Every year the magic of German Christmas Markets enchants millions of visitors. Hand-made craftworks as well as culinary specialties including Gluehwein (mulled wine), baked apples and Lebkuchen (gingerbread cookies) contribute to the traditional and romantic ambiance.
The majority of the Christmas Markets begin in the last week of November and runs through Christmas Eve. Not far from the international airport of Frankfurt some of the most traditional and historic markets you find in the heart of Germany, in the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Region, including Frankfurt, Mainz and Wiesbaden.
Frankfurt (Nov 24 – Dec 22)
Situated in the Roemerberg market place and St Paul’s church as a backdrop, the Frankfurt Christmas Market is regarded as one of Germany’s most important and beautiful Christmas Markets. Various outstanding events are organized, such as the tower concert on the balcony of the Nikolai church, the Christmas Market of Frankfurt’s artists and the Frankfurt city peal of bells. Children can enjoy rides on multiple carousels, marvel at the gigantic Christmas tree and even meet St Nicholas on December 6. Also, visitors have the possibility to participate in guided tours to become more acquainted with Frankfurt and its Christmas traditions. www.frankfurt-tourismus.de
Mainz (Nov 25 – Dec 23)
The Mainz Christmas Market is set in the historic market square in a blaze of lights against the imposing and impressive backdrop of the 1000 year old cathedral of St Martins. Worth seeing are the life-sized figures made of lime wood, which are unique in Europe, and the 36 foot high Christmas pyramid with its numerous figures and lights. The highlights of the Christmas Market include the traditional fairy-tale performance in the city theatre of Mainz, as well as the popular print of the Christmas cards in the print shop of the Gutenberg museum. Also, there is a wide choice of family programs that focuses on families on the “Mainz Children Christmas” at the Liebfrauenplatz. www.mainz.de
Wiesbaden (Nov 23 – Dec 23)
Twinkling Star Market is the name of the Wiesbaden Christmas Market. Visitors enter this magical fairytale scene and the old castle square through four lily gates decorated with stars. Not to miss is the crèche with its life-sized wooden figures representing the Christmas tale. www.wiesbaden.de
Ruedesheim (Nov 22 – Dec 23)
The Christmas market in Ruedesheim at the Rhine brings a distinctly festive feel to the romantic old quarter and its popular Drosselgasse lane, as 120 stalls representing 12 countries gather to present Christmas customs and traditions from around the world. Europe’s biggest Nativity scene can also be found in Ruedesheim with life-sized figures on the market square. www.ruedesheim.de
Aschaffenburg (Nov 25 – Dec 22)
I was stationed here while serving in the Army. It has a wonderful old town and castle. The Christmas Market is situated at a picturesque backdrop of the castle. The Franconian Christmas crèche is regarded as the favored centre of the Christmas Market. Also, during this festive season various other charming Christmas Markets can be found within the county of Aschaffenburg. www.info-aschaffenburg.de
Bad Homburg (All advent weekends)
One of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Germany is the romantic Christmas Market Bad Homburg at the Castle “Landgrafenschloss” which is surrounded by an historical setting. Further highlights are the traditional fairy-tale performances on the Kurtheater Bad Homburg. www.bad-homburg.de
Limburg (Nov 26 – Dec 23) and Weilburg (Dec 3 – 21)
Limburg’s historic center enchants visitors with their pre-Christmas glamour. Within the walls of the Weilburg Residence Castle visitors find themselves surrounded by a historical Christmas Market dating back to the Renaissance. www.weilburg.de (only German)
Further, there are small captivating Christmas Markets in the Frankfurt Rhine-Main Region in Dreieichenhain, Ronneburg and Gelnhausen and the Christmas Market in Hessenpark.
(From a German Tourist Office press release)
Charlie Leocha is the President of Travelers United. He has been working in Washington, DC, for the past 11 years with Congress, the Department of Transportation and industry stakeholders on travel issues. He was the first consumer representative to the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protections appointed by the Secretary of Transportation from 2012 through 2018.