The best Christmas markets in Germany 2016

You haven’t done Christmas in Europe until you’ve been to a Christmas market, and Germany has some of the best.

Every Christmas, Germany’s market squares are transformed into traditional winter wonderlands. Wooden stalls dressed in lights are set up by locals selling homemade arts and crafts. There’s no shortage of traditional foods like sausages and mulled cider. Some even feature roaming carol singers and nativity plays.

There’s a certain magic about them that can’t be denied, and if you’re thinking of immersing yourself in a traditional and authentic European Christmas market experience, Germany won’t disappoint.
While each German market has its own unique qualities and charming characteristics, in our humble opinions these are the standouts.

Top Christmas markets in Germany


Munich Christmas markets

With a market history that dates back to the 14th century, Munich has one of the oldest and most traditional Christmas markets.

Nearly every suburb in Munich has a market. The most famous and longstanding, however, is in the city’s main square, Marienplatz. With more than 100 stalls, it features a 30-metre high Christmas tree lit by 2,500 candles.

  • Best market: Marienplatz
  • Dates: 25 November–24 December 2016
  • Opening hours: Monday–Saturday 10am–9pm, Sunday 10am–8pm
Munich Christmas Markets Tour
Christmas Markets of Germany


Berlin Christmas markets

In Berlin, you’ll be spoiled for choice with more than 60 traditional and cosmopolitan Christmas markets.

Being such an international city, you’ll find everything from traditional Christmas markets to Nordic markets and markets for dogs during yuletide in Berlin. The most resplendent is at Charlottenburg Palace. It features an elaborate light installation and marquees decorated with natural materials.

  • Best market: Charlottenburg Palace
  • Dates: 21 November–26 December 2016 (closed Christmas Day)
  • Opening hours: Monday–Thursday 2pm–10pm, Friday–Sunday and Boxing Day 12pm–10pm
Berlin Christmas Markets Walking Tour
Berlin Christmas Lights Tour
Christmas Markets of Poland, Prague and Germany


Cologne Christmas markets

With the scent of mulled wine and baked apples in the air and the sights and sounds of jugglers and glassblowers on the streets, Cologne’s Christmas market is a feast for the senses.

It’s little wonder then that millions of visitors come to experience Christmas here. Being a smaller city, it’s possible to visit all seven of its markets during your stay. With magical names such as Fairytale Christmas Market and Angels Christmas Market, how could you resist?

  • Best market: Cologne Old Town
  • Dates: 21 November–23 December 2016
  • Opening hours: Daily 11am–10pm
Cologne Rhine River Christmas Afternoon Cruise
Christmas Cruise on the Rhine
Magic of Advent on the Rhine (Basel - Cologne)


Frankfurt Christmas markets

Surrounded by traditional German houses in historic St Paul’s Square, Frankfurt’s main Christmas market is the picture of perfection.

Similar to Munich, Frankfurt’s Christmas market history dates back to the 14th century and is renowned for being one of the largest in the country. In St Paul’s Square, elaborately decorated stands accompany a beautifully lit Christmas tree that’s bound to take your breath away.

  • Best market: St Paul’s Square
  • Dates: 23 November–22 December 2016
  • Opening hours: Monday–Saturday 10am–9pm, Sunday 11am–9pm
Christmas Market Visit and Traditional German Chr...
Four Day Christmas Delight - Leipzig, Dresden and...
German Christmas Markets

More Christmas markets Germany dates and hours

Here's a quick breakdown of when these Christmas markets in Germany are open in 2016.

Christmas MarketDatesHours
Munich25 November until 24 December 2016Monday to Saturday: 10am–9pm; Sunday: 10am–8pm
Berlin21 November until 26 December 2016 (closed Christmas Day)Monday to Thursday: 2pm–10pm; Friday to Sunday and Boxing Day: 12pm–10pm
Cologne21 November until 23 December 2016Daily: 11am–10pm
Frankfurt23 November until 22 December 2016Monday to Saturday: 10am–9pm; Sunday 11am–9pm
Nuremberg25 November until 24 December 2016Daily: 10am-9pm; Christmas Eve: 10am-2pm
Stuttgart23 November until 23 December 2016Monday to Thursday: 10am-9pm; Friday to Sunday: 10am-10pm; Sunday: 11am-9pm; 23 November: 5pm-9pm; 17 December: 10am-10:30pm
Dresden24 November until 24 December 2016Daily: 10am-9pm; Christmas Eve: 10am-2pm
Dusseldorf17 December until 23 December 2016Sunday to Thursday: 11am-8pm; Friday to Saturday: 11am-9pm
Hamburg (Rathausmarkt)21 November until 23 December 2016Sunday to Thursday: 11am-9pm; Friday to Saturday: 11am-10pm
Rothenburg ob der Tauber25 November until 23 December 2016Monday to Thursday: 11am-7pm; Friday to Sunday: 11am-8pm
Hannover23 November until 22 December 2016Daily: 11am-9pm

Top multi-city Christmas market tours through Germany and Central Europe

Christmas Market Hopping
Winter Wanderer

Top Christmas market travel deals

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Latest Travel Offers

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question