Friends from other countries simply love our German Christmas markets. As a German girl I grew up with them so it’s not so special to me. But as I get excited about beaches in Australia and Thailand others love the „Weihnachtsmärkte“ on places and in streets. And I enjoy to go there with friends, drink mulled wine and eat chestnuts. So I decided to write something about this tradition and the main ingredients – for everybody who wants to visit Germany and get the experience.
When to go
The German Christmas markets typically start at the end of November and stay open until just before Christmas. Go in the evening when the lights are magical and you may drink some mulled wine.
Where to go
Everybody has their favorite market. Mine is the one in Aachen, where I was born and I grew up. It’s not the biggest Christmas market, but the town in the Western part of Germany is old and has cobblestones in the alleys, it’s so romantic! I also enjoy the market in Cologne Stadtgarten near Friesenplatz. We also already visited the huge market in Frankfurt where I took the pictures. In Dresden, Nuremberg and Dortmund are other famous Christmas markets.
The right weather
You need some decent winter weather to really enjoy the German Christmas markets. Luckily for you (not so luckily for us Germans) it’s already really cold when the Christmas markets start. Hot mulled wine at some mild weather just doesn’t taste as good as it could. So put on your warm jacket, cap and gloves and have some winter fun!
The right company
Never walk alone at one of the markets. The whole reason to be there is to socialize while you are eating and drinking. A lot. :)
The right music
You need some kind of slightly cheesy music to get in the mood. German Christmas carols are great, English ones are good too.
Glühwein (mulled wine)
The hot wine with spices like cinnamon and cloves is just delicious and warms you up. You normally have it in a special mug. Be careful: It tastes great but you also get tipsy easily.
Stollen (Christmas cake)
This traditional German Christmas bread is made with dried fruits, spices and nuts or marzipan. You have to try it, it’s something really special.
Maronen (Hot chestnuts)
As a child I used to collect chestnuts and decorate them. They are really tasty when they are roasted.
You get the best ones – in my opinion – in Aachen or Nuremberg. Printen are often a little bit hard and dry but covered with chocolate they are really nice!
While you’re at the market, look out for handmade decoration like glass baubles for the Christmas tree. Or how about a nutcracker, a Christmas pyramid or an incense smoker?
Do you have any suggestions for German Christmas markets?
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