Wiesbaden is a popular day trip destination from Frankfurt, but it’s worth visiting for a longer stay if you have the time. Either way, winter is a great time to visit, thanks to the charming Wiesbaden Christmas Market that is held in Schlossplatz.
The city’s charming city centre is packed with historical attractions, including the Kurhaus cultural centre, the New Town Hall and the Market Church. Wiesbaden is also known for its thermal baths, especially the famous Kaiser-Friedrich-Therme baths.
Wiesbaden Christmas Market 2023
The Christmas markets in Wiesbaden are decorated with large lily-shaped lights that complement the intimate atmosphere.
Known as the Twinkling Star Christmas Market, you’ll find more than 100 Christmas stalls and a separate children’s market a couple of blocks away on Luisenplatz.
New Year’s Eve celebrations occur at Kurhaus if you visit later in the year.
Wiesbaden Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 21st November to 23rd December 2023.
Location: Schlossplatz and Luisenplatz.
Opening times: 10:30am to 9pm (opens at 12pm on Sundays).
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Christmas lights: Yes, switch on date: 21st November.
Ice skating: No, not at the Christmas market.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, but limited.
Gluten free: Yes, but very limited.
Accessible: Yes, if you can manage cobblestones.
Pet-friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a lead, but not recommended when busy.
Reason to visit: The incredible light displays, the small-city atmosphere and wonderful children’s market. There is also a historic carousel and stunning Ferris wheel.
Recommended tour: Walking tour of Wiesbaden – ideal for groups.
Specialities: Feuerzangenbowle is always a great option to warm you up, plus all the regular Christmas specialties.
Where to stay: Town Hotel Wiesbaden is a well-located hotel, 3 minutes from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Wiesbaden Christmas Market
When visiting Wiesbaden for the Christmas market, you’ll want to stay in the areas around Schlossplatz and Wilhelmstraße, as they offer the perfect blend of proximity and charm.
For a fantastic option nearby, don’t hesitate to book a room at Town Hotel Wiesbaden – it’s ideally situated and just 3 minutes (200 metres) from the Christmas market festivities. The Town House is also a sustainable hotel as it uses renewable electricity.
Location of Wiesbaden Christmas Market
City and Christmas Tours
A city tour of Wiesbaden is a fantastic way to experience the city’s rich history and culture. Wiesbaden is a great Christmas destination with its elegant old town, picturesque streets and stunning architecture.
I recommend this walking tour of Wiesbaden as you get to see all the highlights of the city, or maybe consider a food tour where you can learn about the local culture through their cuisine.
On a city tour, you’ll visit the city’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, including the historic Wilhelmstraße, the beautiful Kurhaus and the towering St. Bonifatius Church.
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What to Expect in Wiesbaden
Christmas Specialties in Wiesbaden
- Christstollen: A festive fruit bread filled with dried fruits, nuts, and spices, often dusted with powdered sugar. It is a traditional German Christmas treat originating from the region of Saxony.
- Lebkuchen: A spiced gingerbread cookie, similar to gingerbread men, but softer and often covered with icing or chocolate. These cookies or biscuits are particularly popular in southern Germany.
- Kartoffelsalat (Potato Salad): A popular side dish during Christmas in Germany, especially in the southern regions. It consists of boiled potatoes mixed with onions, pickles, mayonnaise, or vinegar and sometimes includes vegetarian sausages.
- Quarkbällchen: A delicious vegetarian dessert that’s similar to a doughnut hole, made from a mixture of quark cheese, flour, sugar, and eggs, then deep-fried and rolled in sugar.
- Rote Beete Salat (Beetroot Salad): A simple and healthy vegetarian side dish made with boiled beetroot, onions, and vinegar, often served as part of a Christmas meal.
- Weihnachtsgans (Christmas Goose): A festive favourite, this roasted goose is often stuffed with apples, onions, and chestnuts and served with sides like red cabbage and potato dumplings. Vegetarians can opt for a nut roast or stuffed squash instead.
Food at the Christmas Market
At the Christmas market in Wiesbaden, you can expect to find a delightful mix of local specialties and popular international Christmas market snacks. Some of the typical street foods include:
- Bratwurst: A classic German sausage, often grilled and served in a crispy roll with mustard or sauerkraut.
- Reibekuchen: German potato pancakes made from grated potatoes, onions, and spices, then fried until crispy. They are typically served with apple sauce or sour cream.
- Flammkuchen: A thin, crispy flatbread originating from the Alsace region, traditionally topped with crème fraîche, onions, and bacon. Vegetarian options may substitute bacon with cheese or vegetables.
- Schupfnudeln: A type of German potato dumpling, often pan-fried and served with sauerkraut or sweet variations topped with cinnamon and sugar.
- Gebrannte mandeln: Cinnamon-roasted almonds, a popular Christmas market snack that fills the air with a sweet, festive aroma.
- Glühwein: The quintessential Christmas market beverage, this German mulled wine is made with red wine, spices, and sometimes fruit, served hot to keep you warm on chilly days.
- Raclette: Originating from Switzerland, this dish features melted Raclette cheese scraped onto bread, potatoes, or vegetables and is a popular treat at European Christmas markets.
- Chimney Cake (Kürtőskalács): A Hungarian sweet treat, this spiral-shaped pastry is baked on a spit, rolled in sugar and can be filled with Nutella, cinnamon, or other delicious toppings.
What to Buy
As you explore the Christmas market in Wiesbaden, keep an eye out for these unique regional products to bring home a piece of German culture and craftsmanship.
- Hand-blown glass ornaments: Wiesbaden and the surrounding region are known for their exquisite glasswork. Look for delicate, intricately designed Christmas ornaments to add a touch of German craftsmanship to your tree.
- Wooden toys and decorations: Traditional German wooden crafts, such as nutcrackers, incense smokers, and hand-carved figurines, make for charming gifts and keepsakes.
- Local wine: The Rheingau region, where Wiesbaden is located, is famous for its Riesling wines. Pick up a bottle or two as a gift for the wine enthusiasts in your life.
- Handmade candles: High-quality, artisanal candles in various shapes, sizes, and scents are a popular item at the Wiesbaden Christmas Market.
- Pottery and ceramics: The region is known for its distinctive pottery and ceramics. Look for unique, handcrafted items like mugs, plates, and decorative pieces.
- Lebkuchen: Traditional German gingerbread cookies, often decorated with icing or chocolate, make for a tasty and festive gift.
- Local delicacies: Bring home some regional specialties like marzipan, fruit preserves, or honey from local producers.
- Christmas-themed textiles: Tablecloths, napkins, and other festive textiles featuring traditional German Christmas designs make for a practical and attractive gift.
Plan your Christmas holiday with my German Christmas markets guide. Discover where to go, things to do and the best ways to experience local food, history and culture.
German Tourism is a great resource for travelling around Germany. They have a useful section on Wiesbaden that includes the best places to visit while you’re there.
Sustainable Christmas 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.
• Renewable energy: Choose hotels or accommodations that prioritize the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or wind power. For example, look for eco-friendly hotel options like the Town House Wiesbaden, which uses 100% renewable energy for electricity.
• Energy efficiency: Make an effort to conserve energy while staying in Wiesbaden. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use, unplug chargers, and take advantage of natural light during daytime hours.
• Reducing food waste: Support local initiatives, such as Wiesbaden’s food-sharing platforms or food rescue organisations, to reduce food waste. Eat mindfully and take leftover food from meals to enjoy later.
• Limiting consumerism: When shopping for gifts at the Christmas market, prioritise quality over quantity. Focus on buying unique, handmade, and local items that showcase the craftsmanship and culture of the region.
• Sustainable diets: Opt for seasonal, locally sourced produce and dishes when dining out in Wiesbaden. Choose vegetarian or vegan options, as they often have a lower environmental impact. Visit restaurants like Veggieworld Wiesbaden, which focuses on plant-based cuisine.
• Sustainable transport: Use Wiesbaden’s well-connected public transportation system, including buses and trains, to minimise your transport footprint. Consider walking or renting a bike for shorter distances to explore the city in an eco-friendly manner.
Wiesbaden Christmas Market starts on 21st November and ends on 23rd December 2023.
The Christmas markets in Wiesbaden are held at Schlossplatz in the historic city centre.
The Christmas markets in Wiesbaden open at 10:30am except for Sundays when it opens at 12pm.
The Christmas markets in Wiesbaden close at 9pm.
As you plan your winter trip to Wiesbaden, be sure to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy all the festive events and activities the city has to offer. Take your time exploring the charming Christmas markets and trying the delicious food, and admire the stunning architecture and historic landmarks; there’s plenty to explore and experience.
Wander through the narrow streets of the Old Town, stroll through the city’s beautiful parks and indulge in the seasonal treats and drinks. No matter your interests, Wiesbaden is sure to enchant and delight you this winter.
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Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Wiesbaden, Germany. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.
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