I wrote this blog a year ago and I can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas AGAIN! So, I thought it would be a good idea to update my blog.
I’ve personally been to a great number of Christmas markets in my life and I still love them! One of my favourite markets is Düsseldorf, and whenever I’m there visiting friends and family for Christmas, I make it a priority to go. I love how there are lots of markets spread all over the city with each one being decorated differently.
The Christmas market in Schadowplatz has a more minimalistic and cooler feel to it, whereas the others have been designed using more traditional decorations and warm lighting.
Glühwein and winter spices – It’s Christmas!
Enjoy the wonderful atmosphere as you wander through the market – there’s nothing like the smell of Glühwein and winter spices to get you in the festive mood. The products on offer can vary from being individually hand-crafted items to (unfortunately) the mass-produced ones that you see everywhere.
Do you know poffertjes?
Whenever I’m there, I always make a point of seeking out a stall selling my absolute favourite Christmas food – a Dutch speciality called poffertjes. These are tiny pancakes that you can add your own topping. I like mine with icing sugar and butter. Christmas isn’t the time to be counting the calories! One particular poffertjes stall in Schadowplatz has practically been located in the same spot every year for more than 40 years! It’s run by the Linker family and even the younger generation of the family have started to help out too. The poffertjes here are slightly more expensive than other stalls but the family only use good-quality ingredients and you will certainly be able to taste the difference.
Düsseldorf offers good children’s entertainment
You’ll also find a stage for children’s entertainment at this market, small huts serving mulled wine (Glühwein), a good choice of warming hot drinks and handmade products for sale. My favourite market in Düsseldorf is the Angel market (Engelsmarkt), which is beautifully decorated with warm, festive lighting. It’s located just by the Heinrich-Heine-Allee tube station, close to Galeria Kaufhof.
Ice rink fun
If you enjoy ice-skating, you should head off to Corneliusplatz. This year Düsseldorf’s ice hockey team (DEG) has organised the DEG-Winter world (DEG-Winterwelt) for the first time.
For catering and event bookings call: +49 211 – 50 66 39 33
Bookings for ice skating and curling call: +49 173-8833401
Bookings for the Füchschen hut call: +49 211 – 50 66 39 33
Hotline opening times: Mon – Fri 9am – 3pm
Nuremberg’s historic Christkindlesmarkt
I’ve also been to the Christmas market in Nuremberg (Christkindlesmarkt). This market was ranked 63 out of 100 most popular places in Germany in 2017, according to the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). Located in the historical town square of Hauptmarkt, it’s the perfect setting for a traditional market. Millions of tourists from all over the world visit every year to take in the Christmas atmosphere and enjoy the traditional Nuremberg sausage (Rostbratwurst), either as you’re browsing around the market or, as I prefer, sitting in one of the cosy restaurants like ‘Zum goldenen Stern’, where they serve Bratwurst freshly grilled over an open fire. Not that they’re not fresh on the market but I do prefer to sit down for a meal unless I’m in a rush. All in all, I like the market in Nuremberg, but to be honest, I prefer smaller markets, as I find them far more charming.
Magical markets in North Rhine-Westphalia
Other Christmas markets worth a visit are in Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), Cologne (Köln), Münster and Essen. Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne and Münster are all historical University cities with attractive architecture, making them perfect for a Christmas market. Essen is the centre of the Ruhr region, which is famous for its iron, coal and steel industries. In 2010, it was voted the European capital of culture and has undergone massive redevelopment, which now attracts many companies to move their headquarters to the city.
Apart from the big markets, which are already well-known, there are a number of smaller markets worth checking out. One of them is also in North Rhine-Westphalia, in the historical town of Kempen, close to Krefeld and Mönchengladbach. The market is only open at weekends and is located in the old town with its beautiful old timbered houses and narrow, winding streets. A variety of handcrafted art products are offered as well as the usual culinary delights.
The charm of the smaller markets
If you fancy a trip to Bavaria, why not combine it with a trip to the Christmas market in Munich and the quaint town of Bad Tölz, with its charming architecture lining the historical Marktstraße and its narrow, cobbled streets in the former craftsman´s quarter.
In the north of Germany, the Hamburg Christmas market around Rathausmarkt is certainly one worth mentioning. However, the market in the historical city of Bremen attracts more than 3 million visitors every year and comprises of about 200 stalls around the Roland monument in the market square. Another city that shouldn’t be missed is the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. Lübeck is very famous for its marzipan. This 366-year-old traditional Christmas market is located in front of the historical town hall. The stalls are decorated with thousands of lights – creating the perfect Christmas atmosphere.
The Christmas markets are as colourful and diverse as Berlin
Berlin has markets all over the city. The largest being at Charlottenburg Castle, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and Alexanderplatz. However, Berlin has much more to offer with its more unusual markets like the Danish and Swedish markets in Berlin-Wilmersdorf or the Kreuzboerg design market. Many people also rave about the Alt-Rixdorfer Christmas market in Richardplatz (Berlin-Neukölln), which opens on the first weekend of December.
I wish you all a lovely time at wherever you go to a Christmas market and enjoy the festive atmosphere!