Forget Brussels, forget Valkenburg: for the most beautiful and largest christmas markets you have to be in Germany. Düsseldorf and Cologne tensioning the crown, but between the more than 150 (!) enchanting lichtjesparadijzen with our German neighbours are still several gems. Caution: you have to use it before christmas to go.
Bautzen, a town of 40,000 inhabitants on the eastern border of the eastern German state of Saxony. Known for its Stasi-prison in the beginning of the last century on the rear of the Palace of Justice is built. But also the birthplace of the christmas market as we know it today. According to the records gave king Wenzel in 1384 the town of Budissin the right to be in the weeks before Christmas, every Saturday a free meat market, to organize, where the local population just as the bitter cold could drive away with a snack and a drink in hand. The Bautzener Wenzelsmarkt is still available and attracts every year more than 100,000 visitors. Fun for those who have a touch of nostalgia wants to sniff, but sfeerzoekers can today indulge in much larger and more beautiful christmas markets in Germany.
Why does Germany until now, as the absolute destination for lovers of the christmas lights? Perhaps because of the tradition and the police there, more than elsewhere, strictly watching that the Weihnachtsmarkt are the authentic character of the reserves. In addition to the inevitable mulled wine and bratwurst are allowed gift items, hats, and ugly sweaters are sold, but it should not be any weekday verkoopbazaar. In some cities, the modern time, in the meantime, made its appearance, as witnessed by the emergence of the gay christmas markets, but the eye is still mostly lured to traditions and old crafts. Another big difference with the christmas markets in Belgium and the Netherlands: the many food stalls, and faucets, and it has been in the second half of november open, but close all during the week before Christmas.
One christmas is not enough
The Weihnachtsmarkt-the hit parade is led by Düsseldorf, Cologne and Oberhausen. In Dusseldorf , you would not settle for one christmas market, but there are six pieces set up on the same squares. Because that squares closely connect with each other, it seems as if the markets run into each other. The entire city immerses himself in a fairy-tale nostalgia, but promises thanks to its enormous range of contemporary shops are also a good portion of christmas shopping, such as in London or New York. Two for the price of one, so to speak. More of that you can find in Cologne, where the twinkling light show around the majestic Cathedral spreading over the whole town. In addition to the attractions such as the markets at the Cathedral and the Alter Markt, there are also smaller places of conviviality, such as at the Hahnentorburg, or children’s theatre and jazz concerts in the Stadtgarten. The christmas market in Oberhausen, not so well known to us but even more in their own country, owes his popularity largely to the proximity of the huge CentrO shopping centre (220 shops and restaurants).
Christmas market for beginners
The best christmas market for beginners is undoubtedly that of Aachen. Barely a few kilometres over the Belgian border, and equipped with more tea lights and food stands than you will ever have seen. The medieval streets in the city centre and the view of the fourteenth-century town hall and the Dom will make you dream away to times long gone by. At least, when you are not going to annoy you to the hustle and bustle caused by the approximately one and a half million visitors of the christmas market. Do you want a kerstuitstapje upgrade to a full-fledged vacation, then you’re doing the best thing in Berlin. Also here are squares and streets in various locations in the city dressed in kerstplunje, but the vibrant capital city offers so much more.
Dreams of Germany
- The land of Hansel and Gretel
- Christmas markets in Germany: mulled wine and bratwurst
- Once grey, now green: The Ruhr resurrected from its ashes
- From coal to culture: The rebirth of the Ruhr area
- My next city trip: Discover Bochum
- Read all articles about Dreams from Germany