Near the Belgian border, Monschau is a charming German town known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and scenic landscapes.
The Monschau Christmas Market in the Eifel region adds a festive touch to the cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses, drawing visitors for its traditional crafts and seasonal treats.
In this article, I’ll cover all the essentials, including confirmed 2023 dates, opening times and what makes this market a unique destination.
Monschau’s medieval architecture and surrounding natural beauty provide a distinctive backdrop for Christmas celebrations.
The town is known for its Rur River setting and the Eifel National Park nearby, adding a tranquil atmosphere to the holiday festivities.
Monschau Christmas Market 2023
The Christmas market in Monschau spreads over multiple locations, including Gerberplatz, Stadtstraße, Rurbrücke, Marktplatz, and “Patere Höfje” behind the Aukloster.
As you stroll through the cobblestone streets, you’ll encounter about 30 stalls selling everything from traditional handicrafts and decorations to Monschau’s unique culinary delights like Moutarde de Montjoie, Monschauer Dütchen and locally roasted coffee.
One notable feature is the nativity scene exhibition in the market hall, showcasing around 30 handmade designs.
Don’t miss the live music, including the Eifeler Alphornissen on Fridays and various musicians or trumpeters on weekends.
Dates and Location
Monschau Christmas Market dates: Weekends from 24th November to 23rd December 2023.
Location: Marktplatz and surrounding streets.
Opening times: Friday and Saturday: 11am to 9pm. Sunday: 11am to 8pm.
Sunday of the Dead: Closed on 26th November 2023.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Christmas lights: Yes, switch on date: 24th November 2023.
Ice skating: No.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, some options.
Gluten free: Limited options.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Romantic ambience, starry sky-like lights, specialised nativity exhibits, live Alphorn music, unique Monschau delicacies.
Specialities: Monschauer dütchen, printen, vennbrocken, moutarde de Montjoie, regional Eifel specialties.
Where to stay: Haus Stehlings is a highly-rated hotel, 2 minutes from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Monschau Christmas Market
Opting for accommodation in Monschau’s Old Town places you at the heart of the festive activities, Christmas trees and decoration, with the Christmas market just a short walk away.
An excellent place to stay is Haus Stehlings due to its excellent review, ideal location and eco-friendly amenities. It’s the best hotel near Monschau Christmas market. Just cross the small bridge, and you’re there.
Location of Monschau Christmas Market
Christmas in Monschau
For more information on the enchanting world of German markets during the holiday period, you’ll find everything you need in my German Christmas Markets 2023 guide.
Christmas Specialties in Monschau
Monschauer Dütchen: A regional pastry, Monschauer Dütchen features delicate layers of puff pastry wrapped around a spiced almond filling. Often dusted with icing sugar, it’s a sweet treat that pairs well with hot beverages.
Printen: Originating from the nearby city of Aachen, Printen are gingerbread-like biscuits that come in various shapes and sizes. They’re a holiday staple, often sold in decorative tins or individually wrapped.
Vennbrocken: This unique local sweet features a mix of chocolate and nuts, creating a crunchy yet chewy experience. It’s often packaged in small bags, perfect for snacking as you explore the market.
Moutarde de Montjoie: This spicy mustard is a Monschau specialty that you’ll often find in small jars at the market. It’s usually enjoyed with sausages or as a condiment for various dishes. Locals love it for its unique blend of spices, and it makes an excellent gift.
Marzipan Treats: These almond-based sweets are moulded into various shapes and sometimes dipped in chocolate. While marzipan is common in many German regions, the quality and craftsmanship at Monschau market are exceptional.
Schokoküsse: A fun, sweet treat, Schokoküsse are marshmallow-filled chocolate-coated biscuits. Often enjoyed by children, they add a touch of sweetness to your market experience.
Bredele: These are small Christmas biscuits from the Alsace region. Various flavours, from aniseed to chocolate, make for a delightful bite between shopping.
Apfelstrudel: This is a delicious apple strudel, often served warm. The flaky pastry is filled with tart apples, sweet raisins, and warming spices and then dusted with powdered sugar.
Eifeler Schinken: Directly translating to ‘Eifel ham’, it’s a local variety of smoked ham from the Eifel region. Cured and smoked over beechwood imparts a distinct flavour, typically served in thin slices.
Eifeler Kartoffelpuffer: These are essentially potato pancakes from the Eifel region. Grated potatoes, onion, and eggs are mixed together, then pan-fried until crispy. They’re usually served with apple sauce, making for a satisfying vegetarian option.
Bratwurst: A German classic, you’ll find these sausages grilled to perfection and served in a bun with optional mustard or ketchup. Though found in many German markets, the quality of the local bratwurst stands out.
Flammkuchen: Originating from the Alsace region, Flammkuchen is a thin pizza-like dish. It’s traditionally topped with crème fraîche, onions, and bacon, though vegetarian options are usually available.
Kartoffelsuppe: A hearty potato soup, Kartoffelsuppe is a warming and satisfying dish. Often garnished with sausages or croutons, it’s a meal in itself and a much-loved German winter staple.
International Snacks: Alongside local specialties, you’ll also find a variety of international options like French crepes or Belgian waffles, satisfying a range of tastes and preferences
Glühwein: A staple of German Christmas celebrations, Glühwein is mulled wine made by heating red wine with spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and citrus. It’s served hot and is perfect for warding off the winter chill.
Hot Chocolate: Especially popular among children, hot chocolate stands offer a non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine. Some stands even provide options for added whipped cream or marshmallows.
Feuerzangenbowle: This is a festive German alcoholic drink served during Christmas. A rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and allowed to drip into mulled wine, creating a potent, warming beverage.
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Hand-carved Wooden Figurines: Hailing from the Eifel region, these intricate wooden figures are made by local artisans. Typically featuring religious or holiday-themed subjects, they make excellent centrepieces for your festive decor or a thoughtful gift for loved ones.
Moutarde de Montjoie: While also a food item, this spicy mustard is frequently bought as a unique stocking filler or gift. The small jars are easy to pack and take home, and they introduce a taste of Monschau to any meal.
Nativity Scenes: These aren’t just any nativity sets; they are often made from local materials such as wood or clay. The intricate details make them a collector’s item, and come in various sizes to fit any space.
Eifel Pottery: Characterised by its robustness and rustic aesthetic, pottery from the Eifel region makes a beautiful and functional gift. Items range from mugs and plates to ornate vases, all featuring the region’s signature earthy glazes.
Christmas Cookies: Presented in decorative tins or boxes, these cookies often come in shapes like stars, hearts, or even miniature snowmen. They are a delightful way to share the sweet flavours of the season.
Local Wool Products: Eifel is known for its sheep farming, and you can find an array of wool products such as mittens, scarves, and even blankets. These items are both warm and durable, making them ideal for the winter season.
The official website of Monschau Tourism provides additional information for visiting the town.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are a few tips on how we can travel more responsibly in Monschau at Christmas.
Choose Renewable Energy Accommodations: Numerous hotels in Monschau are increasingly transitioning towards renewable energy sources. Ask about your hotel’s energy policies to ensure you’re supporting this change. Our recommended hotel near the Christmas market uses 100% renewable electricity.
Minimise Food Waste: Christmas markets are famous for their culinary delights, but sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Avoid wasting food by ordering smaller portions at the Christmas stalls or sharing dishes with your travel companions.
Opt for Ethical Consumption: Several stalls at the Monschau Christmas Market sell local handmade products. Purchasing these supports the local economy and reduces the carbon footprint associated with mass-produced goods.
Adopt a Sustainable Diet: Traditional German cuisine includes a variety of vegetarian options. Opting for a meat-free meal like potato pancakes or pretzels reduces your environmental impact.
Use Sustainable Transport: Monschau is a compact town, perfect for exploring on foot. Reduce your carbon footprint by walking instead of using a car. Consider using the local bus services that connect Monschau to the wider region for longer journeys.
The Monschau Christmas Market 2023 dates are from the weekends from 24th November to 23rd December 2023.
The Monschau Christmas Market is located in the city centre, primarily in the Marktplatz but also in Gerberplatz, Stadtstraße and Rurbrücke.
The Christmas market in Monschau opens Friday and Saturday: 11am to 9pm. Sunday: 11am to 8pm. Sunday of the Dead: Closed on 26th November 2023.
Monschau offers a variety of attractions, including its historic Old Town, the Red House Museum, and the Monschau Castle. Winter walks around the city and in the surrounding Eifel Nature Park are also popular.
If you would like to leave a review of Monschau 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 Monschau, Germany. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.