The best Christmas markets in Germany: 2023

What are the best Christmas markets in Germany in 2023? We offer a detailed overview

Driven by the desire to find something suitable for all your loved ones and to enjoy the magical Advent season at the same time, you can experience true magical moments at the Christmas market of your dreams. Get inspired by a selection of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany in 2023.

1. Striezelmarkt, Dresden

The Striezelmarkt in Dresden has a tradition since 1434 and is therefore considered the oldest Christmas market in Germany. It is named after the Middle High German name “Striezel” for the Dresden Stollen. What is outstanding in the truest sense is the wooden art at the Striezelmarkt: the wooden pyramid that is built there every year is in the Guinness Book of Records with its height of 14.62 meters. There is also a huge so-called candle arch at the entrance that is accessible.

The Striezelmarkt even has its own currency: the Striezeltaler, which can be redeemed at all vendors and rides at the Dresden Striezelmarkt. The Striezelmarkt cup, which was carefully handcrafted, also has a tradition.

2. Annaberg Christmas Market, Annaberg-Buchholz

It’s not just children who are amazed at the Annaberg Christmas market: an enchanting gnome town is built every year. Traditional handicrafts are presented in each lovingly decorated house and well-known buildings from the Ore Mountains such as Lauenstein Castle can be found. Under the motto: “Food like from Grandma’s stove” typical regional delicacies such as buttermilk curds and rag soup, Griene Klitscher and sponge cakes are offered. Here too, the market pyramid is a source of great pride.

The Annaberg Christmas market is, so to speak, a little sister of the Striezelmarkt. If you prefer something a little smaller and still want to experience great art when it comes to wood crafts, Annaberg-Buchholz is the right place for you. And only here can you find the Annaberg Christmas story, in which hand-carved figures are “brought to life”.

3. Hamburg Christmas market

He actually exists: the flying Santa Claus. Don’t miss him as he passes by on his sleigh in front of Hamburg City Hall. Three times a day (4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.) you have the chance to see this spectacle and really get into the Christmas spirit.

Despite a lot of spectacle and glimmering magic, the organizers of the Hamburg Christmas market care about the respectful use of resources. The dealers sell delicacies and treasures that are fair, organic and regionally produced. So you can feast and give gifts with a clear conscience. Since last year, start-ups of innovative products and small artisans have had the opportunity to use the Hamburg Christmas market as a platform to present their works.

4. Frankfurt Christmas market

The Christmas market in Frankfurt am Main is a family business with a 40-year tradition. The stand with high-quality men’s and women’s hats is run by the family that founded the market. If you walk by there you will get a little surprise. The remaining 100 dealers sell traditional Christmas-related products such as Christmas tree decorations, nutcrackers, wood carvings, gift items, ceramics and candles, mostly made in-house.

Mulled wine is also a tradition here during Advent. You can take the Christmas decorated cups with the year 2023 home again this year as a souvenir. After the second cup of fragrant mulled wine in Frankfurt, the Advent mood really sets in – and yes, that can happen in November too.

5. Christmas market, Garmisch-Partenkirchen

The highest mountain in Germany is located here: The Zugspitze, southwest of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, is 2,962 meters above sea level and is beautifully covered in snow in winter, making it a beautiful backdrop for the Christmas market in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. When the snowflakes dance in the sea of lights in the center of Garmisch, you can get yourself a warm mulled wine here. There are also delicacies such as chestnuts, crepes, waffles, Schupfnudeln, hamburgers, dumplings, cheese fondue and much more.

From the Christmas market, the Advent stroll takes you through the pedestrian zone to the winter magic at Mohrenplatz: the ice rink, where everyone – whether a little winter gnome or an elegant ice princess – slides on ice skates in the Christmas spirit.

6. Düsseldorf Christmas markets

In Düsseldorf there is not just a Christmas market, but an entire Christmas world. Seven different themed markets with matching decorations await. In addition to the old town market and the craft market, there is an angel, star and fairy tale market. The latter boasts artistically sophisticated silhouettes on the huts, including moving motifs. With these and fifteen thousand little lights, Schadowplatz is transformed into a magical fairytale world.

Another special feature of the Düsseldorf Christmas World is the duration. While most Christmas markets are canceled before Christmas, in Düsseldorf you can still enjoy all the beautiful offers in the days after the celebrations and thus bring the Christmas season to a gentle end.

7. Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin

Attention gourmets: At the Gendarmenmarkt near the Berlin State Opera you won’t just find currywurst, but exquisite snacks and sophisticated gourmet menus from top chefs. From duck and venison to grilled salmon and tagliatelle with black truffle to rustic ham specialties, everything is available there. Of course, this is not finger food, but is served in the heated, cozy catering area.

When it comes to the entertainment program, you can also expect the capital format: acrobats, stilt angels, choirs, music and dance groups with renowned artists will make you marvel and laugh. And the diverse selection of handicrafts, including those made from porcelain, will definitely allow you to find that very special gift.

8. Christmas market, Munich

Are you looking for a very special nativity scene for under the Christmas tree? Then you are at the right Christmas market at Marienplatz in Munich. The largest Kripperl market and one of the most beautiful Christmas markets 2023 in Germany takes place here, the tradition of which goes back to 1757. You can also purchase individual decorative pieces such as the gifts of the Three Wise Men here. The illuminated backdrop with the neo-Gothic town hall contributes to a romantic Christmas atmosphere.

Children aged six to twelve can make Christmas presents for free in the heavenly workshop. And once again, children, be careful: scary figures and shaggy creatures appear at the Krampus Run, which may seem scary to some people. Luckily, Bavarian parlor music can be heard live from the town hall balcony, so that any scares are transformed into Christmas spirit.

FAQs: Christmas markets 2023

Which Christmas market is the most beautiful in Germany?

It is difficult to say which are the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany in 2023 and of course it is all a matter of taste. What is certain is that the Dresden Striezelmarkt and the Munich Christkindlmarkt are among the oldest Christmas markets in Germany and therefore bring with them a lot of tradition. But there are also Christmas markets that offer more spectacular activities, such as the flying Santa Claus in Hamburg or the fairy tale market in Düsseldorf.

When does the first Christmas market open and when does the last one close?

Most Christmas markets in 2023 start on Monday, November 27th. Düsseldorf is earlier on Thursday, November 23rd. It is noteworthy that it is also open for a very long time, namely until December 30th like only a few of them beyond the Christmas period. You can even visit the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin until December 31st.

Which Christmas markets are particularly family-friendly?

Basically, all Christmas markets in 2023 are for the whole family, because what child doesn’t like to snack on sweets and be fascinated by the glow of lights? It is best to visit the markets in the afternoon when there are fewer people. The Christmas market in Munich is particularly great for children, as there is a heavenly workshop where they can do crafts for free.

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