With so many to choose from, it can be hard to decide which are the best Christmas markets in Germany. However, deciding what you want from your yuletide shopping experience will help you make that choice. Cities such as Berlin offer bustling crowds and epic festive entertainment, while older markets, such as the one found in Dresden, are almost overflowing with twinkling lights and traditional gifts.
For something contemporary, but packed with Christmas cheer, Dusseldorf market might be the one to go to. Browse our list of the below and see which one appeals to your inner Santa Claus.
Browsing in Berlin
There are over 60 Christmas markets sprawling across Berlin, but the one that remains the most popular is the one held close to the Memorial Church. When it comes to the culinary side of Christmas, you’ll find much more than sausages and lebkuchen at this German Christmas market. The Gendarmenmarket is where some of the country’s most accomplished chefs come to offer cooking demonstrations and allow you to sample and buy delicious, suitable-Christmassy treats.
Also, this market offers festive fun on a peerless scale. Alongside the traditional choirs, you’ll see jugglers and fire-breathers rubbing shoulders with acrobats and live musicians. The selection of stalls is stunning, offering everything from handmade wooden toys, to delicate gifts made from glass and sparkling jewellery.
Has Dresden ‘Stollen’ your Heart?
Having been up and running since the 15th Century, Dresden lays claim to the oldest German Christmas market. Bathed in the glow of thousands of twinkling fairy-lights and overlooked by the world’s largest nutcracker, this christmas market was almost made to give meaning to the phrase ‘winter wonderland’. Expect quaint and quirky stalls selling unique gifts such as figures made from dried prunes, beautiful wooden puppets, and pretty traditional clothing.
However, it’s the sweet treats that are the stars of the show: Dresden market is famous for its candies, cookies and the famous Stollen cake. There’s even a parade devoted to this dish, with a giant Stollen carried through the crowds, before being cut up and sold to hungry shoppers, with all the money going to charity.
Shop ‘til you Drop in Dresden
Dresden offers at least seven markets to explore, all within a short stroll of each other. With a mug of cinnamon-spiced Gluhwein in hand and an endless array of stalls to browse, you’ll quickly forget the chill in the air and get into the swing of things. Vendors take great pride in their pitches in this German Christmas market, decorating the wooden huts with reams of tinsel and clusters of multicoloured baubles, giving each site a ‘villagey’ feel. While this market is well known for its traditional, handcrafted goods, it’s also the place to come to, to buy more contemporary gifts. Modern clothing, jewellery and gadgets and gizmos rub shoulders with exquisite Christmas decorations, sweet cakes, and handmade beauty products. Also, if you’re travelling with children, there’s the opportunity to gain a fantastic overview of the city, from the city’s superb Ferris wheel.
Nativity in Nuremberg
Set against the stunning Teutonic architecture of the city’s largest square, this is the market to come to for that festive feelgood factor. You won’t find any high-street goods here, as mass-produced products are not permitted. However, you will find a unique selection of handcrafted goods and handmade sweets. Definitely one of the best Christmas markets in Germany, the one hosted by Nuremberg ticks all the traditional boxes.
For families, there’s the Children’s Christmas Market, where youngsters can make their own presents such as baked goods, candles and even glass gifts, under the watchful eyes of seasoned professionals. With fairground rides, endless glittering lights, and the strains of choirs echoing through the stalls, this really is one Christmas market not to be missed.