Nuremberg Christmas market

The Christmas Angel at Nuremburg's Christmas Market
The Christmas Angel at the opening of Nürnburg's Christkindlesmarkt (Photo by Christine Dierenbach)

The Christkindlesmarkt Christmas market in Nuremberg, Germany

On the Friday before Advent, the golden Christmas Angel appears on the high gallery of the medieval Frauenkirche to recite the opening prologue from behind her wig of golden curls for one of the biggest and arguably the most famous Christmas market of them all, Nürnberg's Christkindlesmarkt (Nov. 30–Dec. 24,

Two million shoppers descend upon the 180 candy cane–striped stalls that fill the main square with crafts, ornaments, and toys. The air is perfumed with gingerbread, glühwein, and smoke swirling from bratwurst grills.

Market officials enforce traditions with typical Teutonic efficiency: no plastic wreaths, recorded Christmas muzak, or gaudy carousels allowed. It's open daily from 9:30am to 8pm (to 10pm Friday and Saturday; opens 10:30am Sundays).

Look for...

Nuremberg Plum People," tiny puppets made of prune limbs, fig torsos, and walnut heads with painted-on faces, like refugees from a low-budget claymation Christmas special of the 1970s.

(Stall owners compete to win the coveted “Gold Plum Person” prize for their displays.)

The Nuremburg Christmas Market
Nürnburg's Christkindlesmarkt (Photo by Uli Kowatsch)

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in October 2012.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.