Nuremberg Christmas Market is packed with history, tradition and incredible food. As one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, many traditions found here are replicated elsewhere.
The market in Nuremberg is probably the most well-known in Germany and well worth visiting if you get the chance. Nuremberg books out early, so now is a great time to get planning.
Nuremberg is Bavaria’s second-largest city. Thanks to its long history and impressive culture, you’ll find much to do alongside the Christmas markets.
Start your trip with a visit to Nuremberg Castle. As you reach the lookout, you’ll get an idea of just how big the city is as you get your bearings.
Nuremberg Christmas Market 2023
As you step into the Old Town Square and Nuremberg Christmas Market, your senses are instantly awakened by the warm aroma of gingerbread and Nuremberg sausages.
Lose yourself in the magic of this destination, where the iconic Frauenkirche stands proudly as the centrepiece, keeping a watchful eye over the bustling market.
Be sure to indulge in the city’s signature Nürnberger Lebkuchen, tender gingerbread cookies that will leave you craving more.
While wandering the labyrinth of over 180 wooden stalls, pause to marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship of the traditional “Zwetschgenmännle” – little prune people that are true works of folk art.
And don’t miss the opportunity to witness the opening ceremony, where Christkind, a golden-haired angel, officially welcomes the season with a heartfelt prologue.
A great aspect of the Christmas markets in Nuremberg is the attention paid to Bavarian customs and support for local businesses. You won’t find any plastic or foreign-made toys here or even products made outside Bavaria. It truly is a local market.
Dates and Location
Nuremberg Christmas Market dates: 1st to 24th December 2023.
Location: Hauptmarkt (Town Square) and on some of the surrounding streets.
Opening times: 10am to 9pm (closes at 2pm on Christmas Eve).
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Christmas lights: Yes, switch on date: 1st December 2023 at 5:30pm.
Santa: No, but Christkind will be at the Christmas market on some days.
Ice skating: Not at the Christmas market but you can ice skate at Nuremberg Arena.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a lead.
Reason to visit: This is the original Christmas market and one of the best in the world. The cute plum people are a fun local specialty.
Recommended tour: Christmas City Culinary Tour.
Specialities: Nuremberg bratwurst in a bread roll, classic gingerbread (lebkuchen), almond cookies, feuerzangenbowle and kartoffelpuffers.
Where to stay: Karl August is a highly-rated sustainable hotel, 1 minute from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Nuremberg Christmas Market
I suggest staying at Hotel Karl August as it’s a 1-minute walk (less than 100 meters) to the main Christmas market. This is an eco-friendly hotel known for its excellent service.
You can find a further list of hotels near Nuremberg Christmas Market in my guide.
Although Nuremberg is a large city, the historic centre is compact and easily walkable. Nuremberg Castle, Albrecht Durer’s House, the German History Museum and Central Station are all within a 10-minute walk of Hauptmarkt, the main square.
The one place of interest that is further out is the Nazi Party Rally Grounds. A destination that is well worth visiting for its historical importance. But even this location is only 20 minutes away from the centre by public transport.
Location of Nuremberg Christmas Market
Nuremberg is one of the best Christmas markets in Germany. Read my country guide for further destinations worth visiting this year. Discover where to go, things to do and the best ways to experience German food, history and culture.
City and Christmas Tours
A city tour of Nuremberg is a fantastic way to experience the city’s rich history and culture. With its picturesque old town, half-timbered houses, and striking architecture, Nuremberg is a city that truly has something for everyone.
I recommend this city tour of Nuremberg as you get to see all the highlights of the city.
Alternatively, you could take this Christmas market tour that guides you around the Christmas market, introducing you to local Christmas food and drinks.
On a regular city tour, you’ll visit the city’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, including the historic Imperial Castle, the stunning St. Lorenz Church, and the awe-inspiring Albrecht Dürer House.
Look out for Christmas events in Nuremberg that involve Christkind, the historical provider of Christmas gifts for children. But these days, Christkind is a person who represents Christmas in Nuremberg.
What to Expect in Nuremberg
Watch this video to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Nuremberg Christmas Market, including a meeting with Christkind. Witness the enchanting sights and sounds that bring this beloved holiday tradition to life as if you were there in person in 2023.
Christmas Specialties in Nuremberg
- Nürnberger Lebkuchen: These delicious gingerbread cookies, originating from Nuremberg, are a must-try treat filled with a mix of spices, honey and nuts.
- Stollen: A traditional German Christmas cake, Stollen features a dense and rich texture, filled with dried fruits, nuts, and marzipan, dusted with powdered sugar. Originally from Dresden.
- Gebrannte Mandeln: Savour the warm, sugar-coated roasted almonds that are a favourite at Christmas markets and events.
- Weihnachtsschokolade: Indulge in German Christmas chocolates, which come in various shapes, sizes, and flavours, often featuring festive designs and packaging.
- Christstollen: A close cousin to Stollen, Christstollen is a lighter, yeast-based Christmas bread filled with fruits and nuts and a delight for those seeking a vegetarian option.
- Kartoffelpuffer: Satisfy your savoury cravings with these crispy potato pancakes, a vegetarian treat often served with applesauce or sour cream. Beware that these are sometimes cooked in lard. Ask before you buy.
- Marzipankartoffeln: Vegetarian-friendly and shaped like tiny potatoes, these marzipan candies are flavoured with almond paste and often dusted with cocoa powder or cinnamon.
Food at the Christmas Market
- Nürnberger Rostbratwurst: Savour the famous Nuremberg sausages, grilled to perfection and served with sauerkraut or a crusty roll.
- Glühwein: Warm your hands and soul with a steaming mug of mulled wine infused with a blend of spices and citrus flavours, often from citrus peel.
- Feuerzangenbowle: Experience this spectacular German punch made with red wine, rum-soaked sugarloaf, and a delightful mix of spices, set ablaze before your eyes.
- Schupfnudeln: Relish these delicious potato dumplings, often served with sauerkraut, or try the sweet version with cinnamon sugar and applesauce.
- Pretzels: Bite into a warm, freshly-baked pretzel, a classic German snack that is perfect for strolling through the Christmas market.
- Quarkbällchen: Treat yourself to these irresistible, deep-fried quark cheese balls dusted with powdered sugar, a popular snack for those with a sweet tooth.
- Flammkuchen: Enjoy a taste of the traditional Alsatian flatbread, topped with crème fraîche, onions, and bacon, or opt for a vegetarian version with cheese and vegetables.
What to Buy
- Zwetschgenmännle: Delight in these unique Nuremberg folk art creations, little figurines made from prunes with walnut heads and wire limbs, perfect as charming souvenirs.
- Nuremberg Gingerbread: Bring home beautifully packaged Nürnberger Lebkuchen, a sweet and spicy regional specialty to share with friends and family.
- Christmas Ornaments: Adorn your tree with intricately handcrafted glass, wood, or pewter ornaments, reflecting the artistry and spirit of Nuremberg’s Christmas market.
- Wooden Toys: Discover the rich tradition of Nuremberg’s toy-making industry, and pick up hand-carved, heirloom-quality wooden toys for the little ones in your life.
- Candles: Illuminate your home with festive, hand-poured candles in various shapes, sizes, and scents, adding warmth and ambience to your holiday celebrations.
- Hand-knitted Winter Accessories: Stay cosy with high-quality, handmade scarves, hats, and mittens, perfect for keeping you warm as you explore the magical market.
- Nativity Scenes: Bring the Christmas story to life with handcrafted wooden nativity sets, a timeless addition to your holiday decorations.
Nuremberg Tourism has further details on things to do in the city and the best ways to experience Nuremberg at Christmas. Their site is particularly useful if you’re interested in visiting museums and cultural attractions like Nuremberg Castle. Details of dates, opening times and where to go are easily accessible.
For travel outside of Nuremberg and in the region of Bavaria, Germany Travel can help you with trip planning.
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. Try to implement these responsible travel measures when visiting the Christmas markets.
- Public Transportation: Explore Nuremberg with ease by using the city’s efficient and eco-friendly public transportation system, including trams, buses, and the U-Bahn.
- Biking: Discover the city at a leisurely pace by renting a bike from one of Nuremberg’s many bike-sharing stations, an environmentally friendly alternative to driving.
- Energy-efficient Accommodations: Choose to stay at hotels or guesthouses that prioritise energy efficiency, such as those that use solar panels, LED lighting, or eco-friendly heating systems.
- Reusable Bags and Containers: Bring your own reusable bags and containers for shopping and food, reducing single-use plastic waste while enjoying the Christmas market’s specialties.
- Ethical Souvenirs: Support local artisans and fair-trade practices by purchasing handmade, ethically-produced gifts unique to Nuremberg, ensuring your purchases have a positive impact.
- Sustainable Diets: Opt for plant-based or locally-sourced meals at restaurants and market stalls, reducing your carbon footprint and supporting regional farmers.
- Zero-waste Dining: Enjoy Nuremberg’s culinary offerings while minimising food waste by ordering smaller portions or sharing dishes with fellow travellers, and remember to compost any leftovers whenever possible.
Nuremberg Christmas Market starts on 1st December and ends on 24th December 2023.
The Christmas markets in Nuremberg are held at Hauptmarkt and on some of the surrounding streets.
The Christmas markets open at 10am daily.
The Christmas markets close at 9pm daily.
Nuremberg train station to the Christmas market is a 12-minute walk. Unfortunately, reaching via public transport is difficult but a beautiful stroll. You can get a taxi from the train station if mobility is an issue.
As you prepare to embark on your winter adventure in Nuremberg, rest assured that this enchanting city will leave a lasting impression on your heart.
Don’t hesitate to wander its charming streets, steeped in history, and embrace the warmth of the local culture.
Be sure to savour the delightful flavours of traditional foods and immerse yourself in the festive spirit of the Christmas market.
By exploring Nuremberg’s rich heritage and magical atmosphere, you’ll no doubt create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
If you would like to leave a review of Nuremberg Xmas Market or Christkindlesmarkt as it’s known in Nuremberg, feel free to comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Nuremberg, Germany. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.