Germany, the place to be around Christmas
It is begin November and Christmas is getting closer and closer. I am really excited about that, because I am a huge Christmas lover. I am fan of all the atmospheric lights around the cities, of decorating the Christmas tree, of the cosiness with the family, of getting all dressed up and… of the Christmas markets!
All those stalls with Christmas decorations, candy and more are just very nice to walk by and meanwhile I enjoy all the lightning and decorations around the city. The atmosphere is just great in this time of the year. You can combine discovering a city with visiting a Christmas market.
A country which is very popular when it comes to Christmas markets, is Germany. Almost every city in this country organises something around Christmas. Mostly this begins mid-November (around the 20th) and ends with Christmas (23th of December). However, there are some cities which are the most popular when it comes to the Christmas markets. In this article I will give you six places to visit in Germany around Christmas.
I will start with Cologne, because I have been here last year and can tell you some more from my own experience. This is one of the biggest and most popular Christmas market in Germany. The presence of the Cologne Cathedral makes it special to go to this city for Christmas shopping.
Around the city, you can find several little Christmas markets spread out over the squares of the city. In total there are seven squares where you can find stands for Christmas shopping and of those squares, the square with the Cologne Cathedral is the midpoint. This is a nice square to visit, while you can see the cathedral as well up close. Furthermore, there is a market at the Neumarkt. In the past, this was the square where the one and only Christmas market was located, but now it is expanded to more squares. The Rudolfplatz is very nice to visit when you are with children. Here you can admire beautiful, lightened fairytale figures. Then there is a Christmas market close to the chocolate museum, in the port of Cologne. Here you can also get some fish specialities and you can hear some songs from the shipping. Another square is the Alter Markt. This one is the biggest market of Cologne. You can find like 180 stands and there is an icerink. Another square is the Schaafenstraβe. This is the ‘gay Christmas market’. It will immediately catch your eye, while this market is full of pink and purple coloured stands. In the evening you can drink here something and enjoy the different kind of performances. It is a small, but very cozy Christmas market. Last, but not least, there is a Christmas market at the park of Cologne, the Stadtgarten. Every Saturday, during the Christmas market, you can find live jazz in the evening.
The Christmas market of Cologne takes place from 23 November 2015 till 23 December 2015. It is daily opened from 11 a.m. till 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m.
In Munster you can find five different Christmas markets with around 300 stands where you can enjoy your Christmas shopping. In this city, the Prinzipalmarket is the center of all the markets. When this square is lightened and decorated, then all of the Christmas markets in the city will enter their doors.
The first Christmas market of Munster you can find at the Aegidiimarkt. Here you can find a beautiful nativity scene and a fairytale world. Then you have the oldest Christmas market in the courtyard of the city hall and the youngest market in front of the Berwasserkirche with lots of hand art and special treats. Last is the market around the Lamberti church with little blue stands and a huge Christmas tree.
The Christmas market of Munster takes place from 23 November 2015 till 23 December 2015. It is daily opened from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays till 9 p.m.
Oberhausen is also a great city to visit the Christmas markets. The city is not only good for Christmas shopping, but also for shopping in the shopping center CentrO, which is close to the Christmas market of Oberhausen. In the city you can find two Christmas markets, which are both situated in the centre of the city. You can find there a beautiful fairytale forest and winter landscape.
The first Christmas market is the one next to the shopping center CentrO. Well, it is located outside and inside the shopping center, so that makes it even more special. Even when it rains you can enjoy the market a lot without getting cold from the rain. This market has around 150 stands where you can do some great Christmas shopping. The other market of Oberhausen is situated at the old market. Here you can find a more traditional Christmas market with lots of stands and high pine trees, what makes you look like you are actually in the forest. This market is more fun when you are with children, while it has a carousel and a little train where the children can go into.
The Christmas market of Oberhausen takes places from 14 November 2015 till 23 December 2015. It is daily opened from 12 a.m. till 8 p.m.
The Christmas market of Essen has more than 250 different kind of stands and will be held this year for already the 43st time. This Christmas market is divided over three squares: the Willy-Brandt-Platz, the Kennedyplatz and the Flachsmarkt. Next to this, Essen is a great city to do some shopping. A real recommendation is the medieval market, where you can enjoy several shows. Furthermore, what makes the Christmas market really special, is the fact that there are a lot of cultures represented. You can find people from, for example, Cuba, Africa and Russia.
The Christmas market of Essen takes places from 19 November 2015 till 23 December 2015. It is daily opened from 11 a.m. till 9 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays till 10 p.m.
Another big Christmas market is the one in Düsseldorf. The market is spread over six squares with all their charm. All squares connect with each other, but at the same time you can find six different styles in one city. Next to the Christmas markets, you can also find an ice rink at the Gustaf Grundgens Platz of 450 m2. The Christmas markets can be found at the Marktplatz, the Flingerstrasse, the Heinrich Heine Platz, the Schadowplatz, Stadtbruckchen and of course the Gustaf Grundgens Platz.
The Christmas market of Düsseldorf takes places from 19 November 2015 till 23 December 2015. It is daily opened from 11 a.m. till 8 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays till 9 p.m.
Aachen is also one of the most popular Christmas markets of Germany. This is a little city, with makes it extra special: this provides a cosy and intimate atmosphere around the markets. All the stands you can find around the city hall, so that is very easy to find. Furthermore, when you go to Aachen for the Christmas market, you should definitely try ‘Aachener Printen’, which is a doll made of ginger bread and something typical from Aachen.
Are you a Christmas lover and have you ever been to Germany for Christmas markets? Which city did you prefer? Tell me about it in the comments!