These unique German Christmas Markets are putting a unique twist on one of Europe’s most beloved old world traditions.
Ravenna Gorge Christmas Market in the Black Forest
In southwest Germany, festival-goers are celebrating the holidays in the first and only Christmas market located in the Ravenna Gorge underneath a 130-ft. railway viaduct of the Devil‘s Valley Railway in the Black Forest Highlands. Surrounded by the gorge’s steep cliffs, guests can browse the 40 vendors offering handicrafts and local products in a small village of little wooden huts. There will also be live music and a varied selection of food and beverages. For more information, visit hochschwarzwald.de/weihnachtsmarkt.
An Underground Christmas Market Near the Mosel River
Dates: Weekends from Nov. 25–Dec. 18, 2016; daily from Dec. 22, 2016–Jan. 3, 2017 (Closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).
The underground Mosel-Wein-Nachts-Markt (Moselle wine and Christmas Market) takes place in the historic wine cellars of Traben-Trarbach on the Mosel River in southwest Germany. For the holidays, the lighted cellar, which dates back to the 16th century, will be filled with regional handicrafts and sample wine for guests to buy. For more information, visit mosellandtouristik.de/en/culture-events/christmas-markets.
Fraueninsel Market on a Bavarian Island
Dates: Nov. 25-27, 2016 and Dec. 2-4, 2016.
On two holiday weekends, ferries shuttle visitors to the Fraueninsel Market on Bavaria’s biggest lake, the Chiemsee, in the heart of the Bavarian Alps. Christmas decorations and lights will illuminate the more than 90 stalls selling Bavarian souvenirs, culinary delicacies, arts & crafts, woodcarvings, mulled wine and many other items from the island’s abbey, such as nativity scenes and Christmas decorations. For more information, visit christkindlmarkt-fraueninsel.de/english.
Historical-romantic Christmas Market at Fort Konigsstein
Dates: Nov. 26-Dec. 18, 2016 (every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
Saxony’s annual Christmas Market features an impressive light display, minstrels and craftspeople selling their wares, live caroling, fairytale plays, a visit from Santa Claus, and a Russian banya (sauna), plus a variety of attractions for children, including a fairytale grotto, pony riding, puppet shows and a Christmas crib with live animals. The medieval Christmas market inside one of Europe’s biggest fortress will also feature jesters, toy makers and demonstrations of ancient craftsmanship. For more information, visit festung-koenigstein.de/en/weihnachtsmarkt-en.html. Insiders’ tip: Visit the underground Christmas world located in the casemates, which are illuminated by dozens of Moravian stars.
Action-Packed Christmas Market in Bochum
Dates: Nov. 17-Dec. 23, 2016, daily from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The North western city of Bochum plays host to not just one but two Christmas markets—a traditional market and a medieval market taking place around the Paulus church. Craftsmen dressed in period costumes, traders, minstrels and buffoons stroll the medieval world complete with open fire, old-fashioned stalls and music. The highlight of the market is the high wire show of the famous artist Falko Traber, who flies twice a day, disguised as Santa Claus, in his sled over the heads of the visitors telling them a different Christmas story each time. For more information, visit bochumer-weihnacht.de/english.