Prepare for your "Silent Night" in GermanyChristmas in Germany

The magic of Christmas can always be found in Germany – so open your senses to a feast of sights, smells and emotions! Original decorations, spiced fragrances and drinks to warm the body and soul are the perfect recipe for a successful Christmas market. And Germany has long since proved itself to be a master of the art!

Whether you plan to visit just one of the many Christmas markets or to tour several of the most iconic, here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit.

The surprisingly nearby Aachen Christmas market

The city of Aachen, just across the border, turns the alleys and squares around the cathedral and town hall into a unique Christmas village every year in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

In addition to the traditional specialities, the Aachener Printen is a must. This delicious, spicy Christmas cake made from beetroot syrup gave the Aachen Christmas market its name long ago: the Printenmarkt.

If you take the ICE train from Brussels, you can easily get to the heart of Aachen in just over an hour to try this unique pastry.

The Cologne Christmas Market - a must-see.

Would you like to travel a little further into Germany to soak up the Christmas vibe? Hop on the ICE train to Cologne.

In the German city, which is also known for its carnival, decorated chalets appear in various places from mid-November onwards: near the cathedral, on Neumarkt, on Rudolfplatz, in the city park, at the harbour, on Heumarkt and in the Altstadt.

Fun fact: If you order a hot drink at the Cologne Christmas Market, it is served in a unique cup that is decorated each year with typical Christmas designs and which you can take home. If you already have enough souvenirs from your trip, just return it and the deposit will be refunded!

The Frankfurt Christmas Market - a centuries-old Christmas pleasure

Do you like large and cosy Christmas gatherings? Then the Frankfurt Christmas Market is the right place for you. An average of three million people visit the Christmas market every year. So make sure you plan your trip well in advance!

The Frankfurt Christmas Market is one of the oldest in Germany. It was first held in 1393. You will find more than 240 stalls spread over five locations: Römerberg, Paulsplatz, Mainkai, Hauptwache and Friedrich-Stoltze.

Of course, you can also easily reach this German destination by ICE train in just under three hours from Brussels.

"Silent Night" in Germany

Do not leave any market before you have:

  • Tried the German specialities, particularly the Kartoffelpuffer (a kind of potato pancake) or the grilled sausages
  • Drunk some Glühwein (mulled wine)
  • Tasted the Stollen (a loaf made with dried fruit)

And do not return home without:

  • Some handmade Christmas decorations
  • Some Lebkuchen (large, decorated heart-shaped biscuits)
  • Some souvenir mugs: each market has its own mug that you can fill up with mulled wine at the various shops.

And finally:

  • Plan ahead and insulate yourself from the cold with well-lined footwear suitable for walking
  • Avoid sampling the mulled wine on an empty stomach. Some mulled wine recipes are enhanced with rum and can be deceptively dangerous

For further information, visit the German National Tourist Board's website.