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. A hallmark of this huge market is the red and white cloth tops, under which shelter some 180 market stalls.
A Much Anticipated Christkindlesmarkt 2023
The Nuremberg Christmas Market is normally held in the medieval setting of Nuremberg Hauptmarkt (main market square). The market stalls spill over into nearby streets such as south of the Pegnitz River to Jacobsplatz, Lorenzer Platz and on the Insel Schütt and a little further out at Schmuckhof. Off Lorenzer Platz is Karolinestrasse, where you’ll find the main shopping area in Nuremberg.
Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt Opening
The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is a very well organized Christmas market. Each year, on the Friday before the first Advent Sunday, the Nuremberg Christkind (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 historical centre is beautiful at any time of the year but at Christmas this delightful medieval city shows off its Christmas magic. Its wooden market stalls, covered with red and white cloth has earned Nuremberg’s Christmas Market the nickname of “Little Town from Wood and Cloth”.
From the terrace of a café on the square, we see this sea of red and white. Unfortunately, from a photography perspective it’s not so good as the stalls are hidden from view.
The 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 different little figures you can choose from. Although they are made from prunes, they are not edible.
Christmas Market with a Difference
Just behind the City Hall 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 Brasov (Romania), Cordoba (Spain), Kavala (Greece) and Bar (Montenegro), to name a few. Many of the stalls here are operated by non-profit organizations and proceeds of sales are donated to charitable projects in the sister cities.
Christmas City and Sternenhaus for Children
If you’re travelling with kids, call in at the “Kinderweihnacht” a Christmas market especially for children. Located on Hans-Sachs-Platz, the Children’s Christmas usually commences earlier to give children a head start before the big crowds arrive. Here 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 Christ Child (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. On December 8, at 5:45 pm, Nuremberg school children lead the atmospheric Procession of Lights to the foot of the Imperial Castle where they perform the Nativity play.
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 I do like früchtebrot (fruit loaves) very much.
The World Famous Nürnberger Bratwurst
For meat eaters, the Nürnberger bratwurst is a must-try. These finger-thin sausages are a specialty of Nuremberg. There are a couple of legends as to why they are so thin: One amusing legend says that they are made small to allow innkeepers to sell them through the keyholes of their taverns during closing hours. When ordering your bratwurst, ask for “Drei im Weggla” – three little Nürnberger bratwurst in a roll.
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.
There’s a wide range of hotels to choose from, but the central hotels get booked out quite early due to the large number of visitors. If arriving by train, 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: December 1 – 24, 2023
Mon – Sun 10:00 – 21:00
Opening ceremony at 5.30pm
Christmas Eve: 24 Dec 2021 from 10:00 – 14:00
Map of Nuremberg Hauptmarkt