Located in the Upper Franconia region of northern Bavaria, Bamberg is one of the most beautiful small cities in the region. Known for its historic architecture that dates from the 11th to the 19th century, it’s a wonderfully walkable city that can be visited in a day or two.
Bamberg is less than an hour from Nuremberg, so you could visit Bamberg Christmas Market on a day trip from this popular city or stay a couple of nights for a more in-depth visit.
In this guide, I share the essential information for organising your visit, including confirmed dates for 2023 for Bamburg’s six Christmas markets, location details, opening times and local specialties.
Bamberg Christmas Market 2023
In 2023, the Christmas market in Bamberg will once again take place on Maximiliansplatz, a large square in the heart of Bamberg’s old town.
This market features a selection of Christmas stalls where you can purchase a variety of items. Expect to find toys, decorations and gifts perfect for the festive season. Food stalls will serve traditional Christmas items, including bratwurst, roasted nuts, and gingerbread.
An interesting feature of this market is the nativity scene, which is refreshed and altered each week during Advent, providing a changing tableau of the festive narrative.
Having visited the Bamberg Christmas Market a few years ago, I can say it’s an experience not to be missed if you get the chance. The atmosphere was truly captivating.
Dates and Location
Bamberg Christmas Market dates: 28th November to 23rd December 2023.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 9:30am to 8pm. Sunday: 11am to 8pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: The cosy square surrounded by Franconian half-timbered houses and the unique nativity scenes. The historic UNESCO listed location and attractions.
Recommended tour: The most popular guided walking tour in Bamberg.
Specialities: Freshly baked lebkuchen (gingerbread).
Where to stay: Le Baldinger Hotel is a 5-minute walk to Maximiliansplatz, 3 minutes to the Old Town Hall and 8 minutes to Bamberg Cathedral.
Hotels near Bamberg Christmas Market
Bamberg is a compact, small city with sights and attractions that are concentrated in a small area. It makes sense to want to stay somewhere central near the Christmas markets and Maximiliansplatz.
I suggest staying at Le Baldinger Hotel. It’s located a short walk from the Christmas market as well as the Old Town Hall and Bamberg Cathedral.
If you would prefer to stay elsewhere, my guide to hotels near Bamberg Christmas Market lists several excellent places to stay that are well-located and good value for money.
Location of Bamberg Christmas Market
Don Bosco Christmas Market
Set against the striking backdrop of Jakobsberg Hill, the Don Bosco Christmas Market spans two days and is a highly-anticipated event in the festive season.
Situated on Jakobsplatz, the market showcases the intricate works of various artists and craftspeople. Exhibitors are carefully selected, resulting in a rich tapestry of unique, handcrafted goods available for purchase.
These stalls and booths, adorned with meticulous care, contribute to the historic ambience that Jakobsberg Hill is known for, enhancing the overall experience of the market.
Don Bosco Dates: 11th to 12th November 2023.
Location: Jakobsplatz on Jakobsberg Hill.
Opening times: Saturday: 1pm to 8pm. Sunday: 11am to 7pm.
Location of Don Bosco Christmas Market
Advent Market in the Sand
The Advent Market in the Sand is a traditional Medieval market stationed in front of the historic St Elisabeth’s Church.
Housing approximately 30 stalls, this market specialises in offering a range of regional products. Exhibitors, which include local craftspeople and traders, display an assortment of goods that include local produce and artisanal crafts, as well as other high-quality commercial products.
The market’s location around the medieval Elisabethenkirche on Obere Sandstraße provides a historic and atmospheric backdrop, enriching the festive shopping experience.
Dates: 1st to 3rd December 2023.
Location: St Elisabeth’s Church.
Opening times: Friday: 4pm to 8:30pm. Saturday: 11am to 8:30pm. Sunday: 11am to 6pm.
Location of Advent Market in the Sand
Art Market in the Historical Museum
Art Market in the Historical Museum is a unique combination of an art exhibition and a sales fair. This event upholds the utmost standards in design and craftsmanship, showcasing contemporary work from designers across Germany.
Although the emphasis is on Franconian art, it brings together a wide variety of artists. Attendees are encouraged to engage in conversations with the artists, gain inspiration and purchase exquisite, unique gifts.
This market truly embodies the concept of “Arts & Crafts To Go” through its meticulous selection of high-quality, artistic pieces.
Art Market dates: 8th to 10th December 2023.
Location: Domplatz (Cathedral Square).
Opening times: Friday: 5pm to 9pm. Saturday: 10am to 7pm. Sunday: 10am to 5pm.
Location of Kunstmarkt (Art Market)
Intercultural Crafts Christmas Market
The Intercultural Crafts Christmas Market, located in and around the beautifully restored St. Johannes Chapel on Stephansberg Hill, provides a platform for regional craftspeople to showcase and sell their high-quality products.
The market stands out for its diverse supporting programme, which illustrates the rich Christmas traditions and customs of countries across the globe.
This cultural exchange amplifies the intercultural perspective of the market, creating an engaging and inclusive holiday shopping experience.
Intercultural Crafts Christmas Market dates: 16th to 17th December 2023.
Location: St Johannes Chapel on Stephansberg Hill.
Opening times: Saturday: 1pm to 7pm. Sunday: 11am to 7pm.
Location of Intercultural Crafts Christmas Market
Advent Magic in Schlüsselfeld
Advent Magic in Schlüsselfeld (outside of Bamberg) encompasses a Christmas village set up in the Town Hall courtyard, where visitors can enjoy an array of attractions.
With stage performances for entertainment, a variety of sweet and hearty culinary delights, as well as mulled wine for a warming treat, the market brings a lively atmosphere.
Crafted woodwork and honey sales are among the items available for purchase, adding to the diversity of offerings.
The proceeds from the event contribute to the community foundation, reinforcing the market’s commitment to local development.
Advent Magic Schlüsselfeld dates: 2nd to 3rd December 2023.
Location: Im Rathaushof (Town Hall courtyard).
Opening times: Saturday: 5pm to 10pm. Sunday: 3pm to 6pm.
Location of Advent Magic Schlüsselfeld
Of course, there are many other amazing places to visit in Germany. For more information on where to go, this German Christmas Markets 2023 guide has plenty of ideas as well as details on when to visit.
Things to do in Bamberg in Winter
While Bamberg’s outdoor sights are captivating, remember to explore its indoor attractions, especially during chilly winter days.
Whether it’s a museum visit or a cosy coffee break in a traditional German cafe, there’s always something to do in Bamberg in winter.
Winter in Bamberg presents a remarkable experience, with various attractions that can keep visitors entertained and steeped in rich history.
A stroll through the old town is a pleasant experience and the perfect opportunity to marvel at the city’s well-preserved medieval architecture.
At the heart of Bamberg, you’ll find the Old Bridge Town Hall, a standout landmark with its ornate architecture dramatically poised in the middle of the Regnitz River. This should be your first stop, as it’s truly the city’s iconic symbol.
However, your exploration shouldn’t end there. The Old Court, a complex of historical buildings including a chapel and timber-framed houses, is a testament to Bamberg’s rich history. Take a moment to wander through its archways and courtyards, which are sure to transport you back in time.
Altenburg Castle, perched atop the highest hill in Bamberg, is another sight to behold. Although a bit of a trek, the reward is a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and the surrounding landscape.
Next on your itinerary should be the Bamberg Cathedral, an impressive 13th-century Gothic masterpiece with four imposing towers. It’s a place where art and history converge. Spend some time admiring its beautiful interior and the Tomb of Emperor Henry II.
Your tour of Bamberg would be incomplete without visiting St Michael’s Monastery. This former Benedictine abbey, now a museum, is home to a stunning library and a terraced garden.
Lastly, make sure to visit the New Residence, a lavish 17th-century palace. Explore its 40 splendid rooms filled with tapestries, furniture and paintings, revealing the opulence of the former prince-bishops of Bamberg.
The city’s official website for visitors, Bamberg Tourism, has more information on visiting Bamberg and the latest events and experiences.
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. When visiting the Christmas markets, keeping sustainability in mind is important. Implement some or all of these simple measures to create a positive impact.
Support Bamberg’s Renewable Energy Initiatives: The city takes great pride in its green energy efforts, and I’m urging you to be a part of it. Look for accommodation that runs on renewable energy. Many of the hotels and guest houses in Bamberg use solar power or other renewable sources. Support them by choosing to stay there during your Christmas visit.
Minimise Food Waste: It’s easy to get carried away with the abundance of delicious food at the Christmas market, but try to be mindful of your consumption. Buy only what you’re certain you’ll eat, and ask for smaller portions if necessary. Many food vendors in Bamberg are understanding and will happily accommodate your request.
Choose Ethically Made Gifts: Bamberg’s Christmas market is brimming with handcrafted treasures. Prioritise locally made gifts that support the local economy and avoid mass-produced items. A number of stalls sell handmade crafts, from wooden toys to wool scarves, created by artisans in and around Bamberg.
Follow a Sustainable Diet: German cuisine is famous for its hearty meals, but you can still enjoy it while being conscious of your environmental footprint. Try vegetarian or vegan versions of traditional dishes – many stalls at the Christmas markets in Bamberg cater to a range of dietary preferences. Also, opt for locally sourced and organic food where possible.
Use Sustainable Transport Methods: One of Bamberg’s charms is its compact size, making it perfect for exploring on foot or by bike. Skip the taxi and reduce your carbon footprint by using these healthier and more sustainable modes of transport. The city’s public transport system is also efficient and a great alternative for longer distances.
Yes! Bamberg has 6 Christmas markets in 2023, with the main market taking place in Maximiliansplatz.
Bamberg Christmas Market 2023 dates are from 28th November to 23rd December 2023.
The Christmas market in Bamberg is located at Maximiliansplatz and an additional five smaller locations.
Please comment below if you have any questions or comments about visiting the Bamberg Xmas Market in 2023 or elsewhere in Germany this winter.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Bamberg, Germany. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.