Christmas carols are playing, colorful stars are shining and the scent of pine needles, gingerbread and mulled wine is in the air. A festive atmosphere hangs over the whole country in the run-up to Christmas - especially at the numerous Christmas markets, of course. Whether classic, medieval or alternative - you will find at least one cozy Christmas market in pretty much every city. It's hard to know where to drink mulled wine first. That's why we present some of the country's most beautiful markets here.


Cookie cutters and cinnamon stars - the Stuttgart Christmas market

Stuttgart Schlossplatz Christmas market
A huge Christmas tree towers over the stalls on Stuttgart's Schlossplatz, which smell of mulled wine and cookies © msl33 -

A star shines in the night sky. I wonder what it is? Well, the top of the large Christmas pyramid at the Stuttgart Christmas market. It turns leisurely and can be seen from afar above the roofs of the stalls. Further down, a smoking steam locomotive suddenly rattles and hisses past. The miniature train welcomes young passengers in particular on a round trip. Over 200 stalls offer a whole Christmas ABC, from cookie cutters to mulled wine and cinnamon stars. Perfect for buying presents and a tasty festive snack. With a bit of luck, you can also get your hands on some real rarities here: the antique market on Schillerplatz has been an integral part of the Christmas program in the state capital of Baden-Württemberg for years. Tip: If you're looking for a special view of the hustle and bustle and the city, you should take a ride on the Ferris wheel on Schlossplatz.

When and where?
Wed., November 29, to Sat., December 23; Altes Schloss, Schlossplatz, Marktplatz and Schillerplatz 

And what else?
In Tübingen, which is not far from Stuttgart, there is the "ChocolART" every year at the beginning of December. Strictly speaking, this is not a Christmas market, but you are guaranteed to find something delicious for your plate of cookies among the chocolatiers from all over the world. And the Tübingen Christmas market is also held on the 3rd weekend in Advent.


Well-known and international - the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg

Nuremberg Christmas market with red and white striped stalls
The red and white striped stalls are a trademark of the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt © Mapics -

The "little town made of wood and cloth" is one of the most famous Christmas markets in the world. The Christkindlesmarkt is also one of the oldest and largest in Germany. The festive market was first mentioned in documents as early as 1628. As you stroll through the long alleys of stalls covered in red and white cloth, you can smell roasted almonds here, delicious waffles there and juicy sausages a little further on. You can also try gingerbread, spices and colorful sweets. Craftspeople sell handmade items such as tree decorations, candles, soaps and other beautiful last-minute gifts for your loved ones. A particularly colorful tradition is the Nuremberg children's candlelight parade. On 14 December, they parade together with the Christ Child with colorful, homemade lanterns from Kaiserstraße across the main market square up to the castle. There they present the Christmas story in living pictures. The festive procession is accompanied by Christmas carols - goosebump-inducing moments are almost guaranteed.

When and where?
Fri., December 1, to Sun., December 24; on the main market square and the adjacent alleys and squares

And what else?
Greek honey, South Tyrolean mulled wine, wooden toys from Sri Lanka and Christmas cookies from all over the world. The twin town market on the adjacent Rathausplatz brings an international atmosphere to the Christkindlesmarkt. Here you can experience how Christmas is celebrated elsewhere.


As diverse as the city itself - Berlin's Christmas markets

WEihnachtsmarkt at the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin
At Gendarmenmarkt, you can enjoy mulled wine and gingerbread against a stately backdrop © moofushi -

There are so many Christmas markets in the capital that it is impossible to choose just one. The "WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt" is considered by many to be the most atmospheric Christmas market in Berlin, not least because of the charming city backdrop. Normally located between the German and French Cathedrals, this year it is being held on the equally beautiful Bebelplatz due to construction work. Fans of old handicrafts in particular will enjoy the wide range of wood carvings, metalwork and other handmade products. The Christmas market at Charlottenburg Palace is particularly romantic, where the ensemble of palace grounds, Christmas pyramid and white pagoda tents creates a particularly festive atmosphere. Do you like it a little more exuberant? Then you should stop by Alexanderplatz. With an ice rink, curling rink and Santa's party house, there's plenty going on here.

When and where?
"WeihnachtsZauber" and Charlottenburg Palace: Mon, Nov. 27 to Sun, Dec. 31; on Bebelplatz and in front of Charlottenburg Palace. Alexanderplatz: Monday, November 27 to Tuesday, December 26

And what else?
There are Christmas markets for every taste in Berlin. Not in the mood for meat? The Green Market offers vegan and vegetarian Christmas treats. The Danish Advent Bazaar offers glögg and Nordic flair. And the Historische Weihnacht in Friedrichshain has a great medieval atmosphere. And these are just a few examples.


Where the golden stars shine - the Cottbus Christmas market

Christmas pyramid and Ferris wheel at the Cottbus Christmas market
The red and white Herrnhut stars are typical of the Cottbus Christmas market, as is the Ferris wheel © joergneufeld -

The stars, fairy lights and Christmas tree baubles glitter and twinkle everywhere on the richly decorated stalls of the Cottbus Christmas market. Magnificent, colorful shining Herrnhut stars from Upper Lusatia hang throughout the city center and transform the East Brandenburg city into a festive sea of lights. Hence the official name: the Christmas market of a thousand stars. Mulled wine is served at the stalls and handicrafts from the region are sold. There are also lots of sweet and savory treats. And towering over everything in Cottbus is the large Christmas pyramid with its starry top. Behind it, the Ferris wheel slowly turns.

When and where?
Mon., November 27 to Sat., December 23; city center. On the Altmarkt, the market continues until Wed., December 27

And what else?
What could be better than a little walk in the woods in the middle of the city? Wait - in the middle of the city? Actually, there is a winter forest of conifers in Cottbus city center until April 2024. In the middle of it, you'll find a small stand serving original Feuerzangenbowle and other hot drinks. Very cozy.


Perfect for buying presents - the Bremen Christmas market

View of the town hall and the Christmas market in Bremen
Mulled wine and treats in front of the World Heritage backdrop of Bremen Town Hall © Olha Rohulya -

The Bremen Town Musicians, immortalized as a sculpture, have an ideal spot from which to observe the festive hustle and bustle. Richly decorated stalls, colorful lights and the scent of numerous treats create a Christmas atmosphere. The wintery stall village stretches between the town hall, Roland and Schütting. Over 170 exhibitors sell handicrafts, gifts and delicacies. In the heart of the city center, this is the perfect opportunity to pick up a few Christmas presents. Afterwards, enjoy a mulled wine against the cold - and the anticipation of the big festive season is sure to be there.

When and where?
Mon., November 27 to Sat., December 23; in the Old Town

And what else?
The Schlachtezauber, a maritime Christmas market on Bremen's waterfront promenade, the Schlachte, offers a very special atmosphere. The buccaneer village with performers in pirate costumes and stalls in a ship setting attracts many people every year.


One for all - Hamburg's historic Christmas market

Aerial view of Hamburg City Hall with Christmas market
The backdrop in front of the town hall makes Hamburg's Christmas market even more beautiful than it already is © Fabrice -

It smells of roasted almonds, gingerbread and nuts and the mulled wine specially developed for the Christmas market. Christmas trees decorated with angels and golden apples, a wrought-iron gate at the entrance, a children's carousel from the 1920s and, above all, the colorful illuminated Hamburg Town Hall create a festive atmosphere: The colorfully illuminated Hamburg Town Hall. Hamburg's largest Christmas market is anything but commercial and many things here are unique. For example, the themed aisles: A model train runs above the stalls in the Toy Alley, hat and lantern makers, glass blowers and amber cutters can be found in the Artisans' Alley, and in the Naschgasse, gingerbread is baked, typical Hamburg lard cakes are sold, and here you can find Dresden Christmas stollen and a sweet maker who you can watch at work. 

When and where?
Mon., Nov. 27 to Sat., Dec. 23; in front of Hamburg City Hall

And what else?
In addition to the Christmas market in front of the town hall, you can also discover other markets in the Hanseatic city: For example, the "White Magic" on the Jungfernstieg or "Santa Pauli", Hamburg's "hottest" Christmas market. 


More than just a market - the Christmas town of Lüneburg

Colorful illuminated town hall of Lüneburg with Christmas market in the foreground
The Lüneburg Christmas market in front of the town hall usually smells of mulled wine and lard cake © Olaf Simon -

When lots of little lights shine in the windows of the gabled houses, the smell of mulled wine and lard cake wafts through the streets, music can be heard from many backyards and the sound of trombones floats over the market square, then it's Christmas in Lüneburg. And to describe just one Christmas market here would not be enough, as there are more than ten markets in total, spread throughout the historic streets of the Hanseatic city. The small markets in the courtyards or the maritime-inspired market on the Stint are particularly cozy. 

When and where?
Wed., November 29 to Sat., December 30; throughout Lüneburg's Old Town

And what else?
On the first weekend in December, you can embark on a Christmas journey through time: The historic Christmas market takes place around St. Michael's Church in Lüneburg's oldest residential district - well guarded by the city guard in historical garb. 


Rich in tradition - Frankfurt's Christmas markets

Frankfurt Römer with Christmas market, surrounded by half-timbered houses
With its half-timbered houses all around, Frankfurt's Christmas market on the Römer is particularly idyllic © karlo54 -

The first Christmas market was held in the Hessian state capital in 1393. At least that's how far back it can be traced. Back then and right up until the beginning of the 19th century, the Christkindlesmarkt, as the Christmas market was called at the time, was a Frankfurt-only affair. Foreigners had no access. Today, there is not just one, but several Christmas markets in Frankfurt: at Römerberg, Hauptwache, Paulsplatz, Mainkai, Roßmarkt and Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz. They are all still characterized by Frankfurt traditions today: The stalls sell down-to-earth handicrafts, as well as toys such as wooden balls, rag dolls, hobby and rocking horses, Christmas gifts and sweets. Frankfurt is famous for its Beth- and Quetschemännchen, both sweet treats. Incidentally, even Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a big fan of Bethmännchen. Even when he lived in Weimar, his mother sent him a parcel of marzipan cookies every year. 

When and where?
Monday, November 27 to Thursday, December 21; at Römerberg, Hauptwache, Paulsplatz, Mainkai, Roßmarkt and Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz

And what else?
A colorful program with exhibitions, Christmas concerts and readings awaits you around the Christmas markets. The Frankfurt City Ringing is a particularly contemplative event. Then 50 bells ring out simultaneously in 10 churches - unforgettable.


Maritime diversity - colorful Christmas hustle and bustle in Rostock

Christmas market Neuer Markt Rostock with pyramid and fairground rides
The large Christmas pyramid is the landmark of the Rostock Christmas market © TMV/Gross

The hare and hedgehog race, Mother Hulda shakes out her beds and Rumpelstiltskin hops around the fire: you will meet many well-known characters in the fairytale world of the Rostock Christmas market. Six-metre-high trees of light in front of the Kröpelin Gate bathe the square in a warm glow. The Christmas carnival is much more action-packed. Flying sofas, rotating plates and wild mice are sure to get your circulation going. Afterwards, you can recharge your batteries along the food mile. Here, you can feast on specialties such as Rostock smoked sausage, Mutzen, Warnemünde smoked fish and Swedish glögg. And in the Christmas village on the Brink, you can sit together comfortably in the fireplace corners and enjoy delicious mulled wine.

When and where? 
Mon, 27 November to Sat, 22 December; Kröpeliner Straße, am Neuen Markt, am Brink and in the parking lot "An der Fischerbastion"

And what else?
From Tuesday to Thursday, Santa Claus and the fairy-tale aunt welcome all young visitors for Santa's consultation hour. At the weekends, there is a cultural program and the Christmas fairy tale is performed. 


Certified sustainable - the Christmas market at Cologne Cathedral

Ice skating rink at Heumarkt in Cologne
An ice rink in the middle of Cologne? Of course, you'll find it at the Christmas market on Heumarkt, not far from Cologne Cathedral © 77pixels -

Here, the cathedral and Christmas tree compete to outshine each other: every year, Roncalli Square at the foot of Cologne's famous cathedral shines in a festive atmosphere. In the stalls with their red Santa hat roofs, you will find all kinds of treats, such as donut balls from the Netherlands, mulled wine and Feuerzangenbowle, Cologne Cathedral speculoos and stollen. Of course, there are also great Christmas gifts to buy. How about new cookie cutters or a clock made from old records? What makes the Cologne Christmas market even more special is that it is the first in Germany to receive certification for its sustainable operation. For example, you can only buy reusable tableware at the food stalls, many products are organic and the electricity comes from sustainable energy sources.  

When and where? 
Thursday, November 23 to Sunday, December 23; Roncalli-Platz

And what else?
From alphorn players to a big band: the stage program at the Cologne Christmas Market is truly diverse and international. Every day, choirs, music and theater groups perform, sing Christmas carols in many languages, present the Christmas story in a completely different way or play rousing songs that you are sure to dance along to.



For a mulled wine with the Queen - the Trier Christmas market

Festively decorated stalls and great mulled wine: welcome to the Trier Christmas market © Trier Christmas market

Fine mulled wine from winegrowers and a mulled wine queen: in Trier, the Christmas feel-good drink takes center stage - after all, the city is located in the middle of an outstanding wine region. The hot drink is served against the stunning backdrop of the medieval main market and Trier Cathedral. Stroll around the festively decorated stalls, buy treats, small gifts and knick-knacks and let yourself be guided by the lights. It's also worth taking a look at the program. There are regular live concerts on the Domfreihof stage and even Santa Claus sings a few songs for you. The Trier Christmas market was voted one of the best Christmas markets in Germany on the EuropeanBestDestinations platform.

When and where?
Fri., November 24 to Fri., December 22; Main market in the center

And what else?
An Advent calendar in the town hall, an ice rink and an arts and crafts market: the Christmas market in Koblenz is also full of atmosphere. It extends over six squares in the old town and is one of the most beautiful in the country.


High above - the Christmas market in Saarbrücken

The St. Johann market is full of atmosphere at Christmas time © - Petair

When Santa Claus flies over the St. Johann market twice a day on his reindeer sleigh, it's Christmas market time again in Saarbrücken. For 20 years now, he has been riding high up on a tightrope in his illuminated sleigh, telling the story of Rudolf the reindeer. The St. Johann market is the heart of the Saarland metropolis and is adorned with around 80 huts, a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, an ice rink and the Jupiter Ferris wheel in winter. Jupiter is almost 50 meters high and the only mobile Ferris wheel in the world. It's worth combining a visit to the Christmas market with a walk, as the Francophile city shows off one of its most beautiful sides in winter: Many sights, alleyways and passages are beautifully illuminated and decorated. 

When and where?
Monday, November 20 to Saturday, December 23; St. Johanner Markt

And what else?
Fulminant fire shows, a toboggan run and unusual arts and crafts: the Christmas market in St. Wendel is one of the most exciting in the region. From December 8 to 17, the small town north-east of Saarbrücken is transformed into a medieval village with over 170 wooden huts selling beautiful winter goods and regional delicacies.


A stollen to celebrate - the Dresden Striezelmarkt

The Dresden Striezelmarkt has been held for almost 600 years © - eyetronic

The white-powdered giant is ceremoniously pulled through the cobbled streets: a large crowd of guests accompanies the Dredsner Riesenstollen, which is cut and sold at the Dresden Striezelmarkt every year on the Saturday before the second Advent. The Christmas market in the Saxon state capital is one of the oldest in Germany. It has been held since 1434 - in a fantastic setting between the Frauenkirche church and the Brühl Terraces. In the middle of the Christmas market, there are three eye-catchers: a beautiful Christmas tree, a Ferris wheel and the world's largest step pyramid from the Ore Mountains, which is over 14 meters high. It's worth planning time for your visit if you want to stroll past all 214 stands. There you will find traditional handicrafts, such as the popular wood carvings from the Ore Mountains, or ceramics from the Silesian part of Saxony and treats such as hot chestnuts.

When and where?
Wed., November 29 to Sun., December 24; Dresden Altmarkt

And what else?
The toy village of Seiffen is located around 65 kilometers south of Dresden. The home of the famous smokers, Christmas pyramids and the like exudes a touch of Christmas spirit all year round - and is in full swing in winter. From December 1 to 23, more than 50 decorated stalls line the streets. There are lantern parades, a story-telling Santa Claus and all kinds of great crafts.


A city sparkles - the Magdeburg Christmas market

Over one million LED lights decorate the Magdeburg Christmas market © - Andrea Schwingel

1.2 million LED lights give Magdeburg's city center a magical glow in winter. The scent of roasted almonds, chestnuts and mulled wine wafts from the more than 125 beautifully decorated stalls on the Alter Markt - over 50 varieties of the hot drink are available here. In Märchengasse, a winter fairy tale can be heard at the touch of a button. And visitors can make Christmas decorations in the craft house. Fancy a trip to the north? The Nordic Mile is set up on Hartstraße in winter, offering glögg, furs, Nordic bread and all kinds of beautiful Scandinavian things. The "Kaiser Otto Pfalz" has a medieval feel. Here, cloth makers, glass blowers and blacksmiths demonstrate their craft and you can buy pottery, antique jewelry and leather goods.

When and where?
Monday, November 27 to Friday, December 29; Alter Markt, Magdeburg 

And what else?
One Christmas market is not enough? Then head to Halle, 70 kilometers away, where Christmas Eve is eagerly awaited in several places. At the market square, for example, where fine mulled wine from the Palatinate is sold from the brightly lit mulled wine pyramid, or at Hallmarkt, where there is a Ferris wheel and an ice skating rink (November 28 to December 23).


It's getting sweet - the Lübeck Christmas market

Lübeck's Christmas market takes place in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site © LTM

Marzipan cappuccinos, baked apples filled with marzipan, marzipan stollen and much more: marzipan and Christmas are a fantastic combination. It goes without saying that it is offered in all its forms in Lübeck during the cold season. After all, the sweet substance as we know it today was invented there around 1400. You can also try many varieties of marzipan at Lübeck's Christmas market. Decorated with fir trees, fairy lights and poinsettias, it takes place in front of the historic town hall in the medieval old town - in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Incidentally, the Christmas market has been celebrated here for several hundred years, since 1648 to be precise. I wonder if visitors were already able to buy fine arts and crafts and delicious treats back then?

When and where?
Mon, Nov. 27 to Sat, Dec. 30, except Dec. 24 and 25; Markt and Breite Straße

And what else?
A Christmas pyramid, a canopy of lights and a winter forest: Kiel will be filled with magical Christmas spirit from November 27 to December 23. The market opens on Monday, November 27 with a brass band concert and free punch - the first 150 guests get the delicious drink for free at a certain stand.


Life-size - the Erfurt Christmas market

The Erfurt Christmas market takes place at the foot of the impressive cathedral © - Henry Czauderna

It lights the way for all visitors: the Christmas pyramid from the Ore Mountains, visible from afar, marks the entrance to Erfurt's large Christmas market. If you take your time, you can discover life-size figures such as St. Nicholas, angels and even historical figures such as Martin Luther on the various floors. But the richly decorated 20-metre-high Christmas tree and the beautifully illuminated cathedral also cast a spell over visitors to Erfurt. A five-metre-high Advent wreath stands on the cathedral steps, and the square around it is lined with beautifully decorated wooden houses. Here you can buy Thuringian glass art, Christmas decorations and all kinds of beautiful and useful things. In addition to a nativity scene with life-size handmade wooden figures, this year there is once again a fairytale forest, a separate area in which fairytales such as The Frog Prince and Dwarf Nose are depicted with wooden figures.

When and where?
Tue., Nov. 28 to Fri., Dec. 22; Domplatz, Fischmarkt, Schlösserbrücke Willy-Brandt-Platz

And what else?
Christmas and historic walls go together wonderfully. The atmosphere at Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, for example, is particularly festive. On the Advent weekends, craftsmen, musicians and jugglers show off their skills, and you can also visit the halls, the museum and the famous Luther Room of the UNESCO World Heritage castle for a fee.

Cover picture: Christmas markets have been held in Frankfurt since 1393 © - sborisov

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