From quaint little clusters of huts to huge traditional markets: nowhere on earth will you find so many uniquely individual Christmas markets as here in Germany, the place where it all began some 600 years ago.
Picture the scene: Christmas is around the corner and you are strolling through a beautiful city in all its festive splendour, wandering between the little wooden huts laden with handcrafted wares. Add to that the Christmas trees, the twinkling lights, the sound of laughter and brass bands, a warm beverage in your hands and the smell of gingerbread in the air. Germany's Christmas markets are a true celebration of age-old traditions and they feature high on the list of things you absolutely have to see. Visitors can look forward to untold variety: from classic family-friendly markets in the heart of the city – like the Striezelmarkt in Dresden, the Nuremberg Christmas market, Munich's Christkindlmarkt or the market on Frankfurt's Römerberg square – to organic, vegan and design-focused Christmas markets like you might find in Berlin, or even the LGBT Christmas market on and around Schaafenstrasse in Cologne.
Born of a love for tradition
The Christmas market at Ravenna gorge near Freiburg offers yuletide charm amidst breathtaking scenery. Or for a truly quaint experience, there's the Engelmarkt in Emden and the markets in Altötting, Coburg and Goslar. You can also find beautiful Christmas markets tucked away in courtyards, castles, farms and on board ships, all offering delicious treats and traditionally crafted regional products. Don't worry if you can't decide on just one market – they open at the end of November, giving you plenty of time to explore the options all across Germany. Hop in the car or jump on the train, and you're never far from the next Christmas market – whether it's in a tiny little village or a buzzing city. For an overview of Germany's Christmas markets, click here.