The Nuremberg Christmas Market is Germany’s most famous and one of it’s most traditional markets.
That also means it’s a popular attraction, drawing in over 2 million visitors from Germany, Europe, and even Japan!
I went to the Nuremberg Christmas Market for the first time last year. I thought it was nice, but overcrowded (avoid going on a weekend if possible). I went again this year and really enjoyed it, in large part because I went with locals who showed me the Christmas Market through their eyes.
Here’s What To Really See and Do at the Nuremberg Christmas Market:
Visit the International Christmas Market
Besides the regular Christmas market there’s also an international Christmas market with 14 of Nuremberg’s sister cities. Cities are represented from 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?…
Christkind was the traditional giver of gifts. Not surprisingly children love meeting the 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 at other Christmas 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).
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 throughout the Christmas market.
Children’s Christmas Market
The Children’s Christmas Market 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 the Nuremberg Christmas Market. It’s such an interesting story that I wrote a whole post on it.
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. Here is the program for the Main Market Square of the Nuremberg Christmas Market. But keep in mind there’s much more at other venues.
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!
Tour Nuremberg in a Stage Coach
This was so much fun and surprisingly comfortable! The stage coat is a 1939 replica that takes guests through Nuremberg’s cobble stone 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 everyday 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 Christmas Market is not enough (I’m a bit of a Christmas Market fanatic), in that case check out the Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Market and My Favorite Christmas Markets in Munich.
Thank you to Nuremberg tourism for their tour of the Nuremberg Christmas Market. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.