The Nuremberg Christmas Market is Germany’s most famous and one of its most traditional markets.
I went to the Nuremberg Christmas Market for the first time a few years ago. It was nice but overcrowded (avoid going on a weekend if possible). It’s a popular attraction, drawing in over 2 million visitors from Germany, Europe, and even Japan! I went again a few years later and really enjoyed it, in large part because I went with locals who showed it to me through their eyes and I had so much more fun! Now I am going to share with you the things I learned about how to plan your visit to the Nuremberg Christmas Market.
Related Reading: 19 Wonderful Gifts for People Who Love Germany
Nuremberg Christmas Market 2021 Update
Dates: November 26 – December 24, 2021
Opening Hours: Daily from 10 AM to 9 PM (except on 12-24, where it closes at 2 PM)
The Nuremberg Christmas Market will take place this year but in a decentralized form. Instead of one big market on the Main Square (Hauptmarkt), it will take place spread out through the old town of Nuremberg. This will give people more space and make the Christmas Market in Nuremberg hopefully a little less crowded. Take a look at this map here to plan your way:
Here’s What To Really See and Do at the Nuremberg Christmas Market:
Visit the International Christmas Market
Besides the regular market, there’s also an international one with 14 of Nuremberg’s sister cities. Cities are represented by Nicaragua, Czech Republic, Italy, and from all over the world. My favorite was the Cuba stand where we were treated to an impromptu salsa demonstration! Any guesses which city/country this wooden booth belonged to?…
Meet the Christkind
Christkind was the traditional giver of gifts. Not surprisingly children love meeting Christkind. I had the opportunity to meet her as well and she was lovely. Maybe we’ll even be BFFs. Then again, she might be kinda busy at this time of the year.
The Christkind first appeared at the Nuremberg Christmas Market in the 1930s. She now appears in other markets throughout Germany as well. Children can visit her every afternoon at Hans‑Sachs Platz at 2.30 (arriving on the main market square at 3 o’clock).
Related Reading: The Most Beautiful Christmas Markets in Munich
Meet the Prune People (Zwetschgenmännle)
The Prune People are some of Nuremberg’s most famous residents and can be found going about their daily life. Locals have a saying “If you want someone in your life who doesn’t cause you any trouble, get a prune person!” Good advice! Prune people are for sale at many vendors.
Children’s Christmas Market
This is one of only a few in Germany. Even as an adult I loved it. There are rides including an old-fashioned carousel and it’s even interactive! Children can make candles or decorate Nuremberg’s famous gingerbread cookies!
Eat What is Quite Possibly the World’s Best Gingerbread
Nuremberg has a long-standing history with gingerbread. You can read about it at A Medieval Treat from Nuremberg. It’s such an interesting story that I wrote a whole post on it.
Related Reading: 9 Best Christmas Markets in Berlin You Have to See
Nativity Scene Exhibit
On the way to the Children’s Christmas Market is a nativity scene exhibit on the left side, hiding behind the wooden stalls. Many people miss it, but it’s worth a quick look. I loved this one with all the animal figurines.
Take in a Concert
All the churches have frequent concerts during the Christmas market and there’s a stage set up in front of the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) where school choirs and big bands perform.
Drink from the World’s Largest Feuerzangenbowle
Feuerzangenbowle, according to Wikipedia, is a traditional German alcoholic drink for which a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drips into mulled wine. All I know is that it is some seriously strong stuff! I’ll stick to my mulled wine!
Related Reading: German Mulled Wine: The Best Part of Germany’s Christmas Markets
Tour Nuremberg in a Stage Coach
This was so much fun and surprisingly comfortable! The stage coach is a 1939 replica that takes guests through Nuremberg’s cobblestone streets. I felt like I was stepping back in time even without a lady-in-waiting waiting for me. Tours last about 10 minutes and leave from across from the fountain in the main square.
Learning more about the history of the Nuremberg Christmas Market really brought it to life for me and made it meaningful, much more so than when I walked around clueless last year. And besides, it’s not every day that I get to be BFFs with Christkind…even if it is only in my imagination.
Visit the official Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg for further info. You may find that visiting just one market is not enough (I’m a bit of a fanatic myself), in that case, check out the Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Market and My Favorite Christmas Markets in Munich.
Related Reading: Christmas Markets in Bavaria: The 10 Markets You Need to Visit
Where To Stay In Nuremberg
Sheraton Carlton Nuernberg is located on the edge of the old town and features a spa with a rooftop terrace and a gourmet restaurant. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and feature extra-long beds. A daily breakfast buffet is available as well as wifi. High-speed wifi is available at an extra charge.
Le Méridien Grand Hotel Nürnberg is located directly opposite the central station and elegant and spacious rooms with marble bathrooms. The rooms of the hotel have great views of the historic quarter on the one side, the train station and the courtyard on the other. There is an onsite restaurant, sauna, and a gym.
Park Plaza Nuremberg is located in front of the 19th-century Nuremberg Main Station. The hotel was opened in 2016 and offers spacious and vibrant rooms, each equipped with a smartphone. Guests can also make use of the fitness center, hotel bar, and restaurant.
Novotel Nuernberg Centre Ville offers a sun terrace and fitness center as well as an indoor pool and different saunas. It is located in the 100m from the main train station. The hotel offers a hotel bar and all the rooms are spacious and each has a minibar.
Sorat Hotel Saxx Nürnberg is located on the central market square where the annual Christmas Market is held. The hotel offers wifi and individually furnished rooms with private bathrooms. Guests can relax in the hotel bar or snack bar and luggage storage is available.
Leonardo Hotel Nürnberg offers a roof terrace and a breakfast restaurant and is centrally located. The hotel features spacious rooms with modern bathrooms as well as free wifi. There is also a billiards room that guests are free to use.
Nuremberg Christmas Market is a perfect Christmas market to visit if you want to experience a unique and traditional German Christmas.
Thank you to Nuremberg tourism for their tour. As always, all opinions expressed are my