The Christmas markets lure us outside every year even in freezing weather. Colorful 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. 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, medieval or even somewhat exotic – there is something for everyone. See below for the best Christmas markets in Germany to map out your festive trip!
Medieval: the Christmas market in Erfurt
Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia, dates back more than 1,270 years and its long history is reflected in the beautifully preserved old quarter. The famous monumental ensemble of St. Mary's Cathedral and the Church of St. Severus makes the perfect backdrop to the Erfurt Christmas market. Every year, thousands of visitors of all ages come to explore the wide range of attractions, with 200 wooden huts on and around Domplatz, Fischmarkt and Willy-Brandt-Platz squares and along Anger and Schlösserbrücke. The regional favorites such as Thuringian bratwurst and Erfurt schittchen can't be missed. Handcrafted products from Thuringia including Christmas decorations, traditional blue-dyed fabrics and a wide range of pottery, as well as crafts from the Erzgebirge mountains are also available.
Stay amid historic churches and quaint medieval architecture at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Erfurt city center, right in the heart of the charming Old Town, so you can enjoy one of Germany's finest Christmas market within walking distance.
Traditional: the Striezelmarkt in Dresden
The Striezelmarkt in Dresden is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany. 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.
Book a memorable stay at the cozy Radisson Blu Park Hotel & Conference Centre, Dresden Radebeul.
Ancient: the Christmas market in Leipzig
Just about an hour west of Dresden, the Leipzig Christmas market is not only one of the oldest but also one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany. More than 300 exhibitors set up shop on the Marktplatz and in the nearby streets and transform the city centre with lights and evergreen garlands. Visitors can find a mix of traditional German handicrafts and food at the Naschmarkt square, while Augustusplatz is the place for the Finnish products, Swiss cheese and South Tyrol décor, making the Christmas flair go international. Little visitors will definitely enjoy exploring the fairytale forest or meeting Santa Claus, and the musical entertainment on stage is as varied as well.
Located at the city centre, the Radisson Blu Hotel, Leipzig offers you an easy access to this “old time Christmas martket” where you can enjoy the charm and nostalgia of the town.
Psst! Have some extra time to discover more destinations in Germany this festive season? Check out the Christmas market in Frankfurt!
Magical: the Christmas market in Cologne
Every year, millions of tourists are drawn to Cologne’s most famous Christmas Market at the foot of the city’s most prominent landmark, the Gothic Cathedral. This time of year, the city centre of Cologne is touched by the magic of the festivities. The festival is marked with an enormous Christmas tree decorated with lights, red ribbons, and other festoonery, and the air smells of nostalgic fragrances of spices and sweets. Remember to sip on some glühwein while browsing the market’s 160 stands as live bands play Christmas tunes.
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Cologne lies near the historic city center offering you an easy access to the beautiful cathedral when visiting the Christmas market.
Trendy: the Christmas markets in Berlin
Even during 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 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. And if you still want to experience something traditional, then check out the Christmas market in Gendarmenmarkt located on one of Berlin's most historic squares in the Mitte region.
Book your stay well in advance to experience the iconic Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin, offering the most stunning views of the city.
Nostalgic: the Christmas Market in Hamburg
The Hamburg Christmas market, located in the center 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. And 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 the music of mediaeval musicians, and enjoy typical specialties 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? Hamburg even offers you the chance to encounter the last living dragon: 'Fangdorn' is a massive ten meter-long and moves around freely within the castle grounds. But watch out – by nightfall he spits fire!
The Radisson Blu Hotel Hamburg offers stylish accommodation and is just a short U-Bahn ride away from all the festivities.
So there's no excuse for spending this cold season at home on the sofa. The most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany are waiting to be discovered with Radisson Blu!