I know it’s only the beginning of Autumn and it’s far too early to mention the c-word! After a fantastic summer I really don’t want to be looking at the Christmassy bits already adorning our supermarket shelves – or to be thinking about arrangements for the Christmas holidays. BUT, if you’d like to visit a Christmas market this year, now is the time to start thinking about booking your flight as airlines begin to get booked up and finding decent accommodation in the more popular areas becomes more difficult.
In this blog, I’d like to inspire you to visit one of the fabulous Christmas markets in Germany. I’m also offering 10 free itineraries in September, where I’ll create a personalised itinerary tailored to your needs. I’m happy to plan your Christmas market trip for free – just send me your email address or message me via social media. I work on a first come first served basis. I’m really looking forward to sharing my personal tips with you.
Additionally, you can find some itineraries also on my website, but unfortunately due to a technical problem, they don’t show up nicely on a smartphone. However, if you receive them by email and open the itinerary on your smartphone, you’ll have a much nicer experience to scroll down. Just send me your email address by leaving it in the comment section, via social media. I won’t follow you up after sending them! Trust me!:)
Christmas markets get me in the festive mood
I’ve been to a lot of Christmas markets in my life and I still love them! One of my favourite markets is Düsseldorf and whenever I’m there visiting friends and family for Christmas, I make it a priority to go. I love how there are lots of markets spread all over the city – each with their own individual style.
Glühwein and winter spices – It’s Christmas!
Enjoy the wonderful atmosphere as you wander through the markets– there’s nothing like the smell of Glühwein and winter spices to get you in the festive mood. The products on offer can vary from being individually hand-crafted items to (unfortunately) the mass-produced ones that you see everywhere.
Have you heard of poffertjes?
Whenever I’m in Düsseldorf, I always make a point of seeking out a stall at Schadowplatz Market selling my absolute favourite Christmas food – a Dutch speciality called poffertjes. These are tiny pancakes that you can add your own topping. I like mine with icing sugar and butter. Christmas isn’t the time to be counting the calories! One particular poffertjes stall in Schadowplatz has practically been located in the same spot every year for more than 40 years! It’s run by the Linker family and even the younger generation have started to help out too. The poffertjes here are slightly more expensive than other stalls but the family only use good-quality ingredients and you will certainly be able to taste the difference.
Düsseldorf – great for children’s entertainment
At Schadowplatz Market, you’ll find a stage for children’s entertainment, small huts serving mulled wine (Glühwein), a good choice of warming hot drinks and handmade products for sale. My favourite market in Düsseldorf is Angel Market (Engelsmarkt), which is beautifully decorated with warm, festive lighting. It’s located just by the Heinrich-Heine-Allee tube station, close to Galeria Kaufhof.
If you enjoy ice-skating, you should head off to Corneliusplatz. For the second year running, Düsseldorf’s ice hockey team (DEG) are organising the DEG-Winter world (DEG-Winterwelt), which is open from 16th November 2018 – 27th January 2019.
For catering and event bookings call: +49 211 – 50 66 39 33
Bookings for ice skating and curling call: +49 173-8833401
Bookings for the Füchschen hut call:+49 211 – 50 66 39 33
Opening times for ice skating: Mon – Fri 11am – 9pm
Nuremberg’s historic Christkindlesmarkt
I’ve also been to the Christmas market in Nuremberg (Christkindlesmarkt). This market was ranked 63 out of 100 most popular places in Germany in 2017, according to the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). Located in the historical town square of Hauptmarkt, it’s the perfect setting for a traditional market. Millions of tourists from all over the world visit every year to take in the Christmas atmosphere and enjoy the traditional Nuremberg sausage (Rostbratwurst).
You can either enjoy it as you’re wandering around the market or, as I prefer, sitting in one of the cosy restaurants like ‘Zum goldenen Stern’, where they serve Bratwurst freshly grilled over an open fire. Not that they’re not fresh on the market, but I do prefer to sit down for a meal unless I’m in a rush. All in all, I like the market in Nuremberg, but to be honest, I prefer smaller markets, as I find them far more charming.
Magical markets in North Rhine-Westphalia
Other Christmas markets worth a visit are in Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), Cologne (Köln), Münster and Essen. Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne and Münster are all historical University cities with attractive architecture, making them perfect for a Christmas market. Essen is the centre of the Ruhr region, which is famous for its iron, coal and steel industries. In 2010, it was voted the European capital of culture and has undergone massive redevelopment, which now attracts many companies to move their headquarters to the city.
Apart from the big markets, which are already well-known, there are a number of smaller markets worth checking out. One of them is also in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the historical town of Kempen, close to Krefeld and Mönchengladbach. The market is only open at weekends and is located in the old town with its beautiful old timbered houses and narrow, winding streets. A variety of handcrafted art products are offered as well as the usual culinary delights.
The charm of the smaller markets
If you fancy a trip to Bavaria, why not combine it with a visit to the Christmas market in Munich and the quaint town of Bad Tölz, with its charming architecture lining the historical Marktstraße and its narrow, cobbled streets in the former craftsman´s quarter.
In the north of Germany, the Hamburg Christmas market around Rathausmarkt is certainly one worth mentioning. However, the market in the historical city of Bremen attracts more than 3 million visitors every year and comprises of about 200 stalls around the Roland monument in the market square. Another city that shouldn’t be missed is the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. Lübeck is famous for its marzipan. This 366-year-old traditional Christmas market is located in front of the historical town hall. The stalls are decorated with thousands of lights – creating the perfect Christmas atmosphere.
The Christmas markets are as colourful and diverse as Berlin
Berlin has markets all over the city. The largest being at Charlottenburg Castle, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and Alexanderplatz. However, Berlin has much more to offer with its more unusual markets like the Danish and Swedish markets in Berlin-Wilmersdorf or the Kreuzboerg design market. Many people also rave about the Alt-Rixdorfer Christmas market in Richardplatz (Berlin-Neukölln), which opens on the first weekend of December.
This year I’m going to visit a Christmas market again. Follow me on Facebook to find out where I end up and get into the festive mood. Also look at my pins on my Pinterest board Christmas markets and on Instagram you’ll see more photos from my Christmas market visits in 2017.
I wish you all a lovely time whatever Christmas market you end up going to – and enjoy the festive atmosphere!
If you’d like to know more about Düsseldorf, why not read my blog post here?