Visit the Nuremberg Christmas Market

by Megan Finley Contributing writer
Photo Scirocco340/
Photo Scirocco340/

If you are looking for a little bit of charm, romance and holiday enchantment this time of year, then the “Christkindlesmarkt,” or Nuremberg Christmas Market, is the place to go. Over two million tourists travel to Nuremberg every Christmas season to indulge in the holiday festivities. It may seem like this is perhaps a major tourist overload, but think again.

The Christkindlesmarkt is actually three markets all smashed into one. There is a large market with rows of Christmas delights that extend through the town’s main square. In this market you will find traditional Christmas smokers, or figures that “exhale” incense smoke, nutcrackers, Christmas-themed figurines and food vendors galore. There is nothing like indulging in a steaming cup of Gluehwein, or hot mulled wine, and traditional “Lebkuchen,” or gingerbread. Don’t forget to order “Drei im Weggla,” three delicious Nuremberg sausages in a roll.

The second market in Nuremberg is called the “Sister Cities” market. This market sells goods relating to cities all around the globe: Antalya, Turkey; Atlanta, Georgia; Kharkiv, Ukraine; Glasgow, Scotland; Kavala, Greece; Krakow, Poland; Nice, France; Prague, Czech Republic; San Carlos, Nicaragua; Shenzhen, China; and Hadera, Isreal all sister cities of Nuremberg.

Last but not least, there is the “Kinderweihnacht,” or Children’s Christmas, with low windows and steps for the shorter people in our lives. And, of course, no Christmas market is complete without an ornately decorated carousel.

With such a wide selection of Christmas markets locally, one might ask themselves, why travel all the way to Nuremberg? One reason is because of the town’s rich history. The Christmas market was originally mentioned in a document dating back to 1628. Most of the products sold at the market are made by regional manufacturers; and the stalls are made of regional spruce trees, many of them originally constructed in 1890.

If food is your motivation, the Nuremberg Christmas Market has that covered.Lebkuchen was invented in the 13th century and is sold in decorated tins. These tins have become highly sought after collector’s items. The way the sausages are made in Nuremberg dates back to 1497. Only sausages bought within the city limits are deemed “Original Nurembergers.” The sausage must weigh 23 grams and be as thick as your little finger. Wash it all down with Nuremberg’s Gerstacker blueberry Gluehwein, and you’re all set. You will be hard-pressed to find anything like it.

One last reason to hit the popular market is to check out the Nuremberg “Christking” a symbol of the market for decades. Every two years, a blond girl between the ages of 16 and 19 is chosen. She wears a gold crown and white gown and opens the Christkindlesmarkt with a speech from the balcony of the Church of Our Lady. She will make her grand appearance at 3 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during the market.

The Nuremberg Christmas Market runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day beginning today to Dec. 23., and on Christmas Eve until 2 p.m. The opening ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m today. For details, visit