The Christmas holiday season is here once again! The best thing about being in Europe during the fall semester
If you have the luck of spending your study abroad semester in Germany, you pretty much won the Christmas market lottery. Almost every town has its own enchanting market offering you sweets, mulled wine as well as plenty of fun activities.
If you are a Christmas-lover, do a shameless Christmas market crawl!
Berlin takes Christmas very seriously! The more than 60 lavishly indulgent Christmas markets are the only proof you will need. However, the classic Gendarmenmarkt is the royalty among them. It attracts over 600.000 visitors every year. It’s mainly known for all the unique handmade products on offer.
However, my favorite parts are the food stands and entertainment. You can indulge in high-quality hot chocolate, intense mulled wine, fried apples, waffles, crepes, artisan German sausages, cheeses from all corners of the country… Plus, they usually let you have a tiny
If you prefer something less crowded, check out the market at Charlottenburg Palace with its gastronomically diverse offering, or more modern markets at Potsdamer Platz and the Sony Center.
Nuremberg hosts Germany's most famous Christmas market - unarguably: Christkindlesmarkt. Frankly, I’m not surprised, the setting itself is enough to impress you. Nuremberg is a cool medieval city and visiting the market feels like traveling back in time.
The market dates back to 1628 and is located in the city’s largest square, Hauptmarkt. You will love the colors, sounds, and quality of the of the handcrafted merchandise. In fact, selling mass-produced products is strictly forbidden. Make sure to taste their mulled wine (Glühwein), spicy grilled sausage, and Nuremberg renowned gingerbread. Another local specialty is a little Prune Man (literally made out of dried prunes).
The Christmas market in the city that sits on the banks of River Elbe is worth visiting. Dresden’s Streizelmarkt dates all the way back to the 15th century which makes it the oldest of its kind in existence.
What are the perks? The market’s most famous treat is Streizel cake (Stollen cake) without which your German Christmas experience simply wouldn’t be complete. It’s a simple cake made with dried and/or candied fruit, marzipan, nuts, and various species.
If the child inside you is still alive, you can also enjoy a visit to the fairytale house or puppet theater. Other fun things to see at Streizelmarkt is the tallest Nutcracker as well as the tallest Christmas pyramid.
Christmas markets are set in various enchanting settings, but a Cologne cathedral is definitely one of the most impressive. This wondrous piece of gothic architecture will watch over you as you wander around the numerous stalls. The market in front of the cathedral is called ‘Am Dom’ market and features an incredibly high Christmas tree, one of the tallest in Germany. Again, you can enjoy sweet and savory treats and mulled wine.
However, this is not the only market in Cologne worth visiting. There are plenty of smaller markets with different themes scattered around town. They are either inspired by folk fairy tales!
Stuttgart’s epic Christmas market stretches over two large car-free squares. It is, again, one of the oldest and largest Christmas markets in Germany. The warm Christmas spirit is contagious in its super-festive atmosphere. There are over 300 stalls to browse through featuring lovely Christmas light and the best of Christmas decorations.
As for entertainment, don’t miss the top-class choirs and musicians performing every night in the courtyard of the Old Palace, right under its magical Christmas tree!
Christmas-Market-Crawl Insider Tips!
- Every market has its special Glühwein mug. You purchase it for a small fee, and it’s you to keep and reuse! Not only you get cheaper refills, but you’ll also gain an invaluable souvenir. Plus, it’s much better for the environment.
- Really do check out free choirs and concerts in churches, palaces or squares. It’s worth it!
- In each town, ask about their seasonal specialties. It’s likely there are some foods you can only buy during Christmas.
- Avoid getting cold! Comfort before style! You will spend hours outside in the very cold weather, so be smart!
- Do not drink mulled wine on an empty stomach!
Want to get the chance to learn about a new culture and live in the heart of a thriving European city? Study Abroad Apartments offers some great options for students planning to live abroad. Just get in touch with us if you need any help finding somewhere to stay and we’ll make sure you have one of the best options out there!