Stuttgart Christmas Market claims to be one of the largest German Christmas Markets:
The Stuttgart Christmas Market (Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt) claims to be the “biggest and most beautiful Christmas Market in Europe”. Before coming to Stuttgart, we didn’t know too much about this city, except that it is the head office and manufacturing hub of Mercedes Benz and Porsche. However, its claim of having the biggest and most beautiful Christmas Market in Europe piqued our interest and we came to check it out.
Stuttgart Christmas Markets
Stuttgart’s extensive Christmas Market is held in the city centre. Our hotel, the Novum Hotel Boulevard on Marienstrasse is just six minutes walk from the Rathaus. From here the market winds it way to Marktplatz, Karlsplatz, Schillerplatz, and on to Schlossplatz .
It’s a good thing that our hotel is so close to the Christmas market as during our Stuttgart Christmas Market visit we have heavy snow fall, rain and strong winds. With temperatures at -1°C and 0°C, the hot mugs of feuerzangenbowle are a welcome, warming drink. The stallholder makes an effort at showmanship, but nothing beats the performance of the feuerzangenbowle stall at the Berlin Kurfürstendamm City Weihnachtsmarkt.
Experiencing Stuttgart’s Christmas Market
On our first evening in Stuttgart we stroll down to the Schlossplatz to explore the Christmas market there. The food and drinks sections are bustling and I would not be surprised if the entire car industry workforce are there enjoying their after-work glühwein. In fact, in some sections it is difficult to make your way through the crowds.
Food at the Stuttgart Christmas Market
There are plenty of food stalls here, including the popular bratwurst, hamburgers and hot chips. Foods that we enjoy here include the mushrooms, hot roast salmon rolls and raclette. We spot the stacklefish stall a bit too late and decide to save that for another evening. Other food possibilities here include dining at the nearby Markthalle.
Hats, Scarves and Gifts
The many stalls selling winter hat and scarves, honey products, household wares, toys, candles, Christmas tinsels and seasonal food specialities are not so busy. I feel sorry for the stallholders as they sit in the cold weather, watching all the action at the food and drinks stalls.
The next day, as we stroll through the markets, business look more promising for these stallholders. Women and families with young ones have come out to shop at the market stalls. There is a more balanced market activity, not just drinking and eating.
Large but not so atmospheric
Apart from its car tourism and automobile museums, Stuttgart is not known for its tourist attractions. Although the Stuttgart Christmas Market is huge, it does not have the magical setting of other German Christmas markets. We found the atmosphere a little lacking.
Luckily Tony had come across the Esslingen Medieval Christmas Market and the Baroque Christmas Market at Ludwigsburg and these two are certainly worth visiting.
November 28 – December 23, 2018