Germany’s most popular and most famous Christmas markets

Christmas market Leipzig -- Photo Credit:

Striezel market Dresden

It comes as no surprise that one of Germany’s most traditional Christmas market also offers visitors a specialty: The Striezel market in Dresden already takes place for the 580th time this year. Its name pays tribute to the colloquial term for stollen made in Dresden. The rich yeast pastry was also well-liked by King August of Saxony who directed in 1730 that a 1.8 ton stollen be produced. To commemorate that event, Dresden’s bakers carry a large stollen from the Zwinger palace through town during the “Stollenfest,” which is held on the second Saturday of the Striezel market. More gift ideas can be discovered in front of the Kreuzkirche church: Ceramics, blueprint cloth from the Lausitz region, glass art from Thuringia, wood carvings from the Erzgebirge, and the famous gingerbread from the town of Pulsnitz, located 20 kilometers north of Dresden.

Opening hours:
The Dresden Striezel market takes place from Nov. 24 to Dec. 24. Opening hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Nov. 24 (opening day) from 4 – 9 p.m., on Dec. 9 (Sternstunden event) from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Dec. 24 (closing day) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Christmas markets in Hamburg

Northern Germany’s largest Christmas market with its festively illuminated booths is held on some of Hamburg’s most beautiful squares. Pastries, arts and crafts, and toys from all over the world are offered from the Gerhard-Hauptmann-Square to St. Petri Church. Historic sales wagons, oldtimer carousels and carnies take market visitors back to the turn of the 18th to the 19th century, to include a visit to an Art Nouveau café.

Opening hours:
The Christmas market around St. Petri Church takes place from Nov. 21 to Dec. 30. Opening hours: Daily from 10.30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The market is closed on Dec. 25 and 26. The historic Christmas market on the town hall square takes place from Nov. 21 to Dec. 23. Opening hours: Daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m.

Heidelberg Christmas market

The Heidelberg Christmas market is very popular with international and German tourists. The town looks totally different when strolling through it during the holiday season. 140 booths are spread around downtown. Topping it off is an ice skating rink from which skaters have a perfect view of the romantic castle.

Opening hours:
The Heidelberg Christmas market takes place from Nov. 21 to Dec. 22. Opening hours, Christmas market: Sunday thru Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Striezelmarkt Dresden Christmas market -- Photo Credit: DD/Dittrich

Leipzig Christmas market

The Leipzig Christmas market has a long tradition going back to the year 1767. Today, it is one of the largest markets in Germany. Very popular are gingerbread from the town of Pulsnitz, Glühwein and Christmas decorations from the Erzgebirge, as well as a large selection of toys and ceramics.

Opening hours:
The Leipzig Christmas market takes place from Nov. 22 to Dec. 23. Opening hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Nov. 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Dec. 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please note that stores in downtown Leipzig are open on Sunday, Dec. 7 and 21. Therefore, the Christmas market is only open from 1 to 6 p.m. On Dec. 23, only the booths on the marketplace will be open. All other market sections close on Dec. 22.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas market

The Christmas market in Rothenburg ob der Tauber is known to be one of the oldest Christmas market in Germany because the Advent season has been celebrated with the so-called “Reiterlesmarket” since the 15th century. In the Middle Ages, the Rothenburg “Reiterle“ was considered to be a messenger from another world who flies through the air with the souls of the dead in the winter. Old-German Christmas cookies and “white” Glühwein is offered in the streets around the town hall.

Opening hours:
The Reiterlesmarket in Rothenburg ob der Tauber takes place from Nov. 25 to Dec. 23. Opening hours: Sunday thru Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt

Bavaria’s largest Christmas market is located in Nürnberg: If you stroll across the Nürnberg Christmas market you have a choice of two local delicacies: Nürnberg’s roasted Bratwurst and gingerbread. Nicely packaged in tin boxes, it is and has been the perfect gift for hundreds of years. Nürnberg’s gingerbread tradition goes back to 1395. Apart from these delicacies rich in calories, Nürnberg’s market offers traditional goods in the more than 160 wooden booths.

Opening hours:
The Nürnberg Christmas market takes place from Nov. 25 to Dec. 24. Opening hours: Monday thru Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.. On the opening day, Nov. 25, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The opening with the Christ child’s prologue is held at 5.30 p.m. On Christmas Eve, the market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

About the author: Editorial Department

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