Lights, laughter and lots of goodies — this is the time to go out and enjoy Germany’s most beautiful Christmas markets.
Though there is surely one just around the corner, take the time and explore those in actual castles and medieval towns. Stroll through festively decorated streets and see these enchanting places with their seasonal music and choir singers. Especially in medieval locations full of history, celebrating Christmas traditions is most heartwarming. Some of these markets last for a month; others are only up for a weekend, so start to plan your trip now in order not to miss these special moments in Germany.
NEULEININGEN NEAR GRÜNSTADT (67271 Neuleiningen) is a village right beneath an old castle. For only two weekends (Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 3 and 4), the whole village is a Christmas market with arts and crafts, bratwurst and glühwein, cookies and candles and much more.
On the historical grounds of CASTLE HAYN, the traditional Advent market of Dreieichenhain (63303 Dreieich) takes place on the second and third weekend of Advent (from 3 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4 and Dec. 10 and 11). At this market, listen to music from a Russian choir, the band “Wir 4,” a tower brass band and an angel at the market, who performs the violin with virtuosity.
One of the markets with the nicest ambiance can be found in the former BENEDICTINE ABBEY OF SELIGENSTADT, near Frankfurt (Klosterhof, 63500 Seligenstadt). Around 45 artists and craftsmen create a unique atmosphere in the historic building dating back to the 18th century. If you are looking for a special present, this could be the place to go Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 and 4, and Dec. 10 and 11.
In the park of the ROKOKO CASTLE BRAUNSHARDT, the former summer retreat of the Prussian kings, the third Weiterstädter (64331 Weiterstadt) Christmas market takes place with 60 stands. Check it out from 5 to 10 p.m.
Dec. 2 to 4.
CASTLE NIEDERBURG (54531 Manderscheid) is well worth a trip as it is part of a two castle areal with lots of history dating back to the 12th century. Illuminated by the light of torches, the Christmas market at Niederburg castle wakes childhood dreams. The castle is situated right in the Vulkan Eifel in the Eifel Mountains, a region that still shows its volcanic geological origin. The market takes place Saturday and Sunday.
Children especially love medieval Christmas markets with minstrels and fire-breathers, knights in armor, damsels in historical robes, and plenty of arts and crafts. A great place to bring the kids is RONNEBURG CASTLE (63549 Ronneburg), where a nativity play is performed daily. This market takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3 and 4, and Dec. 10 and 11.
Another medieval Christmas fair takes place at KIRKEL CASTLE (66459 Kirkel-Neuhäusel) Dec. 10 and 11, and at LICHTENBURG CASTLE (66871 Thallichtenberg) Saturday and Sunday.
If you are willing to drive a little further down south (270 kilometers), your reward will be outstanding. In an astoundingly beautiful ambiance on the ancestral seat of the Prussian royal family, the Royal Christmas Market on the HOHENZOLLERN CASTLE (72379 Burg Hohenzollern) is very rightly regarded as being one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany. Even today, Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia calls it part of home. The market takes place today to Sunday. Entry is €10 for adults and free for children under 16.
Lastly, CASTLE KRONBERG (Hainstraße 25, 61476 Kronberg) offers a special romantic treat for couples with an extraordinary five courses Christmas meal on Dec. 24. Book in advance by calling 06173-701-566. Check out other offers at www.schlosshotel-kronberg.de.
More castle markets in your area:
✶ Water castle Bad Vilbel (61118 Bad Vilbel), Dec. 9 to 11
✶ Friedberg Castle (61169 Friedberg), today to Dec. 26
✶ Büdingen (63654 Büdingen), Dec. 2 to 4
✶ Hadamar Castle (65589 Hadamar), today to Sunday and Thursday to Dec. 4
✶ Eppstein Castle (65817 Eppstein), Dec. 10 and 11
✶ Saarbrücken Castle (66119 Saarbrücken), Saturday and Sunday
✶ The Duke’s Castle (66482 Zweibrücken), Saturday to Dec. 11
✶ 17th century Christmas market (68600 Neuf-Brisach, France), Dec. 9 to 11.
More Alsatian Christmas markets can be found online at www.marche-de-noel-alsace.com/marchenoel2.htm (in French).