The smell of mulled wine is in the air…Christmas songs are all over …children’s’ eyes shine…With Christmas around the corner, various cities, villages and metropolises in Germany are turning into sparkling winter wonderlands. Being a Dresden tour operator, we are closely linked to Saxony Christmas tradition. For us, smoking figures, nutcrackers, Schwibbögen (small illuminated wooden arches) and fruitcakes are a must-have during the Advent season. Year after year, the windows and streets of former mining villages in the Ore Mountain area turn into a sea of lights. However, other states and regions in Germany are not far behind and invite their visitors with lovely decorated Christmas markets to stroll, relaxation and more Christmas goodies than you can count. In the following article, we introduce you to some of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany.
Germany’s most beautiful Christmas markets
Naturally, everyone has got his or her favourite when it comes to visiting a Christmas market. Some enjoy the more relaxing and contemplative markets, wheras others rather visit the ones in the metropolises in order to rock the Christmas spirit with numerous other people. Here at AugustusTours, our colleagues sure do have their own favourite Christmas markets as well, which we have collected for you.
From fruitcakes, bright lights to fortress Königstein: Christmas markets in Dresden and the surrounding area
“The Dresden Striezelmarkt is my favourite Christmas market. I have known this one since my childhood and even today it still evokes my amazement. I wander through the sea of lights and I can smell seductive pastries and yummy meat and sausages from the grill everywhere. A memory I am now happily sharing with my children.”, Katja Marquardt enthuses. The Striezelmarkt is one out of 11 Christmas markets in Saxony’s capital Dresden. It is also known to be one of the worlds oldest markets and was named after the Dresden fruitcake, a cake made of yeast dough, dried fruits and a thick layer of powdered sugar.
The Christmas market of Freiberg has been taking place year after year since 2012 being the first mine working adventure Christmas market in the Ore Mountains. A sparkling Ore Mountain Christmas world arises at the historic Freiberg upper market, where angels and miners – typical figures of mining, welcome the visitors. “Especially fascinating is the scenery of the Freiberg Christmas market on the upper market, which is surrounded by medieval farmhouses and windows decorated with illuminated Schwibbögen all around. One highlight is the traditional mountain parade in torchlight, which takes place on Saturday of the second Advent each year”, Juliane Hummel says.
One insider tip in Thuringia is the historic Christmas market at the Wartburg. Behind historic walls, you can find the world of medieval trade and time-honoured, almost forgotten craftsmanship. “Only paying a small road duty, one can visit the great castle’s ballroom and the famous Luther room”, Manuela Leveghi mentions. Apart from its fame of being home for the famous reformer Martin Luther, Lutherstadt Wittenberg has always placed a lot of importance to Christmas and its traditions. A very special experience is the “market of the pretty things”. “There, you can purchase quality products and fanciful things from artists and craftsmen from near and far within the historical rooms of the Cranach houses and the belonging courts”, Fanny Grabowski says.
Mostly, a Christmas market visit is even more enjoyable with snowy roof tops and church spires. Christmas markets with the highest chance of snow can be found in the Harz Mountains. One insider tip comes from Dorothea Thiedt – “Advent in the courtyards of Quedlinburg”: “On the first three weekends during Advent time, over 20 of the most beautiful courtyards in Quedlinburg open their doors to the public and show what hides behind them. All of it in a real Christmassy atmosphere.”
Potsdam in itself is already worth a visit. Numerous castles and parks invite the visitors to relax and stroll. With Christmas coming up, it must be even more beautiful. “I am especially amazed by the romantic Christmas market at Krongut Bornstedt, which is only a couple of meters away from Sanssouci Palace. The big Christmas tree and the warming fire baskets turn the UNESCO World Heritage ensemble into a fascinating highlight of your stay.”, Ulrike Ehlemann states.
The Christmas market in the old town of Spandau is one of the most beautiful and traditional Christmas markets in Berlin. During Advent time, the squares, streets and alleys turn themselves into an atmospheric Christmas world including medieval markets and a big Christmas tree. “Colourful stage events take place and can be experienced for free on a daily basis. By the way, each Wednesday is family day: Visiting the Christmas market at that day makes children’s eyes shine for sure”, Brita Reichert explains.
“Unfortunately, I have not yet been there, but all the pictures and stories about the Christmas market in Ravennaschlucht appeal to me a lot”, Frauke Mollée raves. Between the steep, forested slopes of the ravine, the railway viaduct Höllentalbahn extends. Right beneath, a small village with its small wooden cabins, illuminated in a unique sea of lights invites the visitors to stroll around. More than 40 vendors delight the visitors with high quality handicrafts, extraordinary gift ideas and regional products.
Christmas market at fortress Königstein © Staatliche Schlösser Burgen und Gärten, Hardy Hochgräf
Dresden Striezelmarkt © Sylvio Dittrich
Christmas market in Erfurt © Tourismus Gesellschaft Erfurt