The air is crisp, the scent of toasted nuts and mulled wine fills the streets, and the soft glow of twinkling lights illuminates the cobbled squares. It’s that time of year when Germany transforms into a winter wonderland and charming Christmas markets come to life.
These markets, known as “Weihnachtsmärkte” in German, are a much-loved tradition that has captivated locals and tourists alike for centuries. We’ll embark on a magical journey discovering some of Germany’s best Christmas markets, each with a unique charm and festive spirit.
Christmas market in picturesque Görlitz, Germany
In the picturesque town of Görlitz, Germany, bordering Poland and located in Upper Lusatia region, the Silesian Christmas market attracts visitors with the romantic charm of its beautiful old town. THE Silesian Christ Market evokes an atmospheric Christmas mood, with joyful expressions of children, joyful gatherings with loved ones, festively decorated and illuminated houses, various musical performances on stage and colorful stalls offering unique, often artisanal products and specialties traditional. The market’s scents of gingerbread, toasted almonds, sausages and mulled wine delight young and old alike.
Attractions include a reading tent, craft cart, train rides, a children’s carousel, a picture book cinema and a puppet theater. Every day at 4 p.m., the Christkindel takes center stage to deliver a joyful message alongside various Christmas melodies and devotions to bring the Christmas story to life.
For a truly enchanting experience, visitors can participate in outdoor skating amid the historic backdrop of Görlitz Old Town, with a spacious ice rink inviting skaters of all ages to glide gracefully while providing a comfortable, heated cabin for observe the animation. ice activitycomplemented by mulled wine or comforting punch.
Discover the charming Christkindelsmarkt in Baden-Baden
From November 23, 2023 to January 6, 2024, Baden-Baden welcomes you to its Christkindels Market, nestled at the entrance to the picturesque “Lichtentaler Allee”. This Christmas market transforms into a winter wonderland, flooded with seasonal melodies and thousands of Christmas lights.
Stretching from the Kurhaus colonnades to the Kurhaus building, the market has around 100 stalls offering a treasure trove of Christmas arts and crafts, from artisan delights and wooden toys to exquisite jewelry and fine china. The air is filled with aromas of toasted almonds, gingerbread and mulled wine.
Enjoy daily performances on the large outdoor stage, featuring choirs, bands and theater troupes. On December 6, Saint Nicholas arrives to delight children with gifts. Explore the luminous stained-glass painted church lane and the beloved “Fairytale Lane.” Another fun thing to do is to visit the nearby “Ice Arena”, which offers ice skating with music, and cozy bars and restaurants invite you to warm up. The Christkindelsmarkt in Baden-Baden promises magical end-of-year celebrations.
Christmas markets in Germany’s Spreewald region
Nestled just an hour from Berlin, the UNESCO-listed Spreewald Biosphere Reserve is at its most pristine and captivating in winter. This season offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of the region.
Silvia Jonas, spokesperson for Spreewald Tourist Association, mentions that Christmas is a wonderful time to visit the Spreewald. She adds: “The Spreewaldweihnacht Christmas market is a great recommendation for the whole family. You enter a different world, which brings you closer to the legends and myths of the Spreewald. Surrounded by nature and water, you will be taken by boat to the Christmas market on the island of Lehde, an open-air museum that shows you the life of the citizens of the Spreewald 100 years ago.
The Spreewaldweihnacht Christmas Market is a one-of-a-kind experience, two Christmas markets in one. The experience begins in Lübbenau, where guests can enjoy smoked fish, delicious “Spreewälder Plinse” (a special pancake), mulled wine and hot toddy in charming Christmas huts. From there, wrapped in warm wool blankets, visitors embark on a boat trip to the Lehde Open Air Museum on an island just 30 minutes from Lübbenau. As you drift through the water, boat captains share stories of Myths and legends of the Spreewaldoffering insight into the region’s captivating history.
In Lehde, traditional houses offer a window into life in the Spreewald a century ago. Explore the illuminated rooms, watch yarn spinning and find treasures at the craft market. At Brandenburg’s oldest open-air museum, imagine yourself in the Christmas spirit as you meet “Bescherkind”, the bringer of luck and New Year blessings.
Germany’s oldest Christmas market in Bautzen
Experience the magic of the holiday season like never before at the 640th Bautzen Wenzelsmarktfrom December 1 to 22, 2023. As Germany’s oldest Christmas market, the Bautzen Wenzelsmarkt dates back to 1384, when Bohemian King Wenceslas IV granted it market rights.
Stretching from the main market square along Reichenstraße to the Kornmarkt, this three-week Advent extravaganza features decorated stalls, a towering illuminated fir tree and a delicious Christmas atmosphere laden with culinary delights, scents perfumes, decorations, crafts, textiles and toys.
Families can enjoy Christmas music, puppet shows and fairy tales, with a daily appearance from the Christmas Angel to reveal the children’s Advent calendar. Shopping in the festively decorated boutiques around Wenzelsmarkt offers a unique experience, mixing historic vaults and modern shopping centers.
Granitweihnacht – Hauzenberg in the Bavarian Forest
In the middle of the Bavarian Forest, the former Hauzenberg granite quarry hosts a unique and enchanting Christmas market. This extraordinary setting provides a charming showcase of exquisite art and crafts, making it an ideal destination for those seeking special gifts.
This exceptional Christmas market, known as Granite Christmas in Hauzenberg, brings together the crafts and culture of the Bavarian Forest in Germany, the Mühlviertel in Austria and South Bohemia in the Czech Republic. The Old Quarry features distinctive gifts made from stone, wood, glass, linen, wool, straw and wax, offering a range of unique and thoughtful gifts. The market also celebrates the rich culinary traditions of the tri-country region, with culinary specialties that promise to delight the taste buds.
In addition, the Christmas market offers many activities, from concerts to cinema to a petting zoo which transforms into a living nativity scene. The Granite Christmas Christ Market is open Thursday to Sunday from the 1st to the 3rd weekend of Advent (from November 30, 2023) from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Aschaffenburg Christmas Market
THE Aschaffenburg Christmas Market, which takes place at Place du Palais from November 25 to December 21, 2023 (with closure on November 26 for All Souls’ Sunday), is a festive spectacle not to be missed. The square comes alive with twinkling lights and enchanting Christmas market stalls, surrounded by the scents of spiced cider, candied almonds, hash browns and sizzling sausages.
As you stroll past the picturesque castle, oversized Christmas pyramids warmly welcome guests from the region and beyond. You will find various nativity accessories, candles, glassware, craft gifts and much more to satisfy your Advent season desires. The centerpiece of the market is a Franconian-style Nativity scene with life-size wooden figures. This enchanting market offers a heartfelt vacation experience just 30 miles from Frankfurt International Airport.
This article is published by Media decision and republished with permission.
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Journalist
Expertise: Personal Finance and Travel Content Education: Bachelor’s in Economics at Radboud University, Master’s in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University. More than 200 articles, essays and news published on the Web.
Experience: Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a background in finance and economics with a master’s degree in Finance. She quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their trips. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications including MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News Syndicate, and more.