It’s Christmas season and there are such bad snow conditions in Central Europe that even famous skiing resorts need artificial snow now. With or without snow – Christmas Markets are always a pleasure. During December and before Christmas, when I usally go to the tropics, exploring new Christmas markets is one of my favorite pastimes on Weekends.
Yesterday I finally made it to Nuremberg, which is the most famous and largest Christmas Market in the World. However, the Nuremberg “Christkindlesmarkt” has often a bad reputation in Germany. I needed to make up my own mind and I have to say the visit was a very nice experience. So let’s eliminate some popular cliches about the Nuremberg Christmas Market:
1. Nuremberg Christmas Market is hectic
No it’s not, it’s just crowded. But Franconians are a pretty relaxed bunch. Even the vendors are in a good mood. Even our famous “pet” was invited to a traditional stall and was allowed to say hello to the super-famous “Zwetschgenmännla” (prune men):
2. It’s not atmospheric
This is not true at all. You can feel the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread everywhere. Inspiring colors are are on each single stall. You are aware that you are in a very historic place, walk on old cobblestones and know that the castle and the half-timbered houses are just a short walk away. On “Christkindelsmarkt” You can experience products of traditional handicraft which is connected closely with the centuries- old history of Nuremburg. And the direct surroundings including Bavaria’s oldest gothic church could not be more picturesque:
3. It’s a Tourist Trap
Yes, people use to fly in from all over the world. First, this is for a reason. And secondly, the market is also full of locals. We visited the market with local friends who met a lot of other locals there. There are lots of long-estiblashed stalls which even our Nuremberg-born and raised friends knew from their childhood. Think of doll’s houses furniture and things like that…
4. It’s conventional
Of course, it’s classic. But the market is not only on the Hauptmarkt but stretches also into different directions. The extensions have a lot of unusual stuff to offer. Around the town hall there is a market of the Nuremberg’s partner cities with products and delicacies from the whole world
The lesson is clear: Yes, these hidden tiny markets in tiny European towns and villages are that gorgeous. But it’s wrong to avoid Nuremberg. It’s worth a journey just because of the colors or just to try this fresh, fluffy, not-industrialised gingerbread. Enjoy!
You can find any further information on Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt on this website.
If you liked my article, you might also be interested in my blog post on the medieval town Cadolzburg in Franconia, which is a hidden gem.
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This post is also available in de_DE.