The Christmas market in Nuremberg (Christkindlesmarkt) is one of the biggest festive markets in Europe. Located in the heart of the old walled town, with more than 180 wooden stands with red and white roof cloths, the magical atmosphere is shared by all.
What a better way to spend December 24th than in the most renowned Christmas market? The lights, the jovial atmosphere and the yummy treats are perfect to get you into the holiday spirit. The market is open for almost a month and closes at 2 pm on December 24th.
Our visit to Nuremberg was, sadly, an express one, we were there for only a couple of hours, just enough to experience the market and have a quick look at the walled city.
Pro tip: Beware that around Christmas day most of the activities and restaurants are closed or have shorter opening hours, so you need to plan your visit carefully.
What to eat at the Nuremberg Christmas market:
Nuremberg is considered one of the culinary city of Germany, so be sure to visit the market with an empty belly to be able to savour all the local gastronomy.
The Nuremberg grilled sausages are a must! The finger size sausages spiced with Marjoram are served all over the market in the format of “three in a bun”. The marjoram spice gives them a pinch of pine and citrus flavours. These sausages are a protected geographical designation. Why is this label important? Because they are 100% local and traditional. So when travelling in Europe, always search for these products for an authentic experience.
They were sooo good that I had to eat 2 sandwiches because I could not get enough. Don't forget to add mustard for an extra touch of flavour.
Mulled wine, a Christmas market without mulled wine is an incomplete experience. Every market has its own original cup and you can keep it as a souvenir. Nuremberg is in the heart of Franconia, one of the wine regions of Germany. The wine served in the market is a blueberry wine mixed with anise, cinnamon, cloves and other species.
I must admit that I was not a big fan, but the hot beverages did help bring back heat into my body.
Gingerbread cookies, just to think about these, I start to have water in my mouth, this is how good these are! In the middle ages, the city was known as “the city of spices” since it was in the crossing a numerous trading routes. Spices from all over the world were mixed to give the cookies complexe flavours of almonds, cinnamon, ginger, honey and several other spices. These cookies are very different from the popular ones in North America. Chances are that if you don’t like ginger cookies you will like these ones as are they are a bit sweeter and softer.
Besides all the fabulous food, the countless stands showcase the best craftsmanship of the region. This is the perfect place to get your souvenirs and Christmas decorations to bring back home.
The stage often showcases choirs and groups playing local music. I highly suggest checking the website beforehand if you wish to catch a concert.
The market is dominated by the imposing Our Lady Church. The church has a beautiful clock where wooden figurines come and go marking the hour change. The spectacle is very short so be sure to be at the market near the hour change to catch it!
What to do in Nuremberg
Besides the Christmas market, the city offers several restaurants and cafes aiming to promote the local gastronomy. However, the city as also plenty of museums.
The Kaiserburg, the imperial castle, dates back to the Roman empire and overlooks the city. The tower and the well are open to the public.
The horrendous past of the Nazi and the Nuremberg laws are not to be forgotten. In memory of this dark past, the Nazi documentation centre explains the racist past and promotes human rights for future generations.
Pro tip: I highly recommend getting the 2-day free admission card that costs € 28 and gives you access to all museums and public transports. By far, the best investment that you can make! Get your card here.
Hopefully, I will get a chance in the future to spend more time in this rich city. Nuremberg, I will be back!
Disclaimer: Nuremberg tourism graciously offered the 2-day card and vouchers to savour the delicacies of the market. A big thank you!