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I’m Dreaming of a German Christmas Market

Updated on February 18, 2014
Entrance to the historic Christmas Market of Berlin.
Entrance to the historic Christmas Market of Berlin.

The annual markets began in the 14th century


Christmas in Germany brings every Christmas card and folklore to life. From beautifully lit trees and hand painted ornaments; to wandering carolers, bundled up against the crisp night air, as fluffy white snowflakes fall.


Living in Germany for ten years, offered my family many unique opportunities to enjoy its culture. We all loved living in the quaint countryside of Bavaria and getting to know our neighbors, who made us feel right at home. Through the friendships we formed, we were able to experience many things as welcomed members of the community. Of all the celebrations, we enjoyed the Christmas Markets best. The annual markets began in the 14th century as a way for town’s people and villagers to buy supplies for the long, cold winters. Originally, vendors offered dried meats and preserved-food items, blankets, woolen clothing, boots and shoes.


Soon, a more festive atmosphere began. Handmade toys and painted ornaments were offered. Cookies, candy and other festive foods were added, and before long, the market became a cherished holiday tradition.

Traditional Christmas Market of Jena, Thuringia
Traditional Christmas Market of Jena, Thuringia | Source
Christmas Decoration on display at the Dresden Christmas Market
Christmas Decoration on display at the Dresden Christmas Market | Source
Nurnberg Christmas Market
Nurnberg Christmas Market | Source
Christmas in Nurnberg
Christmas in Nurnberg | Source
One of many stalls to buy orniments
One of many stalls to buy orniments | Source

I can almost smell the bratwurst cooking

Christmas Markets are held in old town squares, on cobblestone streets in the shadows of Gothic cathedrals and castles, which adds to their old world charm. Starting the end of November, the Christmas Markets are open daily from 10:00 am - 10:00 pm, until Christmas Eve.

Some of the items you can find at today’s Christmas Market’s are beautiful hand carved, painted wooden ornaments, crèches, painted glass ornaments and handmade toys. A trip to the Christmas Market is not complete without trying some of the festive German specialties such as, grilled bratwurst; hot mulled wine or cider, gingerbread cookies, or roasted almonds and chestnuts.

Officially, there are 60 Christmas Markets held throughout Germany, from Cologne to Munich, but my favorite will always be the market in Nuremberg.

A word to the wise, if you plan on visiting these markets, dress warmly. One of the nuances of the Christmas Market is the cold winter weather, and occasional snow flurries, only adds to its alluring charm.

Yes, I can almost smell the bratwurst cooking and the gingerbread in the air.

The Christmas Market of Cologne has the tallest Christmas tree in the region.
The Christmas Market of Cologne has the tallest Christmas tree in the region. | Source
Christmas Market of Munich, in front of the Munich Town Hall.
Christmas Market of Munich, in front of the Munich Town Hall. | Source
Christmas Market of Munich at Marienplatz.
Christmas Market of Munich at Marienplatz. | Source

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    • miss_jkim profile imageAUTHOR

      miss_jkim 

      7 years ago

      Good idea Justilvie. I have such fond memories of both Germany and Austria. We were always skiing, hiking, and enjoying all that good food. I need to quit before I go on a bratwurst binge!

    • profile image

      Justsilvie 

      7 years ago

      Lovely Article, Enjoyed it very much!

      Austria and Baveria are very much alike in fact, they really should join up and make a new country since so many traditons and holidays are shared between them.

    • miss_jkim profile imageAUTHOR

      miss_jkim 

      7 years ago

      I agree kids-toy-box, I don't remember ever seening anyone without a heart warming smile. Thank you for bringing that memory to mind.

    • kids-toy-box profile image

      kids-toy-box 

      7 years ago

      Hmm I Love the Christmas markets in Berlin--really cosy. I love the smell of Gluwein and Ginger cookies...but most of all I love how happy people seem.

    • miss_jkim profile imageAUTHOR

      miss_jkim 

      7 years ago

      You are SO right Toni, I would return to that simpler way of life in a heart beat.

      So glad you stopped in and gave it a read.

    • profile image

      mrs_tbrumelow 

      7 years ago

      Yes, so wish I could go back, life was such a Blessed pace, not hurried. It was beautiful, smelled wonderful.t Absolutely wish I could go back.

    • miss_jkim profile imageAUTHOR

      miss_jkim 

      7 years ago

      I do miss those "good ole' days"

      Thanks for the read.

    • profile image

      mimoma 

      7 years ago

      We[our entire family] remembers these every Christmas..

      'UNIQUE' is the word and 'You don't want to miss this' is the phrase..Thanks for the sweet memories!

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