Germany – The festive season offers the real, unique, and world wide well-known Christmas market. My most favorite season of the year, besides summer, has started and I thought I’d like to share some of my Christmas market experiences of a couple of places such as Karlsruhe, Freiburg, etc. that aren’t mentioned on any other travel websites but I feel makes them even more attractive than the others. So here’s the important must knows to make visiting the German Christmas markets, the real deal and a great success. Aiming to travel to Germany at the end of November until Christmas eve is a time that I promise you would never forget. Always when I was abroad during Christmas, it was my family and friends and the Christmas markets that I missed the most.
What makes the Christmas market in German so unique?
Thousands of lights illuminate and you can smell this incredible mix of candles, mulled wine and cinnamon, you know its here, Christmas. This is the moment when beautifully decorated wooden stalls have already started to spread the Christmas spirit and I can say it totally works. The locals during that time seem very happy, emotional and a little stressed because Christmas is around the corner and it involves thinking and buying presents for family and friends. Christmas markets are nowadays everywhere you go in Germany, even by the airports and so they are very well-known. They are open daily from about 10am to 8-9pm – check on arrival, depends in every city and market.
The top recommended christmas markets
First of all you have to know that its my hometown and so for me its very special because I have good memories. The Christmas market here is very cute and compact within the city centre. The highlights here are the flying Santa rides his sleigh above the crowd off the shopping mall Ettlingen Tor (twice per day, times to check on arrival) at Friedrichsplatz. More stalls can be found around the Marktplatz and the ice rink in front of the castle nearby. Not to be missed should be to eat the Pizza at the Pizzabäckerei in fron of the pyramid and a Langos with garlic sauce or apple puree, both at Marktplatz. Whilst in Karlsruhe, catch a 20-minute tram to Durlach to not miss out on the medieval Christmas market in Durlach, the historic part of Karlsruhe.
Dates: 24.11. – 23.12.2016
For more info: Christmas City Karlsruhe
The Christmas market in Freiburg is set up very nicely in the historic city centre downtown. The highlight for me and my recommendation is to eat the Schlemmerpfanne, which is a delicious self made marinated pork meat by the butcher served as a sandwich with garlic sauce. If you dont find the stall just ask someone to find it. I love it !
Dates: 21.11. – 23.12.2016
For more info: Weihnachtsmarkt Freiburg
The Christmas markets in Munich are just stunning and different themes spread around the city centre. Whether in the historic city centre surrounded by the landmarks or by the Chinese Tower in the English Garden, its a location where everyone will get what they want. A favorite hotspot is at Marienplatz, which is beautiful with a big Christmas tree by the town hall. But there are many other destinations to explore the different Christmas markets in different sceneries. An ice rink can be found at Karlsplatz or if you love to take some risk at the English Garden when the Swanlake is frozen. A fun recommendation for all the chocolate lovers is the Chocolate Doner at the Tollwood Winter Festival Christmas market.
Dates: 25.11. – 24.12.2016
For more info: Münchner Christkindlmarkt
The Christmas market here takes place on the main square of Nuremberg. On the visit to Nuremberg it should not be missed to wander up to the Nürnberg Burg (Nuremberg Castle), which is very nice. The christmas market is very beautiful and thats why it gets so crowded.
Dates: 01.12. – 24.12.2016
For more info: Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt
The Christmas market here takes place in the historic old town and is one of the Christmas markets that lasts the longest. During and after the festive Christmas days it’s very nice to have the Christmas market still running to meet friends. Ettlingen is located about 25-minutes from Karlsruhe by car.
Dates: 24.11. – 28.12.2016
For more info: Ettlinger Sternlesmarkt
Usually every year when I’m in Germany I dress up as Santa to bring the presents for my nephews. Something crazy also happened to me during christmas last year whilst being in Thailand when I ended up in a hospital in Bangkok haha.
I TRAVEL FOREVER’s VIEW & RECOMMENDATION
In summary, all I can say is whichever Christmas market you are going to go in Germany or your plans are to visit Germany, the Christmas markets are unique to every destination and all offer the same christmas spirit and atmosphere that you are looking for when you visit. An interesting note for you to know may be that each market has their own special Glühwein mug and for a small fee can be taken away as a great souvenir. During winter in Germany it can be very cold with temperatures beneath zero and so I recommend warm clothing, in particular warm boots for the cobblestone streets. Mulled wine on an empty stomach because as we all know eating is cheating and I guarantee you warm up quickly. Check the opening times of the Christmas markets on arrival.
From my experience being abroad whilst traveling around the world, the most thing that I missed during christmas time was to spend it with the ones I love the most my family and friends and the Christmas market.
My last note for you to know about the Christmas market is to just enjoy the Christmas spirit and your time with family and friends.
Christmas markets I want to visit soon
Dresden, Cologne, Berlin, Strasbourg and Vienna.
The Christmas spirit is all around. Let’s celebrate in peace.