Germany top 5: Quirky markets

Germany top 5: Quirky markets

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Freezing your toes off each holiday season to visit another Christmas market that is the same as the previous 10 you visited is a bore. History buffs, wine lovers and ship fanatics alike can enjoy these out-of-the-ordinary events while celebrating this merry time of year. 

1. Medieval Magic

The Christmas Market in Bochum takes you back in time to the 15th century. Here you’ll find craftsmen, traders, minstrels and buffoons, all dressed in costumes from this time. The world’s smallest ferris wheel is housed here amongst almost 200 old fashioned stalls. Every day the region’s only flying Santa will appear in a reindeer-drawn sleigh overhead between 5 - 7 p.m. near Pauluskirche in the heart of the city. Available gifts include tree decorations, ceramics, glassware and wooden toys. The market is open from Nov. 21 - Dec. 23, 2019.

2. An Island Oasis

The Frauenchiemsee Christmas Market is a one-of-a-kind market located on an island surrounded by the perfectly clear waters of Lake Chiemsee and the magnificent Bavarian Alps. With such a picture-perfect backdrop, an incredibly romantic winter wonderland emerges. This Christmas haven will have you merrily humming holiday favorites like “Silent Night” and “Let It Snow” before you leave. The Frauenchiemsee Christmas market is open from Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 and Dec. 6 – 8 this year. It is open on Friday from 2 - 7 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday from 12 p.m. - 7 p.m. Getting to Frauenchiemsee is easy with regular ferries from Prien at Lake Chiemsee. With just one ticket you can go from the train station in Prien to the Prien/Stock harbor and get on a ferry to the market. If you arrive by car, there are parking areas near the train station or at the harbor.

3. A Wine Lovers Paradise

The Mosel Wine and Christmas Market in the underworld of Traben-Trarbach is celebrated in a dimly lit network of historical wine cellars. This market is particularly wonderful because the aroma of mulled wine, roasted almonds and fir sprigs dances through the warm subterranean air. Hidden beneath the streets of the town you’ll find stalls with high-quality items, culinary specialties and all the wine products you could possibly imagine. The market is open Nov. 22 - Dec. 15 and Dec. 20 - Jan. 1, 2019.

4. The Floating Market

The port city of Emden is home to the “Engelkemarkt”, a special Christmas market that takes place not only on land but also on ships! Emden takes Christmas to a whole new level by removing the traditional winding cobblestone streets of the market and adding water to create a floating paradise. With lit-up masts and sails, it’s an absolute wonder to behold with the illuminated town hall in the backdrop. Market-goers can wander onto the ships and marvel at their dedication to bringing holiday cheer and merriment, despite the chill in the salty air. The 2019 market is open from Nov. 25 to Dec. 23 and Dec. 27 to 31. Visitors are welcome from 11 a.m. to approximately 8 p.m. daily and from 11 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. on Dec. 31.

5. For Grown-Ups Only

The Santa Pauli Christmas Market in Hamburg is definitely geared towards an adult-only crowd. This market focuses on “blurring the boundaries between conventional Christmas tradition and the frivolous love of life.” This market is in full swing from Nov. 18 - Dec. 23, 2019. Opening hours are Mondays - Wednesdays from 4 - 11 p.m., Thursdays from 4 p.m. to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. - 1 a.m. and Sundays from 1 - 11 p.m. The market is located in the vicinity of the Schmidt Theater and admission is free.

Market Tip: If you want to bring your family to this market, there are child-oriented programs only on Sundays. Otherwise, leave the kids at home and enjoy some adult-only time.

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