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.

Best 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
Christmas in Germany, 5 Days
Flight Centre


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

Christmas markets Germany dates

Christmas markets start opening in Germany in late November and generally run until Christmas Day. Dates vary from market to market, and some remain open until early January.

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

Christmas Markets of Central Europe
Intrepid Travel
Christmas Market Hopping
Winter Wanderer

Top Christmas market travel deals

5-day Christmas in Germany tour from $1529pp

Spend five days exploring the best German Christmas markets with Flight Centre. Prices start from $1529pp based on twin share.

Cheap Christmas market cruises

Explore Europe’s best markets by boat this Christmas.

Browse cheap flights to Germany

Search and book cheap flights to Germany during Christmas

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is a journalist, avid traveller and all-round bargain hunter. If there's an online coupon code, 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

Ask a Question

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

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question