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Best Christmas markets in Germany: Where to go this year

Best Christmas markets in Germany: Where to go this year Performance at a Christmas market in Germany (photo: Getty Images)

The most festive atmosphere in Europe is at Christmas. Cities organize traditional Christmas markets with treats, souvenirs, and performances.

RBC-Ukraine tells you what most interesting fairs in German cities are worth visiting.

Dresden - the Stollen and the Christmas pyramid

The history of Christmas markets in Germany goes back centuries. In Dresden, such pre-holiday trade has been organized since the 15th century. Today, the Stritzelmarkt hardly resembles the medieval fair, but it attracts up to 2.5 million visitors.

The traditional sweet stollen cake with dried fruit has been baked since the 16th century. In Dresden, it is especially delicious. In addition to Christmas pastries, guests will find plenty to eat at Dresden's marketplace, with 250 stalls offering a variety of goods.

In Dresden, you can see a huge Christmas pyramid (14.6 m) made by craftsmen from the Ore Mountains. This is a special tradition of Saxony. Miniature versions of the Christmas pyramid can be purchased as souvenirs. Residents of Dresden keep them in their homes. There is also a museum of Christmas pyramids in the city.

At the fair, you can buy glass Christmas tree decorations from the Thuringian Forest, Silesian ceramics, and Plauen lace.

Address of the fair: Altmarkt, 01067 Dresden.

Opening hours: November 29 - December 24 (from 10:00 to 21:00; only on December 24 - from 10:00 to 14:00).

Best Christmas markets in Germany: Where to go this yearDresden Christmas market (photo: Getty Images)

Leipzig - buglers on the city hall

The Christmas market in Leipzig is also one of the oldest in Germany. It was first held in the 15th century. Currently, 250 festive tents are set up on the square. Leipzig has a wide selection of festive dishes: sausages with cabbage, waffles, marzipan, and almond cakes.

The Leipzig Christmas market is famous for its music. You can hear a concert on the stage in the city center, and trumpeters welcome guests from the balcony of the City Hall. In the church of St. Thomas, you can hear the singing of the boys' choir, a tradition since 1212. The famous Thomanerchor once performed under the direction of Bach.

Address of the fair: Innenstadt Markt 1 04109 Leipzig.

Opening hours: November 28 - December 23 (Mon-Thurs: 10:00-21:00; Fri-Sat: 10:00-22:00; December 23: 10:00-20:00).

Best Christmas markets in Germany: Where to go this year

Leipzig Christmas market (photo: Getty Images)

Treats and concert in Augsburg

Another interesting and popular fair in Germany is in the city of Augsburg, which is considered the most traditional. Tents with many souvenirs and delicious products are set up on the Town Hall Square. Guests can buy gingerbread, sweets, traditional hot sausages, and mulled wine.

The most important event of the holiday is the performance of the Ausburg Angels when girls with musical instruments perform on the facade of the city hall.

Address of the fair: Rathausplatz 2,86150 Augsburg.

Opening hours: November 27-December 24 (Mon-Thurs: 10:00-20:00; Fri-Sat: 10:00-21:30; December 24: 10:00-14:00).

Best Christmas markets in Germany: Where to go this year

Augsburg Christmas market (photo: Getty Images)

Several markets in Regensburg

In Regensburg, a small city in Bavaria known for its Italianate-style houses, Christmas markets are held in several squares. There is a market in the Katharinenspital, near the Stone Bridge, and fairs on Haidplatz and Neupfarrplatz. These festive locations sell drinks that can only be tasted in Regensburg at Christmas. They make mulled wine from local blueberries and apples and serve hot beer. In total, 40 types of mulled wine are available at the fair in Regensburg. There are also authentic local sausages with sweet mustard.

Opening hours: November 27 - December 23 (Mon-Wed: 10:00-20:00; Thurs-Sat: 10:00-21:00)

Best Christmas markets in Germany: Where to go this year

Regensburg Christmas market (photo: Getty Images)

Nuremberg - the most famous fair in the country

Nuremberg's Christkindlesmarkt is the most famous fair in the country. There is a lot of cultural entertainment, various souvenirs, and food, including the famous Nuremberg gingerbread and fried sausages.

Nuremberg sells special ornaments that cannot be seen elsewhere: gilded angels, prune figurines, fairytale Nutcrackers, and carved jewelry boxes. For children, they hold workshops on making toys, ornaments, and candles.

Opening hours: December 1 - December 24 (10:00-21:00, December 24: 10:00-14:00).

Best Christmas markets in Germany: Where to go this year

Nuremberg Christmas market (photo: Getty Images)

The most cozy fair is in Bremen

The Weihnachtsmarkt Bremen fair in the historic city center is considered the most compact and cozy. Two hundred wooden stalls are set up next to the monument to Bremen musicians. You can buy the entire New Year's assortment, including pastries, candies, figured candles in the shape of apples and Christmas trees, slippers, and woolen items. Bremen is also famous for its beer. You can get a gift from Santa Claus every day at 16:00.

Opening hours: November 27 - December 23 (Mon-Thurs: 10:00-20:30; Fri-Sat: 10:00-21:00; Sun: 11:00-20:30).

Best Christmas markets in Germany: Where to go this year

Bremen Christmas market (photo: Getty Images)

Cologne - medieval fair and ice rink

There are several Christmas markets in Cologne. The main and most beautiful one is near the Cologne Cathedral and attracts with its New Year's performances. On the square, you can buy wooden and felt products and baked goods. The fair "In the World of Fairy Tales" is held on Rudolfplatz, and the famous medieval fair is held in front of the Chocolate Museum.

The Christmas "Angel Market" takes place on the Neumarkt (New Market Square). There is a large market with festive trade. You can also skate on one of the largest ice rinks in the country.

Another fair is held in the Mediapark quarter.

Opening hours: November 23 - December 23 (10:00-22:00). Opening hours of each fair can be found on the website.

Best Christmas markets in Germany: Where to go this year

Cologne Christmas market (photo: Getty Images)

Stuttgart - market in front of a palace

Stuttgart's Christmas market is one of the largest in Germany, with more than 250 stalls offering a wide selection of Christmas gifts, decorations, and sweets. The festive stalls are set in front of the medieval Old Palace.

Best Christmas markets in Germany: Where to go this year

Stuttgart Christmas market (photo: Getty Images)

A Finnish Christmas village is being set up near Palace Square, on Karlplatz. There you can get acquainted with Finnish culture and special dishes. For example, you can taste Finnish beer, venison, and grilled salmon. In the evenings, Christmas concerts are held in the courtyard of the Stuttgart Altes Schloss.

Opening hours: November 29 - December 23 (Mon-Wed: 10:00-21:00; Thurs-Sat: 10:00-22:00).

As a reminder, we wrote about how to plan a trip to Europe for Christmas so as not to be left without shopping. In most countries, shops and restaurants are closed for the holidays.

We also discussed the best Christmas markets in Europe that are worth visiting this year.