25 Christmas Markets in Germany to Visit this Winter
While there are many fun cities in Europe for a Christmas city break, it’s the Christmas markets in Germany that have really become iconic over the years.
When temperatures drop, the days get shorter, and the number of lights in the streets increases, that can only mean one thing: Christmas is in the air! Nothing is as fun as the run-up to Christmas. All the shops look nice, the people are cheerful and you have an excuse to try out the tastiest recipes for the holidays. Just typing this text makes me happy for the holidays!
Germany really takes the cake for holiday spirit. If you want you can have fun all month long, just see how many of these Christmas markets you can visit and enjoy. Put on your coat, drive to Germany, and sing along loudly, “All I want for Christmas is youuuuuuu.“
The Best 25 Christmas Markets in Germany
1. Oberhausen Christmas Market
You probably know Oberhausen from the huge shopping center: Centro Oberhausen. In the mall alone, you’ll undoubtedly find the best Christmas gifts. However, you can score the more unique gifts outside on the market. The Christmas market is on the square in front of the shopping center and consists of all kinds of cute chalets where handmade products are made, delicious snacks are made and of course mulled wine can be found.
The combination of the shopping center with the Christmas market means that you can safely spend a full day on this. A weekend in Oberhausen in the weeks before Christmas is really worth it!
2. Düsseldorf Christmas Market
One of the most popular Christmas markets is Düsseldorf. Every year you see all kinds of day tours from Amsterdam, like this one. Düsseldorf has everything you want on a Christmas market. Think of a large Christmas tree, a lot of atmospheric Christmas stalls, a big skating rink and beautifully decorated, illuminated streets.
Düsseldorf is of course a major German city and as a result you will find several markets there. So definitely walk through the city and discover what every market has to offer.
If you’re really feeling festive, you could also try a Christmas cruise.
3. Cologne Christmas Markets
Not only is Cologne one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, it has an incredible Christmas market scene as well!
You will find cozy Christmas markets spread across the various squares, regular stores for your other shopping, and all kinds of beautiful sights. After all, you are there anyway, so why not do some sightseeing? For a unique tour, try this one of Cologne’s nativity scenes or this Christmas cruise.
The most magical Christmas market in the city? That is the large market right next to Cologne Cathedral. Walk around here in the evening in the dark to really experience the magical effect of all the lights.
4. Dresden Christmas Market
In Dresden, you will find one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany. The first “Striezelmarkt” was organized in 1434. You can still visit this market every year for winter delights, handmade products and a Christmas feeling.
They also prove that Dresden is good in traditions with the Stollenfest. Every year on the Saturday before the second, Advent is celebrated tradition of stollen. And yes, that also includes a huge box. The record? 4246 kilograms. Enjoy your meal! Book an Advent tour with stollen tasting here.
5. Heidelberg Christmas Markets
The beautiful city of Heidelberg is transformed into a Christmas paradise every year. The various markets throughout the city are visited by many, and you can book a tour through them here.
Put on your skates, for example, and go for a spin on the ice rink before warming up with mulled wine. Or score all fresh ingredients for a special Christmas dinner. You have come to the right place in Heidelberg for holiday gifts.
Need nothing except the ultimate Christmas feeling? Score your favorite snack at one of the stalls and watch at your leisure at the crowds of people walking around the market.
6. Aachen Christmas Market
The Christmas market of Aachen is gladly visited by the Dutch. Aachen is not too far from the border. In addition, the Christmas market is also just very cozy and extensive. Here you will also find all kinds of stalls and chalets that smell delicious from all the food.
And what do you think about traditional Aachen Printing? They are a kind of dolls made from gingerbread. In addition to really good food, you can also go to Aachen for decorations to give your house that Christmas feeling.
7. Lübeck Christmas Markets
If you thought that having a large number of Christmas markets was only for big cities such as Aachen and Düsseldorf: think again! The beautiful city of Lübeck has no less than seven Christmas markets spread across the various squares.
Every market has its own specialties. You have the classic markets where there is something for everyone, but also markets where art plays a major role. Stroll through the atmospherically illuminated streets and discover for yourself which market is your favorite.
8. Hamburg Christmas Markets
Can’t really get enough of Christmas markets? Hamburg has around 15 of them every year. You can’t visit that much in one day, so again a very good reason to make a weekend trip to Hamburg.
So many Christmas markets also means that there is something for everyone. For children there is a market where they get started with baking and decorating Christmas cookies for example. If you are looking for unique, original gifts: there is also a market full of work by studios and small artists. Enough choice!
You can also spend an evening enjoying the lights of the city with a harbor cruise.
9. Dortmund Christmas Market
The great (literally) pride of Dortmund is one of the tallest Christmas trees in the world. It is also in one of the largest Christmas markets in the country. For the ultimate, festive feeling, you can’t go wrong in Dortmund.
All kinds of stalls with local delicacies, traditional Christmas snacks such as crepes and mulled wine and fresh ingredients for your holiday dinner. In addition to the stalls, you can also have fun with the entertainment program. Musical performances by all kinds of famous and unknown artists complete the Christmas feeling.
10. Essen Christmas Market
Another nice German Christmas market can be found in Essen. With more than 250 stalls, it is almost impossible that you succeed. At least for really good food, because they have plenty of winter delights here.
You will also find all kinds of shops around the Christmas market (and, there are more in the city). Picking out presents is a lot more fun with a lively market in the background.
11. Frankfurt Christmas Markets
Music, beautiful lighting, cozy stalls and wonderful food smells come to meet you when you walk into the center of Frankfurt. This is a city that really knows how to get into the holiday spirit.
Enjoy the view of the colorful houses around the square where the largest market in the city can be found. It looks romantic in combination with the illuminated stalls, the pleasant buzz of the many visitors, and the winter temperatures (a good excuse to crawl extra close to your other half!).
12. Nuremberg Christmas Market
A Christmas market has also been organized in Nuremberg for centuries. The first edition already took place in 1628! The market is still a great success and it is crowded.
At the stalls you score everything for a pleasant Christmas: from good food to original gifts. For a taste of the atmosphere you can do a round in a horse-drawn carriage. With the Christmas music in the background you will be ready for the holidays in no time.
Book a tour of Nuremberg’s Old Town and Christmas market here.
13. Osnabruck Christmas Market
Christmas music, good food and drink, a skating rink, Christmas lights, a merry-go-round and dozens of stalls: need I say more? As if that wasn’t enough, Osnabrück also has a nice shopping area when you are looking for other Christmas gifts.
The atmospheric inner city of Osnabrück is already a nice place to walk through outside of the season, but with Christmas, it’s extra fun. You walk through beautifully decorated streets and see colorful houses, cheerful people, and beautiful buildings.
14. Berlin Christmas Markets
As if you need another reason to visit Berlin. With so many cool neighborhoods to stay and things to do, you’ll love visiting in summer or for the Christmas season.
In addition to the famous sights, Berlin also has a huge number of markets during Christmas. One market is more traditional, the next has everything for children, and another market is all about manual labor and craftsmanship. Whatever you are looking for in a Christmas market: you will find it in Berlin. Try this walking tour of the markets to get a better idea of where to shop and don’t miss the decorations and lights at the Botanical Garden.
15. Trier Christmas Market
Trier is a historic city where classic buildings color the streets. When Christmas lights, the scent of delicious food and the coziness of a lot of happy people are added, there is no reason not to visit Trier.
During Christmas, this city is completely transformed into a Christmas mecca. Visit the stalls, enjoy the atmosphere, and try one of the local delicacies.
16. Nordhorn Christmas Market
In the center of Nordhorn you will find everything you need for a Christmas feeling. Thousands of lights that decorate the streets, happy sellers selling their home-made goods, Christmas stalls sit picturesquely, and holiday music blares out of the speakers.
Around the Christmas market you will find a shopping center where you can buy all the Christmas presents that you could not find at the Nordhorn market.
17. Bocholt Christmas Market
Bocholt is one of the cities in this list that is closest to the Dutch border. Here, too, you will find an attractive Christmas market every year, full of stalls selling home-made products.
Because Bocholt is so close to the border you can make it a fun weekend away. Combine a visit to the Christmas market in Bocholt, for example, with a stay in Arnhem or Doetinchem.
18. Münster Christmas Markets
When you visit Münster during the Christmas period, you can choose from around 300 stalls to do your Christmas shopping. Enough to succeed you would think. Still not convinced? In the center of Münster you will also find all kinds of shops (which are of course also in the Christmas mood in December) for the rest of your shopping.
The city has five markets annually, so definitely stroll through the pleasant streets of the city to the next market. Don’t miss the Allwetterzoo Münster Christmas Garden while you’re in town either! This way you can immediately see what else Münster has to offer.
19. Monschau Christmas Market
A beautifully decorated, lighted Christmas tree surrounded by all kinds of stalls. The Monschau Christmas market is at its best when you visit it at dusk. You see the day change into evening and how the lights become more visible.
Walk along the stalls and decide on the spot which winter snack you want. A warm crepe with nutella? Or how about churros, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts? There are plenty of delicious things to try.
20. Meppen Christmas Market
In Meppen, you will find, just like in many cities, a large ice rink where you can show off your skills. The difference with the other cities? In Meppen the ice rink is part of the Christmas program. This includes musical performances and winter sports (curling, figure skating!).
When you have had enough of the skating rink you dive into the city. Explore the city on foot or by horse-drawn carriage and then shop and eat around the Christmas market.
21. Cochem Christmas Market
One of the smaller cities in the list knows better than anyone how to create a good Christmas mood. In Cochem, they incorporate the atmospheric streets of the city in the backdrop of the Christmas market. You will be guided through the narrow streets to the other Christmas-like places of the city. Cochem is also on the Moselle, which makes it look a little bit more romantic than the other cities.
22. Bremen Christmas Market
In Bremen, all kinds of cultural institutions make themselves heard during the season. Musical performances, performances and exhibitions take place near the Christmas market of the city. Book a tour through the market here.
With the sound of these performances in the background, you can stroll through the stalls with hot chocolate in your hand. You will undoubtedly succeed here if you are looking for something delicious for Christmas dinner. Bremen also has a nice shopping area upstairs where you can do other shopping.
23. Schloss Raesfeld Christmas Market
Schloss Raesfeld is one of the most original Christmas markets in this list. It’s a striking, grand castle with a beautiful adjacent park. In the Christmas season there’s a lively market to enjoy.
The location alone is enough for a starting Christmas feeling. When you walk past the stalls and smell the smell of roasted chestnuts and almonds, the feeling is complete.
24. Lingen Christmas Market
Do you want something different than the famous cities? Lingen has a very nice Christmas market that is open from the end of November to the end of December.
Every year there is an extensive program in which fun shows and activities are organized for all ages. In Lingen, you can also show your skating skills on the large skating rink.
25. Oldenburg Christmas Market
With around 125 stalls, there is plenty to offer in Oldenburg for a nice Christmas present for yourself or something new to hang in the Christmas tree.
Although there is a huge selection of good food and drinks on the Christmas market in Oldenburg, you can also visit the surrounding restaurants and cafés. Drop down for dinner, and stroll around the Christmas market for your dessert for crepes and hot chocolate.
What do you think are the nicest Christmas markets in Germany?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe and Tiqets for specific attraction deals.