The Best Christmas Markets Between Nuremberg and Rothenburg

Courtesy of ETM / Kilian Reil
Courtesy of ETM / Kilian Reil
Marion Kutter

Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber are both popular German destinations year-round, but they are particularly lovely towards the end of the year when the Christmas markets move into the town squares. But in between these charming towns, others are worth visiting for more of the festive fun. Here are seven Christmas markets in the region to put on your list.

Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt


Nuremberg has the archetypical Christmas market
© travelstock44 / Alamy Stock Photo
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the medieval Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, towers over one of Germany’s most famous Christmas markets. Some 180 vendors move into the red-and-white wooden huts on the festively decorated market square. If you want to buy souvenirs and gifts for the whole family, you’re in the right place – whether that’s carved wooden toys, beeswax candles or handmade leather bags and purses. The food stalls focus on regional specialities – mulled wine, Nuremberg Rostbratwurst and gingerbread are a given.

Nuremberg Feuerzangenbowle


Nuremberg Feuerzangenbowle

The historic Christmas market aside, Nuremberg has another treat up its sleeve when it comes to Christmassy experiences. For the past ten years, an initiative has organised the Feuerzangenbowle event. The tongue-twisting name describes a hot drink of red wine and rum and spices. In a celebratory act, a sugar cone is dipped into rum, lit up and then caramelises into the brew that was made famous by a 1944 German film with star actor Heinz Rühmann. The Nuremberg event wallows in nostalgia with screenings of said film, music by Heinz Rühmann and a 9,000-litre kettle of Feuerzangenbowle. Treat it with caution; the potent drink might knock your socks off.

Feuerzangenbowle, Zwischen den Fleischbänken, Nuremberg, Germany

Rothenburger Reiterlesmarkt

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is considered the epitome of German villages. The picturesque cityscape of winding cobblestone alleys, half-timbered houses and the preserved medieval city walls could be straight out of a fairytale. The local Christmas shop sells tree ornaments, cards and other decorations year-round. But nearing the end of November, the town transforms into a magical festive wonderland. The Christmas market has a 500-year-long tradition and offers the best of traditional handicrafts and local sweet and savoury food.

Reiterlesmarkt, Grüner Markt, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Courtesy of Rothenburg Tourismus Service / W. Pfitzinger

Ansbach Christmas Market


Ansbach Christmas Market

The Christmas market in Ansbach’s picturesque old town is a highlight of the festive season. Framed by the city’s two major churches and illuminated by an elaborate light concept, the event puts visitors in high spirits. Some 40 vendors offer trinkets, crafts and décor typical for the regions as well as Franconian culinary specialities, such as Ansbach bratwurst and gingerbread. Parallel to the market, several events from late night-shopping to jazz concerts and an ornamental blacksmith show take place in during the Advent season.

Fränkischer Weihnachtsmarkt Ansbach, Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Platz 1, Ansbach, Germany

Erlangen Christmas Forest


Erlangen Christmas Forest

Erlangen is not exactly located between Nuremberg and Rothenberg, but being just 20 kilometres north of Nuremberg it lures with a unique Christmas market experience. The 300-year-old event got a new look a couple of years ago and has been praised for the quaint and cosy atmosphere. Now, the square in front of the Erlangen Palace transforms into a forest-like area. The place is decked out with bark and wood chips surrounded by fir trees and rustic wooden huts decorated with lights and garlands set up. Sweet and savoury food is available, as are drinks, and the vendors sell handcrafted products from children’s toys to tree ornaments.

Erlanger Waldweihnacht, Schlossplatz, Erlangen, Germany


Courtesy of ETM / Kilian Reil

Fürth Christmas Market

Market, Nightclub, German

The small Christmas market in Fürth has existed for the last 30 years but is still considered an insider’s tip. The organisation of the event is a community effort, and those involved work with attention to detail. The result is a cosy Christmas village of wooden huts where artisans from the region showcase the best of their work from ceramics to glass sculptures and jewellery to wood-carved figures. Classic Christmas market food, mulled wine and a festive entertainment programme round up the experience.

Dinkelsbühl Christmas Market


Dinkelsbühl Christmas Market

More medieval town bliss waits for you in Dinkelsbühl. The small town 50 kilometres south of Rothenburg puts on an annual Christmas market in the courtyard of the historic Spitalhof theatre. You’ll find vendors selling regional specialities and beautiful arts, crafts and décor. Venture out and go for a stroll around town as well. The half-timbered houses are decorated with fairy lights and evergreen garlands, and it seems that the whole town smells of roasted almonds and Glühwein.

Dinkelsbühler Weihnachtsmarkt, Spitalhof, Germany

DINKELSBUEHL_Weihnachtsmarkt-1_David-Haas Kopie

Courtesy of Touristik Service Dinkelsbühl / Photo: David Haas | Courtesy of Touristik Service Dinkelsbühl

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.