Booth full of handmade woodcraft products at Christmas market.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit a Christmas Market

Christmas is the most anticipated holiday of the year, based on my scientific deductions from my Facebook Newsfeed. Despite being a Halloween girl myself, I can’t deny that there is something about Christmas that just makes December so magical. The twinkly lights, the snow falling from the sky, the jolly fat man who squeezes through your chimney to deliver gifts to your children. Okay, that last one might be more fascinating for the kids than the adults.

However, moving to Germany introduced us to something that has infinitely made the gift giving season that much more magical: Christmas Markets. We had never heard of such a thing before living abroad and it’s easily become one of our favorite activities to do each winter. And the best part is nearly every city – no matter how big or small – has one! Now, here are our top five reasons to visit a Christmas Market this winter!

1. Unique Christmas Gifts

Booth full of handmade Christmas plates, mugs, bells, candle holders, and more.

At every Christmas Market I’ve ever been to, I’ve seen numerous booths with local vendors selling handmade products. It’s the best way to get a jump start on your Christmas shopping! Who doesn’t love a unique gift you can’t find in stores? And these vendors sell such a different variety of gifts. I’ve seen mugs, plates, clothing, hats, wood crafts, ornaments, and much more! Plus, a lot of these products are Christmas themed which makes for more home decor each holiday!

Christmas market vendor with handmade wood crafts.

Handmade wooden scenes and wall decor.

2. Holiday Music

Group of people playing Christmas music on brass instruments.

No matter where you are, you’re bound to hear some holiday cheer when at a Christmas Market. Sometimes there are live bands playing, or there are speakers set up to softly play Christmas music while you’re enjoying the market. Of course, you can just turn on the radio in December and hear some “Jingle Bells,” but nothing beats the ambiance of snow falling while a live band is playing Christmas tunes at the local market.

3. Glühwein

Glühwein in souvenir Christmas market mugs.

Glühwein, mulled wine, or whatever you want to call it; this drink right here? Fan-freaking-tastic. Being honest, our first winter here our friend brought us a bottle of glühwein and told us we needed to heat it up before we drank it. I’m sorry, what? It was already hard enough getting used to no ice in any of our drinks, and now you want us to purposefully heat up wine? That just sounded like a disaster waiting to happen. Long story short, we did what he said and we’re never going back! Even Tyler loves getting glühwein in the winter. Plus, there are several different flavors you can try: regular, blueberry, apple, etc.

And bonus! When you order yourself some, they’ll give it to you in a nifty personalized mug that you can only get at that specific market! You can return it to the vendor and earn your deposit – pfand in Germany – back but that’s just silly. We’ve kept all our Christmas Market mugs and plan on collecting even more this coming winter!

Tyler and I drinking our glühwein.

4. Krampus

German actor dressed as Krampus.

Not every Christmas Market will have a Krampus show, but plan on hitting one that will. Trust me, it’s worth it. We all know the story of Santa Claus – or St. Nicholas here in Germany – but most tourists have never heard of Krampus. He’s known as the anti-Santa in that he punishes children who misbehave. In America, we know that Santa will reward good boys and girls with presents and naughty ones with coal in their stockings. Krampus doesn’t deliver coal to the naughty children, instead he stuffs them into his bag and tortures them with whips and chains.

The entire Krampus show is in German, so we can never understand a word that is said. However, it is an amazing experience and you can understand the basic premise of the show from watching the actors. Plus if you hang around once the show is over, you might be able to score a picture with one of the demons!

Myself posing with one of the Krampus actors.

5. It’s Truly Magical

Street decorated with Christmas lights.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Christmas Markets are magical. Streets and neighboring buildings are covered in twinkling lights, multiple Christmas trees are scattered around and decorated. The biggest reason I love Christmas Markets is getting to spend time with my friends and family. Being in such a beautifully decorated market with the people I care about makes all the stresses of life dissipate and all I’m left with is fuzzy feelings. It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

If this post hasn’t convinced you to visit a Christmas Market you must hate anything good in this world. Ha, kidding! But seriously, everyone should experience a Christmas Market at least once in their life. It’s one of the best ways to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones.

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Christmas is the most celebrated holiday with different people all over the world. Here are our top 5 reasons you should visit a Christmas Market this year!

13 comments

  1. Malini

    Great post! I’ve been to the Christmas markets in Munich and I totally agree – they are magical! Love sipping on Gluhwein, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Krampus show – how neat!

    1. Holly

      We’re hoping to see the Christmas markets in Munich this December! Ah, if you get the chance see a Krampus show! Probably my favorite thing about the markets. But I’m a weirdo who loves scary movies, ha!

  2. Brianna

    Visiting a German Christmas market is on my bucket list. I’m just too much of a baby about the cold to make it happen 😛
    And I am 100% teaching my kids about Krampus…

    1. Holly

      They’re so amazing! You HAVE to go! I promise it’s not THAT cold! 😉

      And us, too! It’s so much better than the whole “coal in the stocking” bit.

  3. Kristin

    I love Christmas Markets! I know I should be buying gifts for other people when I go to them, but I usually end up buying for myself! And I actually love the Weiden Christmas Market (I spy the mug from your Gluhwein pic!) because it’s so small and intimate!

    1. Holly

      Same! It’s so hard to buy for others because I want it all! And yes! So far Weiden has been my favorite; although we haven’t been to any really big markets yet so that may change!

  4. Annika

    I love Christmas and this post has increased my excitement! I hope to check out some Christmas Markets this holiday season.

    1. Holly

      You definitely should! Christmas markets are now easily one of my top favorite things about the holidays.

  5. Lynne Nieman

    High on my bucket list is to get to a Europe around Christmas so I can do to some of these markets. And I know Germany has some of the best. Great post!

  6. Jordan

    Glühwein is definitely my #1 reason for visiting the Christmas Markets (plus, I’m obsessed with collecting the mugs and have far too many!)

    1. Holly

      Ugh me too, girl. Honestly the first thing we do at a Christmas market is find the glühwein. Gotta keep warm. 😉

  7. Karolina

    It’s a Christmas Market – that’s all the reasons one should need! It’s always magical and Christmasy! :))

    1. Holly

      You’re exactly right! Nothing is quite like Christmas.

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