6 must-see markets in Germany

6 must-see markets in Germany

by Stripes Staff
Stripes Europe

Today's Countdown to Christmas is sponsored by: 

German cities and village have perfected festive Christmas markets over time, sometimes hundreds of years. Though each has the basics — bustling booths, gifts and Glühwein — you’ll be awestruck by the décor, entertainment, cuisine and traditions that distinguish these must-see markets.

1) Berlin

The capital has more than 50 markets to celebrate the season, but these are a few to consider.

The city’s oldest castle, the Jagdschloss Grunewald, sets the stage for the Fairy Tale Market. Characters from beloved fables stroll through the castle grounds, transporting you to a world of make-believe.

Entertain energetic kiddos at the market near Berlin’s Rotes Rathaus. Children can skate out their excitement on the ice rink, enjoy panoramic views from the Ferris wheel, and make furry friends at the petting zoo.

Prepare to spend, spend, spend at the market in the Spandau Altstadt. This market features 250 stands, live entertainment, and family days on Wednesdays.

Your family will enjoy the diverse live performances at the Gendarmenmarkt. Mark your calendar to count down to 2018 at the New Year’s Eve event.

Visit their website to read about other markets.

2) Cologne

An immense Christmas tree and the Kölner Dom, one of the world’s tallest and most impressive cathedrals, dominate the scenery of the Cathedral Market. More than 150 kiosks offer delicious regional dishes and lovingly handmade gifts from all over Europe.

Laugh at the Rhine Pirates’ tall tales, dine on fresh fish, and stop by the old ship for Glühwein at the Harbour Market. If you’re a chocoholic or need gifts for one, visit the nearby Cologne Chocolate Museum.

The splendid Angel Market is worth braving the crowds. White lights, stars and angels create a white Christmas ambiance, even if it hasn’t snowed. Find superior gifts at the market and throughout the Neumarkt shopping district.

Children will be ecstatic to explore whimsical booths and chat with Santa at the cheery market in the Altstadt.


3) Dresden

Christmas markets in Dresden can be traced back to 1434, and the holiday cheer continues today. The historic Striezelmarkt is named after the Hefestriezel or Christstollen, bread filled with dried fruit and dusted with sugar, which is served by many concessionaires. Each year, bakers prepare a 4-ton Christstollen. Taste this record-breaking bread and browse exceptional wooden decorations from the Erzgebirge region. Then climb the Christmas pyramid to photograph the landscape and scope out the stalls for your next stop.

4) Munich

The Christkindlmarkt on Marienplatz is Munich’s main market, with countless food stalls, local crafts and daily Santa sightings. Live music resounds from the Neues Rathaus each evening, and the Heavenly Workshop provides interactive activities for children. Every Sunday, there’s a scavenger hunt at the market called, “20 x Budenzauber.” Visit City Hall to start your game.

Relive the merriment of the Middle Ages at the Medieval Christmas Fair on Wittelsbacher Platz. Drink flaming cocktails from goblets served by bartenders in period costumes and peruse medieval-themed gifts.

At the trendy Tollwood Winter Festival, modern tents burst at the seams with gifts from around the globe, multicultural cuisine and organic treats. The market concludes with a New Year’s Eve bash.

5) Nuremberg

Nuremberg’s old-world charm provides a memorable setting for a Christkindlesmarkt. Each year, the celebration begins with an appearance by the symbolic Christkind, a local youth in a golden angel costume who is said to bring gifts to children. Throughout the holidays, nearly 200 vendors line the square in front of the iconic Church of Our Lady. Savor the city’s namesake Nürnberger Rostbratwürste and renowned gingerbread (Lebkucken). Take little ones to Hans-Sachs-Platz to spin round and round on the carousel, invent imaginative plots at the puppet theater, and brush up their culinary skills at the baking booth.

6) Regensburg

Well-preserved Roman, German Gothic and Bavarian architecture create distinct backdrops for stalls dotted along Neupfarrplatz and Spitalgarten. However, the courtyard of Thurn and Taxis Palace (also called the Palace of St. Emmeram) is the most festive part of town. At night, the castle facade glows in brilliant shades of blue, and the market is illuminated by candlelight.

The market opens daily at noon, and an entrance fee is charged. The castle is in the old town, and the nearest parking is available at Parkhaus Petersweg.  

Tours of the palace depart from the market daily. The price is 10 euros, and the palace can only be viewed with a guide.

Come back tomorrow for the next day of our Countdown to Christmas! 

Today's Countdown to Christmas is sponsored by: 

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