Dusseldorf is the capital of the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany. It’s a busy commercial centre known for its fashion industry and cultural scene. It has a lovely Christmas market popular with locals and visitors.
Dusseldorf Christmas Market is held in Altstadt, the historic Old Town, where Christmas huts are decorated in various historic themes. In this guide, I list the dates for 2023, opening times and the three locations. You can also find an overview of local Dusseldorf Christmas specialties.
Three main Christmas markets in Dusseldorf are held in various central locations throughout the city, forming a convenient Christmas trail in the Old Town.
Dusseldorf Christmas Market 2023
The main market in Dusseldorf is known as Altstadt Markt. It’s a lengthy market that lines two main thoroughfares in the Old Town, Flinger Straße and Marktstraße.
In this market, the Christmas huts resemble Düsseldorf’s old burgher houses.
Dusseldorf Christmas Market dates: 23rd November to 30th December 2023.
Location: Altstadt Markt is located on Flinger Straße and Marktstraße. The Artisan Market is at Düsseldorf Rathaus (Town Hall). Schadow-Markt is along Schadowstraße.
Opening times: 11am to 8pm, closes at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Sunday of the Dead: Closed on 26th November 2023 for Totensonntag.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
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 Old Town with great shopping for all budgets including handmade Christmas gifts. The Dusseldorf ice rink is one of the most popular attractions during winter. The longest bar in the world is something different. The largest Japanese community in Germany is at home in the Little Tokyo district.
Recommended tour: This popular walking tour is a great family-friendly tour.
Specialities: Mulled wine, locally brewed beer, roasted nuts, Japanese cuisine, themed Christmas chalets.
Travel tips: Note that Dusseldorf is a popular destination for conferences and at certain times of the year hotel rooms can be on short supply. Be sure to book as early as possible.
Where to stay: The Ruby Luna Hotel is centrally located in the Altstadt near the Christmas markets. It’s a modern, boutique hotel that is excellent value for money.
Hotels near Dusseldorf Christmas Market
To be close to the main Christmas market, you’ll want to stay in the Old Town, somewhere between the Rhine River and the canal.
I suggest staying at Ruby Luna Hotel. If you’re comfortable walking, it’s a 5-minute walk to the market on Flinger Straße, a 7-minute walk to Marktplatz, and only 4 minutes to the shops at Königsallee on the canal.
Dusseldorf is a busy cultural and commercial centre. Hotels can book out early at certain times of the year, and Christmas is one of those times. Read my list of recommended hotels near Dusseldorf Christmas market to find a hotel you’re happy with before it’s booked out.
If you’re still unsure where to go this winter, I wrote a guide to the best Christmas markets in Germany that might give you some ideas for places to visit.
Location of Dusseldorf Christmas Market
Artisan Christmas Market
Situated before the City Hall on Marktplatz, you’ll discover Dusseldorf’s Artisan Christmas Market, known as Handwerker-Markt. This more intimate market holds its charm, with Christmas stalls intricately designed to mirror the brick Renaissance-style architecture of the Rathaus, the City Hall they sit in the shadow of.
Location of the Artisan Christmas Market
Taking its name from its location, Schadow-Markt is the third primary Christmas market in Dusseldorf. It follows Schadowstraße, the city’s bustling main shopping thoroughfare stretching over the city canal and past the renowned Tritonenbrunnen. This distinguished fountain and statue pay homage to the Greek god Triton, adding a touch of mythology to your Christmas market experience.
Location of Schadow-Markt
Dusseldorf at Christmas
Christmas Specialties in Dusseldorf
Himmel und Ääd: A traditional Rhineland dish you’ll find in Dusseldorf, Himmel und Ääd blends hearty flavours with down-to-earth simplicity. It consists of blood sausage, mashed potatoes and applesauce, representing ‘heaven and earth’ (apples from the trees and potatoes from the earth).
Rievkooche: As a fan of savoury treats, you’ll enjoy Rievkooche or potato pancakes. These deliciously crispy snacks are typically served with applesauce. It’s a delicious combination of crunchy textures and tart, sweet flavours.
Mettwurst: Not just any sausage, Mettwurst is a German delicacy often savoured during the Christmas season. This cured and smoked sausage lends a rich, meaty flavour to festive meals.
Düsseldorfer Senfrostbraten: Originating from Dusseldorf, Senfrostbraten is a must-try. Thin slices of roast beef are marinated in mustard before being grilled or roasted, resulting in a tender and flavourful dish that pairs wonderfully with potatoes and cabbage.
Vegetarian Sauerbraten: Taking a classic meat-based dish and making it vegetarian-friendly, this version of Sauerbraten utilises seitan or tofu instead of meat. The protein is marinated for several days in a mixture of vinegar, water and seasonings, then slow-cooked until tender. It’s a fantastic example of how traditional dishes can be adapted to everyone’s taste.
Killepitsch: You’d do well to round off a hearty meal with a glass of Killepitsch, Dusseldorf’s famous herbal liqueur. Its complex, spicy flavours and warming nature make it a popular choice during the winter months.
Food at the Christmas Market
Reibekuchen: As an avid foodie, you’ll love sampling Reibekuchen, a type of German potato fritter. These deliciously crisp pancakes are often served with applesauce at the Dusseldorf Christmas markets. Whether eaten as a snack or a quick meal, they’re sure to delight your taste buds.
Bratwurst: Dusseldorf’s Christmas market wouldn’t be complete without Bratwurst. This classic German sausage is typically grilled and served in a bread roll with a dollop of mustard. It’s a simple, hearty street food that has won over countless visitors over the years.
Marzipan: Satisfy your sweet tooth with Marzipan, a popular Christmas treat. This sweet is made from sugar, honey and ground almonds, often crafted into whimsical shapes and figures. Don’t miss out on this festive indulgence.
Lebkuchen: Another sweet delight to relish in Dusseldorf is Lebkuchen, German Christmas cookies similar to gingerbread. Each market stall puts its own unique spin on these spiced treats, ensuring a flavourful experience with each bite.
Glühwein: Warm up on a chilly winter’s day with a cup of Glühwein, or mulled wine. This festive drink is a blend of red wine, spices, and citrus fruits, served piping hot.
Champignons mit Knoblauchsoße: Vegetarians won’t miss out at the Christmas markets in Dusseldorf with dishes like Champignons mit Knoblauchsoße, or mushrooms in garlic sauce. This simple yet satisfying dish features perfectly cooked mushrooms tossed in a rich garlic sauce and is a testament to the joys of uncomplicated cuisine.
Flammkuchen: Hailing from the neighbouring Alsace region, Flammkuchen is a crowd-pleaser at the Dusseldorf Christmas market. Often referred to as ‘German pizza’, it features a thin, crispy crust topped with creme fraiche, onions and bacon. A vegetarian version, replacing bacon with a variety of vegetables, is also typically available.
What to Buy
Handcrafted Christmas Decorations: Add a touch of Dusseldorf to your Christmas decor with unique handcrafted Christmas decorations. Artisans take great pride in their work, creating exquisite ornaments that capture the spirit of the festive season. From delicate glass baubles to intricate wood carvings, there’s something to suit every style.
German Beer Steins: Known for its rich brewing heritage, Dusseldorf is a fitting place to purchase German beer steins. These traditional mugs, often featuring detailed artwork and pewter lids, make ideal souvenirs or gifts for beer enthusiasts back home.
Altbier: Dusseldorf is renowned for Altbier, a local dark beer. Many market stalls sell beautifully packaged bottles, making the perfect gift for any beer lover.
Senf (Mustard): In Dusseldorf, mustard isn’t just a condiment; it’s a gourmet experience. Locally produced and packed in distinctive earthenware pots, Dusseldorf’s Senf makes a delectable gift for foodies.
Lebkuchen Hearts: As sweet to look at as they are to eat, Lebkuchen hearts are a classic Christmas market buy. These gingerbread cookies, often inscribed with cheerful messages and wrapped with a ribbon, are a delightful way to spread festive cheer.
Wooden Toys: Toys made from wood hold a nostalgic charm and are a popular find at Dusseldorf’s Christmas market. Whether it’s a spinning top, a detailed puzzle, or a beautifully painted dollhouse, these toys are a testament to the skill of the region’s craftsmen.
Christmas Pyramids: Intricately designed and beautifully handcrafted, Christmas pyramids are a festive tradition in Germany. These tiered carousels, often featuring nativity scenes, use the heat from candles to rotate. Picking up one at the Dusseldorf market will provide a fascinating, festive talking point in your home.
Winter Clothing: Keep warm with stylish winter clothing found at the Christmas markets. Many stalls sell everything from warm hats and scarves to knitted gloves and socks, often hand-knit and featuring traditional German designs.
Things to do in Dusseldorf in Winter
Over Dusseldorf’s winter, your itinerary could encompass a gamut of activities. I suggest starting with an exploration of the historic Old Town, then indulging in retail therapy on the globally recognised shopping avenue, Königsallee.
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the city’s eminent Kunstakademie, or Art Academy.
When it comes to culinary delights, Dusseldorf serves up a rich tapestry of traditional fare alongside a plethora of international flavours. Throughout the city, you’ll discover diverse eateries and specialty restaurants.
An essential part of the local culture is the afternoon indulgence of coffee and cake and the buzzing after-work beer scene.
For those with a sweet tooth, you might enjoy taking this popular walking tour dedicated to the time-honoured German tradition of coffee and cake.
If your interests lean towards brewing, a Brewery Tour could perfectly round off your Dusseldorf visit.
Venturing beyond the Old Town, MedienHafen emerges as one of the city’s most pulsating districts. This thriving harbour and warehouse area, home to the State Parliament, Rhine Tower and Gehry Buildings, invites exploration. A popular choice among visitors is the MedienHafen tour, which can be booked here.
Visit Dusseldorf has further information on things to do in the city, plus the latest events, Christmas experiences and travel advice.
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.
Use Public Transport: Dusseldorf has an extensive public transport network, making it easy to get around the city sustainably. Opting for trams, buses, or the underground over taxis or private vehicles significantly reduces your carbon footprint. Plus, navigating the city this way allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Embrace the Altbier: Sustainability can even extend to your drink choices. Altbier, the local dark beer, is brewed in Dusseldorf. Choosing this over imported beers not only supports local breweries but also reduces the carbon emissions associated with transporting goods long distances.
Support Local Artisans: When shopping at the Christmas market, consider who you’re buying from and what you’re purchasing. Choosing goods made by local craftspeople at the Handwerker-Markt not only supports the local economy but also reduces the environmental impact of long-distance shipping.
Opt for Reusable Bags: Many vendors at the Christmas market are happy to place your purchases in a reusable bag rather than a single-use plastic one. Carry a reusable bag or two with you to reduce plastic waste.
Limit Food Waste: Be mindful of the amount of food you order. While the array of snacks at the Christmas market can be enticing, try not to order more than you can eat. Leftovers often end up as waste, so it’s better to go back for seconds if you’re still hungry.
Energy-Efficient Sightseeing: Dusseldorf’s Christmas lights use energy-efficient LED bulbs. Simply by choosing to visit such environmentally conscious attractions, you’re supporting the city’s sustainability efforts.
Choose Vegetarian Options: Incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet is a powerful way to live more sustainably. Plenty of vegetarian options are available at the Christmas market, from Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) to various mushroom dishes. Give them a try – you might discover a new favourite!
Stay Hydrated the Green Way: Instead of buying single-use plastic water bottles, bring your own reusable ones. You’ll find plenty of places around Dusseldorf to refill it, helping you stay hydrated whilst caring for the planet.
There are three main Christmas markets in Dusseldorf and several smaller neighbourhood markets.
Dusseldorf Christmas Market takes place from 23rd November to 30th December 2023.
The Christmas market in Dusseldorf opens at 11am to 8pm, but closes at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Christmas market in Dusseldorf opens at 11am to 8pm, but closes at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
No, Dusseldorf’s Christmas markets are closed on Christmas Day to allow people to spend the day with their family and friends.
No, the Christmas market is closed on Totensonntag (Sunday of the Dead), which takes place on 26th November 2023.
Please comment below if you have any questions or comments about visiting the Dusseldorf Xmas market in 2023 or elsewhere in the North Rhine-Westphalia region this winter.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Dusseldorf, Germany. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.