Winter brings a magical charm to Leipzig, as the city is enveloped in a blanket of snow, creating a picture-perfect backdrop for its renowned Christmas market.
Famous for its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture and vibrant music scene, Leipzig holds a special allure for tourists, which is only enhanced during the festive season.
As we progress through this guide, I’ll provide essential details for your visit to the Leipzig Christmas Market in 2023, including key dates, opening times, locations, top stalls and local specialities to look out for.
In Leipzig, the festive season is marked by a magical air, as streets and buildings are adorned with festive lights, bringing a touch of warmth to the cold winter days.
As the city gears up for Christmas, the air is filled with the scent of baked goods and spices, a testament to the region’s rich culinary traditions.
Leipzig Christmas Market 2023
Set in the heart of the city, Leipzig Christmas Market is an enchanting blend of traditions, fairy lights and local crafts. The market spreads across various locations, each holding its unique appeal.
One prominent feature is the giant Saxon spruce Christmas tree standing tall at the market square, beautifully adorned and lit, creating a warm, festive atmosphere.
The historical market houses approximately 300 stalls, and you’ll find a Medieval market and a fairytale forest for the kids. An interesting highlight is the world’s largest freestanding Advent calendar at the old city hall’s windows.
Dates and Location
Leipzig Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 28th November to 23rd December 2023.
Location: Marktplatz (Market Square), Augustusplatz, Naschmarkt and St Nicholas Square.
Opening times: Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 9pm. Friday and Saturday: 10am to 10pm. Closes at 8pm on 23rd December.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Christmas lights: Yes, switch on date: 28th November 2023 at 9pm.
Santa: Yes, on some days.
Ice skating: Yes, at Augustusplatz.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten-free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: The 500-year-old market tradition makes Leipzig one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany.
Recommended tour: A guided tour of the passages and alleyways of Leipzig Old Town.
Specialities: Lebkuchen, stollen, Thüringer sausage, glühwein, baumkuchen and Pulsnitzer pfefferkuchen abound in Leipzig’s festive market.
Where to stay: Steigenberger Icon Grandhotel is an excellent hotel 3-minutes from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Leipzig Christmas Market
To have the Christmas market at your doorstep, consider staying in the city centre of Leipzig, especially around the area of the Marktplatz.
It’s a central hub filled with historic architecture, shopping streets, gourmet dining options, and its proximity to the market.
For comfort, luxury and convenience combined, I recommend booking your stay at the Steigenberger Icon Grandhotel, situated ideally for a festive trip.
Location of Leipzig Christmas Market
Augustusplatz Christmas Market
The area of Augustusplatz is known for its holiday festivities during the Christmas season. The square is transformed into a winter wonderland with a large ice skating rink, festive lights and a giant Christmas tree.
Nearby Christmas markets offer hot drinks, food, and shopping, while visitors can take in the magical atmosphere of the season. Augustusplatz is a must-visit location during the holidays for anyone looking to experience the Christmas spirit in Leipzig.
Augustusplatz Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 28th November to 23rd December 2023.
Opening times: Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 9pm. Friday and Saturday: 10am to 10pm.
Location: Augustusplatz, Leipzig.
Location of Augustusplatz
Christmas in Leipzig
In this video, you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to experience the magic of Leipzig’s Christmas Market. You’ll see the beautiful lights, hear the music and get a glimpse of the delicious food and drink offerings that make this market one of the best in Europe.
This guide to the German Christmas Markets 2023 provides valuable information about the best markets, traditional food and drink and activities to enjoy across the country.
Christmas Specialties in Leipzig
Sächsischer Sauerbraten: This marinated pot roast, usually beef but sometimes venison or pork, hails from Saxony. The meat is slow-cooked, making it tender and flavourful, while the unique sweet-sour gravy, often containing raisins, lends the dish its distinctive taste.
Quarkkeulchen: Quarkkeulchen are small, fried pancakes made from quark (a type of fresh cheese), potatoes, flour and eggs. They are typically sweet, sprinkled with sugar and sometimes served with apple sauce.
Leipziger Allerlei: This is a traditional Saxon vegetable dish from Leipzig. It includes carrots, peas, asparagus and morels, often enriched with crayfish or prawns. Leipziger Allerlei is an excellent choice for vegetarians visiting Leipzig during Christmas.
Pulsnitzer Pfefferkuchen: These gingerbread cookies are a Saxony specialty, specifically from the town of Pulsnitz. They are soft and aromatic, spiced with cinnamon, anise, clove and nutmeg, and sometimes filled with jam or marzipan, making them an indulgent Christmas treat.
Saxon Potato Soup (Sächsische Kartoffelsuppe): A hearty and warming dish, this soup is made with potatoes and various vegetables like carrots and celery and often includes some type of sausage. For vegetarians, the soup can be enjoyed without the meat, still offering a comforting and filling meal.
Gose Beer: Leipzig is known for its unique Gose Beer, a historic sour wheat beer style. It’s refreshingly tart and usually has coriander and salt added. Enjoy a glass as you explore the market.
Leipziger Allasch: A local speciality, Leipziger Allasch is a caraway aquavit. It’s a strong, clear spirit flavoured primarily with caraway seeds, giving it a distinctive herbal taste.
Leipziger Lerche: Named after the lark (Lerche in German), this is a pastry delicacy traditionally filled with a mixture of crushed almonds, nuts and a cherry. It’s a must-try treat at Leipzig’s Christmas Market.
Leipzig Linden-Taler: A beloved local sweet, the Leipzig Linden-Taler is a round chocolate piece with an image of the Leipzig Linden leaf. It’s a sweet reminder of your visit to the market.
Leipziger Räbchen: These are prunes stuffed with a marzipan filling and shaped to look like potatoes, served dusted with sugar. Leipziger Räbchen is a traditional Saxon delicacy and a delightful treat to enjoy at the Christmas market.
Thuringian Bratwurst: As you roam the Christmas market in Leipzig, you will likely smell the enticing aroma of Thuringian Bratwurst. These sausages, known for their herbal flavour and fine texture, are grilled to perfection and served in a bun.
Dresdner Christstollen: A visit to Leipzig’s Christmas Market isn’t complete without sampling Dresdner Christstollen. It’s a loaf-shaped cake filled with dried fruit, nuts, and marzipan, covered with powdered sugar, and a must-try during the festive season.
Lebkuchen: Look for heart-shaped Lebkuchen hanging from many stalls. These gingerbread cookies are often decorated with sweet icing messages and are as tasty as they are visually appealing.
Gebrannte Mandeln: Gebrannte Mandeln, or roasted almonds, are a popular snack you’ll find at the market. They are roasted in a sugar syrup until caramelised, resulting in a sweet, crunchy treat that’s hard to resist.
Glühwein: Many visitors enjoy a cup of glühwein to ward off the chill. This warm, spiced red wine is a festive staple across German Christmas markets and is a perfect way to keep your hands warm as you explore.
Kartoffelpuffer: Kartoffelpuffer, or potato pancakes, are common at Leipzig’s market stalls. Crispy on the outside and soft inside, these are typically served with apple sauce and are a savoury delight, appealing to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Just make sure they’re not cooked in lard if you’re vegetarian.
Pretzels: You’ll also find pretzels at the Christmas market in Leipzig in the spirit of international inclusivity. These twisted bread products, often sprinkled with coarse salt, are a well-known snack that originated in Europe and is now enjoyed worldwide.
Leipzig Regions is useful for anyone planning a trip to the city. It offers guides and recommendations for things to do, the latest events and where to eat.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Many of us are increasingly concerned about climate change and sustainability. Here are a few tips on how we can travel more responsibly in Leipzig at Christmas.
- Choose a hotel or accommodation that prioritizes renewable energy sources, such as one that uses solar or wind power.
- Reduce your energy usage by turning off lights and electronics when not in use.
- Minimise food waste by eating mindfully at the Christmas markets.
- Shop locally for gifts and decorations to support the local economy and reduce the carbon emissions associated with shipping.
- Opt for sustainable diets by choosing plant-based meals and reducing your meat consumption, which has a high environmental impact.
- Use sustainable transportation options such as walking, biking, or taking public transit instead of driving, which can help reduce air pollution and carbon emissions in Leipzig.
Leipzig Christmas Market starts on 28th November and continues until 23rd December 2023.
The Christmas markets in Leipzig are held at Marktplatz (Market Square), Augustusplatz, Naschmarkt and St Nicholas Square.
The Christmas markets are open Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 9pm. Friday and Saturday: 10am to 10pm. Closes at 8pm on 23rd December.
If you would like to leave a review of Leipzig Xmas Market, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Leipzig, Germany. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.