When it comes to Christmas markets, Germany holds a special place in the hearts of travelers worldwide. The country is renowned for its enchanting festive markets that transform towns and cities into winter wonderlands. From the aroma of mulled wine and freshly baked gingerbread to the twinkling lights and joyful atmosphere, Germany's Christmas markets offer an experience like no other.

If you're ready to get in the Christmas spirit you've come to the right place. Delve into the ten best Christmas markets in Germany with us! If you can't resist traveling to visit one or many this year, find out more about how HomeExchange is a great way to stay in Germany and all over the world!

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1. Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt

Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt best christmas markets germany

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt is a true icon among Christmas markets. With its long-standing history dating back to the 16th century, it exudes a timeless charm. Visitors can explore over 180 stalls that are all made of wood, earning it the unofficial title of "the little city of wood and cloth". They offer up traditional crafts like handmade holiday decorations, mouthwatering gingerbread and almond cookies, and the world-famous Nuremberg sausages. The opening ceremony, led by the Christkind, captivates visitors with its magical atmosphere. In fact, this Christmas market is one of the oldest in the world!

  • When: November 25th to December 24th, 2023
  • Where: Nuremberg, Bavaria

2. Dresden Striezelmarkt

Dresden Striezelmarkt best german christmas markets

The Dresden Striezelmarkt dates back to 1434, is also one of Germany's oldest Christmas markets. This year marks the 589th Dresden Striezelmarkt! Its stunning setting is in the heart of the city's historic old town. Visitors can enjoy a fairytale atmosphere and explore the market's numerous stalls selling traditional crafts and local delicacies like the famous Dresden Stollen fruitcake. The Dresden Striezelmarkt is one of the best Christmas markets in Germany for several reasons. Among them, it boasts the world’s tallest, 14.61-metre-high Ore Mountain step pyramid, what is likely to be the world’s largest walk-in candle arch, and a daily programme of cultural Christmas events for all ages. It also is known for the Pflaumentoffel, a historic handcrafted edible figurine made from dried plums. The large Ferris Wheel is also one of it's greatest attractions.

  • When: November 29th to December 24th, 2023
  • Where: Dresden, Saxony

3. Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market

Cologne Cathedral best Christmas Markets in germany

Cologne, being the fourth largest city in Germany, boasts a diverse array of Christmas markets that cater to all tastes and preferences. One of the most renowned and beloved markets takes place right in front of the iconic Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market. With an impressive 150 stands set up in Roncalliplatz, this market attracts an astounding number of visitors each year, with the organizers anticipating over 4 million attendees. The festive atmosphere, coupled with the enchanting backdrop of the cathedral, creates a truly magical experience for all who wander amidst the stalls. The market's centerpiece, a stunning Christmas tree, adds to the magical ambiance inviting all to gather around as they enjoy a warm drink.

  • When: November 21st to December 23rd, 2023
  • Where: Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia

4. Rothenburg ob der Tauber Reiterlesmarkt

Rothenburg ob der Tauber best german christmas markets

The medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a picture-perfect setting for the Reiterlesmarkt. This market delights visitors with its traditional atmosphere and historical charm. The entire old town is decorated with bright lights during Advent. One of the things it's known for that makes it one of the best German Christmas markets is the captivating performances of the "Rothenburger Reiterle." Reiterle is a Germanic mythical figure who is supposed to bring luck, and he rides through the market here on horseback late each night. There are also daily musical performances with large brass bands playing Christmas music to bring the jolly spirit.

  • When: November 25th to December 23rd, 2023
  • Where: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bavaria

5. Munich Christmas Market

Munich Christmas Market best christmas markets in germany

Munich's Christmas Market, held on the Marienplatz, is a festive extravaganza. With a backdrop of the stunning Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall), visitors can explore over 150 stalls offering handicrafts, traditional Christmas decorations, and culinary delights. Don't miss the enchanting Kripperlmarkt, dedicated to nativity scenes. Situated in front of the Old Peter church, its extensive assortment of offerings is likely the largest of its kind in Germany. Visitors can explore complete nativity scenes, find individual figurines, and shop everything they need to decorate a magnificent nativity scene themselves. Meanwhile you can enjoy the melodic tunes of Bavarian brass bands filling the air. This vibrant program makes the Munich market one of the best Christmas markets in Germany.

  • When: November 25th to December 24th, 2023
  • Where: Munich, Bavaria

6. Frankfurt Christmas Market

frankfurt best christmas markets in germany

The Frankfurt Christmas Market is one of Germany's most impressive. The Römerberg square is transformed into a magical wonderland, featuring over 200 beautifully decorated stalls. With its sheer size and vast number of visitors, the Frankfurt Christmas Market is one of the largest and best Christmas markets in Germany. Ornate decorations deck its stands with delight, and the backdrop of the Römerberg and St Paul's Square with a huge Christmas tree and carousel come together to make a beautiful site. The daily program includes the Chiming of Frankfurt’s Church Bells, the Christmas Arts & Craft Market featuring mostly local artisans, visits from Santa Claus, and Advent Concerts for music lovers.

  • When: November 27th to December 22nd, 2023
  • Where: Frankfurt, Hesse

7. Stuttgart Christmas Market

Stuttgart best german christmas markets

Amateur ice skaters will definitely find this to be among the best German Christmas markets thanks to its ice rink! So strap on your skates and glide around the ice to holiday music here as you marvel at the view of the nostalgic ferris wheel each time you whirl by. In addition to this icy attraction, you can find all the usual draws of the best german Christmas markets, including an array of stand selling hot beverages to warm you up (or cold German beer like many still prefer even in winter!) handmade arts and crafts, traditional Christmas decorations, and so many sweet treats you'll be happy to skate off back on the rink! One of the things we really love about this particular market however is that Stadtwerke Stuttgart has been supplying the Christmas market with green electricity since 2014, so that no CO2 emissions are produced. Now that's our kind of Christmas spirit!

  • When: November 29th to December 23rd, 2023
  • Where: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg

8. Berlin Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace

berlin best christmas markets in germany

The Christmas Market at Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin exudes grandeur and elegance. Positioned in front of this regal historic palace, this magical backdrop makes the market one of the best Christmas markets in Germany. A selection of over 250 stalls gives visitors a wide variety of choice for sweet traditional treats like stollen, spritz biscuits, and marzipan loaves as well as traditional crafts. Children can find delight here in the market's range of nostalgic fairground attractions, including a towering Ferris wheel, a whimsical assortment of merry-go-rounds, and petite roller coasters. 

  • When: November 27th to December 26th, 2023
  • Where: Berlin

9. Trier Christmas Market

Trier best german Christmas markets

This slightly more quaint Christmas Market is found in the charming border town of Trier. Nestled near the crossroads of Germany, Luxembourg, and France, the annual Trier Christmas Market attracts European visitors from all of the above, who come to delight in its holiday cheer. It's held on the town's main place that dates back to medieval times against the backdrop of the Trier Cathedral. The traditional architecture encircling the place seems straight out of a storybook, adding to the markets charm and magic atmosphere. Nearly 100 stands offer all the traditional German Christmas delights, from sweet and savoury treats to beautifully crafted goods that will make the perfect gifts for loved ones.

  • When: November 24th to December 22nd, 2023
  • Where: Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate

10. Heidelberg Christmas Market

best german christmas markets

Heidelberg is one of Germany most enchanted little towns, so it's only natural that it's annual Christmas Market would have the same allure. From the gateway of the historic old town, Bismarckplatz beckons visitors instantly immersing them in the magic of the Heidelberg Christmas Market. Embark on an Advent stroll for a myriad of surprises amidst the picturesque alleys. Countless Christmas stalls dot the charming streets, offering a treasure trove of enchanting gift ideas and treats. Karlsplatz also has one of Germany's most stunning ice rinks, providing a breathtaking vista of the world-renowned castle ruins. So go head and lace up your skates to glide gracefully across the glistening ice. This is one of the most beautiful and best German Christmas markets.

  • When: November 24th to December 22nd, 2023
  • Where: Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg

Stay With HomeExchange to Experience the Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Does our list have you convinced that Germany's Christmas spirit is unrivaled? Nearly anywhere you go in Germany, you will find a spectacular local Christmas market at the holidays. If you want to travel to experience the best German Christmas markets firsthand, consider HomeExchange as a way to stay in Germany and beyond. You can find the perfect home away from home to cozy up after you've ventured out to experience Germany's best Christmas Markets. Wouldn't that be an enchanting way to spend the holidays? So, what are you waiting for? Christmas is coming so sign up today for an annual HomeExchange membership and begin exploring homes in Germany and around the world unlimited exchanges year round!

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