Christmas markets in Germany are one of the most sought-after destinations in the winter. Christmas is also the most beautiful time of the year in Germany, reflected in all towns and villages with light decorations and a warm orange glow. You can find countless Christmas markets between November and December, and it’s impossible to say which ones are the most beautiful.

Have you ever drunk white Gluhwein, or do you fancy a bratwurst in a roll or a Reibekuchen with apple sauce? Then you should definitely visit a Christmas market this year. We present the most beautiful Christmas markets in 4 major German cities.

Other Christmas market guides

Berlin Christmas Market

stands on the gendarmenmarkt christmas market in berlin
Berlin is huge with its countless districts, so it's no surprise that you'll find around 27 Christmas markets here this year. We share our favorites, but you should definitely visit some of the others and make up your own mind.

From 27.11.-31.12.23 you can visit the Christmas market at the Gendarmenmarkt. It is popular with locals and tourists alike and attracts around 800,000 visitors every year. Here you'll find many stalls and stands, from artists, craftspeople, and entertainers to culinary delights.

The best part? Part of the entrance fee (1€ for adults) is donated to cultural and social projects in Berlin, so you’re even doing some good. The historical setting of the Gendarmenmarkt, where you can stroll between the German and French cathedrals and the concert hall, makes the market seem magical.

Here are some hotels near the Berlin Christmas market:

  • Titanic Gendarmenmarkt Berlin: The 3-star hotel has beautifully furnished rooms that will make you feel right at home. The advantage is that you don't have to walk far to the Christmas market and can experience the winter magic without much effort.
  • Regent Berlin: In this hotel, you'll have it a little more luxurious. Right around the corner from the Gendarmenmarkt, you have the advantage of being just a few minutes walk away from it.
  • Arcotel John F: Huge king-size beds and high-quality bathrooms make you feel exceptional at this hotel. After your stay here, you won't even want to leave the hotel. You are also within walking distance of the Christmas market.

Need more inspiration? We also recommend the following Christmas markets in Berlin:

  • Christmas Market in the Spandauer Old Town (27.11.23 – 32.12.23)
  • Christmas Market at the Gedächtniskirche (27.11.23 – 07.01.24)
  • Christmas Market at the Schloss Charlottenburg (27.11.23 — 31.12.23)

Can't wait and want to get in the Christmas spirit even earlier? Take a look at the Christmas markets that open their doors first in Berlin this year:

  • Christmas Market and Winter World at the Potsdamer Platz (Winter World: 28.10. — 01.01., Christmas Market: 27.11. — 26.12.)
  • Christmas Carnival at the Landsberger Allee (03.11. — 30.12.)
  • LGBTIQ Winterdays and Christmas Avenue (10.11. — 23.12.)

Hamburg Christmas Market

christmas markets in germany - hamburg
Hamburg also has a lot to offer when it comes to Christmas markets in Germany. In all its districts you will find a total of 24 Christmas markets, so it's hard to choose which one to see first.

Our absolute favorite is the Historical Christmas Market at the Town Hall, and we are definitely not alone with this opinion, as it is popular among Hamburgers and tourists alike. It is open from 27.11 – 23.12 and takes place under the motto “Art instead of commerce”.

As the motto suggests, the focus here is on artistic creations, and you'll find a toy aisle and lots of arts and crafts, including woodcarvings from Tyrol, to name just one example. You should also try the town hall's own mulled wine and Nuremberg gingerbread.

Spend your evenings in one of our suggested hotels:

  • Ruby Lotti: The 4-star hotel is a 10-minute walk from the town hall square and has a modern interior and many of the rooms have a view of the water.
  • SIR Nikolai: This hotel is also centrally located in Hamburg and you can reach the city hall in 12 minutes. The rooms have a cozy flair that makes you feel at home.
  • Barcelo Hamburg: The Barcelo has an entrepreneurial flair, yet very comfortable and cosy rooms. Enjoy yourself here and visit the Christmas market nearby.

Cologne Christmas Market

Christmas market at the cologne cathedral
In Cologne, too, you'll find a whole lot of Christmas markets, and if you were to include the surrounding suburbs and districts, there would be many more. You can visit 10 markets in the city center and the most famous and, in our opinion, also the best is the Christmas market at Cologne Cathedral. Every year, around 4 million people enjoy the up to 150 stands offering all kinds of dishes and creations. Admire the 25-metre-high red spruce, the largest natural Christmas tree in North Rhine-Westphalia.

From 23.11. — 23.12., you can drink as much mulled wine as you like. After a glass or two, you shouldn't drive, of course, so it's even more practical to stay in a hotel near the cathedral. We've picked out 3 options for you:

  • Boutique 003 Köln Am Dom: This budget hotel is only about 10 minutes away from Cologne Cathedral.
  • CityClass Hotel Residence Am Dom: A 4-star hotel in a low price range, which is only one street away from the Christmas market. It doesn't get any better than that.
  • Excelsior Hotel Ernst: Here you have it luxurious and yet you are only a few minutes away from the cathedral and thus also from the Christmas market on Roncalliplatz.

Besides the Christmas market at Cologne Cathedral, you should definitely visit some of the other markets in the city. How about the smallest Christmas market in the city at the Luther Church in Südstadt? Here you'll even be doing something good with your spending, as all proceeds will be donated to local social projects. Or would you prefer the Christmas market in Stadtgarten, Cologne's hippest district?

Dusseldorf Christmas Market

view on the town hall with a christmas tree in dusseldorf
Düsseldorf, with 9 markets, has the fewest Christmas markets of all the cities on our list. However, these are no separate ones, but one huge Christmas market that stretches over different parts of the city.

Our favorite place to be at Christmas time is Düsseldorf's old town. The Ferris wheel on Burgplatz and the old, almost medieval-style houses make it something extraordinary. Visit the countless artisans with their creations on the market square in front of the historic town hall building and also enjoy a mulled wine and a small snack there. Since the Christmas market stretches through almost all the streets of the old town, there is a lot to discover and you certainly won't get bored. You can visit this Christmas market from 23.11. — 30.12.

Of course, we also have a few hotel suggestions for your Christmas trip to Düsseldorf:

  • Derag Livinghotel De Medici: A few blocks from the banks of the Rhine, this hotel is perfectly located. You can reach the Christmas market in one breath and explore the rest of the city on foot.
  • Ruby Coco Hotel Dusseldorf: This 4-star hotel is located in the center of Düsseldorf, just a few meters from the city's most famous shopping street, the Kö. The old town is a 15-minute walk away.
  • The Wellem, The Unbound Collection By Hyatt: Pure luxury right in the old town. Here you will feel like a king and are only a few meters away from the city's most beautiful Christmas market.