Christmas markets in major German cities: Are they still taking place?
Given the coronavirus pandemic has taken over much of our lives for the majority of 2020, it is understandable that, as the advent season draws close, people are finding it hard to get into the festive spirit.
Luckily, despite a few unfortunate cancellations, a number of Germany's famous Christmas markets will remain open this festive season, spreading much needed festive cheer in these difficult and uncertain times.
Christmas markets in Germany
Below is an overview of Christmas markets in Germany’s major cities. While this article aims to provide an up-to-date guide on which Christmas markets are open and which are closed, please remember that these markets are subject to short-term cancellations due to the uncertainty brought about by COVID-19.
Berlin’s traditional Christmas market that spreads out across Potsdamer Platz is expected to take place this year. The famous market will light up the centre of Berlin from October 30, providing Berliners with their Christmas fix and plenty of Glühwein.
A number of other Christmas markets will take place across the city this year, including the Weihnachts-Rummel on Landsberger Allee which will open from November 20, the Christmas markets at Gedachtniskirche and Gendarmenmarkt and the Spandau Christmas market in the historic old town. There are plenty of other markets open in Berlin, you can find the whole list, as well as up-to-date information, on the city’s website.
Events of more than 5.000 people are prohibited in Berlin until the end of the year so be aware that you may be required to pre-register for certain events.
In order to try and combat the spread of the coronavirus, and adhere to social distancing regulations, the Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt will be significantly expanded. Stalls will be set up in Opernplatz, Fressgass and Zeil. Food stalls will be set up in “consumption areas,” which will have the same rules and restrictions as restaurants.
The Christmas market in Frankfurt will take place from November 23, until December 22. Furthermore, the neighbouring city of Wiesbaden has announced its Twinkling Star Christmas Market will go ahead under coronavirus regulations. You can stay up to date on developments on the city’s tourism website.
Christmas markets have been cleared to run as usual in Hamburg, however certain details regarding how they will operate, whether alcohol will be served, for example, are still to be decided. The Wandsbeker Winterzauber will open from the first of November but apart from that, no dates have currently been set for the other markets however you can keep up to date on the city’s website.
Cologne’s popular Christmas Market in front of the Kölner Dom in Roncalliplatz has been cancelled this year, as has the Heinzel Market and Der Himmlische. However, the festive spirit will be kept alive in Cologne, with the markets at the Chocolate Museum and Chlodwigplatz running from November 23 until December 23. Keep up to date on the Cologne tourism website.
The Munich Christkindlmarkt will be taking place this year, with organisers advertising a “special Corona concept.” Munich’s traditional Christmas market will run from November 23, until December 24, however, organisers have warned that the market could still be cancelled on short notice, should the infection rate in the city worsen. You can keep up to date on developments here.
It is still undecided whether Stuttgart’s Christmas market will open this year. A decision is expected to be made soon and if the market is to take place, it will run from November 25 to December 23. You can check the market’s website for more information regarding the decision.
This year Düsseldorf will bring in the festive cheer by hosting a “Christmas World,” which includes seven different themed markets in the city centre. The event will run from November 19, until December 30. On the other hand, the popular market at Benrath Castle has been cancelled. Keep up to date with developments here.
Other Christmas markets in Germany
Dresden’s famous Striezelmarkt should open its doors from November 23, until Christmas Eve. Coronavirus regulations will be enforced, and the market will be set out in a way no large crowds can form. However, the city’s other market on Münzgasse has been cancelled. Germany’s other world-famous market in Nuremberg is also scheduled to run from November 27, until December 24.
Leipzig’s old town Christmas market will run from November 24 through to December 23. The Christmas markets in Dortmund, Essen, Bremen, Hanover and Duisberg are also scheduled to open this year under coronavirus regulations. Be aware that all these markets are subject to short-term cancellations.