Christmas Markets

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Christmas markets all around Germany make the season magical! Every year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Germany and parts of Europe celebrate Christmas with fun, festive, interactive Christmas markets. The streets of small and big towns are lined with small white tents or decorated ornamental stands filled with magical treats, tasty sweets and usually homemade or painted ornaments you can’t find in a big box store.

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These make the season unforgettable. Christmas fests usually offer seasonal treats you can’t get any other time of year, my favorite is the Glühwein. Usually a warmed/heated red wine with spices that warms your whole body from head to toe. Hot chestnuts roasting and spiced nuts are particularly popular this time of year. Each fest has it’s own personality and vibe, here’s my take a few in Baden-Württemberg.

Stuttgart Weihnachtsmarkt/Christmas Market

The Stuttgart Weihnachtsmarkt is great for out-of-town holiday visitors, lots of different vendors. In the Schloßplatz, you’ll find the “newer” part of the fest with a skating rink for the family, beer stands, some carnival rides for the kiddos. In the Altstadt, near the Rathaus, you’ll see the traditional (highly decorated) vendor stands of ornaments, flavored Glühweins, crafts, wooden gifts, a huge “Käthe Wohlfahrt” house that’s similar to the store in Rothenburg A.T.

  • 2016 dates – 23 November to 23 December
  • Skating rink is very popular!
  • The booth and vendor displays are unparalleled with different holiday scenes
  • Eggnog and Hügo Glühwein is particularly tasty
    •  Beware of the spiced “fire” Glühwein with rum, I have experience with this.
      • (I think I do, I can’t quite remember after the flame)
  • Take the train to Stadtmitte, it brings you to the city center, closer than Königsplatz
  • No matter what time of week you go, it’s busy and going at night is special
  • Admission is FREE!

ChocolART – Tübingen

Every year in the college town of Tübingen you will find ChocolART, this sweet, delectable fest is fun for the whole family. This year was our first time and I have a GREAT review and tips.

NOV 29 – DEC 4th, 2016

  • Try the scoop of warm chocolate! You won’t regret it~
  • Not super stroller-friendly, lots of cobblestone
  • go early in the week, weekends are packed, packed, packed
  • usually the first week of December**ONLY ONE WEEK
  • parking is tricky, we parked in Altstadt parking garage and walked, but got there early before 10 a.m. start and train is difficult
  • Rittersport is cheaper at the store in Waldenbuch, but the display is great ~
  • Admission is FREE!

Ulm Christmas Market

The Ulm Christmas market is quaint and historic. We visited the cathedral at the same time and schlepped the hike up the towers to see the city view. The manger scene and glass blower display presentation at the market, sets this one apart from the other regional Christmas markets. Also, they have a train ride for small children and we even saw a stand selling, “chili con carne with Fritos,” if you are craving some American style food.

  • 2016 dates aren’t published yet
  • The market has a children’s section dedicated to rides and toys
  • Pork steak sandwich was huge and delicious here
  • Park at the Rathaus Parkplatz (there is an overhang in the spaces, NOT great for BIG CARS)
  • Taking the train from Stuttgart is easy and pops out right in the square by the market
  • Going to visit the cathedral too… the tower has a small fee but visiting inside and taking pictures of the church itself is free.
  • Admission is FREE!

Rottweil Christmas Market

If you live in Stuttgart and haven’t visited the great town of Rottweil yet, you need to go! It’s so close and there is so much to see, we try to go a few times a year. Their Christmas market is really sweet. Rottweil for many things, Roman ruins, their dogs, Fastnet celebrations and museums. A vibrant town and main street this old town has views of the Swiss Alps from the city tower.

  • 2016 dates aren’t published yet (keep checking), usually about 10 days long with extended shopping on Friday and Saturday nights
  • Close to Stuttgart, about an hour away by car
  • Hand-made crafts, knitted hats and mittens, painted wooden ornaments
  • Cocoa, glühwein and warm totty stands
  • Admission is FREE!

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