On your marks … get set … GO! to the local Christmas markets, plus a few farther afield. There’s even a couple of castles and a monastery to explore.
Nov. 27–Dec 23.: The Christmas market is located in the downtown area and spans from Marktplatz to Schillerplatz, Karlsplatz and Schlossplatz. With more than 250 festive booths and attractions, it is considered one of Europe’s largest Christmas markets.
The market will be open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Nov. 28, the market will be open from 5-9 p.m.
The official opening of the Stuttgart Christmas market, traditionally done by the Lord Mayor of Stuttgart, Fritz Kuhn, takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 27, at 6 p.m. at the Courtyard of the Old Castle. The entry is free, but you must get there early to get a place to stand inside the courtyard.
The Stuttgart Christmas market has a great tradition; it’s one of the most beautiful and also one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. It was mentioned and documented for the first time in 1692.
The splendidly decorated inner courtyard of the Old Castle offers a perfect setting for the performance of the boys’ choir, the Hymnus-Chorknaben, and the performance of brass instruments of the Stuttgart music school. They all provide a wonderful pre-Christmas atmosphere.
The 25-meter high red spruce Christmas tree, one of the tallest in Germany, is located at the Schlossplatz and is decorated with more than 40,000 lights. Following the official opening, the Christmas tree will then be illuminated in a festive setting at approx. 7:20 p.m. Admission is free to the concert at the inner courtyard.
Nov. 26–Dec. 22: Esslingen’s medieval Christmas market features over 180 booths and huts in the city center. Costumed vendors offer arts and crafts, food and drink, plus there’s plenty of entertainment, such as jugglers, fire-breathers and jousting. The combination of both of the medieval market life with the cultural treasures of the city, the magnificent half-timbered houses and the historic buildings makes this market unique. The market opened Nov. 26; it’s open Sunday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Nov. 30–Dec. 1: The Christmas market is located in downtown Vaihingen and spans from the town hall to the Schwaben Galerie shopping mall. On Nov. 30, the market will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cannstatt World Christmas Market
Nov. 26–Dec. 23: The World Christmas Market will be held in the historic center of Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. The Christmas market spans around the Gothic city church and the town hall, along Marktstrasse all the way to Erbsenbrunnen fountain with lots of attractions. The market is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Möhringen Christmas market
Nov 30: The Möhringen Christmas market, located on Maierstrasse next to the Martin’s Church, is open for one day only, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The market offers handmade decorations, jewelry and pottery, as well as hearty foods.
Böblingen Elbenplatz, Stadtmitte am Unteren See.
Nov. 27–Dec. 1: The Böblingen Lake sets the stage for this traditional Christmas market with entertainment, shopping and food. The market will be open from noon to 9 p.m.
Dec. 6–8: The Sindelfingen Christmas Market will be held all throughout the downtown area. The market will offer handmade arts and crafts, entertainment, a live nativity scene, a historic merry-go-round, food and Glühwein. The market will be open Dec. 6, 6-10 p.m., Dec. 7 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Nov. 26–Dec. 22: A baroque-inspired Christmas village is located in Ludwigsburg’s historic downtown area, the market place (Marktplatz). The market is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dec. 7: 11 a.m.–8 p.m : The Engelesmarkt, or angel’s market, is located at Neuer Markt in downtown Leinfelden. The market features a holiday concert and choir performance on Dec. 7.
Saturdays, Nov 30/Dec 7/Dec 14/ Dec 21
The Adventszauber, or Advent magic, will be held at Rathausplatz in the downtown area. Shoppers will enjoy live music and choir performances by local clubs and associations. The market will be open on Saturdays only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and musical entertainment will be from 11 a.m.–noon.
Tübingen ChocolART 2019
Dec. 3–8: The market spans all throughout Tübingen’s historic downtown area and features hundreds of decorated huts and booths set up in front of the city’s beautiful half-timbered houses. If you are looking for an extraordinary holiday gift, Tübingen is the ideal place. Most of the goods offered are handmade: jams and honey, shawls, gloves, ceramics, toys, paintings, candles and Christmas tree decorations. The market will open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Nov. 30–Dec. 21: The market is located in the downtown Fellbach area and spans around the city’s town hall. Music, festively-decorated booths, a fairy-tale tent and an ice skating rink are also featured. The market will open on 30 Nov at 5 p.m.; Monday to Friday from noon to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Outside of Swabia
Nov. 29–Dec. 24: Bavaria’s second largest city, with more than 400 years of Christmas market tradition, continues until Christmas Eve, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Until then, it’s open daily 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Nov. 26–Dec. 23: The big Bamberger Weihnachtsmarkt, is Monday–Saturday 9:30 a.m.–8 p.m., in the old part of the city. In addition to the market, there are dozens of other things to see, such as art exhibits, nativity scenes at different churches, music and food. Bamberg is an epic city to visit regardless of season, and is especially enticing with holiday decorations and light.
Nov. 23–Dec. 23: Two for one in the joined towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen. The Garmisch market stretches along the long pedestrian zone, mostly clustered in the square adjacent to the Kurpark, and Partenkirchen’s is on historic Ludwigstrasse. You’ll find tons of booths offering food, drink, decorations and gifts. The city promises the “heavenly scent of roasted chestnuts.” The Garmisch side continues daily until Dec. 23, 12 – 8 p.m. (Saturdays until 9 p.m.) Info about the Partenkirchen side was not available at press time. As a bonus, the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks in the pedestrian zone and New Year’s event at the Olympic alpine ski jump are beyond memorable. Bundle up, as it can be very cold next to Germany’s highest peak.
Castles and a Monastery
Nov. 26–Dec. 22: The medieval Christmas market in Durlach near Karlsruhe, features medieval honey wine, jousting tournaments and fire-breathers, as well as glass blowing, gift huts and more. The market islocated at Schlossplatz in front of the “Karlsburg” Castle and will open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Hechingen Royal Christmas market at Burg Hohenzollern
Nov. 29–Dec. 1 and Dec. 6-8: Burg Hohenzollern Royal Christmas market claims to be one of the most romantic German Christmas markets held in a castle setting. Visitors can enjoy the castle’s atmosphere and history while shopping for family and friends in the castle’s courtyard and ramparts. There is an entry fee of 10 E for visitors 17 and over, which includes parking and a shuttle bus service. The market will be open Friday 2-8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Nov. 25 to Dec. 22: The Christmas market will be held in Heidelberg’s picturesque downtown area. More than 140 vendors will offer magical presents and souvenirs, holiday-inspired foods and more. The market will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Dec 7 and 8: The Maulbronn Monastry is one of the most well-preserved medieval monasteries north of the Alps. The difference from other Christmas market is the special atmosphere and high quality arts and crafts, woodwork, Christmas floristry, nativity scenes, jewelry and plenty of food. Opening hours: Saturday 7 Dec open from 12 until 9 and Sunday from 11 to 7.
Dec. 14–15, 11 am until midnight: The Advent market will be held in and around the Neuenbürg Castle and makes for one of the most festive Christmas markets in the region. The castle was built 1200 A.C. by the Dukes of Calw-Vaihingen. More than 60 vendors will offer arts and crafts, wooden sculptures, jewelry, holiday inspired food and beverages, and musical entertainment. Parking will be available downtown Neuenbürg and shuttle buses will take visitors from Wilhelmshöhe, Rathaus and Schloss stops to and from the castle. Shuttle bus tickets 1 euro per person.
Burg Stettenfels Medieval Advents market
Dec. 21, 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, 22 December from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.: On only two days, Burg Stettenfels features medieval traditions such brewed honey wine, jousting tournaments and fire-breathers, as well as glass blowing, many gift huts and more. They also feature Stollen, a holiday cake.