Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Market 2010, Nuremberg, Germany

It is that time of the year again, where the weather gets colder and the festivities draw closer. Christmas markets (German: Christkindlmarkt) are street markets held annually in the lead up to Christmas, ending 1 or 2 days before Christmas day. The Nuremberg or Nürnberger Christkindlmarkt is the most famous Christmas market in Germany, with over 2 millions visitors from all over the world yearly.

Christkindlmarkt is translated literally as "Christ Child Market" and the Christkind is considered an essential part of this particular market. The Christkind or Christmas Angel is elected every two years and has to be a girl, aged between 16 and 19 years old. The selection is taken very seriously, there is even a jury to select the finalists, whittled down from a huge number of competitors on an internet poll. Every year, on the Friday before the first Advent Sunday (26th Nov this year), the Christkind opens the Christkindlmarkt with a prologue. Unfortunately I was unable to see the Christkind for myself as she only makes appearances during weekdays at selected times only.

The Christmas market is spread all over town with booths/stalls sporadically placed leading up to Hauptmarkt, the square right in front of the Frauenkirche (Church of the Lady). The Hauptmarkt is, so to say, the centre of the old town and also the centre of the Christkindlmarkt.

We visited a few stalls before reaching the main square.

A stall selling authentic Elisenlebkuchen; premium quality Lebkuchen (a soft, German version of gingerbread) which can be only found in Nuremberg. It is designated the Protected Designation of Origin by EU law and must be produced within the boundaries of the city.

The friendly owner of the stall provided us with a sample of the lebkuchen before we proceeded to buy a few for consumption at home. The lebkuchen was soft and crumbly and was different from any other we've tried before in Germany. Perhaps the gluten-free production of the lebkuchen had something to do with it. The prices range from €1.50 for the standard lebkuchen to €2.50 for the ones lovably decorated with icing.

Half-metre Nürnberger Bratwurst with onions in a baguette for €3.00 a pop. This local speciality was definitely a crowd favourite!

Even the Japanese and Koreans made their mark at the market!

The Lorenzkirche (St. Lawrence Church) from afar.

Another highlight of the Christmas market not to be missed is the hot mulled wine. Hot mulled wine costs between €2.50 to €3.00 a cup with an additional option of amaretto or rum shots, for those who like their hard liquer. There are various types of mulled wine; amongst them the blueberry version or the grape version. For non-alcoholics and kids there is the fruit punch option, so no one is left out! The clay cups/mugs vary from stall to stall; each has their unique version.

Crossing the river before reaching the main square

Notice the crowd visibly growing as we approach the main square.

We have arrived!

The Frauenkirche standing tall over the hundreds of stalls.

A children's choir providing us with a sweet chorus, as we walked through the throngs of stalls.

Other versions of the gingerbread.

Christmas tree ornaments

The real beauty of the christmas market really shines through when darkness falls and the lights from the stalls are turned on. It is really a fantastic sight, as we discovered after we stepped out of our short break at a cafe nearby.

A massive wooden Christmas carousel.

The horses have come out to play!

A completely different feel to the Christmas market compared to an hour ago.

The stalls sell mostly festive decorations and sweets; with various snacks in between.

Beautiful and colourful crystal decorations.

Toys wonderfully detailed and made using the simplest of materials.

More dainty decorations.

A band has replaced the childrens choir as the next performers on stage.

Corn on the cob and more wursts for the hungry.

Amazing workmanship goes into creating these wooden marvels.

Miniature stall and carousel made with attention to detail. The miniature stall even has fake snow to create the Christmas feel.

The Christkindlmarkt is definitely one of the highlights of the year in Nuremberg and is a must-go for visitors to the area during this period. Certainly a quintessential German experience in the lead up to Christmas!

Christmas Market at Nuremberg runs from 26th November to 24th December 2010.

Opening times: Mon-Thu 9.30am - 8.00pm; Fri - Sat 9.30am - 10.00pm; Sun 10.30am - 8.00pm. The last market day will be Friday, 24 December 2010 from 9.3oam to 2.00pm.


  1. X'mas is in the air!! Nice pics yo!

  2. celebrate X'mas at Europe definitely a special experience!

  3. im so in love wit the x'mas in europe! i remember i was @ brussel for x'mas once n it was lovely!

  4. Wow, the nurnburger.... if only it's available in KL....

  5. Great post! Suppose to be there with hubby this year but as it is, weather had been too cold lately and decided to give it a miss and will just visit the nearby Christmas Market. Btw, it is called Weihnachtsmarkt here in Germany:-)

  6. so much more atmospheric than msia.. i am so jealous.. ! Am just looking at the Half-metre Nürnberger Bratwurst - not THAT'S what i call a hotdog;)

  7. I hope to be able to experience the Christmas market at Germany next year !

  8. Looks like snow hasnt got into Nürnberg yet! it's freezeing further down south with lots of snow. I really like Nürnbergs Weihnachtsmarkt. I think it's the best in Bayern. =)

  9. X'mas at Europe ... so nice! Must go to experienced once in life!

  10. I would love to try some of the gingerbread from Nuremberg. I love gingerbread myself so this should be good


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