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The 10 German Christmas markets to soak up festive cheer

The 10 German Christmas markets to soak up festive cheer

Cozy and welcoming, German Christmas markets have been copied all over the world.

Which better way to chase away the cold than being enveloped by the scent of hot, spiced red wine, mixed with all the notes of traditional Christmas treats?

Embracing the coziest of German principles – the world-famed Gemütlichkeit – we have assembled our ten favorite markets to indulge your sweet tooth, – and enjoy a mug (or two) of Glühwein, too.

Nürnberg

Nuremberg

In the capital of gingerbread (you won’t get nicer one anywhere else), Santa takes a step back in favor of the Christkind who, suspended high over the Christkindlesmarkt, opens the Oktoberfest of Christmas Markets with a traditional poem.

Dresden

Striezelmarkt Dresden

Since the first Striezelmarkt in 1434 it’s been an exercise in tradition, with plenty of small celebrations on the Altmarkt. A highlight is the giant Stollen, a sweet Christmas bread, baked on the second Saturday of advent.

Mainz

Mainz

Not far from Frankfurt, Mainz’s small Christmas market is all cozy charm and warm welcomes. Make sure to check out the bonfire at its heart, and if you can snatch up one of the wine casks-turned-seating arrangements grouped around it – we hear they’re so popular, people even use them as a wedding venue.

Lübeck

Lübeck: Blick zum Holstentor und die Salzspeicher mit Petriki

Boasting eight markets and an enchanted forest, Lübeck is the North’s Christmas Capital – but the traditional market near the Holsten Gate, turning the charming Old Town into a festively decorated hub of city life, remains a firm favorite.

Dortmund

Dortmund

Better known for football, Dortmund is home to Germany’s highest Christmas tree taking pride of place at the market’s heart. Immensely popular in the Ruhr Area, you’ll also hear a lot of Dutch and Flamish spoken around you – after all, the border is just an hour away.

Munich

Munich: Christmas market by the city hall

What better combination that festive cheer, cute guys and seriously good food? The city’s gay market, Pink Christmas, offers enough of all three (and maybe a kiss under the mistletoe, too) – if that doesn’t get you feeling festive, we don’t know what will.

Ludwigsburg

RF_NZ_3

Ludwigsburg’s Christmas market, close to the city’s handsome baroque castle, is often overlooked in favor of nearby Stuttgart. But with the Marktplatz encased in a golden net, created by the glow of thousands of small lights, few places are more magical.

Cologne

Dom_Weihnachtsmarkt_von_oben_1

Choosing one of the 10 markets around the city is hard, but we can’t help and love the one around the spectacular Dom cathedral. And with Christmas Avenue, the city’s gay market, around the corner, there are bound to be cute guys and gals aplenty to enjoy some spiced wine with.

Esslingen

Glühweinstand_auf_dem_Mittelaltermarkt

Just south of Stuttgart, Esslingen’s Christmas market comes with fire-breathers, traditional crafts and an atmosphere transporting you a few hundred years back in time. What better place to find a knight in shining armor?

Hamburg

Hamburg

The ‘Northern Pearl’ shines even brighter than usual at Christmas, with numerous markets to choose from – but nothing beats the Rathausplatz’s historic market, close to the waterside and fully embracing the city’s stunning architecture.

Pass us that ginger bread, please. We’re off to Christmas Central.