German Christmas Market

Christmas time is Christmas Market time for us Germans. Every city, every town and every village has its own Market offering a nice little Christmassy atmosphere in the midst of the cold and grey time most of Germany is going through around now. So what is all there on such a market which makes it so special? First of all it is decorated nicely according to the season and furthermore it just smells like Christmas (except the heavily packed Glühwein stands/ booze markets). Henry Lee from Fotoeins has a very nice collection of Christmas Market impressions on his blog including this guide for the Cologne Christmas Markets. As you can see there the bigger cities even got several markets!

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My hometown is not playing in the big league when it comes to these markets but it is still pretty nice. As we live now for over two months in Germany and had not much time to do anything we decided to take a look at the local Christmas Market. First of all, it is surely not very big but still filled with people. Usually this city of Neumünster is practically empty after 6pm. We even have a saying for this kind of thing  in German “Ab 6 Uhr werden die Bürgersteige hochgeklappt <…>” and translates into “They roll up the sidewalks”. It really feels sometimes that all life stops during evening hours. Anyways during Christmas Market time this rule does not apply and people seem to enjoy their life and the Glühwein. This Glühwein is actually Mulled Wine but each country has its own variations. So far my favorite version is the Finnish Glöggi which is slightly different and much tastier than the German Glühwein.

 

DSC02405Here in Neumünster the market offers all kind of things to spent your time on such as the food and Glühwein Stalls as mentioned before but also an ice skating field, little amusement rides for children and then of course the big Christmas tree. Nathan was mostly interested in the people passing by and my wife was focused on the different foods offered (in the end she bought some grilled sausage with bread and a bowl of Mushrooms  in garlic sauce). I used this opportunity to get my very first Glühwein for the past four years and bought a drink called “Schneemann/ Snowman” which is basically just mulled wine with some mix of booze and then on top whipped cream. Now as a specialist in the Glühwein section (not!) I can say that the taste was pretty good but once again there was too much alcohol for my liking.

 

DSC02368I think as a family you can easily spend even in this little market one to two hours (always depending on the child) as there is much food to try and drinks to warm up your soul. Other people who are not so restricted by the mood swings of Junior can spend without problem half a day or more there. However this is usually depending on the thickness of the wallet as the prices are much higher than off-season. I can just recommend to anyone visiting Germany during this time of the year to take a look at one of the (too) many Christmas markets around. In case you go there with your children, no problem, just leave them for some time in the amusement rides while you discover the rest!

 

30 thoughts on “German Christmas Market”

  1. Now that looks like a lot of fun, especially with all that delicious food and drinks. I would love to try the ‘Schneemann’ and it seems that Nathan would like to try it too by the way he is eyeing it in the background. I have heard a lot about these Christmas markets in Germany and I would love to check one out – ah, hopefully someday! 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

  2. Oh! I’ve heard of this Christmas Market in Germany and mulled wine too! Would not have the occasion to have mulled wine here but I imagine it would be nice to have in the cold weather…:)

    1. Yeah, I know. My wife was thinking of going over Christmas to China and I gratefully declined. I doubt that I would get any Christmas feeling in Xi’an as the only reason for me now to go there is the food

  3. I’ve never heard of this German Christmas Market before. It sounds very big, we don’t have any sort of festive markets in Melbourne. It looks very “happening” and alive, and if you didn’t point out that the Schneemann was an alcoholic beverage, I’d assume it was a hot chocolate 🙂

    I suppose the only downside to this is the freezing weather, and if it had been hailing or snowing it wouldn’t be as much fun.

  4. That’s one thing that’s on my dream travel list… 😀 I really want to experience these Christmas markets since they seem quite festive. In South Africa, we don’t have things like this, so I somewhat long for it. And hey, now and again Gluwein is amazing 😛

  5. Glühweeeeeeein! 😀 I’m looking forward to it! Going “home” to my parents’ place in Strasbourg just in time for the Christmas markets, so I’ll be drinking the posher version “vin au chaud” (okay not really, it’s just the same thing in French). I, too, prefer the Nordic version, but can’t be picky. 😉
    I love Christmas markets despite the crowds (darn tourists!) and would love to check out both the Cologne and Munich ones one day. 😀

      1. Trueーin Japan you can’t really get either (they have some small German markets in Tokyo, but the selection isn’t so good) so I will certainly be having my fill in Europe! 😀

  6. Wish I was there, too. Looks lovely and very Christmassy. And we have that saying “roll up the carpets” as well in English. In fact, I live in one of those towns. Cheers ^^

  7. My partner and I fantasize abit about going overseas to Germany around Christmas time because of their Christmas market traditions. Would be expensive at that time of year.

    Christmas was my partner’s mother’s favourite season (in addition to Easter). LAs you know, my partner was born in Germany and immigrated to Canada as a little boy.

    She was an observing Catholic. She also loved decorating the house in Canada with freshly cut evergreen boughs, tree with real live candles (!) until they stopped that dangerous practice when he was still a kid and…the Christmas baking where it was traditional German Kristollen, cookies, multi-layered tortes, linztertorte. She spent days about 1 month in advance on the baking since some of cookies require aging for flavour..but also baking in volume for gifts.

    His family is like mine, we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve in terms of gift opening, carols, etc.

    1. Christmas is for me an interesting time. I am not a very religious person (perhaps I studied it too long) however Christmas is something else, it is by now far beyond the Christian rites and it is for the better as so many families are coming together to enjoy Christmas tiself and the time beforehand with activies such as baking :)my mother baked again all kind of things but this year I had no time to help due to my job but I believe my little son will be able to lend a hand in the next year

  8. I love German Christmas markets. They make Chistmas more Christmassy. We had them in the Nethetlands but we would often jump into the car and drive to Germany to go enjoy the real thing. They had them in Japan too, which was great for me to recharge on some Europeanness when we lived there. They also have them here in England. We went to the Manchester one last Saturday, it looked great but it was unbelievably crowded, it was impossible to enjoy. We’ll try again next week, on a Monday, hoping for less of a crowd. I really want some German treats!

    1. Though big Christmas markets can be enjoyable there is always the risk that it might be too crowded. Here in my hometown there was just the right amount of people but this will definitely change towards the last week before Christmas:)

  9. It seems there are several Christmas markets in Shanghai, I have seen several adverts! I don’t know if they will be very similar to the real German ones, I haven’t been there yet. I guess in the expensive part they will be very similar, hahaha.

  10. Your food pictures had me salivating. The mushrooms. The meat. The sweets! Yum! I wish we were in Germany! Instead, I’m stuck here with MIL’s nasty cooking. Urgh.

      1. Oh of course they wouldn’t touch it. Weirdos. They think their dog food is delicious. I pity them. What a sorry existence not exploring the world or the things within that world.

  11. Okay – you are making us totally envious right now! There are a few things that we struggle with already about living on the other side of the Earth.
    (1) That we have a hot Christmas – we’ve never had a white Christmas EVER!
    (2) That we don’t have magical, romantic Christmas markets like all of Europe seem to have.
    (3) We are soooo far from Europe

    But thank you for sharing with us a small piece so we get a taster 🙂

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