Where to go in Advent? Our Christmas market insider tips

Every year – just in time for the start of the Advent season, the popular Christmas markets open their doors all over the country. Twinkling lights, fragrant treats and warming mulled wine create a Christmas atmosphere in almost all cities and towns in Germany. We have visited the nine most beautiful Christmas markets for you and compiled the best tips including great excursion destinations in the area. Discover with us the most beautiful Christmas market insider tips and Christmas markets that simply can not be missed on the list.

Update: Christmas Markets 2023

What you can especially look forward to at the Christmas Markets 2023 is this year’s insider tip: the Christmas market in the Tiefen Stollen mine near Aalen. From the second weekend in Advent, from Thursday to Sunday, you can experience a unique atmosphere in this festively decorated mine. Selected stalls with a varied and colourful range of goods await you underground.

Look forward to a special experience as you stroll through the underground passages and enjoy the festive decorations. While you wait to enter the “Deep Adit”, you can pass the time with a varied above-ground catering offer. It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience and we’re looking forward to seeing what this special Christmas market has to offer.


Off to one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany

Where is it most beautiful at Christmastime? The historic Christmas market in Dresden is definitely one of these places. There are a total of ten Christmas markets in the picturesque city on the Elbe, but Dresden’s Striezelmarkt is something very special. It has been held on the Altmarkt since 1434, making it one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany. Where once only meat was sold on one day, today there are numerous stalls selling Christmas gifts and culinary delicacies. In focus: the Dresden Christstollen, also called “Striezel”, to which the Christmas market owes its name. In addition, in the beautiful old town atmosphere around the brightly lit Church of Our Lady, you can also admire the Erzgebirge carving art and the world’s largest Christmas pyramid.

Extra tip: A trip to the often snow-covered winter wonderland Ore Mountains is always worthwhile!


Experience the Middle Ages in Christmas Esslingen

Another Christmas market insider tip is the medieval Christmas market in Esslingen, Baden-Württemberg. In keeping with the cozy ambience of the beautifully lit old town of Esslingen, craftsmen, merchants and innkeepers in historical garb offer their wares at the medieval market’s approximately 180 stalls. Jugglers, musicians as well as fire and stilt artists also provide the right atmosphere in the picturesque alleys. A special highlight: the 37-degree hot tub at the harbor market, where you can try out “bathing like in the Middle Ages”. For families with children there are great offers like medieval games, archery, a candle workshop or the living Christmas crib on the Christmas island at the Postmichelbrunnen.

Frankfurt on the Main

Banking metropolis with Christmas flair

One of the oldest and largest Christmas markets in the country beckons in Frankfurt am Main. Those who want to experience the special mixture between the lively metropolis with its brightly lit skyscrapers and the cozy Advent atmosphere in the old town can look forward to it: In Frankfurt’s city center, everything is within walking distance. So you can stroll from the Old Opera House
via the food alley past the Zeil towards the banks of the Main and experience pure Advent feeling. Against the historic backdrop of Roman Hill and St. Paul’s Church, the 200 or so stalls offer not only Christmas decorations and delicacies, but also modern arts and crafts. The landmark of Frankfurt’s Christkindlesmarkt is also a must at Christmas Market 22: the large Christmas tree, which has been erected on Roman Hill every year since the beginning of the 19th century.


Baroque Christmas market in Füssen's St. Mang monastery courtyard

The Füssen Christmas market is one of the beautiful places at Christmas that you should not miss. On the second and third weekends of Advent, the annual Christmas market takes place in the baroque courtyard of the former monastery of St. Mang. The Christmas decorated baroque facades below the High Castle in the old town of Füssen form the perfect backdrop for the numerous stalls with crafts, jewelry and delicacies.

In keeping with the romantic ambience, regional traditional costume and music associations regularly appear to present Alpine dances and Christmas music. Those staying a little longer in the city should take advantage of one of the many excursion options. You can visit the royal castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, the church of St. Coloman, the Lech Falls or the many lakes in the area.


Christmas sea of lights in the port city

You are spoiled for choice in Hamburg. Beautiful Christmas markets nearby can be found almost all over the city center – a total of 15 large Christmas markets and several dozens of small ones. Particularly popular are the “Weißerzauber” Christmas market, a beautiful market with atmospheric lighting along the Jungefernstieg, and the Roncalli Christmas market in front of the imposing Hamburg City Hall. The approximately three million visitors each year will find historic sales carts as well as a carousel from the 1920s at this traditional Christmas market.

A special highlight: Santa Claus floats across the market in his sleigh three times a day. A nostalgic winter village with a large Christmas tree and lots of handicrafts is also located at Gerhard-Hauptmann-Platz.


Nordic coziness at the Lübeck Christmas market insider tip

One of the most beautiful Christmas markets in northern Germany can be found in Lübeck’s old town. As Germany’s largest UNESCO landmark, it offers a very special flair, especially during Advent. The traditional Christmas market has been held every year since 1648 on the market square in front of the historic town hall dating from 1308 and offers the numerous visitors with the atmospheric lighting and tasteful decorations a true Christmas idyll.

Of course, the world-famous Lübeck marzipan, which is offered at many stalls, plays a special role here. In addition, the medieval quarter offers delicious Christmas specialties as well as a special Christmas guide that provides exciting insights into life in the Middle Ages.


Christmas tradition at the Rothenburg Reiterlesmarkt

It has long ceased to be an insider’s Christmas market tip, but the Christmas Market “Reiterlesmarkt” has made it onto the list of Germany’s most beautiful Christmas markets too many times for that. The Christmas market has been held in the squares and alleys around Rothenburg’s town hall during Advent for over 500 years. The romantic old town with its half-timbered houses and historic ambience is the perfect place for a Christmas market. Two special features are Germany’s only Christmas museum, which is also open outside the Christmas season, and the Käthe Wohlfahrt “Christmas village”. Here you can find everything your heart desires in terms of Christmas decorations and decorations.


Small but nice: Christmas market Trier

If you are looking for beautiful places at Christmas, you should also make a stop in the oldest city in Germany. Compared to many cities in southern Germany, Trier on the Moselle has a rather small Christmas market, with only about 90 stalls. The Christmas atmosphere on the medieval main market with the romantically illuminated old town houses and the imposing cathedral is all the more charming for it. Special eye-catchers at the Trier Christmas Market are the giant talking “Trier Christmas Bear” and the life-size nativity scene. It is also not far from here to the interesting sights of the city, such as the market cross from 958, the late Gothic Petrusbrunnen or historic buildings such as the Steipe and the Red House.


One of the most beautiful christmas markets in the Harz mountains

If you are traveling in the Harz Mountains, there are many beautiful Christmas markets nearby. One of them is the Christmas market on the market square of Werningerode, where in front of atmospherically illuminated half-timbered houses you can find an Advent landscape for children as well as numerous sales huts with handicrafts and all kinds of delicacies. In addition, there is the well-known “Advent in the courtyards” in Werningerode. These are 20 to 25 courtyards in the old town, which offer their goods at beautifully decorated stalls on various themes.

Our Tip:

Choose the most beautiful Christmas market insider tips for your Advent trip or plan a larger tour through several places and answer the question for yourself, where it is most beautiful in Germany at Christmastime. A cozy Advent atmosphere is guaranteed!


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