From mid-November until the end of December, Central Europe is filled with Christmas markets. Although they can look similar in appearance, each city has its own version. Feel the bustling energy of the markets in Vienna, enjoy the vibrant city of Berlin’s Christmas views, contemplate the historical beauty of Frankfurt’s market, experience the tradition of Saint Nicholas and the warmth of the people of Salzburg, and savor the smell of holiday treats in Düsseldorf.
The Austrian capital is a perfect entry point into the world of Christmas markets. The smell of traditional hot mulled wine and characteristic Christmas pastries create a festive environment that is felt throughout the city.
Vienna has a mix of historic and popular traditional markets as well as smaller local markets. The city’s popular municipal market (in Rathausplatz) has everything you could want, including a classic carousel. The markets in the Palace of Schönbrunn and the Belvedere Palace are spectacularly beautiful. And you can visit Freyung, the most traditional market in Vienna, or Am Hof and Karlskirche, which smaller but equally popular.
At the markets, you can find all of the seasonal classics: mulled wine, gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, a wide variety of cookies, pastries, sweets, culinary gifts, and you can even enjoy a pony ride.
The Christmas season in Germany is different than in the majority of other countries. The Germans simply love to celebrate Christmas and they show it by decorating all of the streets, houses, and shopping centers.
In Berlin, there are around 60 Christmas markets to visit and enjoy in the city center. The majority are free to enter, but some, like Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt, charge a small entry fee (around 1€). Generally, the markets remain open much later than the neighborhood businesses, and for this reason can be a good way to end a long day of touring the area.
The Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt is especially popular for its unique handmade products. In addition to the giant Ferris wheel and the remarkable stalls, this market also has a large ice skating rink. Another option is to strap on your ice skates at Potsdamer Platz, which also has one of Europe’s largest sledding hills. Additionally, you can even play curling.
There are many special delicacies to be found in the markets of Berlin, such as a glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate, fried apple, Berliners, and special cheeses from around the world.
The Christmas markets of Salzburg will fill you with warmth as you gaze at the city’s snowy rooftops, cupolas, and towers. It’s the perfect location to start catching the Christmas spirit.
The markets are full the 5th and 6th of December, the days of the Feast of Saint Nicholas. Especially well-known is the main market in the city center, which has the cathedral as an impressive backdrop. Outside of the center, you can visit the Christmas market at Hohensalzburg Fort, treat yourself to something delicious, and enjoy a magnificent view of the historic center of Salzburg. A local secret you won’t want to miss is the Christmas farmer’s market at Meier-Mellenhof farm in Grödig-Glanegg.
In all of these places, you can enjoy the scent of toasted almonds and mulled wine, the best way to keep warm. Here you’ll find Christmas decorations, carvings, toys and lots of culinary specialties, among them traditional Christmas cookies.
The spectacular city of Frankfurt concentrates all of its Christmas spirit in one market, which is one of the largest and oldest in the country. Its vibrant holiday decorations and the careful details put into its stands make it one of the most beautiful and most visited markets in Germany, with around three million visitors per year.
To fully enjoy the Christmas experience in this city, you can take a guided tour of the market where you can gaze at the impressive views from the tour of the Old Nikolai Church and hear stories about Frankfurt and its most famous characters.
You can delight your palate with this market’s various classics, including sausages and other kinds of grilled meats, mulled wine, traditional marzipan candies, pretzels, and more.
At the end of each year, the Christmas market in Düsseldorf casts a spell over the center of the city, making it a unique experience for visitors.
There are seven markets in the city. The environment is absolutely enchanting, and as you approach its stands, you can smell roasted chestnuts and all manner of treats that are typical of the city. You’ll also find numerous resplendent cabins covered in colored lights and attractive decorations for the occasion. It’s possible to buy anything, from jewels to German sweets to unique handmade toys.
Some of the culinary delicacies of the market include currywurst (sausage with curry), gebratene pilze (savory mushrooms), Reibekuche (grated potato fritters with apple sauce), and different flavors of brezel (pretzels).
Delight your senses by exploring the best of the Christmas markets in Germany and Austria. We invite you to visit this festival of smells, colors, and flavors by offering a 25% discount in our hotels this Christmas. All you have to do is sign up for our NH Rewards Program! We’ll be waiting for you!