The holiday season is about to begin and it’s time for the many Christmas markets known to Germans as “Weihnachtsmärkte,” or “Christkindlesmärkte.” The following will provide you with information on some of the most popular markets throughout the region. So venture out, explore and take in the season’s offerings. After all, Christmas markets are a treat for all senses — a feast for your eyes, ears, taste buds and soul.
Nov. 29 to Dec. 23: The Stuttgart 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.
Children of all ages can enjoy an ice rink, a small Ferris wheel and a miniature train. A Finnish Christmas village can be found at Karlsplatz. 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. 29, the market will be open from 5-9 p.m. and Dec. 16 (long shopping night) from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Stuttgart’s “Wintertraum,” or winter’s dream village, is located on Königstrasse, next to Schlossplatz, and features an ice skating rink and various booths selling Christmas market-inspired food and beverages, such as Bratwurst, Crêpe, roasted almonds, Glühwein and more. Wintertraum will open Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. until Jan. 1, 2018. Wintertaum will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. For special opening hours, visit http://www.wintertraum-stuttgart.de.
Nov. 28 to 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 market will open Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The market will be 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. On Dec. 22, the market is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Nov. 23 to Dec. 23: A baroque-inspired Christmas village is located in Ludwigsburg’s historic downtown area. The market is illuminated by arches and gates made up of thousands of tiny lights. More than 170 stands offer Christmas decorations, handmade candles, jewelry and much more. The market is also famous for its freshly baked gingerbread and “Holzofendinnede,” or Swabian pizza. The market is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Nov. 29 to Dec. 3: The Böblingen Lake sets the stage for this traditional Christmas market with entertainment, shopping and food. The market will be open Wednesday to Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., Sunday noon to 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 2: The Möhringen Christmas market, located on Maierstrasse next to the Martin’s Church, will be open for one day only, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The market offers handmade decorations, jewelry and pottery, as well as hearty food and freshly-made “Glühwein,” or mulled wine. The market also is known as Stuttgart’s largest fund-raising Christmas market.
Dec. 2-3: The Christmas market is located in downtown Vaihingen and spans from the town hall to the “Schwaben Galerie” shopping mall. More than 120 booths offer Christmas decorations, arts and crafts, and food. Children can enjoy a merry-go-round and bouncy castle. A historic “Old Toy Railways in Operation” exhibition will be held at the “Bürger Forum” (Schwabenplatz 3) on the Schwabenplatz Square exclusively during the Christmas market. Dec. 2, the market will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Dec. 2-20: The Schorndorfer “Weihnachtswelt,” or Christmas world, will be held throughout the historic downtown area and at the market square in front of the town hall.
A life-size nativity scene, sheep, arts and crafts and seasonal food and beverages will be offered. The market will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dec. 1-3/ Dec. 8-10/ Dec. 15-17/ Dec. 22-23: Enjoy the season at the “Adventswald,” or advent forest, in Rudersberg (Rems-Murr district). Large fir trees will turn the “Alte Rathausplatz” into a festively-illuminated advent forest and Christmas market with cherished offerings of the season all provided by local vendors. Visitors can indulge in Swiss raclette (melted Swiss cheese), “Maroni,” or roasted chestnuts, homemade organic potato chips and cherry Glühwein.
The advent forest will be open on weekends only: Friday from 5-10 p.m., Saturday from 2-10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 1-20: The market is located in the downtown 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 be open 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.
Dec. 8-10: More than 50 decorated booths will offer a colorful array of gifts, crafts, food and more. The market will be open Friday from 2-8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 8-10: 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. 8 from 6-10 p.m., Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cannstatt World Christmas Market
Nov. 30 to 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 noon to 9 p.m. Patrons can indulge in holiday-inspired foods, drinks, gifts and a special stage program with music and dance performances. This year, the market will feature a small Christmas garden at the city church, where visitors can sit in front of bonfires between Christmas trees to enjoy a festive ambiance. The “Niklasmarkt” will be held Dec. 9, at the market square and along Markstrasse from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 9-10: The “Engelesmarkt,” or angel’s market, is located at “Neuer Markt” in downtown Leinfelden. The market features a holiday concert and choir performance Dec. 9 at 3 to 9 p.m. Small booths offer arts and crafts, food and homemade baked goods. The market is open Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 2/ Dec. 9/ Dec. 16/ Dec. 23: The “Adventszauber,” or Advent magic, will be held at Rathausplatz in the downtown area. Shoppers can enjoy “Bratwürste,” or brats, and Glühwein as well as 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.
Dec. 15-17: 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 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Chocoholics beware: Tübingen will host the “ChocolART” chocolate festival Dec. 5-10. The festival will feature more than 100 chocolatiers from Europe, South and North America, and Africa offering fine chocolate creations. Chocoholics will be glad to hear that they can sample all chocolates on the spot. Open Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Nov. 27 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, Glühwein, holiday-inspired foods and more. An ice rink will be located at Karlsplatz. The market will be open Sunday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Dec. 1-10: The adventure Christmas market in Bad Hindelang offers visitors a Christmas village between snowy mountains in the Bavarian Alps and Oberallgäu region. The picturesque village makes for a festive and magical setting. On Dec. 1, the “Christkind,” or Christ Child, which is the traditional gift bringer during Christmas time mainly in European countries and depicted as an angelic looking figure with blond hair and wings, will officially open the market by lighting 200.000 lights.
The market also offers a children’s Christmas market, various special events, winter treats and holiday-inspired souvenirs. The market will be open Dec. 1-2 from 4-9:30 p.m., Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Dec. 4-7 from 2-9 p.m., Dec. 8 from 2-9:30 p.m., Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.hindelanger-weihnachtsmarkt.de.
Nov. 28 to Dec. 22: The medieval Christmas market in Durlach, near Karlsruhe, features medieval traditions such as brewing “Met,” or honey wine, jousting tournaments and fire-breathers, as well as glass blowing, gift huts and more. The market is located at Schlossplatz in front of the “Karlsburg” Castle and will be open Sunday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Dec. 1-3, and Dec. 8-10: The 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 for visitors 17 and over, which includes parking and a shuttle bus service. The market will be open Friday from 2-8 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Dec. 9-10: 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 70 vendors will offer arts and crafts, wooden sculptures, jewelry, felted accessories and more. Holiday-inspired food and beverages and musical entertainment will also be provided. The market will be open Dec. 9 from 2-9 p.m. and Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 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 cost €1 per person.
Dec. 9-10: The Maulbronn Monastery is one of the most well-preserved medieval monasteries north of the Alps. During the Christmas market, visitors can take in the historic atmosphere while enjoying sugar cookies, Glühwein, Bratwurst and “Schupfnudeln,” or Swabian potato noodles. The market offers arts and crafts, felted accessories, jewelry, home decor, Christmas decorations and fine honey products. Musical performances also create a festive atmosphere throughout the market. The market will be open Dec. 9 from noon to 9 p.m. and Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Dec. 8-11 and Dec. 15-17: Bruchsal’s baroque castle serves as the backdrop for a romantic fairytale Christmas market. Visitors can enjoy Glühwein, shop for gifts, taste fresh Weihnachtsstollen (sweet Christmas bread) or simply enjoy the live music. The market will be open Friday and Saturday from 3-9 p.m., Sunday from 1-9 p.m., and Dec. 11 from 3-9 p.m.
Dec. 17-18: Burg (fortress) Stettenfels in Untergruppenbach, near Heilbronn, will hold a medieval Christmas market. Visitors can stroll through the castle’s courtyards and outer buildings to shop and enjoy the season’s offerings. Glühwein, gingerbread, and “Stollen,” or sweetened fruit bread, as well as decorations and candles can be purchased. Entrance to the fortress is €5 for adults; children 15 years old and under are free. On Dec. 17, the market will be open from 1-9 p.m. and Dec. 18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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