The Christmas markets lure us outside every year even in freezing weather. Colourful lights illuminate the old town, festively decorated stalls are covered in the first layer of snow and the smell of mulled wine, spices and all kinds of goodies fills the air. This is not just a place to have a good time and enjoy the festive atmosphere, but also where you can buy special presents for your loved ones.
Almost every town and village in Germany has its own Christmas market, and each and every one of them is unique. Whether you are looking for something traditional, mediaeval or even somewhat exotic – there is something for everyone.
Traditional: the Striezelmarkt in Dresden
The Striezelmarkt in Dresden (image at the beginning of the article) is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany. It takes place from 27/11/13 to 24/12/13 for the 579th time. The market originally served as an exchange point for the famous Dresden stollen, also known as 'Striezel', which of course you can still buy there today. The market is well-known for its beauty: the middle of the square boasts the Erzgebirge Christmas Pyramid as its centre piece, which is surrounded by snowmen, nutcrackers and Saxon 'Pflaumentoffel' (edible decorative figurines made with prunes). There is an exciting children's adventure-world that keeps the little ones busy while the grown-ups search for artistic gifts in the numerous arts and crafts stalls. The Striezelmarkt is one of the most well-known and popular Christmas markets in Germany. If you are visiting Dresden during the Christmas period, be sure not to miss it! You can find good overnight accommodation at the Radisson Blu Hotels in Dresden.
Trendy: the Christmas markets in Berlin
Even in the Christmas season, Berlin lives up to its name as a trendy city: 'design' Christmas markets, such as the „Weihnachtsrodeo“ in Berlin city centre, attract the young and creative in particular to the former Jandorf department store. Whoever is still struggling for gift ideas is sure to find a stylish, and most importantly, a unique gift in one of the hundreds of art, fashion and design stalls. It goes without saying that mulled wine and roasted almonds are a staple find even in a 'design' market. Christmas decorations and a modern yet seasonal selection of festive music ensure a truly enjoyable Christmas atmosphere. If you are spending the Christmas period in Berlin, for instance at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin, then make sure you pay a visit to the Weihnachtsrodeo to experience a different kind of Christmas market. You can also enjoy the delightful atmosphere at the more traditional Christmas market in Gendarmenmarkt, one of Berlin's most historic squares located in the centre of the Mitte region.
Nostalgic: the Christmas Market in Hamburg
The Hamburg Christmas market, located in the centre next to the city hall, has a lot to offer. You can find handmade Christmas decorations, the famous Lebkuchen gingerbread known as 'Printen' as well as numerous parades and smaller events. The Christmas market in Hamburg Bergedorf is also well worth a visit. The mediaeval Christmas market in Hamburg takes you back in time to see knights, jugglers and storytellers. Open daily from 25 November to 23 December, as part of your Hamburg visit, you can warm yourself by the bonfire in front of the fairy-tale setting of Castle Bergedorf, be inspired by jugglers' shows and the music of mediaeval musicians, and enjoy typical specialities such as hot mead. And why not try your hand at making a belt or a purse at one the beautifully decorated stalls with the help of a mediaeval craftsman – or simply look over the shoulder of a smith and watch. Hamburg even offers you the chance to encounter the last living dragon: 'Fangdorn' is a massive ten metres long and moves around freely within the castle grounds. But look out – by nightfall he spits fire! Radisson Blu Hotels in Hamburg would like to offer you two wonderful and relaxing nights.
There is no excuse for spending this cold season at home on the sofa. The most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany are waiting to be discovered!