The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

I have a very strange infatuation with German Christmas markets. It is strange, I know – since I am not in fact 8 nor am I particularly merry.  However, maybe the problem isn’t with me. Maybe it is with you.  I think it could be that most people just don’t fully get the German Christmas market. Sure, they know of course of the gluhwein (hot wine with citrus, cinnamon etc), which I have not been shy about showing my unadulterated love for, and possibly their mind also conjures up some images of the deep fried, highly caloric delicacies dripping with grease and love that can be found there. But there is more to the these winter Christmas markets than merely  seasonal alcoholic delight and artery clogging goodness – there is an essence in the air that somehow makes you want to repeatedly throw yourself into the freezing cold, huddled up under a hut mingling with some fat guy who smells of whisky, bratwurst and cheap cigarettes (be good, he may moonlight as Santa on occasion). No there is more to these markets than meets the eye.

And since I can’t really explain this essence in words as such, I thought I would use the power of the internet to bring it as close to your door as possible, unless you want to use a German Rail Pass like I am and let the train deliver you directly to the market (gluhwein in hand in t-minus 5 minutes). You can also download DBahn’s Christmas iPhone app which breaks each market and tells you the highlights much better than this hungover ramble.

 Berlin Christmas Market

Being the capital of Germany, Berlin has a series of pretty epic markets. From ice skating rinks to ferris wheels to an artificial ski slope you can toboggan down, the Germans pulled out all the stops here. So before a night of raving or doing something else Berlin and hipstery, you can feel the spirit of Christmas.

night berlin market The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Berlin Xmas at night

 

gluhwein stand The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

My first Gluhwein of the season was bought here

 

musican berlin The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

An Xmas Musician

snowboarding berlin The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Snow Slope for the Toboggan

 

ice skating berlin The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Free Iceskating along with a penguin

 

nutcrackers berlin The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

German Nutcrackers

 

souvenirs The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Russian stacking dolls – Maryoshkas

 

Xmas market ride The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Want to ride a pony? You can at Berlin’s Xmas markets

 

ferris wheel berlin The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Berlin Xmas Rides

 

And a couple videos showing some music there and games you can play while drinking gluhwein.

 

Leipzig Market

Leipzig is one of the more famous markets, as it is  the oldest, has a medieval market, and has the biggest Advent calendar in the world on the side of a building. I also felt like there was more “hip” bar gluhwein stands here for some reason.

leipzig market The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Leipzig market entrance

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the townhall of Leipzig

 

The Pyramid in Leipzig The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

The Great Pyramid of Leipzig (where they serve the special Feuerzanggenbowle, extra sugar and rum lit up in your gluhwein)

 

leipzig merrygoround The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Not just for the kiddies (note you can drink gluhwein while riding)

 

Leipzig Advent calendar The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Biggest Avent Calendar in the world – can you imagine how big the present must be inside?

 

medevil leipzig The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Medieval xmas market within a market…um

 

Leipzig station e1354285574300 The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Even the rail station is done up in Leipzig

 

Dresden

Dresden has one of the largest markets, deemed the Christmas mile, since the squares are massive and you can walk forever with no end in sight. If you haven’t been to Dresden, I recommend it, since the old town was rebuilt to look like it was before the World War II, yet the main squares are massive (I suspect from the Soviet planning influence since Dresden lies on the Eastern side of Germany).

communist train center The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Dresden arrival at the rail station, where’s the winter wonderland?

 

Beautiful soviet-esc arrival terminal at the train station, but once you hit the market, the worries go away as you re-united with old Germany and Christmas market bliss. Ten minute walk and you will feel transport through time.

gluhwein in dresden The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

First order of business, of course, gluhwein

 

dresden xmas The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Dresden Pyramid

 

dresden gluhwein cheers The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Snowing with Gluhwein in Dresden… not too bad

 

dresden ferris wheel The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

the mini-ferris wheel in Dresden

 

child at chrismas puppet show e1354285852207 The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

a child glued to a xmas puppet show in Dresden

 

stollen The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Dresden’s famous “stollen”, sugar, bread goodness

 

hot gluhwein girl The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Dresden has an attractive Gluhwein server, a must see

 

dresden xmas food The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

the biggest animal I have ever seen roasted

 

Hannover

Ah good old Hannover. With markets that stretch every windy street filled with food stalls that tempt you to stretch your belly with these deep fried, guilt-free treats. Hannover has got you covered. From fresh smoked salmon in the Finnish Market to other medieval food that is made edible by today’s standards, I love my little heart in this market (but not my cholesterol levels).

 

IMG 9354 The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Fresh potato chips (fresh; latin, from non-cancerous deliciousness)

IMG 9356 The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

smoking salmon in Finnish market

IMG 9331 The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

German Santa hangs out oranges instead of high doses of sugar (that comes in adulthood with Gluhwein)

 

IMG 9334 The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Want to drink Met (honey wine) from a horn like a Viking? Yeah you can do that…but you can’t out it down so bring your drinking hat.

 

IMG 9337 The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Ever had a bear serve you cotton candy? Yeah, thought so.

IMG 9349 The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Need a unique holiday gift?

IMG 9373 The Best Christmas Markets in Germany

Oh yeah, and we still gots that flaming gluhwein ish too.

 

Still not satsfied? Still craving more Christmas food, gluhwein and calories. Me too.  On the way…

Frankfurt

Hamburg

Heidelberg

Stuttgart

Munich

Stay tuned hungry.

 

About Turner

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

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