When I think of the christmas markets, I think of Germany and the traditions that follow that. So when we started traveling and planned for us to be in germany during the month of December, it was only right to visit as many we could.
Before I list my favourite markets, I just want to start with that unfortunately it would be impossible for me to visit every christmas market in one year, and hopefully one day I will be able to go back and see more. Secondly if you love the christmas markets then I will be shocked if you find a market in germany that you are disappointed by, I mean this is what they do and they do it amazingly good! I picked these as they have something different or special to offer aswell as the traditional look of a christmas market.
If you have read my previous blog about Freiburg, then you will know that we fell in love so before we left germany we came back to see it in the glory of Christmas, and it would be difficult for us not to be disappointed. We were right –Freiburg’s christmas markets were beautiful, traditional and did not lack the magic of christmas. They have christmas markets spread out across the city along the main sights of Freiburg, this means you can walk around the christmas markets aswell as seeing the sights.
The markets themselves sell a great selection of traditional german and Freiburg foods (along with the oberlindenhornle) for you to try, along with traditional gifts for you to buy for other people or yourself. Along with the christmas markets you will also find the local farmers market that is by the Freiburg Münster that is there everyday except Sundays.
Stuttgart has everything you need in a christmas market and more, from delicious food to an ice rink, this place can keep everyone in the family occupied. This is a large and beautiful market spreading from the main square down the streets along side it, this gives the whole city an all over christmassy feel that you couldn’t miss when visiting.
Stuttgart has a special place in my heart because of the food I had there, this is when we had Reibekuchen or you may see it as a Kartoffelpuffer. For those who are not familiar the best thing I can compare it to us is a hash brown but better. Be warned this is calorific and you will not want to count calorie but it is a beautiful food that I will want to have again. It looks like a pancake and tastes like a hash brown, this is usually served with apple sauce but personally I did double carb and have chips just because I don’t like apple sauce. This is a must when visiting germany and the christmas markets, it is a refreshing break from all the wurst you will be eating plus a great vegetarian option.
Leipzig is a wonderful city that you must visit, so if you can go during the christmas markets I would. They had stalls down all the main streets of the centre and could take you hours to walk around it all properly. Aswell as the traditional stalls they also had a market with a ferris wheel and more children friendly market, a plus for any families visiting the christmas markets. They also have a medieval market which is a very different but impressive look on the christmas markets. They are not something that you would be used to seeing but its another tradition they have in germany, its amazing and like stepping back in time with everyone on the stalls taking part in the traditions.
Another market I loved because of the medieval markets was Esslingen. This was the largest of this type of market I saw in Germany and I loved the overall atmosphere. Here you would see people dressed as medieval stall owners, with someone walking around playing the lute and a full pig roasting on an open fire. I loved it and could have spent hours just taking in the atmosphere.
Aswell as the medieval markets, they did have the traditional markets, accompanied with a nativity set with real life animals, including a donkey! This was great for any animals lovers and families with young children.
Esslingen is a small place that I hadn’t heard of before visiting it and looked like a historical city which added to the overall feel of the markets.
Now it wouldn’t be a list about the best christmas markets without including the capital of Germany. Berlin is full of history and beautiful buildings so when you add christmas markets into that its pretty hard to resist.
The biggest markets are all at main sights and squares around the city so they will never be difficult to miss. Being so big you will be able to find anything you may want and need from crepes to snow globes.
If you can visit Berlin, do it during the christmas markets.
Nuremberg have a market called the christkindlesmarkt, and the main markets are spread out outside the Frauenkirch, which is a beautiful backdrop for the markets. Here you will find all the traditions of a german market, anything from lebkuchen to gluwein, but the food which you have to eat when visiting Nuremberg is Nürnberger Bratwurst. There are many bratwurst for you to try when in germany and they are all delicious, however this was by far my favourite! Rather than a larger bratwurst these are smaller ones and you typically get three or more on a fresh and crispy bun with sauce, or even sauerkraut if you like. Something about these just taste that little bit nicer and is something you have to get from the birth place of this food and perfectly accompanies a cold winters day walking around the markets.
This I think is our favourite market in Germany, it was very difficult to choose but the whole city for me added the charm to just push it ahead of the rest. It is a historical city and this carries through to its markets. We were lucky enough to stay here overnight so we took a walk around these markets at night, which for us added the magic to the markets.If you walk into the centre you will find the christmas markets, they have various ones to children markets to a whole streets which just looked like food after food. This one again also had small medieval markets with open fires in the centre. Aswell as that they also had a set off stalls which were surrounded by trees, and I mean christmas trees that you walk through. This was beautiful, the smells of the evergreens and the wooden stalls weaving in and out, with benches you can stop at to take in the atmosphere was one of my favorite moments of the markets.
And that’s it! Our list of the markets that we loved visiting this year. There are so many more to visit so hopefully I can add to this list, especially the one we had to miss – Dresden. Due to having the dogs and Dresden being by far the busiest of all the markets, we just couldn’t put them through walking through crowds of people as there was too much going on.
Here are some photos of other Christmas markets we visited.