In 2020, many Christmas markets in Germany had to close or were scaled back massively because of the pandemic. This year – at least at the time or reporting – lots of markets are set to open in the coming weeks.
Here are five we love at The Local Germany. If you have any suggestions for magical Christmas markets in Germany, please leave a comment below.
Lübeck, the so-called “Christmas city of the North”, will be welcoming the festive season this year by lighting up its old town with over 500,000 Christmas lights.
The northwest of the old town island is where you’ll find the maritime-themed Christmas market which has been going since 2011.
Centred around the gothic, middle-aged church of St. Jacob, this Christmas market celebrates the city’s historical sea-faring residents by creating a cosy harbour atmosphere with old wooden barrels, nets and a stranded shipwreck as well as a Ferris wheel with an unforgettable view of Lübeck’s old town and harbour.
Culinary stands offer visitors sweet and savoury dishes, and beverages such as hot lilac punch, mulled wine and, of course, rum.
Extra info: The current rules for events and hospitality in Schleswig Holstein is that 3G applies (entry for the vaccinated, people who’ve recovered from Covid or people who show a negative test) but from Monday, November 15th, indoor areas will be enforcing the 2G rule (excluding the unvaccinated).
With its origins in the 15th century, the Christkindlesmarkt in Augsburg is one of the oldest in Germany, and the Renaissance town hall provides a particularly beautiful backdrop to this winter wonderland.
As well as a wide variety of stands selling handcrafted nick-nacks and tasty treats, the Augsburg market also has some especially magical features, including the “Heavenly Post Office,” and “Fairytale Lane”: an animated fairytale depicted in ten scenes in decorated shop windows around the market place.
Extra info: In order to keep dense crowds to a minimum, the Angel performance will not take place this year. The market will also be spread out over more locations in the historic centre and there will be fewer mulled wine stands than in previous years. The stalls will be distributed over the Hauptmarkt, Lorenzer Platz, Schütt Island and Jakobsplatz.
Meanwhile, masks will have to be worn due to the high Covid numbers in Bavaria – and there will be 2G rules around the mulled wine stands, meaning unvaccinated people will not be served alcohol.
The Medieval Market and Christmas Market in Esslingen, with its backdrop of medieval half-timbered houses, offers visitors a trip back in time, with traders and artisans showing off their goods from times gone by.
The stands show off the wares of pewterers, stonemasons, blacksmiths, broom makers and glass blowers, as well as some old-fashioned merchants selling fun themed goods like drinking horns and “potions” in bottles.
Extra info: This year the number of stands will be reduced from more than 200 to around 120 and the stage shows, torch parade and interactive activities will not be taking place.
No Christmas Market list would be complete without the Streizelmarkt – Germany’s oldest Christmas market in the “Florence on the Elbe”.
This market, which you will find in Dresden’s city centre, first took place in 1434, and since then it has acquired quite a reputation.
The ancient market is home to the tallest Christmas pyramid in the world, as well as the world’s largest nutcracker.
Amongst the dozens of traditional stands, visitors to this market must also try the Dresdner Christstollen: the famous fruit loaf that is baked according to a traditional recipe with chopped dried and candied fruits, nuts and spices and dusted with powdered sugar.
Visitors can also take a ride on the historic Ferris wheel and gaze down upon the lovingly decorated huts of the Striezelmarkt.
Extra info: This year there will be no stage program and the mountain parade has been cancelled.
Although not as well-known as some of Berlin’s other Christmas Markets, the Old Rixdorf Christmas market is a romantic and magical spot which is well worth a visit. In the south of city in Richardplatz, Neukölln the old village of Rixdorf was founded in1360.
This charming setting is home to historic buildings such as the Trinkhalle and the Alte Dorfschmiede, and is illuminated every year with kerosene lamps and fairy lights. The stalls and booths are run by charitable organizations and associations. There are homemade trifles and handicrafts, but also culinary delights such as fire meat, waffles, pea soup, and numerous varieties of mulled wine and punch.
Extra info: The Old Rixdorf Christmas Market will be following the 2G model, meaning that all visitors over the age of 12 will be required to be fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.