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Germany’s Magical Christmas Markets

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If there was one time of year you should come to Germany, winter would be it. Yes, it’s cold and often gloomy but with the approach of the Christmas season, comes the warmth of the holiday spirit and a warm cup of Glühwein surrounded by friends and family.

Towns, villages and cities throughout Germany deck out their city centers in the most vibrant, jolly, Christmas decorations and line up rows upon rows of adorably decorated wooden stalls filled with the most exciting Christmas gifts and goodies!

The smell of roasted chestnuts, spiced red wine with Jack Frost nipping at your nose truly bring the spirit of Christmas alive in the towns across Germany.

Abensberg

November 23 – December 23, 2016

Kuhlbauer Brewery's Weihnachtsmarkt - California Globetrotter

Located just 30 minutes outside of Regensburg, this Christmas market can be found at the Kuchlbauer Brewery surrounding the artistically, unique Hundertwasser Tower designed by the famous Viennese artist Friedrich Hundertwasser.

There is so much to do here, there is bound to be something for everyone! From horse-carriage rides to a ride on the Christmas train, live music as well as plenty of stalls offering unique artisan crafts and gifts.

After a stroll through the Christmas market and you have filled up on Bratapfel Glühwein, meander through the Kunst Haus (Art House) which is dedicated to the life of Friedensreich Hundertwasser and his artwork making this Christmas market especially loved by those with children!

  • Mon. & Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday & Thursday: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m

Heidelberg

November 21 – December 22, 2016

Heidelberg Christmas Market - California Globetrotter

By far one of the most romantic Christmas markets in Germany, this one is bound to encourage some smooching with your lover. With 140 stalls spread out in 6 locations across the town, with the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle perched above the town, this market is likely to leave you breathless.

Just beneath  the castle at Karlsplatz is an ice skating rink perfect for young and old to relish in the holiday joy. For those who prefer to watch, they can sip on a cup of warm Glühwein near the rink or shop around at one of the many “Old World” stalls.

Or if you’re looking for a unique experience, head up to the Heidelberg Castle and peruse the Castle Christmas Market!

Nuremberg

November 25 – December 24, 2016

Exploring Nuremberg's Christmas Market - California Globetrotter

Of all the festive Christmas markets that fill every town center in every major city throughout Europe, Nuremberg’s Christkindlmarkt is one of the most famous and if you had to choose ONE, this would be the one to visit!

With over 200 stalls, a unique Christkind opening ceremony on the Friday before the first Advent, historic Lebkuchen and Nuremberger sausages, what else could possibly be better?

The historic market sits in front of the Frauenkirche while Gold Angels watch over the market, there is an international Sister Cities market as well as a Children’s Christmas Market where you can even have your picture taken with Santa!

Regensburg

November 23 – December 23, 2016

Regensburg Christmas Market - California Globetrotter

Slightly overlooked by its other more popular neighbors of Munich or Nuremberg, the Regensburg Christmas Market offers plenty to entice you to come for a visit! With four different markets located throughout the town, including at the Thurn & Taxis Castle, each with its own unique character, there is bound to be something for everyone making for one magical affair!

The main market surrounding the Neupfarrkirche with St. Stephan’s Cathedral off in the distance offers the most bustling, focal point of all the markets. Here you can enjoy watching glass-blowing, live music and two children’s carousel.

Christmas music, toys, arts and crafts, Christmas decorations and the sweet wafting scent of the Christmas bakeries create a wonderful atmosphere perfect for the whole family.

Tegernsee

November 26 – December 18, 2016

Lake Tegernsee's Christmas Markets - California Globetrotter

For a unique one of a kind Christmas market, head on down to Lake Tegern outside of Munich for an off-the beaten path, upscale Christmas market. In this region alone, there are 6 different options to visit a market, but two are the most memorable.

Upon arrival in Tegernsee, check out the Christmas Market at the Castle which is small and quaint but offers some pretty unique gifts, such a hand carved wood figured  or ornaments.

03.-04. December / 10.-11. December 2016: Christmas Castle Market Tegernsee
Sat./Sunday 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

When you’re done, hop aboard the shuttle boat which will take you to the other side of the lake to the most magical market, with wooden huts lined along the banks of the river offering posh food and luxury gifts. Here, if Glühwein isn’t your thing, sip on a glass of champagne while perusing the stalls or warming your hands at one of the open fire pits.

26.11., 03.12, 04.12., 10.12, 11.12, 17.12, 18.12.2016: Rottacher Advent
2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Stuttgart

November 23 – December 23, 2016

Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt - Stuttgart, Germany - California Globetrotter

One of the oldest Christmas Markets in all of Europe first mentioned in 1692, the Stuttgart Christmas Market is by far one of the most beautiful in Germany! It is also one of the largest with 290 beautifully decorated stalls spread throughout the entire city center offering everything from hand crafted knickknacks to a wide variety of food enchanting some 3.5 million visitors each year.

Visitors have a chance to enjoy live concerts daily, a children’s fairy tale land with carousel, a real steam engine train and so much more! It’s illuminations are incomparable to any other market and you won’t want to miss it!

Stay tuned as I add more Christmas Markets from 2016 to this post!

If you’re interested in visiting Germany and are looking for more information, I highly recommend using the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide or the Lonely Plant Travel Guide! Without these guides, I would be lost! These are my travel Bibles!

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I might make a little extra spending money, at no extra cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own and these products/services have been found useful during our travels and come highly recommended to you from yours truly!

Other related posts:

Prague’s Christmas Market

Vienna’s Ice Skating Rink

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Author: California Globetrotter

At 14 I started traveling the world with my parents and was hooked! By 21 I was studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany. By 26 I sold all of my belongings and bought a one way ticket to Germany to teach English. Little did I know, I'd meet the love of my life and end up traveling to the most romantic and idyllic towns in Europe and becoming a long-term expat in Bavaria! My name is Lorelei and I'm just your typical CaliGirl, Sunset Chaser, Fairytale Dreamer, Dress Lover, Traveloholic, Beer Drinker!

87 thoughts on “Germany’s Magical Christmas Markets

  1. This is a great round-up with some amazing pictures.
    We’re heading to Bruges next month for the Christmas market but after reading this I feel a new Christmas tradition coming on and Germany is next on the list for sure! Thanks for sharing.
    #citytripping

  2. There really is nowhere like Germany for Christmas Markets- I have very fond memories of wandering around them with gluhwein during the year I lived there. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  3. I’d love to go and see the German Christmas markets, they are so famous, all the others are just copycats, one day we’ll get there! #citytripping

  4. Have you been to the one on the island at Chiemsee, if not, definitely definitely go to that one, it’s beautiful! If you are really organised, I would book to stay on the only gasthof there for the night so you can make the most of your time there and enjoy it! I will miss the markets when we move on!🙂

  5. I love this! Christmas markets are my favorite and really are needed in Europe’s dark winters. I visited the markets in Frankfurt last year and really enjoyed them.

  6. I’ve visited a Christmas marked in the UK, but not in Europe. They are so magical huh. Thanks for sharing #weeklypostcard

  7. Lovely post. I loved your photos, especially the one in Heidelberg framing the castle. I have just spent a few hours in Cologne and agree that German Christmas markets are brilliant. My favourite however is in Salzburg – similar in many ways to Heidelberg. #CityTripping

  8. Pingback: Exploring Nuremberg’s Christmas Market | California Globetrotter

  9. I just love Christmas markets!!
    In France they have some really nice too!!

  10. Pingback: Strasbourg is THE “City of Christmas” | California Globetrotter

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