After having lived in Heidelberg for a year while I studied abroad, I am continuously drawn back over and over again. It’s one of the most beautiful towns in Germany. During the Christmas season, the town comes alive with sections of the Christmas market spread out throughout the entire town. From the minute you step off the bus at Bismarkplatz to Karlsplatz are endless adorable Christmas huts filled to the brink with Glühwein, chocolates and gifts for all!
There are Christmas Markets all over Germany and the rest of Europe, but if you honestly had to choose one that was the most magical, the most romantic and the most Christmasy, I would say then you should go to Heidelberg! For me personally, no other Christmas Market has ever lived up to my expectations as much as Heielberg’s. Buuut, maybe I’m a bit biased as it was my very first when I studied abroad here for a year during college.
The smell of warm Glühwein and freshly baked Macadamia Nuts waft through the air, tempting you every step of the way. You slowly peruse the stalls, starting at one end and finishing at the most magical part of the market. The crisp winter air bites at your hands and nose, and you stop occasionally to sip on a steaming cup of Glühwein to warm up and the air is filled with laughter every where.
If you’re coming fromt e train station and taking the bus to Bismarkplatz, this is the best place to start as the Christmas stalls “begin” at Bismarkplatz and then you can stroll down Hauptstraße (Main Street) which is lined with many shops, cafes and restaurants. There is no hurry and you can meander down Europe’s longest mile-long pedestrian zone, checking out each store as you go. You should be able to accomplish any Christmas shopping you have in one go!
The first of six markets beings at Anatomiegarten with several stalls. My favorite stall here is the beautiful windmill Glühwein stand. This is a small “market” but there is at least enough here to make a stop!
One of the largest markets is at Universitätsplatz, which is another location where the buses will drop you off at. Here there are a ton of shops, lots of goodies and lots of delicious foods to try! My favorite shop here is the paper star shop where you can also buy adorable village replicas. At Uniplatz, you can also find an adorable Christmas Carouselfor the little kiddies to ride on! I was quite sad I’m not allowed to ride on it! I have a serious love of carousels at Christmas markets!
Here you can replicate the entire town of Heidelberg in your own very home one on of the Christmas stalls which has ceramic houses. This always reminds me of my childhood as my mother always set up her own little village of houses on our living room tables during the holidays. One day, I will start my own table village!
Next up is the market that surrounds the Holy Ghost Church at Marktplatz. This is my FAVORITE part of the Christmas market because of the massive holiday pyramid stand which sells Glühwine. The top of the pyramid turns and the figurines rotate. There is just something so incredibly magical about the Christmas pyramid that gets me so excited every time I see it! I guess because it was the very first part of the Christmas market I saw when I walked out of my apartment into town to see my first German Christmas Market back in 2007.
Here there is an adorable little stand which sells hand painted Christmas ornaments with winter scenes. I’ve seen these before and was tempted to buy one. Maybe one year I will!
From Marktplatz, walk a little bit further to Kornmarkt which this year was different than how I knew it before. This year, there were several stalls, lots of Christmas trees and a small choo-choo train for the little ones. Here, you will have a glimpse of the Heidelberg castle which will appear at the next market over.
Lastly and most importantly, the best market yet! The market at Karlsplatz is the place to be! Not only does the market sit below the Heidelberg castle, but here you can even find an ice skating rink perfect for some family fun! The little ones will even have little penguin hand rails to keep them from loosing balance!
It was here I chose to enjoy a Hot Chocolate with Baileys instead of a traditional cup of Glühwein. It was absolutely delicious and went perfect with some holiday goodies!
If you’re lucky enough to have visited Heidelberg’s Romantic Christmas Market before, you know how right I am when I say it is one of the best and is absolutely NOT to be missed! Not only is the historic town of Heidelberg a Bucket List item, but the market itself adds that last notch of that European small town Christmasy charm we all look for.
If you’re interested in visiting Germany and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! This is my travel Bible!
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Be sure to check out my other posts about Christmas Markets in Germany!:
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