Many of us know Germany for its pretty Christmas markets set in quaint, cobblestone old city quarters. But beyond the sparkly lights and soft carolling, you’ll find many delicious snacks, food and drinks that will leave you wondering why you’ve only had the Nutella crêpe so far.
Here we bring you the ultimate guide to eating at some of the best and prettiest Christmas markets in Germany. Prepare to eat to your heart’s content!
[caption id="attachment_1516" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of Dirk Vorderstraße[/caption]
What: Originally from the region around Southern Germany, Flammkuchen literally translated means “Flame Cake”. It is basically a thin-crusted pizza, generously spread with crème fraiche, cheese, sweet onions and smoky lardons (bacon). Ingredients may seem basic, but the saying less is more couldn’t be more fitting here.[caption id="attachment_1542" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of Cologne Christmas Market[/caption]
Where: Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market. You get to see one of Germany’s prettiest Christmas markets and the country’s most visited landmark, the 767 year old gothic Cologne Cathedral.
Open from 23 Nov until 23 Dec 2015
Sunday – Wednesday: 11am – 9pm
Thursday – Friday: 11am – 10pm
Saturday: 10am – 10pm
What: This is literally a quintessential Christmas market offering. Warm red wine is infused with cinnamon sticks, cloves, aniseed, citrus and sometimes vanilla pods. At 2 Euros a cup, glühwein is the instant pick-me-up in the winter cold.
Where: Leipzig Christmas Market. Home to Germany’s largest Christmas market with 250 stalls, you can expect to spend several days covering the entire grounds. Highlights include Ferris wheel rides, model railway exhibitions and a Finnish Christmas village featuring an original 200 year old log cabin.
Open from 24 Nov to 23 Dec 2015
24 Nov: 5pm – 9pm
Sunday to Thursday: 10am – 9pm
Friday and Saturday: until 10pm
What: Not all of Germany’s sausages are as chunky as you think. The Nürnberger Bratwurst or Nuremberg Sausage, a Bavarian specialty, is certainly less intimidating for those uninitiated in the world of wurst, but just as delicious! Excellent with mustard (senf) or mayonnaise.
Where: Nuremberg Christmas Market. Because where else to try this delicacy other than its birthplace?
Open from 27 Nov until 24 Dec 2015
Monday – Sunday: 10am – 9pm
24 Dec: 10am – 2pm
Stay: Sorat Saxx Nürnberg
Roasted Caramelised Almonds
[caption id="attachment_1554" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of Wholesale Market Rostock GmbH; Th. Ulrich[/caption]
What: These crunchy and caramelised drops of heaven are made fresh daily and served piping hot from the roasting pan. Be sure to get an extra pack or two as well, we guaranteed these are highly-addictive!
Where: Rostock Christmas Market. Santa himself will be marking the opening of Northern Germany’s biggest Christmas market during a lighting up ceremony. They also have carousel rides, stage programs and a handicrafts market to keep both the young and old entertained.
Open from 23 Nov until 22 Dec 2015
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 8pm
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 8pm
Stay: Steigenberger Sonne
[caption id="attachment_1514" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of Thomas Schlosser[/caption]
What: Pronounced “foyer-zahn-gern-bowler”, part of the appeal behind this typical German Christmas tradition is how its being prepared. It’s similar to glühwein, but involves placing a rum-soaked sugar loaf above the wine and setting it on fire. Definitely worth trying for the cool pyrotechnic factor.[caption id="attachment_1556" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of Michael Setzpfandt[/caption]
Where: Berlin Christmas Market at Gendarmenmarkt. Most stalls will give out small food samples for you to try, so don’t be afraid to ask! Being the season of giving, the market also supports charitable projects, so while most markets are free, a minimal 1 Euro fee is charged per admission.
Open from 23 Nov until 31 Dec 2015
Daily: 11am– 10pm
24 Dec: until 6pm
31 Dec: until 6pm
Stay: Hilton Berlin
What: Strips of potato criss-crossed to form a pancake shape, and deep-fried. A little bit like Rösti, but oilier, crispier, and better![caption id="attachment_1682" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Photo courtesy of Bundeshauptstadt Dresden/Sylvio Dittrich[/caption]
Where: Dresden Christmas Market at altmarkt. Well-known for their quality craftsmanship, visitors often flock here for a wide selection of natural handmade candles and exquisite hand-blown glass pieces.
Open from 26 Nov to 24 Dec 2015
Daily: 10am – 9pm
26 Nov: 4pm – 9pm
11 Dec: 10:00am – 11pm
24 Dec: 10am – 2pm
What: Small apples coated with sugar candy or caramel toffee, with added toppings such as rainbow sprinkles or peanuts. But whole apples are hard to eat on-the-go, you say? Not to worry, this dessert on a stick is easy to bite into and soft on the inside. Kind of like a fruit lollipop.
Where: Frankfurt Christmas Market. Guided tours on the market’s culinary specialties, the city’s history and famous people are available in English on weekends from 28 Nov to 20 Dec 2015. The highlight is a trip to the rooftop gallery of St. Nicholas’ Church, where you can get a panoramic overview of the entire market and Frankfurt skyline.
Open from 25 Nov to 22 Dec 2015
Monday to Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 9pm
Stay: Westin Grand Frankfurt