Nuremberg Christmas Market
Festive magic spreads throughout Nuremberg and, on the Friday before the first Advent Sunday, a sparkling Christmas Angel comes to officially open the Nuremberg Christmas Markets in the main market square with a traditional yuletide recital.
The city boasts numerous markets including one at the Main Market Square (Hauptmarkt) in front of the Church of our Lady; the Markt der Partnerstädte (market of Sister Cities) which takes place at the Rathausplatz, and the beautiful Children’s Christmas Market on the Hans-Sachs-Platz, with its nostalgic merry-go-round.
All stalls are tastefully designed and decorated as their owners compete every year for the 'most-beautifully decorated Christmas hut'. The winner is awarded a golden 'Zwetschgenmännchen', a traditional figure made out of prunes which are also popular souvenirs for Christmas market visitors. The stalls have much more on offer, from traditional spicy gingerbread and other regional delicacies to decorative arts and crafts.
Famous for its beautiful medieval town, its history and Albrecht Dürer - Germany’s greatest artist of the Middle Ages, Nuremberg is also a city of ‘firsts’. The first pocket watch and the first globe were made here.
The largest “Feuerzangenbowle” in the world – a red wine and rum punch – is also in Nuremberg. The name comes from the tongs which hold a burning, rum-soaked sugar cone over the punch bowl. The sugar melts until it becomes caramelised and drips into the wine below.
Nuremberg's youngest visitors are perfectly catered for with the charming Children's Christmas Market right next to the main market. Historic carousels, a steam train and a variety of special events entertain both young and old.
Things to do and see
Kaiserburg (Imperial Castle): The ‘symbol of Nuremberg’, this castle is considered to be one of Europe’s most formidable medieval fortifications.
Germanisches National Museum: The largest museum of cultural history in the Germanspeaking region.
Documentation Centre: Located within remains of the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds, the Dokuzentrum is home to permanent exhibition “Fascination and Terror” - looking at the causes, the context and the consequences of the National Socialist reign of terror.
Memorium Nuremberg Trials: Take a tour of the Memorium Nuremberg Trials for an overview of the Nuremberg Trial, and the link between Nuremberg and the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
You can also take a romantic stagecoach tour around the Christmas market to really make the most of the magical experience.
- Nuremberg: Bavaria's second largest city
- Time difference: +1hr
- Flight time from London: 1hr 45min
- Nuremberg Airport: 5km from the city centre; transfer time about 15 min
- Nearest railway station: Nurnberg Hbf
- Currency: Euro
Located close to the city walls the Maritim offers an elegant atmosphere combined with excellent service.
Dürer Hotel 4*
With a great location close to the castle this offers great views of the old city.
Christmas Market of the Sister Cities:
On the square just north of the Christkindlesmarkt, the Christmas Market of Sister Cities adds some international flair. With a wide range of indigenous arts and crafts, stalls from Nuremberg's sister cities Antalya (Turkey), Atlanta (USA), Kharkiv (Ukraine), Gera (Thuringia), Glasgow (Scotland), Kavala (Greece), Krakow (Poland), Nice (France), Prague (Czech Republic), San Carlos (Nicaragua), Shenzhen (China), Skopje (Macedonia) and the French region of Limousin, as well as the partner communities of Bar (Montenegro), Brasov/Kronstadt (Rumania), Kalkudah (Sri Lanka), Klausen+Montan (Italy) and Verona (Italy) take visitors on a journey around the world.
Children's Christmas Market "Kinderweihnacht"
When counting the days to Christmas, a visit to the "Christmas City" of Nuremberg is an unforgettable experience for little ones. Since 1999, the Children's Christmas Market on Hans-Sachs-Platz, with its special programs geared for children, has appealed to the whole family. Here, right next to the Christkindlesmarkt, you can find a nostalgic two-tiered merry-go-round, a mini Ferris wheel and a steam railway.
When in Nuremberg, the world-famous bratwurst are a not-to-be-missed pleasure. You can enjoy them with sauerkraut, potato salad or as two or three-in-a-bun, known as the 'Weggla'.
The size and content of these marjoram-flavored pork sausages were first set down in 1497. A true Nuremberg Rostbratwurst is seven to nine centimetres long. According to legend, they had to fit through the key holes of the city gates - and, after opening hours, through the key holes of pub doors. Once you've tried them, you'll no doubt agree with the poet Jean Paul who wrote: "The bratwurst in my stomach are a wonderful forget-me-not from Nuremberg".
Nuremberg Gingerbread: A Symbol of the Season
In Germany, when you think of Christmas, you think of Nuremberg Lebkuchen, the city's famous gingerbread. These sweet and spicy treats have been baked for more than 600 years and are loved by young and old alike.
Nuremberg is Lebkuchen; 70 million are produced each year and enjoyed around the globe. Whether smothered in chocolate, sugar-coated or decorated with almonds, the recipe for gingerbread is a tightly guarded secret. But you can take a peek at the Christkindlesmarkt bakery in a thatched-roof honey and gingerbread house.
The joyful sound of bells and the clatter of hooves tell you that the stagecoach is coming to the Nuremberg Christmas Market. As soon as the yellow wagon appears, visitors large and small excitedly turn to look. Heinz Lehneis is proud to be the coachman of the Christmas stagecoach. For more than 20 years he has braved wind and weather seated on the box of his coach. He shares the box with Gerhard Pickel, who plays holiday melodies on a golden horn to entertain guests. Inside the coach, passengers sit cozily on thickly-padded seats and enjoy the view of the colorful activity at the market. This noble and nostalgic trip back in time makes clear that a journey in a post coach was once a luxury that only the wealthiest could afford.
A tour around the market lasts about 10 minutes and costs 3.50 Euros for an adult, 2 Euros for children. The stagecoach departs from its stop north of the beautiful fountain daily during the Christmas Market from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors can buy tickets at a special Christmas "post office" and mail their Christmas cards stamped with an exclusive Christkindlesmarkt postmark.