Stuttgart’s Christmas market is among the most popular in Germany and only one of the festive highlights in the area. Several markets in the city and nearby towns take you to the Nordics and the Middle Ages. Here are the five best Christmas markets in the area.
Stuttgart’s Christmas market is one of Germany’s oldest, largest and prettiest ones. Approximately 290 wooden huts shed Christmassy flair, and market stall owners give it everything when decorating the roofs with opulent winter landscapes, lights and ornaments. Foodies are in for a treat or two – local specialities include anise biscuits and fruitcake. A day of yummy snacks, jingling music and festive decorations will help set the mood for the Advent season.
Stuttgart’s neighbouring town of Ludwigsburg is worth a visit if you’re in the area. The grand Baroque palace from the early 18th century would be reason enough, but during the Advent season, the city celebrates with a themed Christmas market. A puppet theatre, musical clocks and antique Christmas tree ornaments set the tone, and vendors feed the guests with traditional foods, including freshly baked gingerbread.
At the end of November, red wooden huts and white tents pitch camp on Stuttgart’s Karlsplatz and transform the square into a Finnish Christmas village. Reindeer meat, smoked salmon trout, mushroom salad and lattyja are washed down with Finnish beer, vodka and Glögi. Traditional design, arts, crafts and clothes give variety to the Christmas shopping experience.
Fans of half-timbered houses, historical market squares and quaint villages will rejoice. The Schorndorf Christmas Village, 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) east of Stuttgart has all that, and during the Advent season, the Christmas market and old town alleys are ablaze with light. With only 40 huts, a visit is an intimate experience, but you’ll find some great souvenirs and gifts and can sample delicious Christmassy food from all over the world.
The Christmas market in Esslingen throws you back to the Medieval Ages with a varied and fun programme. Glass blowers, dyers and blacksmiths dressed in authentic garments sell their craftsmanship, and gleemen and fire-eaters perform for the crowd. You can join a sword-fighting workshop and watch a magic show, and on December 21st, you can participate in the torchlight procession up to Esslingen castle.