Europe’s Christkindlmarkts

Christmas markets, normally called “Christkindlmarkts” are popular throughout Europe. These markets are attributed to have started in the German-speaking areas of Europe with markets dating back to the 13th century in Vienna and in Munich to the 14th Century. These open air markets now have spread throughout Europe and the United Kingdom, and I personally have been to these markets in Nuremberg, Germany, Düsseldorf, Germany, and in Manchester, England. Vienna actually has several markets around the city, with the largest in front of the Schönbrunn Palace. The Munich market is held at the Marienplatz. Some of these markets will draw as many as 2 million visitors every year. These markets are generally active during the Advent season.

“Christkindl” actually refers to the “spirit of Christmas”, although it can easily be interpreted to mean the Christ child. I can tell you from my own personal experience that there is a very special feeling about going through these markets, where you can buy hot mulled wine (Gluhwein), roasted almonds (Gebrannte Mandeln) and the traditional Nuremberg gingerbread cakes called “Lebkuchen”. The stalls in these markets will typically sell food and handmade crafts for Christmas gift

Where to go

Wanderlust lists these as the top 10 Christkindlmarkts in Germany:

  • Weihnachtsmarkt Am Kölner Dom, Cologne
  • Dresden Striezelmarkt, Dresden
  • Berlin’s Christmas markets, Berlin
  • Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt, Stuttgart
  • Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt, Leipzig
  • Aachener Weihnachtsmarkt, Aachen
  • Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg
  • Münchner Christkindlmarkt, Munich
  • Hamburger Weihnachtsmarkt, Hamburg
  • Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Guteneck, Guteneck

How to Get There

There are several direct flight options from major international airports in the US to Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich. The rest of these locations are easily reached either by a connecting flight from these airports through Paris, London or Amsterdam, or by Train

This video from Arienne at SeeYouSoonTravel is an excellent review of the German Christmas Markets

When you are ready to plan your next trip, contact me at patrick@4moonstravel.com.

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