Tipples on a German Christmas Market

In Christmas, En-Route, Europe, Food, Germany, Our Journeys, Sense, Trip-Types, World Travel by Janis4 Comments

What you can drink while visiting a festive market

Glühwein is just the start…

A lot of people when they think of a German Christmas market, their immediate reaction would be sausages, and of course, they would be right. However, if you were to forget about the food (just for one minute) then the next image to be conjured up would probably be glühwein (mulled wine).

Working flat out at the Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany

I mentioned in our feasting at a German Christmas market post that in 2017 not only did we revisit Cologne for the 10th time, but we additionally travelled to Munich & Frankfurt. We also visited Strasbourg, I know, geographically it's France, but considering how close Strasbourg is to the German border, the markets are so different.

Cafe Paris, Angel Market, Cologne, Germany
Sipping the gluhwein at the Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany

A reference guide

I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books.  I find them  extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Germany road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.

Top of the pops – the red one

There are certainly some differences from town to town. However, there is definitely a constant theme, and that is red Glühwein.

Gluhwein in the souvenir mugs, Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany

You’ll notice that depending on which town you are in the mug will be a different design, and in some towns, the mug then differs from market to market. Some of them are so cute; it’s irresistible not to acquire one.

Warming Glühwein ,Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

A new design is generally created each year.

The first glühwein of 2016, Düsseldorf, Germany
Glühwein in bright red mugs, Stuttgart, Germany
Glühwein at the Schadowplatz, Düsseldorf, Germany
A collection over the years, Nuremberg, Germany
Steaming glühwein, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Glühwein, Stuttgart, Germany
Glühwein at the bandstand, Düsseldorf, Germany
Steaming Glühwein, Munich, Germany
Glühwein at the Angel Market, Cologne, Germany
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Why not?

Start creating your own Christmas Market adventure and discover the culinary delights for yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.
Discover more of Germany on a road trip like us, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.


A story to be told, Cologne, Germany

The glühweins are around €3.50 each, and then a deposit (pfand) is charged. If you don’t want to keep the mug just hand them back and you’ll deposit will be returned.

Glühwein in Snowmen mugs, Düsseldorf, Germany

Depending on the time of day and if you’re a bit cold you may want to add an additional shot (schuss), of either rum or amaretto.

But beware this could turn out messy!!!!!

Supping Glühwein at the Elf Christmas Market, Cologne, Germany
Cheeky little gnomes, Cologne, Germany

The white one

Weiss or Weiß glühwein is also available, I quite like the white one every so often (but it isn’t to everyone’s taste), be wary though it is quite nice with an additional shot of calvados.

Weiß and regular glühwein, Düsseldorf, Germany


Now in Nuremberg they have a couple of extra additions to the glühwein menu, firstly they have the Nuremberg Glühwein which is made from blueberries and slightly spicier than the norm and a little pinker.

Two different glühweins, Nuremberg, Germany

Then there is the Winter Warmer which is produced by Hausbrauerei Altstadthof and contains malt, hops and a special mix of nine spices.

2 mugs of winter warmer, Nuremberg, Germany

Both of which are very good.

Health Advice

It’s a good job Christmas is only once a year


In 2017 when we visited Frankfurt, they had stalls that offered quite a wide range of hot and cold drinks.

So for research purposes only (honestly), we tried their apfelwein (apple glühwein) and also brombeerwein (blackberry glühwein), I got Gary an extra topping of cream.

Local tipples, Frankfurt, Germany


That’s easy for you to say!

Flaming feuerzangenbowle at the Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany

This is the fiery one, so after a couple of these, I’d doubt if you could say Feuerzangenbowle. (Unless you are German, of course!)

Not only is it red glühwein, but it also has a lump of sugar balanced on top of the mug, which has been soaked in alcohol and then set alight.

The biggest punchbowl in the world, Nuremberg, Germany

Then the egg one

Eierpunsch, now this isn’t really my choice.

Although, Gary has a soft spot for this, as it brings back memories of when he had an egg-nog at Christmas with his family.

Refreshments by the ice rink, Stuttgart, Germany
Eierpunsch for Gary, Cologne, Germany
Eggnog and glühwein, Cologne, Germany

It is quite sweet and apparently even better with a cream topping.

Portion size

Most of the festive drinks are served 0.2ml quantities


This drink isn’t so common, it is also known as Kirschglühwein on certain markets. It's glühwein with cherry brandy so over to Gary (I'm not a fan, are you?)

Alpenpower and Glühwein, Cologne, Germany

Actually Gary loves it "Mit Sahne", or with cream - what can be done?

It’s not all alcohol

There isn’t a lot that can surpass a lovely hot chocolate, and when it is topped with cream, it’s even better.

Make your own hot chocolate at Fassbenders, Cologne, Germany

In Düsseldorf, the Lindt hot chocolates were made with pure chocolate you could either have milk or white.

Lindt hot chocolate, Düsseldorf, Germany

I know I said it wasn’t all alcohol. However, if you buy a hot chocolate from the market, you may also be asked if you would like it “mit” Baileys.

Hot or cold?

Beer, surely not hot….oh yes, not only are you able to get your cold little Kolsch from Cologne or your cold Altbier from Düsseldorf.

Beers just off the market, Cologne, Germany
Beer at the market, Düsseldorf, Germany
Schumacher Alt beer, Düsseldorf, Germany

You can also buy a hot beer, try one at the Harbour market in Cologne.

Gluhwein &hot spiced beer at the Harbour Christmas market, Cologne, Germany

Then we found a local hot beer in Munich (gluhbier) I decided to stick with the apple wine (it would have been rude not to).

Hot wine and beer, Munich, Germany
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You know but...

Alcohol & cars don't mix. Make sure you're parked up before enjoying the markets.

Also, if you're driving the following day then take it easy - we all know alcohol stays in the system for hours.

Have You?

Sampled the delights of the markets?  What's your favourites?  And what really doesn't appeal to you?

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Inspired to visit the German Christmas Markets?

Does anything tempt you?

If you’d like more information on the German Christmas Markets then we’ve a few posts for you.

Feel free to have a look around and see what takes your fancy.

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Tipples on a German Christmas Market, Cologne, Germany

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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.

Trips100 - Travel Blogs
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.

Trips100 - Travel Blogs


  1. When in Germany – drink all the glühwien! Who knew there was such a wide variety. I only thought it came in red! I like a sip or two but would definitely go for the hot chocolate ‘mit Baileys’. Do you keep all those mugs? Or did you give them back for your deposit. I love the cultural regional differences. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    1. We didn’t keep all of them, but over the last 11 years of visiting the markets we probably have quite a few, we use them as decorations now. We seem to get more and more picky.

      It is amazing the types of glühwien, different regions tend to put a different twist on theirs. Nuremberg had some unusual ones.

  2. I love how seriously you take your Christmas drinks research! I’m with Katy, I hadn’t realised that there was such a variety of different glühweins. I do like the idea of wandering around the markets with a mug of something warm to sip along the way. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    1. That’s dedication for you, we love it really. It surprises me how many there are, we noticed more warm beers appearing last year.

      I do enjoy sipping a glühwien, while watching the skaters whizzing around on the ice rink.

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