German Christmas Markets 2015

German Christmas Traditions with 21st Century Thinking: Specialist Christmas Markets

Some of the most popular European Christmas markets are in Germany. Among the most well-known are Coburg, Darmstadt, Dresden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich, Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt and the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

The history of German Christmas markets goes back to the late Middle Ages and Christmas trees and Christmas markets are among Germany’s oldest and most famous traditions. There are thousands of Christmas markets in Germany and Berlin alone has 60; in Frankfurt and Munich there are ‘pink’ Christmas market favoured by LGBT visitors, plus Frankfurt offers accessible guided Christmas market tours for the blind and visually impaired. There is a vegan Christmas market in Hanover, an organic, eco-friendly market in Berlin and a ‘maritime’ Christmas market in Emden (East Frisian coastal region) with decorated ships; the pretty town of Goslar offers a dense, aromatic Christmas forest full of twinkling lights. Dresden has the oldest Christmas market, which was established in 1434 and the tallest Christmas tree in Germany can be seen in Dortmund.

Today, Christmas Markets are a place where visitors can buy quality and hand-made Christmas decorations; discover traditional culinary delights such as gingerbread, the famous Christstollen (Christmas cake), roasted nuts, bratwurst and mulled wine. There is plenty of entertainment on offer, such as ice-skating, nativity plays, carol singing and Christmas concerts. Opening times vary (see website for details) but generally Christmas markets are open during Advent, 4 weekends from Christmas Eve and some even remain in place until January; entry is free of charge unless otherwise stated or for specific events.

Klaus Lohmann, director of the German National Tourist Office UK & Ireland said: “Germany is a country full of traditions and customs which thrive in the 21st century and Christmas markets are a perfect example of this. Nothing quite matches the authentic atmosphere of a real German Christmas market, full of heart-warming seasonal traditions and so easy to reach from the UK for a weekend or longer. Come to Germany for a warm winter welcome and discover our real Christmas spirit. Whatever your interests, it is a very special experience

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