When: 27th November to 23rd December, 2016
Where: All over Germany
There is an air of festivity that fills the air in end November and continues till Christmas. Heralding the approach of the festive season, the streets are brightly lit, Christmas trees adorned with tinsel and little red bells and stars line the streets and people are out late doing their Christmas shopping. Concerts are staged, both outdoors and indoors, classical and modern. Street plays performed, musicians show off their talent and generally there is very festive and happy air around.
This is when Germany is at its colourful best - white snows, green Christmas trees, red tinkling bells and families out on the streets. Come, join in the festivities!
The Christmas Market tradition in Dresden dates back to 1434. Known as the Striezelmarkt, this market has something for everyone. Handmade crafts, candle holders and natural indigo-dyed textiles are just some of the things you can buy to take back as souvenirs. The main attraction is the world's tallest Christmas pyramid, towering up to a height of 14 metres.
Highlights - The Stollen Festival (be sure to take a bite of the Christmas cake 'stollen', which is something of a delicacy in Dresden) and attend the Pyramid Festival.
The Market square in the Old Town transforms into a magical medieval setting with over 180 colourful wooden huts draped with red and green cloth in keeping with Christmas theme that stock the most amazing handicrafts. Look out for the little figurines made of dried plum to take back home. Be sure to taste the signature bratwurst and the famed Nuremberg gingerbread.
Highlights - The Opening ceremony on 25 Nov 2013 of the Christmas market will be performed by the Christmas Angel - a little girl dressed as an angel who reads out the preamble from the Cathedral’s balcony and formally declares the Christmas market open.
The Lantern Procession takes place in the evening and sees 1500 kids walk up the hill to the Nuremburg castle. It is a magical time to say the least!
If you are travelling with kids, there is a Christmas market for the kids to enjoy too!
Berlin is the quintessential Christmas market city with sixty - yes, sixty Christmas markets all over the city! A not-to- be missed one is the historic market at Gendarmenmarkt square. Surrounded by beautifully lit cathedrals the fair grounds are quite magical and one can wander around and actually see the craftsmen at work. Musicians will serenade you as you stroll by and jugglers will perform a special act for you on request. It's an electric atmosphere and a great time to be here. This is the only Christmas market where there is an entry fee – Euro 1 for adults and kids under 12 years go free.
Highlights - Since this particular market is held right up to 31 Dec, one can plan to ring in the New Year here. Lots of fun, music and dancing happens and entry on 31 Dec after 8 pm is hiked up to Euro 10 per person – a small price to pay for the massive amount of fun you will have!
No fewer than seven Christmas markets take place all over the city, with the main four being in held front of the Cologne Cathedral, at Neumarkt, Alter Markt and Rudolfplatz.
The Cologne Cathedral provides a stunning backdrop to the market held in the cathedral square in front of it. The hallmark of this market is 160 wooden pavilions filled with trinkets and crafts as well drink a toast for the festive season with 'mulled wine'. Paradoxically the oldest Christmas market is held at Neumarkt where artisans showcase their crafts and merrymaking and festivity ring in the air. Alter Markt with its gabled roof tops and half timbered stall attract children who have loads of fun riding on the merry go rounds and watching puppet shows in addition to pestering their parents to indulge them and buy the lovely toys on display. At Rudolfplatz be transported back to fairyland with large fairytale figures and the illuminations being the crowd pullers.
Highlights - The largest Christmas tree in Rhineland is on display the market in front of the Cologne Cathedral. Every night at 6pm there is a free music concert held at the square in front of the cathedral and one can sway to gospel, jazz and rock music.
Over 200 beautifully decorated stalls make up one of the oldest and prettiest Christmas markets in all of Germany. Held at Schlossplatz, a fairy tale atmosphere fills the air and with beautiful illuminations and Christmas decorations the market at Stuttgart draws a million visitors each year. Concerts, musicians and festivities are on the agenda and this is a time for merry making!
Highlights - At this market there is a one of kind open air skating rink that is the big attraction.