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The 15 most beautiful Christmas Markets in Germany

In more than 2,000 German cities at least one Christmas market, Advent market, or Christkindlmarkt takes place. In addition, there are many suburbs and districts, some of which have their own Christmas markets.

Some Christmas markets only take place on Advent weekends, while others last just a week. But most Christmas markets are open the whole pre-Christmas season.

There are historical and modern variants, large well-known, and small romantic Christmas markets. In addition, many cities offer Advent events. So there is plenty of entertainment.

We have now compiled for you the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany, all of which have something special and atmospheric. And as always, we also have a few nice insider tips for you, which you certainly do not know yet. Have fun drinking mulled wine!

Updated on 28.01.2024
Die Reiseblogger Biggi Bauer und Florian Westermann

The 15 most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany at a glance

The smell of mulled wine or roasted almonds is the sign: it’s starting again. The pre-Christmas season, the Advent season has begun. And with it, the beautiful Christmas markets in Germany are coming back. Stalls are set up, many fairy lights line the city. Handicrafts, mulled wine, gingerbread, and cookies await the visitors.

We’ve compiled a list of the most important and most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany for you. These are our top 5 favorites that you can’t miss:

Lanterns in Christmas time
What’s to see in Germany at Christmas? Advent atmosphere everywhere – the contemplative time with the glow of lights
  • Nuremberg Christmas Market
  • Schwerin Christmas Market
  • Dresden Striezelmarkt
  • Koblenz Christmas Market
  • Regensburg Thurn and Taxis

1. The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt

View of the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt
The Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg is a top thing to do at Christmas. But also in summer, the city is a cool place to go

It’s probably the most famous German sight at Christmas: the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt (Nuremberg Christmas Market) (Website) in Bavaria. Every year, it attracts thousands of guests from all over the world in the few weeks before the festival; in 2017, there were over two million.

There is evidence that the Christkindlesmarkt has existed in Nuremberg since 1628. Today, there are around 180 wooden stalls here, which in their entirety are called “little towns of wood and cloth” because of the red and white fabric roofs. The special feature: The Nuremberg Christ Child, a Nuremberg girl between 16 and 19 years of age, holds his prologue from the gallery of the Frauenkirche at the beginning and thus officially opens the market.

Among other things, the guests are very fond of taking the “Nuremberg Plum Men” as souvenirs, the enchanting figures made of dried plums. Furthermore, there are of course Nuremberg grilled sausages and Nuremberg gingerbread.

By the way, here you can find the top sights to see in Nuremberg. For us, the city is one of the most beautiful places to see in Germany.

2. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Schwerin Christmas Market

Christmas Market Schwerin
The Christmas market in Schwerin is one of the most beautiful things to see in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern © LianeM / Fotolia

The Schwerin Christmas Market, the “Star in the North” (Website), is one of the longest open Christmas markets ever. It starts already at the end of November and goes until December 30. Only on Christmas Eve and the first holiday, it’s closed. So, it’s an amazing thing to do in the pre-Christmas season.

Culture, music, and many offers for the children are the main features of this Christmas market. The Kids World is located at the Schlachtermarkt and offers handicrafts, baking, and painting for the youngsters. Anyone with questions, worries, or concerns can go to Santa Claus, who holds his daily office hours for the little ones right next to the house-high Christmas tree.

Furthermore, there is a petting zoo and a fairy tale street, a Ferris wheel, and a large Christmas pyramid. Of course, the nativity scene exhibition and the ice skating rink are not missing. The culinary offer includes regional delicacies and specialties from neighboring countries. You’ll have to eat your way through that, of course.

3. Saxony: Dresden Striezelmarkt & Bautzen Wenzelsmarkt

Saxony is predestined for Christmas markets and the choice is not easy. So we mention two here: the Dresden Striezelmarkt (Website), which is considered Germany’s oldest certified Christmas market, and the Bautzen Christmas Market.

More than 230 stalls are located in Dresden. Advent was first celebrated here with a market in 1434. Striezel, by the way, are the predecessors of the famous Dresden Stollen. This is offered everywhere and of course also the famous handicrafts from the Erzgebirge.

Of course, you have to eat the Dresden Stollen. There is no way around it. At the Striezelmarkt is also the Striezelpyramide. It’s the landmark of the Dresden Christmas Market. The pyramid is 14.62 meters high and has 43 figures. It was built in 1997.

What else to do in Dresden at Christmas? The Bautzen Christmas market is significantly smaller but just as fine. Here you will find, among other things, enchanting products made of glass and Plauen lace. Let yourself drift here and enjoy the beautiful little town in Saxony.

By the way, the Bautzen Wenzelsmarkt (Website) may call itself Germany’s oldest Christmas market mentioned in a chronicle.

4. Rhineland-Palatinate: Koblenz Christmas Market

Christmas Market Koblenz
The Christmas market at Jesuitenplatz in Koblenz is a fun thing to do © Piel Media

The Koblenz Christmas Market (Website) is one of the largest in the Rhineland-Palatinate and impresses with the variety of its offerings. People skate in front of the Forum Confluentes cultural center, which is decorated with lots of glass, and next to it begins the long row of more than 100 stalls.

At the town hall, a little door is opened every day in December, and Christmas stories sweeten Advent just as much as the many delicacies at the stalls. The romantic courtyard of the town hall is also worth a visit.

Furthermore, horse-drawn carriages and guided tours, an arts and crafts market, and, above all, the interactive exhibition on the UNESCO World Heritage Site Upper Middle Rhine Valley, which takes place in the Romanticum, attracts guests from near and far.

5. Thurn and Taxis Regensburg

Park and courtyard of Thurn and Taxis Castle in winter
The park and courtyard of Thurn and Taxis Palace are a gorgeous setting for the annual romantic Christmas market. A visit here is an unusual thing to do!

A single trumpet plays Silent Night and the first snowflakes fall from the sky. In the enchanting courtyard of Thurn and Taxis Castle in Regensburg (Website), the atmosphere is always unforgettable. Not for nothing is this romantic Christmas market one of the most beautiful in Bavaria.

There you can see homemade handicrafts from the region, listen to great Advent music, and readings and there is a lot of program for children. The most delicious are the medieval delicacies that are presented in the castle courtyard. From flatbreads from the wood-fired oven, and huge fried onions with delicious sauces to sweet treats, you will find everything your heart desires at the Christkindlmarkt.

This Advent market is not only something for the senses but it provides the perfect Christmas feeling. Admission prices vary depending on the day of the week or weekend (4.00 to 9.50 euros) and time of day (night owl rate).

6. The Augsburg Christkindlesmarkt

The Augsburg Christkindlesmarkt with city hall
The Augsburg Christkindlesmarkt is one of the oldest in Germany, which makes it a cool thing to do

The Augsburg Christkindlesmarkt (Website) is one of the oldest and most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany. Its origins date back to the 15th century and each year it attracts up to one million visitors from Germany and abroad. The main place of the pre-Christmas magic is the Augsburg town hall square. Here you will find everything your heart desires at the more than 150 stalls.

A very special tradition is also the Engelesspiel. Here 23 angels appear in the facade of the Augsburg City Hall and transform it into a giant Advent calendar. The Engelesspiel takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 6 p.m. and is one of the highlights that should not be missed. Therefore, do not miss the opening ceremony from 6 pm, the Christmas shopping magic at the end of November until midnight.

Christmas pyramid at the Augsburg Christkindlesmarkt
This Christmas pyramid at Augsburg’s Christkindlesmarkt looks really nice, doesn’t it?
Mulled beer at the Augsburg Christkindlesmarkt
Well? Have you ever tried mulled beer? It tastes fine

7. The Old German Christmas Market Bad Wimpfen

Christmas Market Bad Wimpfen
The beautifully illuminated Christmas market in Bad Wimpfen is a top thing to do© City of Bad Wimpfen

The Old German Christmas Market Bad Wimpfen in Baden-Württemberg is also one of the oldest markets in Germany. The first market took place as early as 1487, when it was called Katharinenmarkt. Today, it always takes place from Friday to Sunday during the Advent season, on the first three Advent weekends.

Numerous events frame the happenings. For example, the Protestant town church opens its doors, St. Nicholas awaits visitors in the town hall, and there is an abundance of musical performances; among others, the tower brass players, who send out festive chorales from the town hall.

The ceremonial opening with the town captain, guardsmen, St. Nicholas and Santa Claus is also very nice. Historical guided tours of the town complete the offer. In 2018, Scandinavia is a guest at the Advent market and attracts with various delicacies.

8. Advent Market Charlottenburg Palace

Indisputable: Berlin has many wonderful Christmas markets to offer, like the Advent Market in front of Charlottenburg Palace (Website). Here you can expect a fairytale splendor of stalls, a beautifully staged light atmosphere, and treats. A visit here is definitely a cool thing to do!

The royal children’s Christmas market in the Christmas Winter Forest awaits the kids. They get to ride a nostalgic carousel, air swings, and a beautiful Ferris wheel.

9. Medieval Christmas Market (RAW grounds) Berlin

For us, one of the most beautiful and unusual Christmas markets in Germany is the Medieval Christmas Market (Website) on the grounds of the former Reichsbahnausbesserungswerk (RAW) in Berlin-Friedrichshain. A visit here is a coll thing to do!

On the 150-year-old site, visitors are inevitably transported back to the distant past. Between the old factory halls, craftsmen – such as potters and blacksmiths – sell their products. Jugglers and acrobats perform tricks and entertain the visitors. The mulled wine, hot mead, or mulled beer taste even better.

By the way, here you can find the top attractions in Berlin.

10. Hamburg: Winter Pride in St. Georg

Winter Pride in Hamburg
Where to visit an unusual Christmas market? Winter Pride in Hamburg is a very special one! © AHOI Events

Sure, there are well-known Advent markets like Hamburg’s largest Christmas market at City Hall and the Christmas market at Jungfernstieg – but none is as flashy, colorful, and cheerful as the lesbian-gay Christmas market in St. Georg.

At the Winter Pride (Website) it’s all pink. If you’re looking for Christmas music, you’re in the wrong place. Instead, DJs play cool beats. A great change in the Christmas hustle and bustle.

By the way, here you can find the top things to do in Hamburg.

11. North Rhine-Westphalia: the market of angels in Cologne

A big city like Cologne offers several Christmas markets, we picked out the Market of Angels (website) which is a must-do! It takes place on the Neumarkt and offers many extras: Santa Claus comes with his black horse Max and awards talers, to which gifts are raffled later.

The Winter Queen brings a live eagle owl, the Christmas Angel his accordion. The stilt queen Stellaxia in her red magic robe is a feast for the eyes and then there are the performances of numerous musicians.

For the little ones there will be face painting and a Punch and Judy show. The market of the angels is considered urkölsch and very cozy, at the same time there are many shopping opportunities in the surrounding area.

By the way, here you can find the top things to do in Cologne.

12. Saxony-Anhalt: Christmas market in Diesdorf

This special Christmas market is held only on the weekend of the third Advent at the Diesdorf Open Air Museum (Website). Parents are allowed to make and enjoy cookies here with their children as soon as the ovens in the historic houses are fired up. A visit here is a top thing to do!

The more than 20 different houses are lovingly decorated, just as they once were, and are definitely worth a visit. Youngsters can additionally be enchanted by the puppet theater, the fairy tale hour in the afternoon, and a carousel.

The fairy-tale ambiance becomes reality when Santa Claus or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs drop by. Of course, they will also bring some surprises for the guests.

13. Saarland: the Old Saarbrücken Christmas Market

Old Saarbrücken Christmas Market
The Alt-Saarbrück Christmas market is a cozy place you must see © Tom Gundelwein

The Old Saarbrücken Christmas Market in Saarland is also a great thing to do. It only takes place on the weekend of the first Advent and attracts not only many locals but equally visitors from Lorraine and further away.

With over 200 stalls, it’s one of the largest Christmas markets anywhere. There is a lot to offer here at the market and at special parallel events.

The children can go on a tour with a castle ghost through the rooms of the museums at the castle square, Santa Claus is present at the opening of the market and at the artisan market in the VHS you can find beautiful works of regional artists. So the time before Christmas will not be so long.

14. Schleswig-Holstein: the Flensburg Christmas Market

Flensburg Christmas Market 
Flensburg’s Christmas market is one of the most beautiful in northern Germany. The old town is also known for its narrow cobblestone streets. A visit here is a top thing to do © Tourismus Agentur Flensburger Förde GmbH

In Germany’s northernmost city, Flensburg, an atmosphere of regional offerings and a strong Scandinavian influence develops as the Advent atmosphere, perhaps even with snow, invites visitors to the Flensburg Christmas Market (Website).

A large Christmas pyramid, Christmas sounds, and countless delicacies await visitors. The children quickly discover the carousel, the grown-ups enjoy the Tallin punch at the smallest bar in the world and the traditional pea soup at the Bundeswehr stand.

On Sunday afternoons, there will be a number of activities for the youngsters. Christmas city tours, a children’s Christmas mailbox, a Christmas wish tree, a crunchy house for the little ones, and numerous musical performances round off the extensive offer.

15. Thuringia: Grottenadvent in Saalfeld

What else is in Germany to do at Christmas? Saalfeld offers a classic Christmas market but also a small magical Grottenadvent. This Advent market takes place only on the second Advent weekend in December and sweetens the time before Christmas.

Grottenadvent (grotto advent) because many musical groups perform in the lower-situated show grottos and the above ground fairy grotto. Face painting will delight the little ones, and the older ones will also enjoy a spin on the wheel of fortune. Delicacies from the grill or warm wood-fired bread and potatoes are in great demand, especially when it’s really cold.

Then the mulled wine may not be missing. Ice fairies and grotto gnomes are out and about handing out delicious nibbles. The best thing about this Christmas market is that the proceeds go to charity.

Interactive map: Germany’s most beautiful Christmas markets

[mapsmarker map=”35″]

By the way, you can also use our map to navigate yourself. Simply click on “Directions” on a spot and Google Maps will open.

Which Christmas markets in Germany can you particularly recommend? And where is it better to give a wide berth? We look forward to your comment on our article. Otherwise, we wish you a great Advent season and the one or other glass of mulled wine.

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