke
Welcome to Quedlinburg: The setting for a Christmas market could hardly be more beautiful! © Quedlinburg-Tourismus-Marketing-GmbH, N. Reischke

When it comes to Advent, is Quedlinburg really a city of superlatives: The most beautiful Christmas market in Saxony-Anhalt, the largest Christmas calendar in Germany, the unique experience "Advent in the courtyards". But wait, so many highlights had better make their appearance in order:

Quedlinburg Christmas market takes place in front of beautiful sceneryCenturies-old half-timbered houses around the historic market square, plus the large festively lit fir tree in front of the town hall - no wonder that it has already twice been named the most beautiful Christmas market in Saxony-Anhalt. If you smell the scent of mulled wine, cinnamon stars and gingerbread in your nose, you can't help but get into the best Christmas mood right away!

The Quedlinburg "Advent in den Höfen" is considered unique in Germany. What is so extraordinary about it? Quite simply, on the first, second and third weekends of Advent, the city's most beautiful courtyards open their doors! This should not be missed, because these fascinating insights are otherwise denied to visitors. On historical pavement merchants offer rarities and small treasures, which they search, collect and produce especially for these few days. And all this in an atmosphere that more than deserves to be called Christmassy!

Quedlinburg also offers a special experience for children during Advent: The largest Advent calendar in Germany includes 24 houses decorated for Christmas on the Schlossberg. Every day from December 1 to 24, one of the houses opens its door and reveals a sweet surprise. For this purpose, Quedlinburg children and their parents meet every day at 4:30 p.m. (on December 24 already at 1 p.m.) at the Finkenhäuschen, the tourist information office at Finkenherd. From there, everyone looks together for the house with the big A for "Advent City of Quedlinburg" - this is where the surprise is revealed. What a magical way to shorten the waiting time for Christmas Eve!

By the waySince Quedlinburg with its many attractions is so popular during Advent, it is highly recommended that you leave your car behind and travel by train. Trains on the Magdeburg-Quedlinburg route are specifically reinforced on these days.

In collaboration with IMG - Investment and Marketing Company Saxony-Anhalt

UNESCO World Heritage, the Brocken in the Harz Mountains and the Garden dreams and historical parks are good reasons for your vacation in Saxony-Anhalt. Even more? Sure! This way:

Vacation in Saxony-Anhalt

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