Perhaps the most quintessentially German Christmas market, Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt is – literally – a shining example of winter warmth and wholesomeness. With nearly 200 independent vendors selling handmade crafts (think beeswax candles, hand-carved wooden toys and figurines made of dried prunes, because why not?), the market is the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping and unwind after a brisk walk around the historic city centre. Atop the list of moreish local specialities are Nürnberg Rostbratwurst and Lebkuchen, which was first baked here.
There’s something magical about a German winter, which isn’t surprising when you consider how many Christmas traditions originate in the land of the Tannenbaum: the advent calendar, gingerbread (Lebkuchen), Sankt Nikolaus himself and, of course, the Christmas market. In fact, nearly every German town puts on its own Weihnachtsmarkt each year, and the major cities positively brim with them.
In a country where Decembers are notoriously grey, the German Christmas market makes perfect sense: a central location where neighbours can eat, drink and be merry under the glow of festive lights, embracing the winter rather than cowering indoors. Market themes may differ, but you’ll always find certain staples: wooden stalls selling mulled wine (Glühwein), sizzling Bratwurst from the grill, candied almonds and roasted chestnuts, plus an array of local craftspeople selling their finest handmade wares. Whether you’re planning to ski in the Bavarian Alps or immerse yourself in the Berlin clubbing scene – surely among the very best things to do in Germany – don’t miss the chance to catch even the frostiest of Deutsche in the Christmas spirit.
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