THE NUREMBERG CHRISTMAS MARKET IS KNOWN AS “LITTLE TOWN FROM WOOD AND CLOTH”:
With over two million visitors every year, the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt or Nuremberg Christmas Market can easily claim to be one of the more popular Christmas markets in Germany. In the medieval setting of Nuremberg Alstadt (old town) there are 180 markets stalls offering seasonal food and drinks, gift items and Christmas decorations.
Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt Opening
The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is a very well organized Christmas market. Each year, on the Friday before the first Advent Sunday, the Christmas Angel declares open the Nuremberg Christmas Market at 5:30 pm.
This official ceremony takes place on the Nürnberg Hauptmarkt (market square) and the elaborate event gets worldwide television coverage.
Little Town from Wood and Cloth
Nuremberg’s old quarter is beautiful at any time of the year but at Christmas this delightful medieval city shows off its Christmas magic. There are some 180 wooden market stalls, all decorated with red and white cloth.
This has earned Nuremberg’s Christmas Market the nickname of “Little Town from Wood and Cloth”. From the terrace of a cafe on the square, we see a sea of red and white cloth sheltering the market stalls. Unfortunately, from a photography perspective it’s not so good as the stalls are hidden from view.
The Nuremberg Christmas market is a good place to shop for hand-crafted Christmas decorations such as the famous Nuremberg “Rauschgoldengel” (gold foil angel), cribs, Christmas tree ornaments
and candles, toys as well as handicrafts. You won’t find any plastic decorations at the Nuremberg Christmas Market as the stalls are monitored to ensure that the market is kept authentic and tastefully decorated.
A favourite souvenir at the Christkindlesmarkt is the traditional Zwetschgenmännle or “Nuremberg Plum People”. There are over 350 little figures you can choose from. Although they are made from prunes, they are not edible.
Christmas Market with a Difference
Although the main Christmas market is on the Hauptmarkt (market square), just north of this, on Rathausplatz, is the Christmas Market of Sister Cities. This market takes on a international flair and you’ll find market stalls from a range of Nuremberg’s sister cities. These include Prague, Nice, Krakow, Glasgow and Antalya, just to name a few. At this market you’ll find gifts from all over the world.
If you’re travelling with kids, call in at the “Kinderweihnacht” a Christmas market especially for children. Located on Hans-Sachs-Platz, the little ones can enjoy magical rides on its merry-go-round, Ferris wheel and a steam railway. Every Tuesday to Friday at 2:30 pm, the Christkind visits the Children’s Christmas market and invites children for a free ride on the merry-go-round. Children also have a chance do some baking at the Christmas bakery and other hands-on activities at other booths.
You’ll also find market stalls when you cross the Pegnitz River and walk up to Karolinestrasse, which is the main shopping area in Nuremberg.
Nuremberg is famous for its lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread) which has been baked in Nuremberg for more than 600 years. Heart-shaped lebkuchen come in all sizes and a range of coatings, including chocolate, sugar or strawberry. They carry special messages for the receiver of the lebkuchen.
Personally, I’m not a fan of gingerbread, but the früchtebrot (fruit loaves) look very tempting indeed.
And to energize yourself and fend off the cold, why not try the special Nürnberger bratwurst on rolls and mugs of mulled wine. You’ll find many booths selling what they call “3 im Weggla”. The three little Nürnberger bratwurst in a roll is a Nuremberg specialty.
Christmas in Nuremberg
There is a lot to see, do and experience in Nuremberg during the Christmas season including enjoying Christmas concerts in the churches and traditional Nativity scenes in the baroque St. Egidien church.
Although we didn’t do the stagecoach tour, the coachman and the beautiful horses are an attraction.
Hopefully the weather is kinder to you as we unfortunately had a wet Nuremberg Christmas market visit.
Visitors to Nuremberg have a wide range of hotels to choose from. In central Nuremberg many of the hotels such as the NH Nürnberg City, Le Meridien Grand Hotel and the Holiday Inn Nurnberg are all close to the Nuremberg Central Station, which is within walking distance of the Old Town. For the complete list of Nuremberg hotels, see HERE.
Christmas Market Information
Christkindlesmarkt Nürnberg (Christmas Market)
Christkindlesmarkt Opening Times: November 30 – December 24, 2018
Mon – Thu 10:00 – 21:00 | Fri & Sat 10:00 – 21:00 | Sun 10:00 – 21:00
Opening day: Nov 30 from 10:00 – 21:00
Opening ceremony at 5.30pm
Christmas Eve: 24 Dec 2018 from 10:00 – 14:00
Map of Nuremberg Hauptmarkt