Christmas markets, also knows as Christkindlmarkt, Marché de Noël, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, and Weihnachtsmarkt originated in Germany in the Late Middle Ages. They quickly spread to other German-speaking countries such as Switzerland and Austria but also in other parts of Europe such as the northern part of Italy and easter part of France. They are now popular all around the world and nothing feels cosier than buying Christmas food and hot drinks from the wooden chalets in the cold months of November and December when you listen to “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” on repeat. Let’s see what are some of the best Christmas Markets you should visit this winter!
The Dresden market was first help in 1434 which makes it one of the oldest Christmas market in the world. It is famous for having the a fairytale house, a puppet theatre, the tallest Nutcracker and the tallest Christmas pyramid. Not to mention the food…the market gained worldwide fame for yummy dried fruit, marzipan and Streizel cake. Other things you could do in town are: watching a performance at the Semper Opera House and taking a boat trip on the Elbe. The market is opened between 24 November – 24 December.
Have you ever wondered how it must be to visit a Christmas market in a medieval city? Wonder no more as the Nuremberg market is what you are looking for. It was first held in 1628 and it gained its fame through the fact that no mass-produced goods can be sold here. Everything needs to be handmade, which explains why the spicy grilled sausages and the Nuremberg gingerbread is so good. Oh, did I mention they sell little men made out of dried prunes? The market is opened between 25 November – 24 December.
The German capital is home to quite a few Christmas markets – 60 to be more precise. The classical Gendarmenmarkt success at standing out from the crowd through spectacular entertainment provided by dancers, jugglers, acrobats and other artists. The market is opened between 23 November – 31 December.
Even if the city hosts quite a few Christmas markets (certainly not as many as Berlin), the most symbolic one is the Am Dom market which is held right in front of the Cologne Cathedral, which took more than 600 years to complete and it is the largest cathedral in Germany and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The market is famous for the tall Christmas tree, the traditional yuletide wares and their mulled wine. While you are sipping Glühwein (mulled wine) and listen to the traditional Christmas songs, children can watch puppet theatre and explore the world of Brothers Grimm. The market is opened between November 21 – December 23.
You should visit the Stuttgart Christmas market not only because it is ranked as one of the most beautiful ones in Europe, but also because the city is famous for its architecture – I like to call them ginger bread houses because they look like they were made out of gingerbread to me – they are so cute. The Renaissance inner courtyard of the Old Palace is filled with the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla. What more can you want from a Christmas market? The market is opened between 23 November – 23 December.
I am sure you love Christmas markets at least as much as I do, which is why I decided to launch The Ultimate 2016 Christmas Market Guide. This means that each week I will be posting a special blog post about the best Christmas Markets to visit this year:
14 November: Germany’s Top Christmas Markets
21 November: France’s Top Christmas Markets
28 November: Belgium’s Top Christmas Markets
5 December: Switzerland’s Top Christmas Markets
12 December: England’s Top Christmas Markets (+exclusive live streaming for Holiday on my Mind subscribers, from the Canterbury, London and Birmingham Christmas markets)
19: December: Austria’s Top Christmas Markets
On the 1st of December, Holiday on my Mind subscribers will receive a free copy of the ebook: The Ultimate 2016 Christmas Market Guide (you need to be a subscriber by the end of November) which can also be purchase for £15 by non subscribers but why not get it for free?! (subscribe here – to complete the subscription process you need to click the confirm subscription button in your inbox).