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Christmas Markets For Members

Where are Christmas markets around Germany already opening?

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected]
Where are Christmas markets around Germany already opening?
A Christmas market in Essen which just opened on November 3rd. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Roland Weihrauch

From Berlin to Duisberg, many of the Bundesrepublik's best Weihnachtsmärkte are already off to an early start. Here are some of the places to get in the holiday spirit barely post-autumn.

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Some people are rubbing their eyes in disbelief: a full 44 days before Christmas Eve, Duisburg in North-Rhine Westphalia will open its large Christmas market in its scenic city centre along the Rhine River on Thursday November 10th. 

This marks an earlier opening date than ever before - one day before St. Martin's Day or the start of the Carnival season on November 11th, 17 days before the first Advent on November 27th and one month and two weeks before Christmas Eve itself.

READ ALSO: How to celebrate St. Martin’s Day in Germany

Smaller markets such as the "City-X-Mas" at Frankfurt's Opernplatz, the Winter World at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin or the Bayreuth Winter Village even opened their doors in October.

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In the Steele district of Essen, a market has already been serving steaming Glühwein and other holiday goodies since November 3rd.

In Hamburg the Wandsbeker Winterzauber has been in full swing since November 4th, as has the ‘Weihnachts-Rummel’ along Berlin’s Frankfurter Allee.

READ ALSO: What's the history behind Germany's beloved Christmas markets?

In the Ruhr region, people like to get off to a particularly early start. Duisburg is followed on November 11th by Oberhausen with its "Bergweihnachtsmarkt," "Santa's Village" and "Wichtelmarkt," and on November 12th by Essen’s 50th International Christmas Market. 

Other cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, such as Bochum, Dortmund and Düsseldorf, will start their Christmas markets on November 17th, with Bonn trailing close behind for an opening on November 18th.

Hamburg's Santa Pauli Christmas market on the Reeperbahn will also light up its many holiday huts from November 14th.

READ ALSO: 10 unmissable events in Germany this November

Visitors to Hamburg's newly opened Christmas market toast with Glühwein. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jonas Walzberg

Breaking with tradition 

Traditionally, Christmas markets in German-speaking countries usually open after Totensonntag (the last Sunday before Advent commemorating the dead), which falls on November 20th in 2022.

The popular markets in Frankfurt, Berlin, Heidelberg, Lübeck, Bremen, Mannheim, Münster and Munich's Christkindlmarkt, for example, all open on November 21st.

The Christmas market at the Cologne Cathedral also does not officially open until the 21st.

Both the Erfurt Christmas Market and the Historic Market in front of Hamburg City Hall kick off on November 22nd. 

Stuttgart's Christmas Market and Dresden's Striezelmarkt start on November 23rd, Mainz's on the 24th and Rothenburg ob der Tauber's and Nuremberg's world-famous Christkindlesmarkt on November 25th.

Overall, there is a trend to no longer close markets before Christmas Eve, but to keep them open past New Year’s Eve or even well into January.

In the Christian community, the expansion of the Advent season and the Christmas market hustle and bustle into the so-called month of mourning in November has been met with criticism. 

But that barely bothers many people in Germany, who are increasingly breaking with the church, anymore.

"In fact, we've never started as early as this year," Alexander Klomparend, head of communications at Duisburg Kontor GmbH, told DPA.

fire artist at a Berlin Christmas market

A fire artist at the opening of a Berlin Christmas market this past weekend. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

Cutting costs amid the energy crisis

Following the corona crisis, Christmas markets are facing an energy crisis this year. Many have announced more efficient or less lighting, as well as sometimes shorter daytime opening hours.

In view of the energy crisis following the Russian war in Ukraine, the organisers of the Duisburg Christmas market were glad to have started using LED lights a while ago, Klomparend explained. In addition, he said, some further energy-saving measures have been taken.

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"We'll do without the ice rink as an energy guzzler and we'll adjust the switching times of the lighting to the twilight accordingly - in other words, we don't just turn on lights at 2pm," Klomparend told DPA. "At 10pm, they are then consistently switched off as well."

"Lights are enormously important and the Christmas markets create a fundamental sense of community," he continued. "We want to let the city shine against all odds. We want people to feel as good as they used to."

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Anonymous 2022/11/07 18:07
I went to Frankfurt's City Xmas Christmas Market yesterday and we ended up leaving without buying anything and going to the pub. It didn't seem the same during the daylight and seemed a little too expensive this year for our liking. :( We'll wait until the main Frankfurt Christmas market opens!

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