7 of our much-loved German Christmas Markets

In Christmas, En-Route, Europe, Featured, Germany, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by Janis2 Comments

I know there’ll be more ….

I think we’re becoming a little obsessed with Christmas markets, to be precise German Christmas markets. 2018, will be our 11th visit to Cologne and this year we’re also going to uncover the Christmas fun at Hamburg, Bremen & Berlin.

The ice rink , Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany

Honestly, we have been sharing the love with other German towns and cities, so it’s not all about Cologne. Although, I know it’s wrong to have a favourite, however, it could just well be Cologne.

One of the things we love about visiting the different regions of Germany is that they all have their own unique delicacies. It’s great fun standing in the bustling market juggling your aromatic Gluhwein, the local spicy Bratwurst or Lebkuchen.

I understand that it’s not always convenient or practical for everyone, but, we have found that the best way to visit these markets is on a road trip.

That way you can stuff your boot/trunk full of as many of those German treats as you like.

Aachen Printen for sale at the Dom Christmas Market, Cologne, Germany

Also, if you can stay for the evening all the better, as the sun starts to set these magical emporiums come alive.

Now, honestly, I have listed these locations in alphabetical order, I’m not being biased.



I would highly recommend Cologne for various reasons, firstly, is that it has so many markets, seven I believe. The first time you walk into the Dom (cathedral) market it is magical. The towering sparkling Christmas tree stands as the centrepiece, all its twinkling lights draped across the red huts, almost acts as a warm blanket hovering above you.

The Dom towers over the Christmas Market, Cologne, Germany

My favourite market in Cologne is the Alter Markt (Old Market). Gary & I have nicknamed it the Gnome market, as the theme throughout revolves around these little folks.

Entrance to the Home of the Elves, Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany

The Alter Markt stretches through the main cobbled square, by the Town Hall (Rathaus) tempting you all the way with baked apples, cinnamon sticky nuts & currywurst.

The aromas just shout out Christmas.

Arts & crafts stalls at the Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany

If that isn’t enough in the Old Market, you then have an ice rink like no other. The young and old take to the ice and put us Brits to shame, as we cling to the sidings around the perimeter

Skating around Friedrich Wilhelm III, Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany
The Angel Market at night, Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany

I just have to mention the Angel Market as well in Neumarkt, always a favourite for a hot chocolate with a splash of Baileys. Just before we head off into the Käthe Wohlfahrt store.

Cafe Paris, Angel Market, Cologne, Germany

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Dress warm and comfortable, especially make sure you have comfy shoes.



Düsseldorf is not too far from Cologne (45km/28 miles), so you could incorporate both together. Düsseldorf also has seven markets to its name, and I think there is a little rivalry between the two west German cities.

The Bandstand at the Engelchenmarkt, Düsseldorf, Germany

Once again, the atmosphere within the markets is great fun. I particularly enjoyed it around Marktplatz and the colourful carousel, with the traditional Rathaus as a backdrop.

The Beautiful old carousel at Marktplatz, Düsseldorf, Germany

Also, the market on the banks of the river, at Burgplatz with its towering Ferris wheel. We found the Burgplatz market to be a little quieter than others, although certainly not lacking in fun.

The Schifffahrt Museum and Wheel of Vision, Düsseldorf, Germany

Weave your way up through the pedestrianised town, passing the spinning pyramid tower and treat yourself to a warming Gluhwein along the way.

Glühwein in Snowmen mugs, Düsseldorf, Germany

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Something to make your travels easier?

Let us know

What is your favourite German Christmas market, as we’d love to add them to our list.



Frankfurt can trace its Christmas market history back 1393. However, it wasn’t until the early 19th century that the Christmas tree was introduced.

When I did my initial research on the festive season in Frankfurt, I thought the market was going to be reasonably small. However, on our arrival, I was pleasantly surprised. As it weaved its way effortlessly through the highlights of Frankfurt’s old town, it was certainly bigger than I had expected.

One of the carousels, Frankfurt, Germany
The Christmas Pyramid, Frankfurt, Germany
Local tipples, Frankfurt, Germany

It had a great mixture of local crafts and gifts and also had some excellent food & drink cabins. Here we tried apple gluhwein and a blackberry gluhwein.

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Good to know

Some regions in Germany give you a token for your mug, so, you’re able to return it to a central kiosk, rather than the hut you bought your drink from.



Oh, we love Bavaria and arriving at is capital Munich was fantastic, if not a little cold. I even had to invest in a hat!

Marienplatz Market I would say is Munich’s most popular.

As the magnificent Rathaus looking down from above, creates a fantastic surrounding.

There are some great stalls here, with everything that twinkles.

Snowing in front of the Rathaus, Munich, Germany
Müchner Christkindlmarkt, Munich, Germany

However, one that I really enjoyed was the Medieval Market on Wittelsbacherplatz. Fire-breathing dragons, birds of prey and goblets of feuerzangenbowle (which is a gluhwein with a lump of sugar balanced above, drizzled with alcohol then set alight), what’s not to like?

Warm to touch, Munich, Germany
Fire-breathing dragon, Munich, Germany

Of course, being British (English) we had to head to the English Garden. Within here is Christmas Market held under the Chinese Tower. I know I keep saying it, but, this market was very charming too, it felt very family orientated.

Your carriage awaits, Munich, Germany

In Munich, we found the Apfelschmarrn, apple pancakes with nuts and a plum sauce.

You were even able to eat the bowl that it came in (it tasted like an ice cream cone).

Trying Apfelschmarrn, Munich, Germany

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Tempted to?

If you’re flying into Germany and fancy visiting a few of the Christmas markets, why not hire a car with SIXT car hire and create your own road trip.



Nuremberg was another town I fell in love with & the people were so friendly. There’s plenty of markets to explore here and a city with quite a bit of history.

Wandering through the Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg, Germany

The central festive hub in Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt is on Hauptmarkt in front of Frauenkirche. With over 160 red & white striped cabins enticing you with baubles, toy soldiers & snow globes. Then there’s the obligatory German stall which sells all types of brushes (obviously, you can never have too many brushes).

A selection of baubles, Nuremberg, Germany

The local differences in Nuremberg were their traditional recipe gingerbread, the “Drei im Weggla” – “Three in a bun” sausages and one not to eat was the Prune Men.

The prune man, Nuremberg, Germany
Gingerbread loaves for sale, Nuremberg, Germany

Take a little wander up to the Craftsmen’s Courtyard, this market had a lovely Medieval feel about it and had some different ornaments to tempt you with.

Inside the Craftsmens Courtyard, Nuremberg, Germany

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Why not?

Start creating your own German Christmas Market adventure and discover the delights Cologne, Munich & other German towns for yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.


Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber has to be one of the most magical destinations to experience Christmas.

The classic view of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Santa and his organ, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

The markets here are quite small, but that really goes with the essence of the town. Half-timbered homes, cobbled streets and all surrounded by fortified walls.

Gathering in Markplatz, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

The evening we arrived was extremely cold, with a mist just hovering above us, but we didn’t care it just made the whole atmosphere even more enchanting.

Oh Flammbrot, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
The Rathaus and Christmas tree, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

In Rothenburg ob der Tauber the whole town embraces the festive season. Christmas lights were running up and down the gables of the houses and trees hanging from doorways. This town is also home to the Käthe Wohlfahrt’s “Christmas Village”, their flagship store. Their Christmas fun last all year around.

Käthe Wohlfahrt deliveries, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
The Toy Soldier stands guard, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Good to know

Some of these markets get very busy at weekends so small children may feel a bit swamped with the crowds.



Stuttgart is the capital city of the German state Baden-Wurttemberg & has been holding a Christmas market for over 300 years, so they certainly know how to do it. We found that all the Christmas markets were more central in the town, which made them very easy to stroll between and lots going on.

Santa on the rooftops, Stuttgart, Germany

Once again, it’s those little things that make the difference. Stuttgart loves to decorate the roofs of their huts, they were terrific. We’d also never seen a miniature railway in any markets we’d previously visited.

The miniature steam train, Stuttgart, Germany

The Alten Schloss is particularly picturesque and holds daily concerts, and for something, a little different is the indoor antiques Christmas market.

Alten Schloss at night, Stuttgart, Germany

We’ve tried our fair share of different food throughout all the markets; however, we’d never seen mackerel being smoked over charcoal.

Cooked over charcoal, Stuttgart, Germany

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Something for the Traveller

So you know

Germany’s Christmas markets are really for all ages, don’t be put off that it is all for children, it really isn’t. We are all big kids at heart.

Inspired to visit the German Christmas Markets?

Visit one or more of these enchanting German Christmas markets.

I’m just excited thinking about it.

Give our favourite Cologne ago, and stay in the heart of the city by the Cathedral at Eden Hotel Früh Am Dom.

7 of our much-loved German Christmas Markets

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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  1. That is some dedication to German Christmas markets you have going on there 🙂 I’ve only been to the one at Stuttgart and I thought it was so much fun. I had not done a lot of research about what to expect and the crowds were a bit overwhelming. So I’d like to try the markets at Rothenburg ob der Tauber for a different pace #FarawayFiles

  2. Yes, we love the differences that can be found in each region, we’re off to Bremen, Hamburg and Berlin this year.I know what you mean about the crowds, the weekends are particularly busy. That’s the advice we give to others if they have smaller children, that it may become a bit daunting for them.

  3. I can’t believe you’ve been to so many! I think that the atmosphere at a German Christmas market is one of those things everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. #FarawayFiles

  4. Yes, we seem to have become addicted to them. There’s such a great atmosphere amongst the locals and the visitors, everyone is out to enjoy themselves.

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