Germany's best Christmas markets

christmas market in berlin with snowflakes in december, (photo by iStock)
christmas market in berlin with snowflakes in december

The nights are drawing in, the new John Lewis advert has recently aired - it can mean only one thing: Christmas is coming. Getting in the festive mood can be a bit of a struggle for some, but there is nothing better than the sights and delights of a German Christmas market to inspire your festive side. With this in mind, we have devised a selection of the best three German cities to visit this Christmas. All of the markets featured in this blog are open from the mid/ end of November until December 23rd.




Munich’s main Christmas market is held in the stunning city centre square, Marienplatz, where the imposing gothic town hall building embosses itself onto the night sky. A 30 metre tall Christmas tree, which is donated by a different municipality each year, sits at the centre of the square. The market itself is vibrant, colourful and a hive of activity: the ubiquitous German Christmas market. Expect to find plenty of Bavarian produce and treats on sale throughout the 1500 wooden huts that make up the market. Aside from the main Christmas market, there are plenty more to choose from. The Kripperlmarkt, for example, is just a short walk from the city centre square and focuses on the nativity, selling everything you could possibly need (or think of!) to create your own nativity scene. If this isn’t enough to temp you into feeling festive, then perhaps the weather will; as Bavaria lies in the south of Germany, expect a healthy covering of snow from mid November into the New Year.




No blog involving Germany would be complete without paying homage in some way to its capital, and this is no exception. As a city, Berlin has over 50 Christmas markets each year. The main market is held in the courtyard by the Gedächtniskirche and attracts a staggering 2 million visitors per year. In close proximity is Potsdamer Platz, which boats Europe’s largest mobile toboggan run. With such a variety of festive fun at your fingertips, Berlin has it all: from mulled wine and cider to local crafts and delicacies to local theatre and music.  




The largest Christmas market Germany has to offer is set in the shadow of the breath-taking Cologne cathedral. It really has to be seen to be believed: hundreds of brightly lit red tents, centring on a huge Christmas tree (the largest in Germany), pathways criss-crossed with festoon lighting; all encircled by a UNESCO world heritage sight. As well as being the largest in Germany, Cologne is one of the most traditional Christmas markets, specialising in local delicacy from mulled wine to hog roasts.  


If we have inspired you to head off to Germany for a pre-Christmas festive break (as we hope we have!), why not try our new range of language guides, Confident Germanbefore you go? Included in the guide are a 280-page course book, a 1-hour audio cd and access to online audio content, which will really help you polish those bartering skills!