7 alternative German Christmas markets to hit up this Advent
We all know that the countdown to Christmas usually means one thing in Germany - it's Christmas Market season! But with every town and city hosting its own Christmas market come Advent, it can be hard to know where to head.
The best "hidden" German Christmas markets
While most people know the Christmas markets in Dresden, Berlin and Bamberg, there is a different type of holiday market out there. For those of you out there looking to visit a more adventurous, curious and unexpected type of Weihnachtsmarkt, we've put together a list of the best alternative Christmas markets to visit this Advent.
After all, it is the season to be jolly, and we know everyone gets their jollies in their own way!
1. The Reeperbahn Christmas market
St.Pauli in Hamburg is home to the famous Reeperbahn, which hosts its own version of a Christmas market each year. Visitors to the bustling hub of the city's nightlife and red-light can go straight from a bar to the Christmas market, where they will be sure to find plenty of spicy (adult) Christmas gift ideas! Open until late, to better match its surroundings, the Reeperbahn Christmas market also features an open-air gallery filled with subtly enticing works of art and nightly live music. To keep things a bit more PG, there is also a special children's programme on Sunday, perfect for the whole family.
- Date: November 18 - December 23, 2019
- Time: Mon to Wed: 4pm - 11pm, Thu: 4pm - 12am, Fri & Sat: 1pm - 1am, Sun: 1pm - 11pm
- Location: Reeperbahn, St.Pauli, Hamburg
2. Dog Christmas market in Berlin
Speaking of family fun, this market caters for the entire family - including our four-legged, furry friends! The Sirius dog Christmas market in Berlin is the only one of its kind in the city dedicated to mankind's best friend. More than 30 wooden huts offer everything a doggie and its owner could ever want, from organic food and treats to accessories, bedding and housing. There is a dedicated area for special culinary delights for pets, as well as plenty of traditional Christmas dishes for owners to try out.
And to ensure everyone is entertained during the day, there is also a special programme with mantrailing, dog dancing, live music and more!
- Date: November 30 - December 1, 2019
- Time: 10am - 6:00pm
- Location: Hüttenweg 90, 14193, Berlin
3. Engelkemarkt in Emden
A true Christmas spectacle in every way, the Engelkemarkt transforms the seaport city of Emden into a floating Christmas market! Swapping out the winding cobblestone streets for swelling waves, harboured ships in the former inland port become part of the market and are given a holiday makeover each year. The ships are lit up with thousands of lights and host a variety of events for young and old, from live music performances to brunches.
- Date: 25 November - 23 December and 27 – 31 December 2019
- Time: 11am - 8pm
- Location: Alter Markt, 26721, Emden
4. Medieval & Christmas Market in Esslingen
Modern-day Christmas markets fail to capture the essence of a simpler time, which is exactly what the Medieval Christmas market in Esslingen aims to do! Featuring more than 200 wooden stalls, this market sees merchants fully committing to their roles and dressing up in historical outfits as they peddle their goods to visitors. Watch blacksmiths, glass-blowers and basket weavers showcase their skills firsthand or be entertained by the stilt walkers, fire-eaters and jugglers moving through the crowds. And don't be surprised if you run into a fairy or two, as one thing is for sure: this is one Christmas market you are not likely to forget!
- Date: November 26 - December 22, 2019
- Time: Sun to Wed: 11am - 8.30pm, Thurs to Sat: 11am - 9.30pm
- Location: City centre, Esslingen
5. Christmas Market in Ravennaschlucht
Set against one of the most enchanting backdrops in all of Germany, this magical Christmas market is located in Ravenna Gorge, beneath a historic railway viaduct surrounded by the depths of the Black Forest. Visitors can opt to hike to the magical winter Christmas market in Ravennaschlucht from a neighbouring village and immerse themselves fully in the winter wonderland, or spend the night in one of the cute, quaint wooden cottages by the market. Don't miss out on the ice rink and the spectacular light shows, cast onto the viaduct's pillars each the evening.
- Date: November 29 - December 22, 2019
- Time: Fri: 3pm - 9pm, Sat: 2pm - 9pm, Sun: 1pm - 8pm
- Location: Ravennaschlucht, 79874, Breitnau
6. Pink Christmas Market in Munich
This special Christmas market welcomes everyone from all backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations and races with open arms! Nestled in the bustling Stephansplatz in Munich, this thriving Christmas market is organised by the local lesbian and gay community and bathes everything in a soft pink glow. In addition to offering a gorgeous assortment of holiday gifts, the Pink Christmas market also brings in a one-of-a-kind line-up of musicians, comedians and entertainers to help spread joy, love and laugher this festive season.
- Date: November 25 - December 22, 2019
- Time: Mon to Fri: 4pm - 10pm, Sat & Sun: 12pm - 10pm
- Location: Stephansplatz, 80337, Munich
7. Leipzig's historic Christmas Naschmarkt
Take a gander at the craftsmanships and artisan skills from the past and marvel at the artistry at this historic Christmas market by the Naschmarkt in Leipzig. Get lost between the festively decorated wooden huts and marvel at the nostalgic, dark and romantic mood created by this unique market. Visitors are encouraged to watch first-hand glassblowers, metalsmiths and knitters create one of a kind handmade goods, before purchasing the best gifts to take home. And don't forget to sample the special old-fashioned Christmas treats on offer while you are visiting!
- Date: November 26 - December 23, 2019
- Time: Sun to Thurs: 5pm - 9pm, Fri to Sat: 10am - 8pm
- Location: Naschmarkt, 04109, Leipzig
Celebrate the holidays your way
Who knew there were so many different alternative Christmas markets out there? Which one of these markets are you going to visit this holiday season? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments below. Happy holidays!