The Christmas Markets in Kiel

Once again we have December and with it the prime time for Christmas Markets here in Germany. Back in Finland we had also some Christmas Market in Helsinki but it was rather pathetic. However here in Germany each little town has its own market and big cities even several markets! For the past few years we only visited the market here in my hometown. That Christmas Market is also not anything special as you can only buy some overpriced food there and lots of booze. Sure there is the ice-skating ring and then one or two amusement rides for children but that’s about it.

One of the amusement rides for the kids

So this week we decided to visit the markets in Kiel which is the capital city of Schleswig-Holstein. Even though the city is not the biggest either it has several Christmas Markets and all of them are so wonderful compared to all the ones we have visited in Finland and in my hometown! All of the Christmas markets are in close proximity of each other so you can walk from one to the other in a few minutes. The markets have different sizes but even the smallest is decorated very well and does not even give you the feeling that is consisting of only few food/ drink/ decoration stalls. The biggest one even has something very special which I have never seen anywhere else. Few times a day a small wooden ship pulled by four reindeers is “flying” from one end of the market to the direction of the Town Hall up to 40m in the air. This is achieved by a steel cable and some engines within the ship. On the ship one of Santa’s Little Helpers is explaining why this year a ship is being used instead of a sleigh (Kiel is located by the Baltic sea with a rich history of ship building and trading).

Here in North Germany Santa’s reindeers a pulling a ship instead of a sleigh

Our little Nathan loved all of the markets and it was hard to drag him home later that day. His favorite was a talking and singing mechanical Moose head at a food stall. At first he was a bit scared when the moose suddenly started singing over him but then he always wanted to return to that location. Besides the moose head he loved the amusement rides and the giant Christmas Pyramid. My favorite part were the many Christmas decoration stalls with handcrafted items. Some of them were so lovely and only the incredible high price for them stopped me from buying anything at all as I had only enough money with me for some of the amusement rides.

Lovely lights in the evening hours

We hope that we will manage next week to visit another city or town for its Christmas market because one thing is certain: Any of the markets will be better than that tiny excuse in my hometown. Believe it or not the market here is so full each evening that you can barely walk there without getting stuck all the time. Needless to say that all of them are only there for the food and the drinks…

Have you already visited a Christmas Market this year?

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29 thoughts on “The Christmas Markets in Kiel”

  1. Oh I wish I can visit! My first Christmas market was in London 2 years ago and that was the only time I got to experience one. It was really an awesome experience, even though I was there alone..haha…it puts you into such a holiday mood, doesn’t it? 🙂

      1. Hahaha, the weather is weird nowadays but there’s still time to hope for a white christmas…I don’t celebrate christmas but that’s always my favourite image of christmas – with lots of snow…haha

  2. So pretty! This year I didn’t visit any Christmas markets, as the ones in Shanghai are a rip off (you need to pay an entry ticket if you go on the weekend). There were some free ones in Suzhou but they are basically just stalls selling things, the decorations are not so pretty and I don’t really need to buy anything…

      1. Those markets are always organized by foreigners, maybe they think they can earn some money asking for a ticket. But most people going are foreigners…

  3. I’ve never seen a Christmas market like that. The only thing near me that would be similar is in a town in the mountains called Leavenworth. The town had lost jobs when the railway company moved and the sawmill shut down, so they decided to make use of their mountain location and become a mock Bavarian alpine village to attract tourists. I think they have a big Christmas market. They even run a “Christmas train” bringing people up from Seattle.

    I wrote a post about Leavenworth and how it was transformed itself.

    1. That town sounds very interesting especially because of the Christmas Train. Somehow I can really imagine such town trying to appear like a Bavarian village 🙂
      I guess these Christmas Markets are mostly a thing here in Central Europe, at least when it comes to all the decorations and handcrafted items

  4. The flying ship in the air looks so cool – big and so life-like 😀 It’s great that the markets are in close proximity and you can visit all of them easily. I’m not a huge fan of Christmas markets or markets really because for me, it always seems to be too many people there. But I’ve been to my fair share over the years and the decorations are always something to marvel at. Usually I’m not too fussed about the food as at markets and fairs they are usually overpriced and come in small portions (at least that’s the case here in Australia) but looking at how it’s set up is the interesting bit.

    1. The ship was really cool and all the kids were so amazed (and the adults had alltheir phones out to film it, just like me..)
      The Markets we visited last week were not even that crowded but I guess it was due to the time (just before work ends for most people). I am really a big fan of the decoration art they have at the markets displayed and the ones they sell! (handcrafted ones)

  5. We went to a Christmas market too, on Friday [now it’s Monday]. We too didn’t have enough money on us, but we still bought something … to eat. XD a kurtoskalacs with nuts – invented by Hungarians living in romania, or something.. 😉
    We’ll get more money and we go again 😉 But, gotta say, these markets are new over here, and this year we had the biggest one as far as i know. They also sell traditional plates and cups, clothing, decorations, and food. just 1 ride and ice skating rink for the kids. I still found it exciting, lol.

    1. You are lucky to have such a great Christmas market nearby. Here in my hometown it is really pathetic so we need to drive by car to the next biggest city in case we want some more authentic Christmas market 😥

      1. You can say that again, to be honest, because we can’t go to other cities – we have 3 pets that need almost constant supervision u.u but it’s ok. Driving/going to other cities must be fun [at times] :/ i’m jealous because you guys can go to other places if you wanted to, so there ;p

      2. Hehe, for us it is not easy either as the two kids have their own ideas about the day and we got pets as well. However those are the smallest troubles as our own business is ripping away any time we might have usually 😦

      3. No worries, I guess everyone has some struggles to find time. Today we has some guests with kids and now my wife and I are just dead tired so no energy anymore for even some tv evening😥

  6. I will say – I don’t often get patriotic – but we hands down have the best Christmas markets in my biased opinion! I love the Kiel market entrance (the first picture) – it looks stunning! Now in my life we mostly do Freiburg – although this year we plan on crossing into France and do Colmar – so I will be VERY curious to see what they have on offer! Merry Christmas 😀

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