Planning Your Trip for the German Christmas Markets

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum, wie treu sind deine Blätter!

If you read my last post, then you know my heritage when it comes to Germany. This December I wanted to share an itinerary for a one-week trip to Germany to visit the Christmas markets. Germany is known for their Christmas markets in December, and my husband and I were able to mark this trip off on our bucket list this year. We always believe in a trip over wrapped gifts on Christmas morning.

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Famous German Gingerbread

Gluhwein, stollen, and the best places to visit are sure to be found in this post. Enjoy!

München (Munich) – Day 1-3

Munich is known for their festive beer and Oktoberfest, but their Christmas markets are a well-kept secret. In Munich you will find multiple markets both traditional and modern. We truly enjoyed the traditional market in Marienplatz. Munich is buzzing during Advent, and Marienplatz is the place to be.

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Marienplatz Market

If you are visiting Munich on a short holiday, make time to see Marienplatz and focus on these sites: Old Town Hall, New Town Hall, the Column of St. Mary and – my favorite – the Glockenspiel, a clock tower that houses motorized figurines. Every day at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5 p.m. a performance of motorized figurines dance, joust, and twirl around the inside of the tower. The performance lasts 12 minutes and ends with the chirp of a cuckoo bird coming out above the display.

It makes sense that Munich’s Christmas Markets will be housed in Marienplatz. Enjoy a smaller traditional market with homemade ornaments and Gluhwein.

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Although it isn’t a Christmas Market, you can’t miss the Viktualienmarkt in the heart of the city. Since the 1800’s this market has been perfect for world traveler foodies. Almost every country is represented in this farmer’s market.

Viktualienmarkt

The market is full of flowers, fruits, fish, desserts, juices, spices, meats, wines, tea and more. You can eat your way through every country represented. All of the food is fresh and organic. You don’t want to miss the French yogurt or Swiss cheese. Your taste buds will tingle walking through this market.

Nürnberg (Nuremberg) – (Day 3-5)

A two-hour car ride north of Munich, you will find Nuremberg. This can’t be missed on your trip. Nuremberg is a traditional German town, much different from the modern cityscape of Munich. It also houses the oldest and most traditional Christmas market in Germany.

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Beautiful market stalls in Nuremberg

Prior to this trip, I had visited Nuremberg before and fell in love with this town. I found it fascinating that over 90% of the city was destroyed in WWII. The citizens of Nuremberg rebuilt the city using the exact same bricks, shingles, and glass. What once was rubble, they found a way to rebuild their city. I found such pride in this, and it shows in the magic of Nuremberg.

The world-famous Christkindlesmarkt (Christ-like Child Market) is in the city center. This is the oldest Christmas Market in Germany. More than 180 market stands – all decorated for Christmas with fresh garland and lights – invite you to enjoy traditional Christmas German treats. You will find ornaments, the local gold-foil angel, “Zwetschgenmännle” made of prunes, delicious holiday treats, and my favorite heidelbeer gluhwein.

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We highly recommend a tour with Wie Schmeckt Meine Stadt. The owner, Claudia, is a fantastic guide! You won’t be disappointed.

Heidelberg (Day 5-7)

If you know me well, then you know I can’t go to Germany without visiting my favorite city. Heidelberg is where my mom was born, so it is close to my heart. We were excited to once again visit this quaint town, which has turned into my husband’s favorite German stop over the years.

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Heidelberg’s Christmas markets are spread out throughout the city, but it is so easy to get around the town. Heidelberg is built on the grid-system making transportation and walking so easy. In Old Town, you will find the beautiful ice-rink with the background setting of the Heidelberg Castle.

The castle beams on the hill at night. Take a stroll at night to the castle to enjoy the scenic view of the entire city. You will see the famous ice-rink and the entire city bustling with the Christmas spirit.

While in Heidelberg also enjoy our favorite restaurant for some traditional German cuisine. Hackteufel is our favorite restaurant in the world (literally). Enjoy the Wiener Kalbsschnitzel mit Bratkartoffeln und Salat (schnitzel) and Pfälzer Wurstsalat mit Bratkartoffeln (Palatine style cold cuts salad with home fried potatoes). You can also enjoy great beer and Gluhwein here.

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I have so much love for this restaurant and their beautiful Christmas decor.

I am very grateful for our short trip to Germany this Christmas. Enjoy these tips and the most beautiful Christmas markets you will ever see.

Wishing you and your family lots of love and joy this holiday season. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts through this outlet. Cheers to 2019 and your next trip abroad.

Tyler and Katie
With love from our family to yours! Germany 2018

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