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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE 2013 More than 80 of the best German Christmas Markets


CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

INTRODUCTION

ABOUT CHRISTMAS MARKETS Christmas is fast approaching and if you live in Germany, you’ll definitely want to plan a visit to one of the magical Christkindlmarkt or Christmas Markets that take place here beginning in late November. Germans love Christmas and their rich holiday traditions come to life at these seasonal markets. Medieval architecture provides a fairy-tale backdrop as the markets set up in the old-town squares of many of the most beautiful cities in Germany, including Rothenberg,Wurzburg and Bamberg. Strolling the markets is a holiday tradition here and a great place to take visiting relatives, or just get in the Christmas spirit yourself. Soak in the festive atmosphere of fresh snow crunching under your feet, trees illuminated by twinkling white Christmas lights, carved wooden stalls selling handmade crafts and treats and families bundled up against the winter chill. The sights and sounds will warm your heart as will the hot apple cider and Gluhwein, the hot mulled wine that helps stave off the cold. As well as an enjoyable outing, the Christmas markets are a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts for family back home. From traditional wooden nutcrackers and candle holders to fanciful Christmas ornaments, toys and unique porcelain or crystal creations, you will not go home empty handed. Don’t forget to pick up some seasonal clothing like warm knitted socks, mittens and slippers as well as scarves and hats. Be sure to sample the many treats available like Lebkuchen (gingerbread biscuits), Gebrannte Mandeln (roasted almonds), Maronen (roasted chestnuts) and Marzipanbrot (Marzipan bread).For something more substantial, just follow your nose to the outdoor grills serving traditional Nuremberg sausages and Bratwurst. Young children will delight at the carnival rides and craft booths set up just for them. Many markets feature unique children’s activities like cookie baking, visits with Santa Claus and horsedrawn carriage rides as well as temporary ice skating rinks for some outdoor fun. Traditional nativity scenes and other festive displays abound and many towns even schedule special concerts that showcase holiday music. Most Christmas Markets begin the last week of November and run through Christmas Eve.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS BY REGION Baden Wuttemburg ..……………….... Page 3 Bavaria ……………............…………………..Page 8 Brandenburg & Berlin …….………….Page 14 Hessen ……...........…………………………..Page 16 Lower Saxony ……........………………..Page 19 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern ………Page 21 North Rhine-Westphalia ……..…….Page 23 Rhineland-Palatinate ……...…………..Page 27 Saarland ……………..........…………………Page 29 Saxony ……...........…………………………..Page 30 Schleswig-Holstein & Hamburg ….Page 33 Thuringia ……………........…………………Page 35

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BADEN WURTTEMBERG BADEN-BADEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

BAD WIMPFEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

Situated at the start of the town’s famous garden, visitors to the Baden-Baden Christmas Market will encounter small streets of with decorated stalls where thousands of shimmering Christmas lights create a holiday atmosphere. An entertaining program featuring music and games, catering for both young and old, is also on offer. Relax in a festive atmosphere of surrounded by aromas of gluhwein, roasted almonds and gingerbread. Visitors can expect to shop at 90 merchant stalls filled with Christmas arts and crafts as well at the exclusive boutiques in the Kurhaus Colonnades.

The Christmas market at Bad Wimpfen is your opportunity to check out among the most historic Christmas markets in Germany. The market developed out of the previous St. Katharine’s Market and today visitors to the Christmas market will be captivated by the appeal of 135 beautifully decorated stalls and mini-stalls, together with the charming environment, tempting smells, and the wonderful background of the half-timbered homes of the former imperial town of Bad Wimpfen.

Dates: 25 November - 30 December Times: 11am-9pm (Daily), 10am-3pm (Christmas Eve) Where: Lichtentaler Allee, Baden-Baden, 76530 More Info: www.baden-baden.de

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Dates: 29 November - 1, 6-8 & 13-15 December Times: 2pm-9pm (Fri), 11am-9pm (Sat-Sun) Where: Hauptstrasse, Bad Wimpfen, 74206 More Info: www.badwimpfen.org

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BADEN WURTTEMBERG EUROPA PARK CHRISTMAS MARKET

ESSLINGEN CHRISTMAS MARKET At the extraordinary and historic Esslingen Medieval Market and Christmas Market, held annually in Esslingen on Rathausplatz and Marktplatz, savor the sights and smells of the Middle Ages, complete with jesters, knights, sorcerers and maidens! Enjoy delicious holiday fare cooked on open fires while artisans and craftsmen showcase beautiful art, calligraphy, leather, handmade jewelry and medieval costumes. In fact, many locals get into the spirit and arrive in traditional medieval outfits, while live music with traditional medieval instruments provide a quaint and very authentic backdrop. Don’t miss this one - we’re told it’s a beautiful experience! Dates: 26 November - 22 December Times: 11am-8:30pm (Daily) Where: Rathausplatz, Esslingen, 73728 More Info:: www.tourist.esslingen.de

Europa-Park, Germany’s largest and one of its best-loved theme parks, hosts an unforgettable Christmas Market as part of its annual holiday program of fun, festive events that will delight the kids. From November 27 through January 9, Europa-Park transforms itself into a Winter Wonderland, with thousands of brightly lit fir trees, festive light displays, hundreds of exciting attractions, performances and shows on ice that will please kids of any age. At Europa-Park, holiday visitors can hurtle from dizzying heights on any of the park’s nine roller coasters, take in a number of great shows, explore the underwater world without leaving the 4D cinemas, and take a leisurely stroll through a traditional German Christmas market. Europa-Park is one of Germany’s most popular attractions and you’ll really need to book as far in advance as possible if you’re planning on spending any time there this holiday season. Dates: 23 November - 6 January Times: 11am-7pm (Daily), Closed 24-25 December Where: Europa-Park-Strasse, Rust, 77977 More Info: www.europapark.de

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FREIBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET Visit the historic city center for one of the most popular Christmas markets in southern Germany. The site of the Christmas festivities are the city of Freiburg’s gorgeous squares, the largest of which is the Munsterplatz. Dominated by a 116-meter high Gothic tower, you will be definitely get caught up in the festive atmosphere as you enjoy delicious treats and traditional regional products. The old city is transformed into one huge Christmas market, with stalls selling a variety of delicious treats such as mulled wine, candy floss, and bratwurst, as well as jewelry and handicrafts. Dates: 25 November - 23 December Times: 10am-8:30pm (Mon-Sat), 11:30am-7:30pm (Sun) Where: Munsterplatz, Freiburg, 79098 More Info: www.upperrhinevalley.com

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BADEN WURTTEMBERG HEIDELBERG CHRISTMAS MARKET

HEILBRONN CHRISTMAS MARKET More than 100 Christmas stalls will be on the market square, Kiliansplatz, in the pedestrian precinct of Heilbronn. Visitors will enjoy shopping for Christmas presents and enjoy traditional treats such as gluhwein and gingerbread. For those who love to ice skate, a outside ring can be found in front of the historical town hall. After your finished skating, warm up with a hot drink in the ski lodge, winter fun at its best. Choirs and brass bands will play in the glow of 270 beautifully decorated Christmas trees, filling the air with holiday scents and sounds. Dates: 28 November - 22 December Times: 11am-8pm (Daily) Where: Kiliansplatz, Heilbronn, 74072 More Info: www.heilbronn.de

KARLSRUHE CHRISTMAS MARKET Photo Credit: Heidelberg Marketing GmbH

Taking an advent stroll, you can discover not only picturesque alleyways and famous sights but also some 140 stalls selling enchanting gift ideas. Five inviting squares host these treats: Bismarckplatz, Anatomiegarten, University Square, Kornmarkt and Market Square. Surrounded by buildings of the historical Old Town, a magical atmosphere at Christmas-time and is an ideal place for the annual Christmas Fair. The delicious smells of such culinary specialties as mulled wine, baked apples, gingerbreads, the “Christstollen” - a special Christmas cake, and the famous grilled sausages draw people from around the city. Once there, they find all kinds of rides and entertainment, including choirs, orchestras and storytellers. For the romantically-minded, the festive market inauguration by the Heidelberg Christ child is not to be missed. Christmas melodies evoke the most pleasant of atmospheres. Dates: 25 November - 22 December Times: 11am-9pm (Sun-Fri), 11am-10pm (Sat) Where: Bismarckplatz, Heidelberg, 69115 More Info: www.heidelberg-marketing.de

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Karlsruhe is located on the Rhine in the northern part of the Black Forest, less than an hour’s drive from Stuttgart. Make a day of it and take in Karlsruhe’s incredibly beautiful palace and market square, which is where you’ll find the Karlsruhe Christmas Market. The Medieval Christmas Market takes place at the Imperial Palace in Durlach, and you should head for Friedrichsplatz for the ice skating rink. Look out for the horse-drawn carriage rides through Karlsruhe’s city center - there’s no better way to rest your weary feet after some manic Christmas shopping. Dates: 28 November - 23 December Times: 11am-9pm (Sun-Wed), 11am-10pm (Thu-Sat) Where: Marktplatz, Karlsruhe, 76124 More Info: www.karlsruhe.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BADEN WURTTEMBERG LINDAU (LAKE CONSTANCE) CHRISTMAS MARKET

MANNHEIM CHRISTMAS MARKET

Lindau is improved into a real holiday island every weekend around Christmas. Set against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Constance is a really unique Christmas market. Every weekend of the event, the Lindau Christmas Market, with its beautifully decorated stands and fragrances of mulled wine and cookies, creates a magical and special setting. The captivating fairy tale woods and the Christmas tours of the community with the night-watchman are incredibly popular as are the music performances throughout the holidays. Dates: 29 November - 22 December Times: 11am-9pm (Fri-Sun) Where: Bahnhofsplatz, Konstanz, 78462 More Info: www.lindau-tourismus.de

LUDWIGSBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET

Photo Credit: Oxfordian, Flickr

The Ludwigsburg Christmas Market is set in an impressive market square in front of two gorgeous churches. Over 170 festively decorated stalls, lit by many thousands of very small lights, offer a vast assortment of Christmas knick-knacks and treasures, Apart from the market, Ludwigsburg itself is a superb location for some Christmas shopping, with hundreds of great stores near the Christmas market.

Photo Credit: Dominik Rossbach, Stadtmarketing Mannheim GmbH

Mannheim’s Christmas Market is one of Germany’s largest, attracting thousands of visitors annually. Adoringly decorated to resemble little wood houses, visitors will discover an staggering array of Christmas decorations and goods among the 200 Christmas stalls, such as woolen hats and mittens, wax candles, scarves, precious jewelry, kids’ toys, and paper, ceramic and wooden crafts. Food merchants will be there selling delicious homemade biscuits, gluhwein and gingerbread, almond cookies and tasty stollen, a sweet yeast bread with raisins, candied fruit and often a roll of marzipan in the center. Chocolate lovers will love the hand-made delicious chocolate truffles on offer. There are also plenty of hearty snacks such as sausages to fill your senses and stomach with the delights of Christmas at this wonderful market. Dates: 27 November - 23 December Times: 11am-9pm (Daily) Where: Kapuzinerplanken, Mannheim, 68161 More Info: www.mannheim.de

Dates: 26 November - 22 December Times: 11am-9pm (Daily) Where: Marktplatz Ludwigsburg, Ludwigsburg, 71638 More Info: www.ludwigsburg.de Visit Our Website

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BADEN WURTTEMBERG STUTTGART CHRISTMAS MARKET

TUEBINGEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

Photo Credit: Daniel Brockpähler, Wikimedia Commons

Photo Credit: Sharaf, Flickr

As one of Germany’s biggest, oldest and most beautiful Christmas markets, Stuttgart’s massive, 315-year-old market is sprawled across several different market squares, between the Cathedral and the Castle. Each year, nearly two million visitors descend to marvel at the thousands of Christmas lights illuminating the city and to breathe in the heady aroma of gluhwein, cinnamon and vanilla. It’ll take you the best part of a day and most of the evening to get through the nearly 300 stalls, all selling exquisite wooden toys, hand-crafted gifts and baubles, glassware, sheepskin clothing, gingerbread, honey waffles, wine, baked apples and fruitcake. There’s a daily Christmas Concert every evening at 18:00 in the grounds of the Old Castle, and the kids will love Kinderland on Schlossplatz, where they can enjoy fairground rides and even learn how candles and honey are made. Check out the open-air skating area, a 500 sq m rink that is set up right in front of the New Palace in the heart of the city. If you fancy venturing out of the city center for your Christmas market experience, Esslingen’s Medieval Christmas Market is a great experience in itself, featuring fire-eaters and very entertaining medieval dancing alongside stalls selling leather, silver, jewelry, and all the usual Christmas goodies.

Tuebingen is a great starting point for visiting the Christmas markets in Stuttgart and Lake Constance; it’s a romantic cobblestone town that hosts a wonderfully traditional Christmas market that is quite possibly one of the most non-commercial in Germany as only private vendors are allowed to participate and corporations are made to go elsewhere to flog their Christmas wares. Because of this, everything you’ll find at Tuebingen Christmas Market is home-made and very authentic. There are an impressive 450 Christmas stalls dotted around Tuebingen’s market square with everyone being distinctively different, which makes this a great town to get that one-of-akind Christmas decoration or unique holiday gift. Dates: December - 8 December Times: 10am-8pm (Tue-Fri), 10am-11pm (Sat), 11am-7pm (Sun) Where: Holzmarkt, Tuebingen, 72070 More Info: www.tuebingen-info.de

Dates: 27 November - 23 December Times: 10am-8pm (Sun-Thu), 10am-9pm (Fri-Sat) Where: Marktplatz, Stuttgart, 70173 More Info: www.stuttgarter-weihnachtsmarkt.de Visit Our Website

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BAVARIA AMBERG CHRISTMAS MARKET

The Amberg Christmas Market is lovingly decorated with stalls stuffed Christmas decorations, toys, trinkets, dolls, needle works and delicately handcarved wood toys for the youngsters. The market fills the senses with delicious smells of roasted almonds, traditional cakes and grilled sausages. The colorful lights of the market will invite you to forget the strain of life and to relax with a cup of delicious mulled wine as you join in the holiday spirit. The Amberg Weihnachtsmarkt also offers an amusing program each weekend, with carol singing, nativity plays and concerts that everyone will enjoy. Dates: 28 November - 23 December Times: 10am-8pm (Mon-Sat), 1pm-8pm (Sun) Where: Marktplatz, Amberg, 92224 More Info: www.amberger-weihnachtsmarkt.de

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AUGSBERG CHRISTMAS MARKET

Photo Credit: Mararie, Flickr

One of Germany’s most lovely Christmas markets takes place in Augsburg. The Augsberg Christmas Market is a 500 year old tradition where you will enjoy carols, the scent of spruce, golden lights, the aroma of mulled wine, traditional German sausages, cookies and cake, roasted chestnuts, nativity scenes, decorations, and toys all served up by pleasant merchants who inhabit the Christmas stalls found around the Rathausplatz. The charming and spectacular scenery of the Renaissance Hall, patrician homes decorated with the gables, and a large Christmas tree produce a pleasant and distinctive setting that will fill your memories for years to come. Dates: 22 November - 24 December Times: 10am-8pm (Mon-Wed), 10am-9pm (Thu-Sat), 10am-8pm (Sun) Where: Rathausplatz, Augsburg, 86150 More Info: www.augsberger-christkindlesmarkt.com

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BAVARIA

BAMBERG CHRISTMAS MARKET

Photo Credit: Gary Rogers, Wikimedia Commons

Bamberg, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage City stuffed full of romantic and sometimes bloody history, has its own brand of unique charm no matter what the season, but in the lead-up to the holidays, Bamberg really comes into its own with its traditional Advent and Christmas markets, selling all sorts of Christmas trinkets and treasures, as well as some of Bavaria’s most traditional dishes and delicacies and of course, its finest brews. The city’s calendar of holiday events include the Advent market, the Bamberg Christmas Market, the Artisan’s Christmas Market, the Medieval Christmas Market, and the ‘Last Minute’ Artists’ Market. Just head for the pedestrian zone off Market Square and you’ll happily spend a day and most of the night working your way around the markets and Bamberg’s famous ‘Crib City’ (live nativity scenes all over the city). Dates: 28 November - 23 December Times: 9am-8pm (Mon-Sat), 11am-8pm (Sun) Where: Maxplatz, Bamberg, 96052 More Info: www.bamberg.info

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BAYREUTH CHRISTMAS MARKET

The Bayreuth Christmas Market proudly boasts one of Germany’s most spectacular light displays, with a staggering seven kilometers of festive lights running throughout the town. Equally enthralling are the 50+ stalls set up in the market square, each of them offering a selection of excellent quality Christmas goodies, from wine, cakes and gingerbread men to toys, decorations and intricate carvings, you’ll be able to collect some marvelous souvenirs to send back home to family in the States. Intimate and friendly, the market also features a program of over 200 exciting, cultural events during the season, with the undisputed highlight being the traditional winter village on display at the Old Palace. As well, there are street entertainers, plays, choirs and concerts for the whole family to enjoy. Dates: 29 November - 23 December Times: 10am-7:30pm (Mon to Sat), 11am-7:30pm (Sun) Where: Maximilianstrasse, Bayreuth, 95444 More Info: www.bamberg.info

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BAVARIA

COBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET

DEIDESHEIM CHRISTMAS MARKET For 33 years, numerous exhibitors and artistic-craftsmen have been coming to Deidesheim to meet at over 100 stalls in the renowned wine town on the German Wine Route. It has long been known that the Deidesheim Advent is one of the most romantic Christmas fairs in Germany. There are probably two reasons for the renowned image of the fair - the historical setting and appearance of Deidesheim and the beautifully designed fair, which looks like a sea of lights from the Arabian Nights. This is why the Deidesheim Advent has been counted among the five most beautiful Christmas fairs in Germany, Switzerland and Austria by the “Welt am Sonntag” newspaper! Most of the stalls display elaborate arts-and-crafts items.

Coburg’s Christmas Market features beautiful performances by the Coburg Children’s Choir and a fantastic selection of Christmas fare on the many stalls selling Christmas decorations and trinkets, hand-made toys and crafts, exquisite china, rare books and one-of-a-kind ornaments. You’ll love the permeating aroma of roasted almonds, freshly baked breads and cakes and of course the Coburger Bratwurst, washed down with gluhwein or a selection of Coburg’s finest beers. There’s a carousel in the heart of the Marktplatz and the Coburg State Theatre puts on a marvelous public performance with a Christmas theme. Santa makes an appearance at the weekend and on Wednesdays, making his way through throngs of pink-cheeked children in a horse-drawn carriage. Coburg is just 40 minutes from Bamberg and just over an hour from Schweinfurt, which makes it convenient to most military installations in Bavaria. Plan to visit together with Bamberg and Nuremberg’s markets and really make a weekend of it! Dates: 29 November - 23 December Times: 11am-8pm (Daily) Where: Markt, Coburg, 96450 More Info: www.coburg-tourist.de

Dates: 29 November - 22 December Times: 2pm-9pm (Fri-sat), 11am-9pm (Sun) Where: Stadtplatz, Deidesheim, 67146 More Info: www.deidesheim.de

FUSSEN CHRISTMAS MARKET The Fussen Christmas Market, filled with lights, local merchants selling arts and crafts, and the delicious fragrance of and gluhwein and Christmas stolen, is held in the monastery courtyard of Sankt Mang Abbey every year. Founded in the first half of the 9th century, the Benedictine abbey is located in the heart of Fussen and provides a spectacular backdrop for this wonderful Bavarian market. Lots of events, including live music, will occur on Kaiser-MaximilianPlatz and of course there will be plenty of Christmas market stalls with gluhwein, delicious sausages, cookies and cakes, and non-alcoholic drinks for the kids to enjoy. Dates: 6-8 & 13-15 December Times: 11am-9pm (Daily) Where: Magnusplatz, Fussen, 87629 More Info: www.fuessen-en.ictourismus.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BAVARIA

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

KEMPTEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

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Snow-covered mountains and beautiful winter scenery will make your white Christmas dreams come true. Garmisch is a popular winter retreat with visitors to Munich who are looking to escape the busy streets of Germany’s larger cities. Enjoy the crisp mountain air and the tranquility of a winter walk and enjoy the region’s special atmosphere during the Christmas season. Advent music, nativity scenes and horsedrawn sleighs in the glistening snowy landscape - in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Christmas season is still full of romanticism and contemplation. The Alpine music, festively decorated booths with handicrafts and culinary specialties of the region as well as the Lüftlmalereien (traditional painted façades that are popular in this region) of the house façades can be enjoyed in the magnificent glow of the Christmas trees and produce a special magical charm. Dates: 30 November - 24 December Times: 11am-8pm (Mon-Fri), 11am-9pm (Sat), 11am-8pm (Sun) Where: Richard-Strauss-Platz & Ludwigstrasse, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 82467 More Info: www.gapa.de

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Kempten in Allgau is a colorful, artsy Bavarian town with a distinct Mediterranean feel. Kempten makes for a lovely weekend away, not just because of its proximity to so many key cities and attractions but also because of the fantastic scenery of Kempten itself - postcard-perfect mountain vistas, lakes and thick woods all lie on the outskirts of the town. Christmas in Kempten is a decidedly spirited and enthusiastic affair, with over 150 different events taking place each year, the highlight of which is the Kempten Christmas Market in the Old Quarter with more than seventy stalls selling Christmas treasures and trinkets, unique gifts and Christmas crafts, as well as German holiday delicacies and scrumptious Christmas treats. There are daily musical performances, ranging from choirs to classical concerts. Dates: 29 November - 22 December Times: 12am-8pm (Sun-Fri), 12am-9pm (Sat) Where: Rathhausplatz, Kempten, 87435 More Info: www.kempten.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BAVARIA

MUNICH CHRISTMAS MARKET

NUREMBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET Nuremberg’s Old Town hosts the annual Christmas market, one of Germany’s bestloved and most famous seasonal markets. Boasting over 180 fixed stalls selling everything from gifts and gadgets to trinkets and treasures, Nuremberg is a definite ‘must’ on the Christmas market calendar. On the Friday before Advent, Nuremberg’s Golden Angel appears atop the Frauenkirche and formally opens the event to the 2 million visitors and tourists that descended upon the city last year, armed with plenty of Euro and an enthusiastic appetite for gingerbread, gluhwein, and bratwurst. Dates: 29 November - 24 December Times: 9:30am-8pm (Mon-Thu), 9:30am-10pm (Fri-Sat), 10:30-8pm (Sun) Where: Hauptmarkt, Nuremburg, 90403 More Info: www.christkindlesmarkt.de

Photo Credit: Francois, Flickr

Munich’s traditional Christmas market’s roots go all the way back to the 14th century. Set amidst the old Town Hall and the beautiful Frauenkirche, stalls and street performers surround a gigantic 100-foot Christmas tree, and carols are performed each evening from the Town Hall’s balcony. Bring your appetite - the food stalls sell an astonishing array of Bavarian yummies, including sausages, potato pancakes, gluhwein, and delicious gingerbread. The stalls sell everything from home-made Christmas goodies, regional delicacies and gourmet gift items to unusual gifts, beeswax candles, glassware, wood carvings, keepsakes, hand-made toys and tacky souvenirs. If you want a more contemporary Christmas market experience, head for funky Theresienwiese, where you’ll stumble upon the Tollwood festival, a collection of tents offering an exciting program of international DJs, music groups, dramatic performances, live music and art, all related in one way or another to the celebration of culture and Christmas. There are also a number of other ‘alternative’ Christmas markets, twenty happening across Munich in total. Dates: 29 November - 24 December Times: 10am-8:30pm (Mon-Sat), 10am-7:30pm (Sun) Where: Marienplatz, Munich, 80331 More Info: www.muenchen.de

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PASSAU CHRISTMAS MARKET At Passau Christmas Market on Domplatz, visitors will discover an exciting cultural events program that includes carols, choirs and classical concerts, as well as a full and bustling Christmas market with around seventy stalls selling unique gift ideas, arts and crafts and regional delicacies, as well as Christmas goods and decorations. The food stalls sell all the Christmas market staples such as lebkuchen, gluhwein and bratwurst. The market is very easy to reach as it’s centrally located in the charming Old Quarter in Passau’s City Center Dates: 29 November - 23 December Times: 10am-8pm (Mon-Thu), 10am-9pm (Fri-Sat), 11:30am-8pm (Sun) Where: Domplatz, Passau, 94032 More Info: www.tourism.passau.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BAVARIA

REGENSBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET

ROTHENBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET The 500-year-old Rothenburg Christmas Market is a seasonal highlight and one of Germany’s most important markets. Rothenburg hosts a year-round Christmas Village, known for selling Kathe Wohlfahrt nutcracker trinkets that are such popular souvenirs. There is so much to see and enjoy in Rothenburg that the only real way to do it is to spend a weekend there. During the holiday season, Rothenburg’s streets are lined with stalls selling quality toys and trinkets, cookies, cakes, mulled wine, gifts, glassware and handembroidered keepsakes. The traditional name for Rothenburg’s Christmas Market is Reiterlsmarkt, and the event dates all the way back to the 15th century, which makes it one of Germany’s oldest and most romantic.

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Regensburg’s Christmas Market has been voted one of the ten most beautiful Christmas markets hosted in a Germanspeaking country (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). Regensburg’s market has been an annual tradition for over 400 years in this UNESCO World Heritage city, set against the beautifully preserved medieval city center and Regensburg’s imposing and exquisite cathedral. Potters, cravers, candle makers, bakers and artisans at work, and enjoy sampling some of the market’s best culinary offerings from across the region, including the apple mulled wine and the original Regensburger sausages, eaten straight off the grill with a sweet mustard, horseradish and cucumber in a crispy bread. The booths are festively decorated, the market is very well-organized, and the kids will love all the crazy fairground fun! Dates: 25 November - 23 December Times: 10am-8pm (Sun-Wed), 10am-9pm (Thu-Sat) Where: Neupfarrplatz, Regensburg, 93047 More Info: www.regensburg.de

Dates: 29 November - 23 December Times: 11am-7pm (Sun-Thu), 11am-8pm (Fri-Sat) Where: Marktplatz, Rothenberg, 91541 More Info: www.rothenburg.de

WUERZBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET The magnificent city of Wuerzburg hosts one of the region’s most beautiful, and oldest, Christmas markets, set against the stunning view of the Old Stone Bridge, the river, the fortress and the hillside vineyards. The main event happens on the historic market square, and is largely seen as one of the most atmospheric and authentic of all the markets in Germany. You’ll particularly love the classical music performances, the lingering aroma of gluhwein and other Christmas goodies, and the wonderfully traditional arts and crafts on offer. Dates: 29 November - 23 December Times: 10am-8pm (Mon-Sat), 11am-8pm (Sun) Where: Marktplatz, Wuerzburg, 97070 More Info: www.wuerzburger-markt.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BRANDENBURG & BERLIN BERLIN CHRISTMAS MARKET

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As Germany’s capital, Berlin hosts a diverse and more contemporary series of fun and festive events during the holiday season, including a whopping sixty Christmas markets located throughout the city. There really is something for everyone in Berlin at Christmastime, whether you’re looking for some family-friendly festive fun or a more sophisticated cultural experience. Stroll through Berlin’s boulevards and market squares to discover fine, unique and fun items that will please just about anybody on your holiday shopping list. Don’t miss the Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace, one of the city’s most beautiful markets set against one of Berlin’s most impressive and iconic monuments, complete with horse and carriage rides, tours of the palace, and a brilliant display of festive lights. Marvel at the rare, hand-crafted trinkets Visit Our Website

and toys, enjoy flamboyant street performances and sample a little bit of everything on offer (bring your appetite!) Another highlight is the Gendarmenmarkt, an exquisite showcase of traditional craftsmanship - all the best makers and traders from across Europe travel to this market to sell their unique works of art amidst an impressive schedule of variety performances on offer. Another ‘must’ is the Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt, an old-world celebration of Berlin’s rich history and a showcase of all the best arts and crafts that the city has to offer. The Spandau Christmas Market hosts around 400 Christmas stalls, a huge Christmas tree and a fantastic Christmas Lights display. The Chanukka Markt in the enclosed courtyard of the Jewish Museum in Kreuzberg is organized by the Jewish Museum as a unique holiday market centered on the 8-day ‘Festival of Lights’, with stalls selling kosher mulled wine and other goodies, traditional Hanukkah products, and arts and crafts from Israel, the USA and across Europe. For more festive fun that the whole family will enjoy, head for the main attraction at Potsdamer Platz (Winterwelt), and to the Sony Center’s 4,000 sq m event area featuring an ice skating rink, a Legoland Discovery Center nearby, and flamboyant Ferris wheels that will delight the kids. A full listing of all sixty Berlin markets is available from Berlin’s official tourist board website. Dates: 25 November - 31 December Times: 11am-9pm (Fri-Sat), 11am-10pm (Sun-Thu) Where: Breitscheidplatz, Berlin, 10789 More Info: www.visitberlin.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

BRANDENBURG & BERLIN COTTBUS CHRISTMAS MARKET

POTSDAM CHRISTMAS MARKET

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One of the most beautiful and most traditional Christmas markets in Lusatia is held every year in Cottbus. The old market square is the location of the market, which extends all the way to to Postparkplatz. In addition to a large Christmas pyramid and market stalls filled with holiday treats, visitors will enjoy a program of entertainment, creating a festive mood in everyone who attends the festivities. While you are there, be sure to buy a Herrnhut star. The only place they are made is in Cottbus, so the make terrific souvenirs

Potsdam is a city full of Christmas charm and the Christmas Market held in the city center at the Alter Markt is the epicenter of cheer. Visitors will find delicious holiday treats and snacks as they walk through the Christmas stalls. Horse-drawn carriage rides wisk holiday makers around the city and traditional arts and crafts will be displayed in the Dutch Quarter. The whole city is lit up at night with thousands of Christmas lights that create a memorable holiday atmosphere everyone will enjoy.

Dates: 21 November - 15 December Times: 10am-7pm (Daily) Where: Berlinerstrasse, Cottbus, 03046 More Info: www.cottbus.de

Dates: 27 November - 27 December Times: 10am-8pm (Daily) Where: Alter Markt, Potsdam, 14467 More Info: www.potsdam.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

HESSEN BAD HOMBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET

BAD HERSFELD CHRISTMAS MARKET

The Christmas Market in Bad Homburg, held weekends throughout December, consists of numerous stalls offering baked goods and hot food. Hot wine and brandy punch are served against the cold. Other stalls complete the typical Christmas market program by selling Christmas crafts and products. The Christmas Market has a long tradition and gets its visitors into the mood for the festive season. Dates: 30 November - 22 December Times: 10am-9pm (Sat-Sun) Where: Schloss, Bad Homburg, 61348 More Info: www.bad-homburg-tourismus.de

DARMSTADT CHRISTMAS MARKET In the heart of Darmstadt is a beautiful Christmas Market that extends across the heart of the city as well as into the Carree and Schlosshof courtyards. There is a distinct international flare to Darmstadt’s festivities with merchant visitors from the city’s European twin towns of Trondheim, Gyönk, Brescia and Uzhhorod. You’ll find specialty crafts and cuisine from Norway, Hungary, Italy and Ukraine in the market square, which also is the site of an open-air stage with live entertainment. Be sure to bring the kids on 6 December when Santa drops in for a visit to the market in his sleigh. Dates: 25 November - 23 December Times: 10:30am-9pm (Mon-Sat), 11:30-9pm (Sun) Where: Friedensplatz, Darmstadt, 64283 More Info: www.darmstadt.de

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Every year the Bad Hersfeld Christmas Market, just north of Frankfurt, puts on an amazing display of 30,000 lights on historical Linggplatz square in the old quarter of Bad Hersfeld, which takes its name from the number of bulbs that illuminate the beautiful medieval facades. Merchants will be selling a wide variety of Christmas knick-knacks and treasures and Bad Hersfeld itself is a fantastic destination for some pre-Christmas shopping, with excellent shops just next to the market. Choirs will perform on the stage every day along with an exciting program of other entertainment. Dates: 27 November - 23 December Times: 12am-8pm (Daily) Where: Linggplatz, Bad Hersfeld, 36251 More Info: www.bad-hersfeld.de

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HESSEN

FRANKFURT AM MAIN CHRISTMAS MARKET

FULDA CHRISTMAS MARKET

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Frankfurt has hosted an annual Christmas market for over 600 years, which makes it one of Germany’s oldest and most popular. You’ll be dazzled by the number of gorgeous stalls, selling Christmas trinkets, treasures and tree ornaments, cakes, cookies, gingerbread, wine, honey, souvenirs, hand-embroidered keepsakes and, of course, the usual complement of scrumptious Christmas treats - everything from roasted nuts, baked applies, gluhwein and other goodies. The Frankfurt Christmas Market is spread across several locations throughout the city center, including Roemerberg, Paulsplatz, Liebfrauenberg, Fahrtor and Mainkai.

The historic Baroque city of Fulda and it’s wonderful Christmas Market awaits you in the heart of Germany with magnificent architecture, romantic parks and elegant boutiques all which make for a splendid backdrop for the Christmas market. Tempting aromas and all the wonderful sounds of the season and delicious yuletide treats are all on offer. Marvel at trumpeters playing from on high in historical costumes and organ recitals ringing out from the cathedral. While there be sure to take the opportunity to explore the town’s baroque history on a guided tour and discover the world of snow globes at the Christmas exhibition in the Vonderau Museum.

Dates: 27 November - 22 December Times: 10am-9pm (Mon to Sat), 11am-9pm (Sun) Where: Romerberg, Frankfurt, 60311 More Info: www.frankfurt-tourismus.de

Dates: 29 November - 23 December Times: 11am-8pm (Mon-Sat), 12:30-7pm (Sun) Where: Marktstrasse, Fulda, 36037 More Info: www.tourismus-fulda.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

HESSEN

KASSEL CHRISTMAS MARKET

RUDESHEIM CHRISTMAS MARKET The Rudesheim Christmas Market is home to Europe’s largest nativity scene. It is also home to “Rudesheim Coffee”, which you can drink there, or purchase for gifts. Rudesheim is also famous for their brandy-filled chocolates. This year there will be over 120 booths, from 12 different countries. Next to the main market is a children’s market- built by children, for children. Dates: 28 November - 22 December Times: 11am-8pm (Daily) Where: Drosselgasse, Rudesheim am Rhein, 65385 More Info: www.ruedesheim.de

The Christmas market on Konigsplatz and Friedrichsplatz squares in Kassel is a fairytale experience in more ways than one. Not only does it have the world’s largest fairytale pyramid, but this year’s theme in the heartland of the German Fairytale Route is ‘Little Brother and Little Sister’ by the Brothers Grimm. The many stands in the town centre offer arts and crafts of the highest quality and festive specialties that look as good as they taste. Kids will love the huge free-standing advent calendar with its daily program of stage entertainment, the mysterious magic forest and the Christmas workshop where they can get creative. For hearty food and drink you have the ‘cheese house’ and the traditional Alpine hut. A fairytale Christmas world awaits you in the heart of Kassel.

WIESBADEN CHRISTMAS MARKET Wiesbaden is a town that is very proud of their Coat of Arms, and this is evident at their Christmas Market. The market is decorated in gold and blue (the color of their Coat of Arms) and there are golden lilies everywhere. Just to enter the Market, you have to walk through four lily gates decorated with stars. Live entertainment is provided- plays and music both. There will be a children’s area with carousals and a children’s train. This market will have more than 100 booths. Dates: 26 November - 23 December Times: 10:30am-9pm (Mon-Tue), 10:309:30pm (Fri-Sat), 12am-9pm (Sun) Where: Schlossplatz, Wiesbaden, 65183 More Info: www.wiesbaden.de

Dates: 25 November - 23 December Times: 11am-8pm (Daily) Where: Konigsplatz, Kassel, 34117 More Info: www.kassel.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

LOWER SAXONY HANNOVER CHRISTMAS MARKET

OSNABRUECK CHRISTMAS MARKET

The Hannover Christmas Market isn’t just one event, it’s three! In addition to a traditional Christmas market of 150 stalls located around the church in the Old Quarter, visitors will also be treated to a medievalthemed Christmas market with potters, glassblowers, and candle makers. The third Christmas market in the Ballhofplatz is something unique, a Finnish village featuring specialties from this Nordic country where you can sample national food and culture from Lapland, the European home of Father Christmas.

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Dates: 25 November - 29 December Times: 11am-9pm (Daily) Where: Hanns-Lilje Platz, Hannover, 30159 More Info: www.hannover.de

One of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany is located in Osnabrueck. The city’s market square located in front of the cathedral is the enchanting for a festive gathering of merchants. The market is lit with thousands of lights adding to the holiday atmosphere of the Old Quarter. In addition to the enjoyment of shopping at the market stalls, visitors will be amazed by seeing the world’s largest musical box playing twenty-five different Christmas songs. As well as this giant attraction is a fully functioning, 6-meter tall nutcracker on display. Outside of Saint John’s Church you’ll discover a lovely Renaissance-style market glowing in candlelight and lamps near the HegerTor gate. Dates: 25 November - 22 December Times: 12am-9pm (Daily) Where: Domhof, Osnabrueck, 49074 More Info: www.osnabrueck.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

LOWER SAXONY

HILDESHEIM CHRISTMAS MARKET

GOETTINGEN CHRISTMAS MARKET The Goettingen Christmas Market takes place at the 1000-year-old city center in the heart of Germany. The market and the city is a delight for visitors, with its beautiful churches, lovingly preserved half-timbered houses forming picturesque squares, and old city walls. The surroundings create a magical atmosphere enhanced by fairy lights, Christmas trees and the aromas of hot mulled wine and cinnamon. Children and adults will love riding the old-fashioned carousel and the spectacular views to be had from the Ferris wheel, which is erected every year. Dates: 29 November - 30 December Times: 10am-8:30pm (Mon-Sat), 11am-8:30pm (Sun) Where: Markt, Goettingen, 37073 More Info: www.goettingen.de

The Christmas Market in Hildesheim, a historical city founded more than 1200 years ago, is a most enchanting experience due in large part to the backdrop the Butcher’s Guild Hall (Knochenhaueramtshaus) provides. It’s a half-timbered house originally built in 1529 in a Gothic style decorated with German proverbs, and colorful wood carvings and paintings. Today it houses a restaurant and city museum and helps to create an authentic Christmas market atmosphere. All around the square in front of the historic building, visitors will find market stalls, sparkling lights and Christmas trees which extend into the town’s pedestrian area and as far as the Pferdemarkt and Platz an der Lilie. The people of Hildesheim always extend a warm welcome to their visitors and offer a variety of Christmas treats from local merchants, including gluhwein and locally baked goodies. Dates: 28 November - 29 December Times: 11am-8pm (Daily) Where: Marktstrasse, Hildesheim, 31134 More Info: www.hildesheim.de

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OLDENBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET Oldenburg’s lively old city center with its shopper-friendly pedestrian zone and historic architectural highlights reaching back over five centuries is the location of its annual Christmas market. With more than 120 market stalls, the Schlossplatz comes alive during the holiday season, overlooked by the brick-built Saint Lamberti Church with its towering spire. The church lends its name to the market which features not only traditional food, gifts and arts and crafts but also its famous a hot rum punch that is lovingly made in large copper kettles at the market itself. Dates: 26 November - 22 December Times: 11am-8:30pm (Daily) Where: Schlossplatz, Oldenburg, 26122 More Info: www.oldenburg-tourist.de

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MECKLENBURGVORPOMMERN NEUBRANDENBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET ROSTOCK CHRISTMAS MARKET

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Neubrandenburg is a city with great charm, from the cobblestone paths, to the medieval grandeur of the Town Gates and Walls, to the delightful cafes bordering the market place. It’s a historical city where visitors can absorb the German culture, especially during the holiday season. The Neubrandenburg Christmas Market brings a festive atmosphere to entire city. Market stalls with crafts and delicious treats fill the streets at the Vierrademuehle, the Glockchenmarkt and the HKB Cultural Centre which are all wonderfully decorated with Christmas decorations and lights. In conjunction with the Christmas market, there is a daily program of entertainment and activities for adults and children in the Glockenstube, as well as Christmas concerts in St. John’s Church and ice skating in the Marktplatz.

Rostock is the biggest and most important city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a gateway to the Baltic Sea. The historic city center breathes Hanseatic flair during the holiday season and visitors to the Rostock Christmas Market will find the city’s historic center shining in a blaze of lights. The largest Christmas market in the north of Germany invites visitors for a stroll from Neuer Markt to Kröpeliner Tor and down to the city harbor. Whether it’s a culinary experience with hot mulled wine, Christmas biscuits and Rostock smoked sausages, gifts and amusements, a huge Ferris wheel, presents under the tree for visitors, or a funny Christmas program for kids, everyone will enjoy the charm of this northern market.

Dates: 28 November - 22 December Times: 10am-7pm (Sun-Thu), 10am-9pm (Fri-Sat) Where: Glockchenmarkt, Neubrandenburg, 17033 More Info: www.neubrandenburg.de Visit Our Website

Dates: 25 November - 22 December Times: 10am-8pm (Mon-Thu), 10am-9pm (Fri-Sat), 11am-8pm (Sun) Where: Neuer Markt, Rostock, 18055 More Info: www.rostocker-weihnachtsmarkt.de

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MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN STRALSUND CHRISTMAS MARKET

WISMAR CHRISTMAS MARKET

Picturesque alleys and ancient brick houses is what distinguishes the medieval Christmas market in the world heritage town of Stralsund from many other Christmas markets. Merchants offer gastronomic specialities in little wodden houses along the pedestrian precinct. In the medieval vault of the town hall another arts and crafts market attracts enthusiasts of handicrafts who will find Christmas decorations, toys, handmade candles, wooden and ceramic products. Between merry-go-rounds and fire barrels, mulled wine and bratwurst, Father Christmas and Christmas fairies, you will certainly have a really good time. Dates: 28 November - 22 December Times: 11am-8pm (Mon-Thu), 11am-10pm (Fri-Sat), 11:30-8pm (Sun) Where: Alter Markt, Stralsund, 18439 More Info: www.stralsund.de

SCHWERIN CHRISTMAS MARKET Another big and very special Christmas Market takes place in the Old Town of Schwerin, the capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. For those who just can’t get enough of the holidays, the Schweriner Christmas Market is open until New Year’s Eve. Visitors will enjoy mulled wine, ambling through the shops and market stalls on Mecklenburg Street or get entertained with a multifaceted program and an huge Advent calendar. You can ice-skate on a skating ring in the middle of the old town. Every year guest from Sweden, Estonia, Denmark and Poland present their regional products and folklore. Dates: 25 November - 30 December Times: 11am-8pm (Daily) Where: Schlossstrasse, Schwerin, 19053 More Info: www.schwerin.de

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The Wismar Christmas Market is stylishly framed by a brightly illuminated City Hall and the old and venerable gabled houses on the historic Marktplatz of the city. It really does have a charm all its own – right up there in the elite of the most beautiful in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The city center is filled with market stalls selling inspriring arts, crafts and presents, such as Christmas tree decorations, toys, wooden signs, and candles to tempt the visitor at every turn. Artisans from all over the region are on hand making handicrafts which you can both touch and watch being made, such as glassblowing, wrought iron work, bread hot from the stone furnaces, freshly smoked fish from Wismar – and that’s just for starters! You will also be able to pick up Christmas articles from Thuringia and the Ore Mountain Range. Dates: 25 November - 22 December Times: 11am-8pm (Daily) Where: Am Markt, Wismar, 23966 More Info: www.wismar.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

NORTH RHINEWESTPHALIA AACHEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

BONN CHRISTMAS MARKET

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Aachen’s brightly lit Christmas Market is set around the cathedral and town hall and has everything your heart could desire. Plenty of merchants will be selling delicious treats and gluhwein in addition to traditional presents. One local specialty you really must try is the Aachen Printen, a kind of gingerbread. In addition to yummy food, Christmas market merchants will also selling quality crafts, toys, decorations and traditional gifts, such as glassware and hand-embroidered keepsakes.

Bonn is the former capital of Germany and the 19th largest city. Located about 20 kilometers south of Cologne the impressive illuminated façades on Munsterplatz and its neighboring streets are the festive backdrop for Bonn’s Christmas market. The beautiful old town hall will be transformed in December into an enormous Advent calendar. Every day several windows are lit until the calendar is complete. As well as wonderful market, there is a daily program of concerts and events to enjoy the Christmas festive season.

Dates: 22 November - 23 December Times: 11am-9pm (Daily) Where: Domhof, Aachen, 52062 More Info: www.aachen.de

Dates: 23 November - 23 December Times: 11am-9pm (Daily) Where: Munsterplatz, Bonn, 53111 More Info: www.bonn.de

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NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA COLOGNE (KOLN) CHRISTMAS MARKET

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Cologne’s Christmas Markets attract nearly 2 million visitors each year, which makes the city one of Europe’s top Christmas market destinations. There are four big ones, as well a River Rhine Cruise and a Medieval Christmas Market at Cologne’s much-loved Chocolate Museum. The market that takes place in front of the Cologne Cathedral boasts over 160 fixed market pavilions selling sweets, unique trinkets and treasures, handmade arts and crafts, jewelry, lace and of course, the original gluhwein, served in a festive, traditional Christmas mug. The Altstadt Christmas Market is best for picking up one-of-a-kind Christmas trinkets and tree ornaments, and it has a great selection of stalls selling snacks and goodies (although there are plenty of excellent restaurants and bars in the immediate area if you want something more than a snack). Don’t miss Santa’s Grotto, the wonderful selection of toys and the puppet theater at the Altstadt Market. At Neumarkt, you’ll find one of the largest markets with a great variety of stalls selling everything from Cologne souvenirs to hordes of European tourists, to arts, crafts, toys, gingerbread men and every imaginable Christmas treat. Ventureonto the fairy-tale-themed Rudolfplatz Market, set against the historic backdrop of the medieval Hahnentorburg, especially if you’re Visit Our Website

visiting with kids, as this one is sure to delight them. The giant Santa is guaranteed to be a big hit, and it’s a great place to pick up decorations that you’ll treasure forever. The Floating Christmas Market sells everything from antiques and handcrafted items (there’s a small entrance fee which goes to UNICEF). The Medieval Christmas Market at the Chocolate Museum may disappoint in terms of the selection of stalls (unless you’re interested in seeing a blacksmith at work or want to know what happens to wool fresh off a sheep’s back), but what it lacks in holiday trinkets it more than makes up for with the delicious hot chocolate and Lindt goodies! Head also for Heumarkt, where the ice skating rink is at, just a stone’s throw from the Altstadt Market. You should be aware that the markets get very busy at weekends (to the point of having to squeeze your way to the front of a stall to take a look at what’s on offer), so if you’re planning on visiting with young children, try to make it on a week night to avoid unnecessary stress! Also, most markets are more or less identical in their offerings, so it really doesn’t matter where you start as all the markets are within walking distance of each other. Remember also that Cologne’s Christmas Markets, whilst undeniably a wonderful holiday experience that you’ll remember for a long time, tend to cater very heavily to tourists and busloads of Brits and Italians coming in on package tours carrying plenty of Euro, so you may find things a little pricey and the atmosphere rather more commercialized in comparison to some of the smaller, more intimate markets in other parts of Germany. Also, you may find the wander from market to market a little cumbersome if you’re pushing a stroller. Aside from the markets, the city’s holiday calendar is jam-packed with events such as variety performances, Christmas concerts, nativity displays and of course the large (temporary) ice rink on Heumarkt. Dates: 25 November - 23 December Times: 11am-9pm (Sun-Wed), 11am-10pm (Thu-Fri), 10am-10pm (Sat) Where: Alter Markt, Cologne, 50667 More Info: www.koelnerweihnachtsmarkt.com

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NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA DORTMUND CHRISTMAS MARKET

DUISBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET Duisburg invites you to take an atmospheric stroll into the inner city between Dusseldorfer Strasse, Konigstrasse, and Kuhstrasse. There are 130 wooden stalls with candles, toys, jewelry, crafts, food and gluhwein to help encourage you to get into the holiday spirit and join in the festivities. A particular highlight of the market is the spectacular view from the big wheel overlooking 850 decorated Christmas trees and 40 blue light cones, as well as the “energy in ice” skating rink. Dates: 21 November - 23 December Times: 11am-9pm (Sun-Thu), 11am-10pm (Fri-Sat) Where: Kuhstrasse, Duisburg, 47051 More Info: www.duisburg.de

ESSEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

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The biggest Christmas Market in Germany is hosted by the city of Dortmund. The city boasts a market with over 300 stalls and the world’s biggest Christmas tree. You’ll also be amazed by a winter work of art consisting of 1,700 fir trees with thousands of lights. The display is absolutely breathtaking and fills the soul with the Christmas spirit. If that doesn’t do it though, there are plenty of merchants selling delicious treats and gluhwein in addition to traditional presents. It’s only in Dortmund where you can make your own Christmas coin and send decorative Christmas letters with special stamps and a Christmas market postmark, preserving your memories of the market for all time.

The International Essen Christmas Market, with 200-plus stalls, happens every year under a glittering canopy of 45,000 lights. The market is packed with fantastic gift ideas and culinary specialties from all over the world and offers exotic products you simply won’t find in any other market. Try international specialties such as Polish Bigos, French Crepes and Dutch Poffertjes or visit the Santa House where Father Christmas is portrayed from all over the world Christmas customs and traditions are described. Dates: 22 November - 23 December Times: 11am-9pm (Sun-Thu), 11am-10pm (Fri-Sat) Where: Willy-Brandt-Platz, Essen, 45127 More Info: www.essen.de

Dates: 21 November - 23 December Times: 10am-9pm (Mon-Thu), 10am-10pm (FriSat), 12am-9pm (Sun) Where: Hansaplatz, Dortmund, 44137 More Info: www.dortmund.de

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NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA DUSSELDORF CHRISTMAS MARKET

Dusseldorf, consistently reviewed as one of Europe’s best Christmas Markets, certainly makes for a very special seasonal experience. Dusseldorf’s Christmas Market is as traditional and festive as you can get, taking place in six different locations across the Old Quarter (home to Dusseldorf’s best sights, oldest churches, and most traditional restaurants, bars and pubs). The festivities kick off with themed events and over 220 stalls and market huts based around the Konigsallee. It’s a five-week winter wonderland that will delight and entertain the whole family. There’s also a free ice rink on Gustaf-Grundgens-Platz, where big and little kids can skate against the festive, illuminated backdrop of Dusseldorf’s Old Town. On Marktplatz, you can witness some of the city’s finest craftsmen as they work with wrought iron, blow glass and make candles. The Art Nouveau-inspired EngelchenMarkt takes place on Heinrich-Heine-Platz in the Old Town, and the Burgermarkt on Flinger Strasse links Marktplatz and Heinrich-Heine-Platz, where the market huts are modelled on Düsseldorf’s old town houses. Enjoy traditional mulled wine at the Sternchenmarkt, located at the Stadtbruckchen, beneath giant crystals and sparkling stars will

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immerse the stands painted in sky-blue in an impressive winter landscape. Look out for the delightful ‘gingerbread houses’, and don’t miss the colorful, exciting fairground rides and the giant puppet theater. Also, be sure to stroll through the upmarket Konigsallee boulevard - the giant chestnut trees that line the boulevard are lit with thousands and thousands of little lights and it makes the perfect ending to a great night out. Dusseldorf is a good three hour drive from Wuerzburg, Schweinfurt and Bamberg, or around 4.5 hours from Grafenwoehr and Vilseck, so you may want to make a weekend of it and book yourself into a hotel. Be aware that hotel rooms become scarce in bigger cities like Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin during the holiday season, so you’ll want to plan ahead and make those arrangements sooner rather than later. Dates: 28 November - 29 December Times: 11am-8pm (Daily) Where: Marktstrasse, Hildesheim, 31134 More Info: www.hildesheim.de

OBERHAUSEN CHRISTMAS MARKET The Oberhausen Christmas Market is especially romantic, fashioned into a forest of Christmas trees. Here, there are thirty beautiful stalls selling everything from food and gluhwein to handmade Christmas crafts and gifts. Daily performances and special events take place on the ‘Forest Stage’, ranging from Irish folk music recitals to local theatrical and dance performances. The kids will love the historical carousel and the appearance of Santa to hand out presents to the little ones! Dates: 15 November - 23 December Times: 11am-10pm (Mon-Fri), 10am-10pm (Sat), 11am-9pm (Sun) Where: Luise-Albertz-Platz, Oberhausen, 46047 More Info: www.oberhausen.de

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RHINELANDPALATINATE BERNKASTEL-KUES CHRISTMAS MARKET DINKELSBUEHL CHRISTMAS MARKET

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It smells like roasted almonds, gingerbread and cinnamon waffles - and of course, the best hot mulled wine around is to found and tasted everywhere: The Bernkastel-Kues Christmas Market is one of the most spectacular and lively in the entire Mosel Valley. Before picturesque half-timbered houses from the Middle Ages, Artisans offer high-quality crafts for sale, the glittering eyes of children take in the manger scene and the entire marketplace shimmers in the glow of the countless lights of the Christmas tree. Bernkastel-Kues knows how to celebrate Christmas! The Christmas market is open for the entire Advent season.

Dinkelsbuehl is a charming town on the Romantic Road which hosts a delightful Christmas market in the idyllic Spitalhof. Enjoy the carol-singing at this intimate but no less enjoyable Christmas market. This is a great choice for a couple wanting a romantic, preChristmas weekend getaway; it’s a perfectly preserved and heavily fortified medieval town, and there’s a wonderful selection of cosy inns and restaurants where you can have supper with a glass of fine German wine. Take in the bigger, bustling Christmas markets at Rothenburg and Nuremberg on the same weekend - both are an easy drive from Dinkelsbuehl.

Dates: 23 November - 22 December Times: 11am-7pm (Mon-Thu), 11am-9pm (Fri-Sat) Where: Mandate Strasse, Bernkastel-Kues, 54470 More Info: www.bernkastel-kues.de Visit Our Website

Dates: 28 November - 23 December Times: 2pm-8pm (Mon-Fri), 11am-8pm (Sat-Sun) Where: Marktplatz, Dinkelsbuehl, 91550

More Info: www.dinkelsbuehl.de

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RHINELAND-PALATINATE KAISERSLAUTERN CHRISTMAS MARKET

LANDAU CHRISTMAS MARKET The scent of pine needles, sweet waffles and gluhwein marks the arrival of the traditional “Thomas Nast” Christmas Market in Landau. It is named after the famous American cartoonist who was born in Landau. The friendliness of the local people is truly charming. Every day, 35 craftsmen demonstrate their skills in two heated halls, while children can visit the “Himmelsbackstube” to bake Christmas cookies. Dates: 28 November - 22 December Times: 11am-8pm (Daily) Where: Rathausplatz, Landau, 76829 More Info: www.landau.de

MAINZ CHRISTMAS MARKET

Kaiserslautern’s Christmas Market will take place in the historic Fruchthalle and outside in the Schillerplatz. In the Fruchthalle, around 50 participants will offer hand-crafted artefacts, unusual gift ideas and products from charitable organizations. Some exhibitors will change the items on their stalls during this period, so that the visitor will be able to discover new products throughout the entire 30 days. Masterly creations in jewellery, ceramics, unusual accessories, textiles, toys, Christmas decorations, glass, flowers, furniture, books, cushion work, decorative objects and much more will be on offer. International flair will be provided by ponchos from Bolivia, batik work from Senegal, and saris from Sri Lanka. Outside in the Schillerplatz is the traditional German Christmas market with gluhwein, food, and assorted stalls selling Christmas treats and presents.

The Mainz Historic Square, shadowed by the Cathedral of St Martin, is the location of the Mainz Christmas Market. On display you will see a life-size nativity scene carved out of lime wood. At the very center of the Christmas Market, you will find a 36 foot tall Christmas Pyramid, also carved out of wood. Live concerts every weekend add to the festive atmosphere as you browse through all the merchandise for sale. Dates: 28 November - 23 December Times: 11am-8:30pm (Sun-Thu), 11am-9pm (Fri-Sat) Where: Liebfrauenplatz, Mainz, 55116 More Info: www.mainz.de

Dates: 25 November - 23 December Times: 10am-9pm (Mon-Wed), 10am-10pm (Thu-Sat), 1pm-9pm (Sun) Where: Schillerplatz, Kaiserslautern, 67655 More Info: www.kaiserslautern.de

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RHINELAND-PALATINATE TRIER CHRISTMAS MARKET

SPEYER CHRISTMAS MARKET Speyer’s Christmas market extends into the New Year, and is loved by many. Choirs and bands will keep the atmosphere festive while you sample gluhwein. Visits from St Nicholas are frequent at the Market. The market is arranged in front of the Old Mint in Maximilianstrasse. A spectacular experience is had when the Old Gate, one of the tallest town gates in Germany, is dramatically lit as trumpets sound. There is also a children’s bakery and an ice skating rink. Be sure to check out the “Old City Gate in Flames” while you are there. Dates: 25 November - 6 January Times: 11am-9pm (Daily) Where: Maximilian Strasse, Speyer, 67346 More Info: www.speyer.de

WORMS CHRISTMAS MARKET Photo Credit: Berthold Werner, Wikimedia Commons

The historic town of Trier has a small, but excellent, Christmas market. There will be 95 booths, selling Christmas decorations, food, ceramics, candles and wooden toys, to name a few. The whole family will enjoy Trier’s enchanting Christmas atmosphere set in Germany’s oldest town and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Germany’s first Gluhwein Queen is crowned at the opening ceremony and presents delicious white and red mulled wine to open the market with cheer. While you are there, you can also sit at the pavilion and listen to live music. Keep your eye out for Santa Claus! He is a regular visitor there. Dates: 25 November - 22 December Times: 10:30am-8:30pm (Mon-Wed), 10:30am-9:30pm (Thu-Sat), 11am-8:30pm (Sun)aiserslautern, 67655 Where: Hauptmarkt, Trier, 54290 More Info: www.trierer-weihnachtsmarkt.de

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Visitors to the Worms Christmas Market will find 50 wonderfully decorated stalls set throughout the beautiful Obermarkt square and extending to the Am Romischen Kaiser. Enjoy traditional and contemporary Christmas songs on the weekend performed on the Christmas market stage. Other highlights of the market which children will enjoy include carousels, a train and a ‘living’ Nativity scene with real farmyard animals. Dates: 25 November - 23 December Times: 10:30am-8pm (Mon-Sat), 12am-8pm (Sun) Where: Obermarkt Worms, 67547 More Info: www.worms.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

SAARLAND SAARBRUCKEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

SAINT WENDEL CHRISTMAS MARKET

Photo Credit: Francois, Flickr

Photo Credit: Graham Hills, Flickr

Saarbrucken has a lovely Christmas Market to visit. It’s not the 80+ booths, the bell tower, or the life size Christmas characters that make this market so spectacular. What makes this Christmas Market so unique is that every night at 1900, Father Christmas and his reindeer hover over the Market (held up by a high wire). Every night, Father Christmas tells the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Truly a spectacular sight, even if you don’t understand German.

St. Wendel has a great Christmas Market if you want to be entertained. In addition to booths of food and Christmas crafts, they have the most interesting activities and performers. Prepare to be enchanted by jugglers, fire-eaters, musicians and more. Also, you can go on a toboggan ride and check out the Gnomes Forest. This Christmas Market only runs for one week, so be sure to get there before it ends!

Dates: 25 November - 23 December Times: 11am-9pm (Sun-Thu), 11am-10pm (Fri-Sat) Where: St. Johanner Markt Square, Saarbrucken, 66111 More Info: www.saarbruecken.de

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Dates: 7 December - 15 December Times: 11am-8pm (Daily) Where: Luisenstrasse, Sankt Wendel, 66606 More Info: www.sankt-wendel.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

SAXONY CHEMNITZ CHRISTMAS MARKET

DRESDEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

The Chemnitz city center is transformed into a Christmas Market winter wonderland of 200 stalls of various Erzgebirge traditions. The market has many special features, such as a five-storey Christmas pyramid, a giant musical box, a traditional festive arch, rocking horse figures and nutcrackers. See the centuries rolled back at the medieval market, where local artisans, fabulous entertainers, breathtaking fire eaters and accomplished musicians await you, all in historical costume. There are also 140 Nativity scenes from 33 countries and four continents on display at Lichtenstein Palace. Take a guided tour with an Advent calendar theme and experience this magical time of year in Chemnitz.

Dresden’s Christmas Market (that often goes by its traditional name of Striezelmarkt), is Germany’s oldest Christmas Market event, dating all the way back to 1434. Head for this romantic, festive market in early December so you can catch the entertaining ceremony surrounding a four-ton fruitcake, which is proudly paraded through the city by a busty ‘Fruitcake Maiden’ before making its way into the Christmas market where it is then cut and distributed to a bemused, enthusiastic audience, a tradition that apparently dates all the way back to the market’s beginnings. Dresden’s Christmas Market is famous for selling some of Germany’s finest arts and crafts; look for the distinctive white-and-blue ceramic pieces, they’ll make an interesting addition to your Polish pottery collection.

Dates: 29 November - 23 December Times: 10am-8pm (Sun-Thu), 10am-9pm (Fri-Sat) Where: Innere Klosterstrasse, Chemnitz, 09111 More Info: www.chemnitz.de

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Dates: 27 November - 24 December Times: 10am-9pm (Daily) Where: Altmarkt, Dresden, 01067 More Info: www.weihnachtsmarkt-dresden.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

SAXONY

LEIPZIG CHRISTMAS MARKET

MAGDEBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET Magdeburg is a 1,200-year-old city, regional capital of Saxony-Anhalt, and the host of a wonderful Christmas market, located in the Alter Markt. The historical location provides an amazing backdrop for the market with the statue of the Magdeburg Horseman peering over wonderfully lit Christmas decorations and stalls. Merchants from all over will be there selling tradition goodies, such as hot gluhwein, stolen, gingerbread, and handcrafted goods but this Christmas market isn’t just for grown-ups; an exciting children’s program will amuse kids of all ages. Dates: 25 November - 30 December Times: 11am-10pm (Sun-Thu), 11am-11pm (Fri-Sat) Where: Alter Markt, Magdeburg, 39104 More Info: www.magdeburg.de

Photo Credit: Davidlohr Bueso, Flickr

One of the largest and most beautiful Christmas Markets in Germany, with around 250 twinkling stalls located on the city’s historical market square, attractions at the Leipzig Christmas Market include a fairytale forest, a model railway display on Augustusplatz, an Old Medieval Christmas Market and the world’s largest free-standing Advent calendar at 857m2. At the Leipzig Christmas Market there is plenty of seasonal entertainment to enjoy, including daily trumpet fanfares, Christmas concerts by the world famous St. Thomas’s choir, and performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the city’s numerous churches. Dates: 26 November - 22 December Times: 10am-9pm (Daily) Where: Augustusplatz, Leipzig, 04109 More Info: www.leipzig.de

ZWICKAU CHRISTMAS MARKET Saxony’s most popular Christmas market is held in Zwickau every year. The city’s beautiful old quarter is glows from the light of a giant Christmas tree and a traditional Christmas pyramid. Father Christmas and his entourage opens the Christmas market with the traditional blowing of the pyramid. The highlight of the day is the miner’s bands parade, a typical tradition for the Erzgebirge region involving around 300 miners and marching bands dressed in traditional costumes. The grand finale takes place at the cathedral square with a miner’s concert in front of the priest’s houses. Dates: 27 November - 23 December Times: 10am-8pm (Mon-Thu), 10am-9pm (Fri-Sat), 11am-8pm (Sun) Where: Hauptmarkt, Zwickau, 08056 More Info: www.zwickautourist.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN & HAMBURG HAMBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET

Photo Credit: LTTI,Wikimedia Commons

The Town Hall is probably already on your tick list to see if you are visiting Hamburg so as an added bonus will be the Christmas Market laid out beautifully in front like a glittering picnic awaiting the pleasure of you, the diner. It will probably even be snowing at the end of November as well, just to put the icing on the cake. Sip some mulled wine, eat a cookie – we challenge you not to feel the magic of Christmas in this setting. If you are visiting for the weekend then you won’t run out of things to do. Hamburg is also one of the best places in Germany for shopping and nightlife. Dates: 25 November - 23 December Times: 11am-9pm (Daily) Where: Rathausmarkt, Hamburg, 20095 More Info: www.hamburg.de

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KIEL CHRISTMAS MARKET

The Kiel Christmas Market, with its wooden stalls selling crafts, food and hot gluhwein, is a yuletide trip you will always remember. Festive events take place on Holstenstrasse and the Alter Markt where you will find not only the market but also an ice-skating rink. The ice not only provides a lot of skating fun for children but also serves as the spot for curling, a winter Olympic sport. The city has a long maritime tradition due to its location and will be of interest to anyone interested in ports, ships and nautical tales. Don’t miss out on the “Freya” an old-fashioned paddle steamer located at the port. Dates: 27 November - 23 December Times: 10am-8pm (Mon-Wed), 10am-9pm (Thu-Sat), 11am-8pm (Sun) Where: Holstenstrasse, Kiel, 24103

More Info: www.kiel.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN & HAMBURG LUEBECK CHRISTMAS MARKET

FLENSBURG CHRISTMAS MARKET

Photo Credit: Seelensturm, Flickr

Photo Credit: Igge, Wikimedia Commons

The medieval quarter of Luebeck (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is the setting of the town’s Christmas wonderland. The Hanseatic setting will put you in a festive mood as you enjoy no fewer than seven Christmas markets located throughout the town. Start with the historical Christmas market located outside of St. Mary’s Church where you will find a fairytale forest for kids. Then head to the family market near the banks of the Trave River to warm up with some gluhwein and bratwurst. Once you’re warmed up, head to the two arts and crafts markets located the Hospital of the Holy Ghost and St. Peter’s Church. Finally, finish off you holiday visit at the Rathausmarkt, Koberg Platz, and Breite Strasse markets. As you can see, there’s plenty of things to see in Luebeck this winter.

Flensburg is Germany’s northernmost town and you can be assured that it gets very cold here in the winter. However, the town warms up every year during the Advent season when the town hosts its winter wonderland Christmas market. The old quarter of Flensburg is the location of a beautifully lit Christmas market, which has a Scandinavian feel. Wooden stalls stretch from Suedermarkt and down the pedestrian area to Nordermarkt. All along the way, you will find tempting German treats as well as goodies from neighboring Denmark. The Flensburg Christmas Market is home of the world’s smallest bar, which during the holidays serves up a variety of strong Tallinn punch, which is sure to keep you merry at this memorable market location.

Dates: 25 November - 30 December Times: 11am-9pm (Daily), 11am-10pm (Fri-Sat) Where: Petrikirchhof, Luebeck, 23552 More Info: www.luebeck.de

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Dates: 25 November - 31 December Times: 10am-10pm (Mon-Sat), 11am-8pm (Sun) Where: Sudermarkt, Flensburg, 24937 More Info: www.flensburg.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

THURINGIA ERFURT CHRISTMAS MARKET

JENA CHRISTMAS MARKET

Photo Credit: Seelenstrurm, Flickr

Photo Credit: ReneS, Flickr

The perfectly preserved medieval city of Erfurt is around a two-hour drive from most military installations located in Bavaria, or an hour and a half from Schweinfurt and Bamberg. It’s a perfectly preserved medieval city that hosts a lovely Christmas market amidst the city’s magnificent churches. Head for Domplatz and you’ll soon hit upon one of Germany’s most romantic Christmas Markets, featuring over 200 little stalls selling Christmas trinkets and treasures, hot gluhwein and the spicy Thuringian bratwurst that Erfurt is famous for.

The Jena Christmas Market is the oldest Christmas fair in Thuringia and takes place on the picturesque main square of Jena. Visitors will enjoy traditional Christmas concerts that are held here every day at 5pm at the Town Hall. The Christmas holidays begin in Jena when a four-meter-long stollen cake cut to signify the opening of the Christmas season. There are many lovingly decorated stalls at the heart of the historical old town offering arts, crafts and jewelry from Germany and around the world.

Dates: 26 November - 22 December Times: 10am-8pm (Sun-Wed), 10am-9pm (Thu to Sat) Where: Domplatz, Erfurt, 990841 More Info: www.webask.de/weihnachtsmarkt Visit Our Website

Dates: 25 November - 22 December Times: 10am-9pm (Daily) Where: Marktstrasse, Jena, 07743 More Info: www.jenakultur.de

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CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

THURINGIA

GERA CHRISTMAS MARKET

WEIMAR CHRISTMAS MARKET

Gera is a wonderful Christmas market for children and has come to be commonly known as the Fairytale Market. The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm come to life in Gera near the museum where visitors can marvel at many of the book’s famous fairy tale characters. The entire route of the market shines under the Christmas atmosphere with Christmas trees and colorful lights. It is a delight to see this fairytale city in winter and it’s an experience your children will never forget. Dates: 28 November - 23 December Times: 10am-8pm (Daily), 10am-9pm (Fri) Where: Marktplatz, Gera, 07545 More Info: www.gera.de

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Photo Credit: Mararie, Flickr

The Weimar Christmas Market is sweet as honey, because of the German Bee Museum and the many treats sold in the market, which can be found in the heart of the city. A visit to Weimar is a great way to enjoy the holidays and learn about the history of honey production in Germany. In addition, Weimar is a UNESCO World Heritage town, as it was once home to Goethe, Schiller and Bach. Besides delicious treats, carved Christmas decorations from the Erzgebirge mountains, glass ornaments from Lauscha, and all sorts of must-try Thuringian culinary specialties will be on offer. Dates: 29 November - 5 January Times: 10am-7pm (Mon-Thu), 10am-8pm (Fri-Sun) Where: Marktstrasse, Weimar, 99423 More Info: www.weimar.de

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Christmas Market Guide 2013  

Guide to Christmas Markets in Germany. More than 80 of the best German Christmas Markets. Easy-to-read format. Tablet friendly. Includes dat...

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