One of the things that Germany is most famous for besides Oktoberfest are their beautiful Christmas markets. Every year on the last weekend of November, the Christmas markets spring up all over Germany and are open until the 24th of December. Sometimes, if you’re lucky enough, some of the Christmas markets will stay open longer.
Weihnachtsmarkt season is my FAVORITE season in Germany after autumn. And every year, I try to go to as many as I possibly can. Each market is unique in it’s own way. Many of the stands in the market sell hand made ornaments for the Christmas tree or decorations for the house. You can also buy lots of other goodies and knick knacks for Christmas gifts.
This year, I also got the chance to see the Stuttgart Christmas market when Hans, Anselm and I moved my friend Erin to Stuttgart where she found a job to teach English. We moved her into her new apartment, dropped off her stuff and hit the Christmas market. Everyone always raves about how popular the Nuremberg Christkindlsmarkt is and having also been there, Nuremberg has nothing on Stuttgart!
Naturally, while we were there we had to drink some Glühwein, eat a bratwurst and window shop. The best part of the Christmas markets is drinking warm Glühwein, which is malted red wine with spices. Sometimes they add slices of oranges to add flavor. Sometimes, it malted white wine. The best thing about drinking the Glühwein is that is always served in a cute little mug designed for that specific Christmas market/stall. You will have to pay a 2-3euro pfand which you will get back after you have returned your glass. But I never do! I like to collect my glasses from different places as souvenirs, which make for good Glühwine drinking at home when guests come over! It’s always best too buy a bottle of Glühwein from any local grocery store and pretty-drink before going out to the markets. But you have to heat it up first! This is good for those on a low budget, as it can get expensive to drink a lot at the markets.
The Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt opens on the last Thursday in November like many other Christmas markets throughout Germany.
Stuttgart’s Christmas market is now by far one of my favorite markets, after Heidelberg. The main Christmas market is snuggled up against the Old Palace and winds its way through the entire city center. It’s so massive, I don’t even think we saw everything! There were just endless rows and rows of stands selling food, gifts and Christmas decorations. You can find the Christmas markets all around the Marktplatz, Schillerplatz and Schlossplatz, as well as Hirschstraße and Kirchstraße.
Each stall in Stuttgart’s market decorates the roofs of their stalls. Some stalls spend thousands of euros every year in order to have the best roof. They were incredibly impressive, like none I had ever seen before. No Christmas market I had ever seen even compared to the beauty of this Christmas market! Not just the beauty but the smell! Normally I don’t smell much at the Christmas markets, but I really smelled a lot of cinnamon and vanilla while meandering around for the day!
The Stuttgarter Christmas market is a very large and never-ending Christmas market with over 200 stalls and dates back to 1692. It is one of the most popular and most visited markets in all of Europe with about 3-3.6 million visitors every year!! It is definitely a must-see Christmas market, if you only had time for one!
Other Christmas Markets: