Get ready to indulge in the Christmas spirit!
Germany has along history of rich Christmas traditions that live on today through its festive holiday markets. Spend some time exploring the spectacular ancient, medieval, and Renaissance cities on our itineraries, noteworthy any time of year but particularly special adorned in their holiday finery.
As varied as its melting pot of cultures and storied past, Historic Highlights of Germany member cities are as well-known for their preserved customs and traditions, outstanding cuisine and unique heritage. Characterized by their own distinctive settings and regional traditions, our cities offer a wide range of regional Christmas markets as a more intimate alternative.
Feel the unique atmosphere! Meet up with friends and family and enjoy ‘Glühwein’ (mulled wine) together. The twinkling scenes of festively decorated squares with their enchanting market stalls and glittering Christmas trees set against the backdrop of beautiful historic buildings, let visitors relieve the magic of yesteryear. The aromas of roasted chestnuts, grilled sausages, gingerbread and delicious biscuits fill the air and help create that very special yuletide ambience – Germany’s time of festive magic.
Historic Highlights of Germany has compiled four regional Christmas journeys of the country that will allow you to experience the best of its Christmas markets, cheerful atmosphere, and unique yuletide traditions.
Peaceful Christmas Breaks
A special attraction of Osnabrück’s Christmas market is the largest Christmas music box in the world. Atmospheric bright lights illuminate the Old Town as a lovingly restored children´s merry-go-round from 1907 turns and festively decorated stalls offer craftworks, wooden toys, or sweets. St. Nikolaus visits each day to open a window on the huge Advent calendar in front of the “Rathaus” (City Hall) where Osnabrück’s treaty of the Peace of Westphalia was signed in 1648.
When the “Prinzipalmarkt” (Principal Market) is bathed in a golden light, shops and museums are subtly illuminated, and the entire city center is festively decorated, the city’s Christmas markets open their doors, marking the beginning of a magical time in Münster. There are five different Christmas markets, all just minutes away from one another by foot. Do not miss the “Rathaus” (City Hall) with the historic “Friedenssaal” (Hall of Peace) and the magnificent “St. Lambertikirche” (St. Lamberti Church).
The smell of “Printen” (a type of gingerbread) fills the air as you stroll through the Christmas market in Aachen. Printen are the signature Christmas treat of Aachen and they are only produced in or near the city. Everywhere around the imposing cathedral and the city hall merchants sell their goods in small stalls. The atmosphere between the cathedral and the town hall is unique. The Christmas market even has a mascot: the “Printenmann” (Gingerbread Man), who is 6 meters tall.
Advent is Wiesbaden’s star season as its Twinkling Star Christmas market takes place on the idyllic “Schlossplatz” (Palace Square) alongside the historic city palace. Seasonal concerts, ice skating, carol singing, nativity plays and fairytale tellers add to a peaceful atmosphere.
© Image Rights: Header – Joachim Viertel, Aachener Printen – ATS, Christmas in Freiburg – FWTM/Schoenen, Christmas Market Augsburg – Regio Augsburg/Wolfgang B.Kleiner, CocolArt Tübingen – H