“Everywhere, on the tops of the fir trees, I saw golden lights sitting…”, says a popular poem. Christmas markets are an attraction for young and old and invite you to take an atmospheric stroll through the narrow streets with their festively decorated stalls. To make sure you don’t miss anything, we have prepared this guide to the best Christmas markets in Germany with dates, opening times and lots of information. Let’s go there!
In Germany, it is a tradition that during the advent period before Advent, most towns and cities set up the famous “Christmas markets” – Weihnachtsmarkt, such as the Striezelmarkt in Dresden which dates back to 1434, or the ones in Schweinhütt and Drachenburg Castle. In addition to the main items that Christmas markets have, you can also find, among other things, drinks and food typical of each German region.
1. Dresden – the oldest Christmas market in Germany
Dresden Christmas market (Dresdner Striezelmarkt) is the oldest Christmas market in Dresden and never fails to make the list of the best Christmas markets in Germany.
The famous Striezelmarkt Christmas market in Dresden is the largest of them all. With 230 Christmas stalls, at this market you can find handmade crafts, pottery, candles or toys, and sample local products such as stollen (sponge cake), mulled cider and rahmklecks (stuffed local bread).
Dresden Christmas Market dates
- Open from 29 November to 24 December.
- Opening hours:
Daily: 10am to 9pm
Opening day (29 November): 4 to 9pm
Christmas Eve (24 December): 10am to 2pm
Dresden Christmas market location
Striezelmarkt is not the only one in the city. Here are some other small Christmas markets in Dresden:
- Prager Straße Christmas market (called Winterlights of Dresden), located on Dresden’s most commercial and well-known street.
- Christmas market in Frauenkirche, selling traditional products such as pottery, glassware and lace from the Vogtland region.
- Romantic Christmas market and ice rink next to the castle in Taschenbergpalais.
- Stollenfest in 9 December. The fair of the bakers and confectioners of stollen, a sponge cake made of wheat flour filled with candied fruit, nuts and spices.
- Pyramid Festival, with huge Christmas carousels (Erzgebirge is the tallest in the world at almost 15 metres) and nutcrackers (wooden soldiers).
2. Nuremberg – most famous German Christmas markets
This is undoubtedly one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany (Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt) and also one of the oldest (it is mentioned in documents dating back to 1628, no less).
More than 180 wooden stalls rival each other in the decoration of their stalls as there are prizes that make just looking at the wooden bungalows a delight to behold. Get ready to discover this market, known as the little village of wood and cloth.
Dates of the Nuremberg Christmas market
It opens on 1 December and closes on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2022. Its opening hours are:
Every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
24 December from 10 am to 2 pm
Nuremberg Christmas markets location
In Nuremberg you can see traditional Christmas stalls with red and white roofs at various locations in the old town. These are the main ones:
What’s on offer at Nuremberg Christmas Market?
We’ve already warned you that if you want to experience Christmas in Germany, it’s best to save your diet for when you get back home. With this in mind, be sure to try the local produce at this market, all of which is “made in Nuremberg”:
Nürnberger “Original Nuremberger” Nürnberger sausages, with their exact weight (exactly 23 grams). You will find them served on plates with 6, 8, 10 or 12 pieces.
Gingerbread or chocolate-covered Lebkuchen. Nothing like the chocolate-covered biscuits you’ll find at other Christmas markets.
3. Bremer Weihnachtsmarkt
Bremer Weihnachtsmarkt, a Christmas market with more than 170 decorated stalls. So you won’t get bored, come on.
Here, with the river and trees illuminated with blue and white lights, Bremen goes back in time showing the visitor a medieval harbour atmosphere. Sailors playing the harp, old-fashioned games in the streets, wooden stalls, people dressed up as characters of the time, and the typical aroma of the period, sweet and savoury, to suit every palate. The wonderful Christmas Market in Bremen leaves no one indifferent.
If you want to enjoy the Christmas experience in Bremen like a local, you’ll have to try glühwein (mulled wine), feuerzangenbowle (hot punch with wine, cinnamon, orange peel, rum and sugar) and roasted almonds.
Bremen Christmas market dates
Open from 27 November to 23 December. Bremen Christmas market is only open until the day before Christmas Eve. On the 23rd of December it is dismantled. So don’t let it pass you by thinking it will last through the Christmas holidays.
Bremen Christmas market location
The Bremen Christmas market is located on the Market Square (Bremer Marktplatz) surrounded by the Town Hall and the Roland statue (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites).
4. Berlin and its Christmas markets
There are plenty of markets where you can enjoy Christmas in Berlin. There are markets of all kinds: Christmas markets with Ferris wheels, with Renaissance fairs, especially designed for children or medieval markets.
These are the main Christmas markets that you can visit in the German capital with locations, dates and opening times:
Berlin City Hall Christmas Market
- Location: The Weihnachtsmarkt am Roten Rathaus is located right next to Berlin’s City Hall. It is a Christmas market with food and craft stalls, carousels, a 50-metre high Ferris wheel and an ice rink.
- Open from 27 November to 30 December 2023 from Monday to Friday from 12:00 to 22:00, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 22:00, 25 and 26 December and 2 January from 11:00 to 21:00. Closed on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
- Admission to this Christmas market is free.
Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market
- Location: A flea market with lots of Christmas food stalls, where you can also find handmade goods made by craftsmen. During the Christmas holidays there are shows with jugglers and bands playing classical, jazz or gospel music.
- Open from 27 November to 31 December 2023 from 11am to 10pm. On 24 December from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and on New Year’s Eve from 11:00 am to 1:00 am.
- Admission: 1 euro, but free for children under 12. Admission is free from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm (except on 25 and 26 December).
Lucia Christmas Market
- Location: This Christmas market is named after the Nordic goddess of light (Lucia), selling, unsurprisingly, Scandinavian products and food. Three entrances: Knaackstrasse 97, Sredzkistrasse 1, Schönhauser Allee 36-39.
- Open from 21 November to 22 December from Monday to Friday from 3pm to 10pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon to 10pm.
- Admission is free.
Christmas Market at Potsdamer Platz
- Location: A Christmas market with a difference. Here you can enjoy sledding and ice skating in what they call Winter World. There are also the typical stalls where you can eat sausages, toasted almonds or crepes, and taste the famous mulled wine.
- Open from 22 October 2023 to 1 January 2024.
- Access is free, but if you use the toboggan run, the cost is 1.50 euros.
Christmas market at Alexanderplatz
- Location: Market with the largest Christmas pyramid in Europe, decorated with more than 5,000 lights. It’s a mix between a traditional Christmas market and a fairground, where they also sell traditional handicrafts and Christmas products such as pottery, tchotchkes (German knick-knacks) and carved Christmas pyramids.
- Open from 27 November to 26 December 2023 from 10:00 to 22:00. On 24 December the opening hours are from 10am to 4pm.
- Free admission.
Spandau Christmas Market
- Location: The streets of Spandau are transformed into a beautiful Christmas market with plenty of stalls and a Renaissance fair.
- Open from 27 November to 22 December 2023. Sunday to Thursday from 10am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 10pm, 24 December from 10am to 2pm and 25 and 26 December from 1pm to 8pm.
- Admission costs 3.50 euros. Admission is free for children under 16 years of age.
Christmas amusement park on Landsberger Allee
- Location: A space of more than 20,000 square metres with colourful lights and plenty of attractions where you can enjoy Christmas in Berlin.
- Open from 5 November to 18 December, Monday to Thursday from 2pm to 9.30pm, Friday and Saturday from 2pm to 10.30pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 9pm. Closed on 21 November.
- Admission is free.
Medieval Christmas market in RAW
Location: A Christmas market with jugglers and acrobats where you can buy handicrafts in particular. This Berlin Christmas market features woodcarvers, potters and blacksmiths selling their handmade wares.
You can also sample hot mead and feuerzangenbowle (a German punch), typical German Christmas market drinks.
Open from 16 November to 22 December 2023 from Monday to Friday from 3pm to 10pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 10pm. Closed on 21 November.
Admission is free from Monday to Wednesday, but from Thursday to Sunday admission costs 2 euros (reduced rate 1 euro).
Sony Center Christmas Market
Location: The Sony Center is another place that dresses up to welcome Christmas in Germany. It is illuminated with blue and gold lights and a large chandelier. Inside there are Christmas stalls and bars with food (among their specialities, bratwurst: German sausages and sausages), sweets and drinks (especially mulled wine).
Open from 27 November to 1 January. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 4pm to 8pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 10pm, Saturdays from 11am to 8pm and Sundays from 11am to 6pm.
Charlottenburg Palace Christmas Market
Location: This market is located in front of Charlottenburg Palace and you can wander around no less than 250 stalls selling Christmas crafts such as nativity scene figurines and tree decorations.
The market is open from 27 November to 31 December.
5. Stuttgart – the oldest Germany Christmas markets
A city with a lot of street life, no matter what time of year you go, and Christmas is no exception. Stuttgart’s Christmas market is one of the oldest in Germany and Europe. With more than 280 stalls, you can do your shopping and try the typical food of Baden-Württemberg (the state to which Stuttgart belongs).
Around 3.5 ~ 4 million visitors from in the world get in the mood for Christmas with cookies and mulled wine, twinkling lights and Christmas carols.
Stuttgart Christmas market dates
It is open from 29 November to 23 December from Monday to Thursday from 10am to 9pm, Friday to Saturday from 11am to 11pm and Sunday from 11am to 9pm.
Stuttgart Christmas market location
The Christmas market is spread throughout the city centre from Schlossplatz, Karlsplatz, Schillerplatz to the Rathaus or City Hall.
Among its curiosities, you should know that from 1 December, the Stuttgart City Hall turns into an Advent calendar by placing in each window of the building the 24 days (from 1 to 24 December). Very typical in many European cities, and also at Christmas celebrations in Germany. We saw them for the first time at the Christmas markets in Alsace and it is really cool.
Another place to visit at Christmas in Stuttgart is Schlossplatz (which means “castle square”), the centre of the city and where the skating rink is set up.
On the same square is the Carls Brauhaus brewery, Stuttgart’s version of Munich’s and one of Stuttgart’s must-visit places at Christmas and any other time of the year.
What to do in Stuttgart at Christmas?
As well as visiting the Christmas market, eating is always a must. Here are a few recommendations of traditional food to try:
Spätzle, an egg pasta with bacon and cheese (käsespätzle) that is usually eaten as a main course or as a side dish.
Maultaschen, a meat-stuffed pastry invented by monks so that they could eat their own meat during Lent and not be seen by God. As a curiosity, maultaschen come from the Maulbronn monastery (maulbronn kloster), where several scenes from the film “The Name of the Rose” were filmed.
You can also eat German pizza (flammkuchen), and other dishes such as sausages (wurst) or knuckle of pork, all accompanied by mulled wine.
6. Esslingen am Neckar, a fairytale town where to spend Christmas in Germany
The town of Esslingen am Neckar, with its half-timbered houses, is a fairytale town whenever you go there. But even more so at Christmas time, we can assure you.
It has two Christmas markets, one traditional (Esslinger Weihnachtsmarkt) and the other (the one we recommend you visit), medieval and very picturesque (Esslinger Mittelaltermarkt).
Esslingen am Neckar Christmas market dates
Open from 28 November to 21 December 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Sunday to Thursday), and from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Friday and Saturday).
On the last day they are open from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Esslingen am Neckar Christmas market location
The traditional one is on Marktplatz, a German Christmas market with more than 80 wooden stalls decorated with garlands.
The medieval Christmas market, on the other hand, is located between the Rathaus (Town Hall) and the Hafenmarkt, with a part just for children. This market organises some of the most curious medieval shows, and we can assure you that seeing it in action is like stepping onto the set of a film.
7. Heidelberg Christmas market
Another beautiful medieval town with a Christmas market with 140 stalls where you can try the most typical German Christmas products. From glühwein (mulled wine) or punch to drink, to sausages, chestnuts, almonds or candied apples to eat.
Heidelberg Christmas market dates
The Heidelberg Christmas market is open from 27 November to 22 December from 11am to 9pm. But please note that the Bismarckplatz and Kornmarkt markets will be open until 1 January.
Heidelberg Christmas market location
Most of Heidelberg’s Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt) are located on Hauptstrasse, the main shopping street, and on 6 of the most important squares in the Old Town (Altstadt):
- Kornmarkt, the so-called Winterwaeldchen, a flea market with Christmas trees surrounding the square.
- Karlsplatz, just below Heidelberg Castle, where the ice-skating rink is located.
- Marktplatz, the largest with a lot of stalls around a fountain with the Heidelberg Christmas pyramid.
- Universitätsplatz, where you’ll find most of the Christmas food stalls, but also beautiful stalls selling Christmas decorations.
- Anatomiegarten, mainly a craft market, but you’ll also find food and drink stalls.
- Bismarckplatz, small Christmas market surrounded by shopping malls with food and sweets stalls.
What to see in Heidelberg at Christmas?
Whether you’re visiting Heidelberg at Christmas or any other time of the year, we recommend a visit to the 12th-century castle. From there you will have a beautiful view of the city, but you will also be able to see the world’s largest wine barrel and the Pharmacy Museum (the most complete in the world) with a super cool 2000 year old collection.
You can use the Heidelberger Bergbahnen funicular to get to the castle. It departs from Kornmarkt and runs daily from 9am to 5pm in winter (until 8pm in summer).
8. Tübingen – Germany’s largest chocolate Christmas market
The biggest Christmas chocolate market. Here you can paint with cocoa, visit exhibitions or take part in tastings and workshops. Everything related to chocolate. We can see you are already making a note of it on your list of Christmas markets in Germany, so unique.
Chocolatiers from all over the world gather at the Schokoladenmarkt Tübingen, to showcase their sweet creations in this charming historic town. Over 100 stalls are set up on the Market Square and surrounding cobbled streets.
Tübingen Christmas market dates
This Christmas market (Choco Markt) takes place in the old town of Tübingen from 15 to 17 December. It is open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm (Friday and Saturday) and from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (Sunday).
Tübingen Christmas market location
Tübingen is a fascinating city in all seasons, with the Christmas air and the inevitable market becoming truly magical. It is located in Baden-Wurttemberg, south of Stoccarda, on the banks of the river Neckar.
9. Rothenburg ob der Tauber
For over 500 years, the city has hosted the Reiterlesmarkt, one of Germany’s most beautiful Christmas markets. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a medieval walled town that’s beautiful at any time of the year, so imagine it decorated with coloured lights and Christmas markets. Well, wait, don’t imagine, just have a look.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas market dates
The so-called Rothenburger Reiterlesmarkt (Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas market) is open from 1 to 23 December 2023, Monday to Thursday from 11am to 7pm, and Friday to Sunday from 11am to 8pm.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas market location
You’ll find Christmas markets all over the city, but take note of the most important ones:
- Marktplatz (Market Square), where you’ll find most of the Christmas stalls.
- Rathaus, don’t miss the Christmas crib in the Town Hall.
- Herrngasse and Grünem Markt, with stalls where you can buy Christmas presents. Enter the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop, one of the most spectacular we’ve ever seen (open all year round), and don’t miss the German Christmas Museum.
- Schmiedgasse, stop at Plönlein, one of the most popular photo spots in Rothenburg ob der Tauber on social media.
10. Munich and its Christmas markets
Munich Christmas market is also one of the oldest in Germany (14th century). There are more than 10 markets all over the city, but the main one is on Marienplatz.
Munich Christmas market dates
Munich’s main Christmas markets open on 27 November and run until 24 December.
Munich Christmas market location
In this case we leave you the information of the Christmas markets in Munich so you know where they are located and what you will find, so much!
Germany is the classic country for beautiful Christmas atmospheres with its cities that are easily covered with snow in winter, the decorations and traditions of Father Christmas, is the ideal place for a trip or a weekend in the company of your family. What did you think, did you find it useful, would you recommend any other German Christmas markets? Leave us your comments below!
See more: The best Christmas markets in Poland