Unthinkable for the Germans would be Christmas without the Christmas markets starting in the Advent season. More than 130 cities host such a festive market, each focusing on regional specialties and flair. Mark these dates in your calendar and take part in the most romantic festivities not to be missed.
Whether in the ancient Hanseatic cities of Rostock, Lübeck, Hamburg, Lüneburg or Bremen or more inland, all Christmas markets have their own charm and features, staged in the most beautiful setting history of each city. Increasingly popular, national and international guests are among their many visitors, each appreciating the smells, tastes, images and sounds he must remember.
26.11. – 22.12.2009, Mon-Thu 10h-20h, Fri-Sat 10h-21h, Sun 11h-20h
Rostock, the Hanseatic city almost 800 years old, has retained much of its charm. origin and is home to a cultural diversity scene. This cosmopolitan university and harbor city has a historic center with typical Nordic-style German brick architecture and a maritime atmosphere. Once a year, the flickering Christmas lights gleam along the Warnow River and the Baltic Sea and transform the historic center of Rostock into the largest and one of the most magnificent Christmas markets in the north of l & # 39; Germany. Here, Santa Claus traditionally arrives in the harbor of the city by boat to open the Christmas market. Northern specialties include candied apples, fried bananas, cotton candy, baby donuts, burnt almonds, Glögg, a kind of Swedish mulled wine and Swedish biscuits; smoked sausages from Rostock, smoked fish from Warnemünde and North German fried fish from dough
23.11. – 30.12.2009, Mon-Thu 11h-21h, Fri-Sat 11h-22h, Sun 11h30-21h
The entire Old Oval City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lübeck is today a modern trading port and, via the seaside resort of Travemünde, a terminal for ferries to and from Scandinavia and the Baltic. A walk around the Christmas fair area, which was mentioned in 1648, is an absolute must for all visitors to Lübeck. The market and its 400 or so merchants offer toys, Christmas decoration, spice bread, spiced mulled wine and much more.
For 30 years, the Lübeck Forest has been a festive attraction. 500 illuminated Christmas trees and 21 stalls beautifully recreate the tales of the Brothers Grimm. (Opened until December 23)
The historic Christmas fair, at the foot of St. Mary's Church, allows visitors to travel back in time; the medieval flair takes place amid the modernity of Lübeck. (Open 26.11-23.12). The craft fair St. Peter's offers over 50 artisans from Northern Germany a wide variety of traditional and contemporary gift ideas. (Open 27.11-14.12). The arts and crafts market inside the richly decorated church-hall and in the small huts of the long hall of the medieval hospital of the Holy Spirit is unique! Exhibitors come from all over Germany and northern Europe. (Open 28.11-08.12). Of course, Christmas in Lübeck would not be complete without a visit to the Christmas bazaar in Niederegger, where you can enjoy a famous marzipan cake, a delicious cake with a rich nut cream and a thin layer of marzipan.
23.11. – 23.12.2009, 10: 00-21: 00 daily
The Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg is the second largest metropolis in Germany and is home to one of the largest ports in Europe. There is a taste of distant places all over the city, even in the small canals and waterways of the old warehouse district. During the Advent, Hamburg City Hall is the perfect setting for the city's most beautiful Christmas market. Around a hundred merchants will set up shop in Hamburg's largest city square. Roasted apples, handmade items and quaint cottages designed by Bernhard Paul, director of the famous Circonci Roncalli nonchalant circus, have set this Christmas market apart from seasonal activities elsewhere. Here you will find handcrafted Christmas decorations from the Erzgebirge region, Tyrolean wood carvers, Aachen bakers producing their famous Printen biscuits, bread makers. Nuremberg spices and pottery from the Lausitz region. Goldsmiths and many other artisans and craftsmen invite you to marvel, to join, to taste and appreciate. New is Nordic Lane, a tribute to Hamburg's traditionally close ties with the countries of Scandinavia and the Baltic region. Santa Claus climbs into the sky above the rooftops of market cottages in his reindeer sleigh.
22.11 – 22.12.2009, 10 am-7 pm daily, Christmas Market, 05.12 – 06.12.2009
Lüneburg is located on the edge of the Lüneburger Heath between Hamburg and Hanover. In the Middle Ages, salt, called white gold, made Luneburg a very prosperous city; This is still evident today because most of its magnificent historic buildings are intact and in their former glory. This former salt trade and Hanseatic city has a romantic Christmas market atmosphere, with Christmas lights showing its gabled houses and medieval churches in the most beautiful light. Booths decorated with Grimm's fairy tale themes transform Lüneburg's pedestrian streets into a magical fairytale world. A special and changing Christmas program every day starts from 4 pm every day.
26.11. – 23.12.2009, Mon-Sat 10 am-8 pm, Sun 11 am-8 pm
Bremen, 37 miles from the mouth of the Weser and the oldest maritime city of Germany, has been holding markets since 965, joined the Hanseatic League in 1358 and began trading with America in 1783. Cotton and coffee gave its citizens a rich life. The Bremen Christmas Market is considered one of the most attractive in Germany. With the Town Hall and the Roland Statue as backdrop and over 170 decorated stalls, it is perfect for navigation. Bremen also has another Christmas attraction, the Schlachte-Magic on the popular Weser River wharf. Every day on the seaside promenade, another small door opens to reveal a particular surprise, such as an advent calendar. There are many experiences to choose from, a Christmas brunch on the Weser, a Christmas tree expedition, a very strong punch and a real Dutch Sinter Klaas aboard a pirate ship. The aroma of hot wine steamed, baked apples and cinnamon stars is heavy in the air, while the finest Christmas carols gently resonate in the background.
27.11. – 22.12.2009, 11: 00-21: 00 daily
The bustling city center with its impressive shopping boulevard and the charming Old Town with its narrow streets and secluded corners on the banks of the river Leine invite you to go shopping . The Hanover Christmas Market takes place in the old historic district, around the Market Church and on the Ballhofplatz. Visitors looking for a souvenir have only the embarrassment of choice, with no less than 150 attractive stands selling Christmas tree decorations, carved objects, toys wooden and handicrafts. The children's program includes a puppeteer and a storyteller.
25.11. – 29.12.2009, Mon-Sat 10h-21h, Sun 11h-21h, closed 24th and 25th December
The city of Henry the Lion combines tradition and modernity. Next to the ancient medieval marketplace and Romanesque buildings, you will find today the pedestrian walkways of the shopping area. The Braunschweig Christmas Market has a splendid backdrop, Henry the Lion Cathedral, Dankwarderode Castle and Vieweg House. The history of this Christmas market dates back 300 years and surrounded by beautiful half-timbered buildings, it is full of traditional charm and Christmas delights. There is a daily Christmas program with animation for children.
25.11. – December 27, 2009, from 11:00 to 20:00 every day, Christmas Day / Box Box from 14:00 to 20:00 on 24 December. closed
Only 30 kilometers south of Hanover, Hildesheim has been a cultural center between Harz and Heath for more than 1,000 years. The historic market place is one of the most beautiful places in Germany. Its highlight is the reconstruction of Knochenhauer-Amtshaus, former hall of the butchers' guild, where the city's history and hospitality are brought together under one roof. The Hildesheim Christmas Market comes to life in the historic market square and around the town hall. The impressive façade of the Knochenhaueramtshaus is considered the most beautiful half-timbered house in the world! The musicians of the Cathedral of Hildesheim are one of the highlights of the program of Christmas events.
25.11. – 23.12.2009, Mon-Fri 10h-20h, Thu-Sat 10h-21h, Sun 11h-20h
Hamelin is a beautiful and charming little town in the heart of the Weser Mountains Nature Park, the mountains being called the same river which crosses the city of Hamelin. Attractions that are worth visiting include Hämelschenburg Castle, Hamelin Glassworks or a relaxing riverboat tour along the Weser Valley, one of the most beautiful and beautiful fairytale landscapes. Because of its historical context, Hamelin's Christmas market can truly be described as a fairytale market. Hamelin's Christmas market features more than 70 festive decorated wooden huts. all gathered around the wedding house, the market church and around the picturesque old quarter with its lovingly restored half-timbered houses and the tall Weser Renaissance buildings. The highlights of the Hamelin Christmas Market are the nursery, which has real animals to pet, and a Christmas pyramid just 11 meters high.
25.11. – 22.12.2009, daily from 12:00 to 21:00
Surrounded by medieval narrow streets, the historic town hall with its Friedenssaal, Peace Hall, is located in the old town of Osnabrück. The market in front of the Rathaus is one of the most beautiful testimonials of urban medieval architecture. The only railway station in Germany was built in Osnabrück more than 100 years ago and the railways still cross on two levels. The largest Christmas music box transforms to the sound of Christmas carols and the half-timbered buildings of the old historic district are adorned with festive illuminations. The historic Osnabrück Christmas Market has been twice listed among the finest in the region and a fully functional Nutcracker, six meters high, adds to the local style.
23.11. – 23.12.2009, Sun-Thu 11h-20h, friday-saturday 11h-21h
The old quarter of Münster is full of cultural history on the beautiful Prinzipalmarkt square, with St. Paul's Cathedral and its astronomical clock dating from 1543, and the Salzstraße, or salt street, recalling the Hanseatic tradition and the buildings of the Baroque architect Johann Conrad Schlaun. The Münster Christmas market becomes more festive and fairy like every year. Located in the charming, illuminated Old Town, its six Christmas markets are within walking distance of each other. There are 250 stalls, offering a wide range of toys, decorations and crafts, as well as treats, snacks and hot drinks. Definitely a place to be!
This is an example of what you can do when traveling to Germany. If you want to know more about the northern cities of Germany, we have compiled comprehensive travel guides in collaboration with local residents who provide unique travel insider tips that you can use during your vacation in Germany.