Würzburg combines a rich history and picturesque landscapes, making it a compelling destination for travellers.
The city is well-known for its Residenz, an 18th-century palace, as well as its vibrant Wurzburg Christmas Market that fills the central squares with seasonal cheer.
In this guide, I’ll provide all the essential details, such as confirmed 2023 dates, opening times, locations and what local specialties you can expect.
In Würzburg, Christmas is marked by a palpable sense of community and tradition. The city’s historic architecture provides a fitting backdrop for the string lights and decorations that adorn public spaces.
Wurzburg Christmas Market 2023
In the heart of Würzburg’s Old Town, the Christmas market has a long-standing tradition that traces back to the early 19th century.
Set against the Gothic Chapel of St Mary and baroque architecture, nearly 100 wooden stalls populate the historic market square.
You can find a range of handmade holiday decorations in materials such as glass, straw, pewter, and pottery. While wooden toys are prevalent, so too are items like original knitwear and creative jewellery.
Franconian Christmas cookies, roasted almonds, and the traditional glühwein, a spiced hot red wine, are popular food specialties.
Dates and Location
Würzburg Christmas Market dates: 1st to 23rd December 2023.
Location: Upper and Lower Marktplatz and along Eichhornstraße.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 10am to 8:30pm. Sunday: 11am to 8:30pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Christmas lights: Yes, switch on date: 1st December 2023.
Ice skating: Not at the Christmas market but at Eisbahn Würzburg.
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: Historic backdrop and traditional Franconian crafts.
Recommended tour: Guided walking tour of the Old Town.
Specialities: Franconian sausages; regional mulled wine; roasted chestnuts; local pastries; spiced gingerbread.
Where to stay: Motel One Würzburg is a popular hotel, located 4 minutes from Marktplatz.
Hotels near Würzburg Christmas Market
For easy access to the Christmas market in Marktplatz, staying in the Old Town is a sensible choice. This area is not only close to the market but also places you in proximity to Würzburg’s historic sites.
I recommend Motel One for its popular status and convenient location near the market.
Location of Würzburg Christmas Market
Recommended Walking and Food Tours
Taking a city tour in Würzburg allows you to explore the rich cultural heritage and history of the city, which features elegant architecture and historic landmarks.
The Old Town in particular is a highlight that draws visitors and locals alike. I recommend opting for a city tour with a local guide to gain valuable insights into Würzburg’s main attractions, making it suitable for both first-time visitors and locals.
This is the most popular Old Town tour in Würzburg.
On these tours, expect to see iconic sites like the Residenz, the Old Main Bridge, and the Würzburg Cathedral.
For a well-rounded understanding of Germany’s Christmas markets, I recommend you check out my German Christmas Market 2023 list, which provides essential details on opening dates, local specialties, and locations for each market
Christmas in Wurzburg
Christmas Specialties in Wuerzburg
Franconian sausages: Wuerzburg Christmas market is renowned for its traditional Franconian sausages. They are a staple food item and offer a rich, smoky flavour, distinguishing them from other German sausages. For a taste of authentic local cuisine, I recommend giving them a try.
Regional mulled wine: Distinctive to Würzburg, their version of mulled wine incorporates regional spices.
Roasted chestnuts: A classic snack found across many Christmas markets, the roasted chestnuts in Würzburg have a warm, nutty aroma. They’re roasted to perfection and provide a simple yet satisfying bite to keep you fuelled during your market explorations.
Local pastries: While wandering the stalls, you’ll come across a selection of local pastries. These baked goods, with their flaky crusts and sweet fillings, are a testament to the region’s baking prowess.
Spiced gingerbread: A festive favourite, the spiced gingerbread in Wurzburg stands out for its rich spices and soft texture. While gingerbread can be found in many markets, the local recipe has a unique blend that sets it apart.
Pretzels: Always a crowd-pleaser, pretzels are twisted and baked to a golden hue. Best enjoyed warm, they’re often sprinkled with coarse salt, making for a savoury treat to nibble on.
Potato pancakes: Often served with apple sauce, these crispy, fried delights are a must-try. Vegetarians often gravitate towards them (although they’re sometimes cooked in lard), enjoying the balance between the savoury pancake and the sweet sauce.
Marzipan sweets: Marzipan, a confection primarily made of sugar or honey and almond meal, is moulded into various shapes and often enrobed in chocolate. It’s a sweet treat many look forward to during the festive season.
Apple cider: While not as common as mulled wine, apple cider offers a sweet and tangy alternative. Served warm, it’s another delightful way to keep warm while enjoying the festivities.
Schneeballen: A specialty from nearby Rothenburg, Schneeballen are deep-fried dough balls, often coated in powdered sugar or chocolate. They’re a crunchy treat that I found both unique and delicious during my visit. These are a bit overrated in my experience!
Christmas Gifts and Stocking Fillers
Franconian wine: Würzburg is located in the Franconian wine region, making its wines a unique and cherished purchase. Characterised by their distinct bottle shape, called a “Bocksbeutel,” these wines capture the rich terroir of the area. I recommend picking up a bottle or two as a sophisticated gift or personal memento.
Handcrafted ornaments: Many stalls in Würzburg showcase handcrafted ornaments, reflecting the region’s artistic flair. They range from intricately painted baubles to wooden carvings and can be a delightful addition to any festive decoration collection.
Traditional nutcrackers: A timeless classic, nutcrackers are carved wooden figures, often soldiers or kings. While they have a functional purpose, they’re mainly used for decorative purposes during the festive season, and the ones from Wurzburg exude fine craftsmanship.
Würzburg Residenz miniatures: Representing the iconic Würzburg Residenz, these miniatures capture the baroque grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s an elegant keepsake reminding you of the city’s architectural heritage.
Wooden toys: Carrying forward the German tradition of wooden toy-making, Würzburg’s Christmas market features stalls brimming with hand-carved toys. They’re charming and durable, making them ideal for children and collectors alike.
Franconian cookbooks: Dive deep into the region’s culinary heritage by securing a Franconian cookbook. These books are packed with traditional recipes, offering you the chance to recreate some of Würzburg’s festive dishes at home.
Woollen wear: As the winter chill sets in, stalls at the Christmas market display hand-knitted woollen wear. From snug scarves to warm mittens, these items are both functional and crafted with care.
Ceramic pottery: The market is also home to vendors showcasing Franconian ceramic pottery. Renowned for their intricate designs and sturdy make, these pieces can be a standout addition to one’s homeware collection.
Things to Do in Winter
For a comprehensive list of winter activities and current events in the city, I suggest checking out Würzburg Tourism; it’s a valuable resource for first-time visitors. Start here with this list of must-see sights.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
Here are a few insights to help you tread lightly in Würzburg during the festive season:
Eco-friendly accommodation: Würzburg is home to a number of hotels committed to green initiatives, particularly those tapping into renewable energy sources. When booking your stay, prioritise establishments that are conscious of their carbon footprint and incorporate eco-friendly practices. This reduces your personal environmental impact and supports businesses striving for sustainable change.
Mindful consumption at the markets: The allure of Christmas markets is undeniable. While indulging, remember to be conscious of food waste. Opt for portions you can finish and use recyclable or biodegradable containers when possible. Würzburg’s markets often have stalls encouraging sustainable practices; supporting them can make a significant difference.
Ethical shopping: It’s easy to get swept up in the festive buying frenzy. In Würzburg, you’ll find numerous stalls with handcrafted items and artisanal products. Prioritise purchasing items you genuinely need or will use. Additionally, try to support local artisans, as this upholds ethical consumption and bolsters the local economy.
Sustainable diets: Embrace local and seasonal foods available in Würzburg during Christmas. The region is known for its rich culinary heritage, and sourcing locally reduces transportation emissions. Also, consider incorporating more plant-based options into your diet, as they generally have a lower environmental impact.
Green transport options: Würzburg’s city centre is compact, making it conducive to walking or cycling. Instead of relying on motorised transport, explore the city on foot or rent a bike. This reduces emissions and offers a more intimate experience of the city’s festive charm. If longer distances are necessary, consider using public transportation, which Würzburg has efficiently integrated into its urban structure.
Wurzburg Christmas Market dates are 1st to 23rd December 2023.
The Christmas market is located in Würzburg’s historic city centre, specifically in the Upper and Lower Marktplatz and along Eichhornstraße.
You can visit the market starting from Monday to Saturday: 10am to 8:30pm. Sunday: 11am to 8:30pm.
Yes, Würzburg experiences chilly winters. It’s advisable to wear warm clothing, especially in the evenings.
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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 Würzburg, Germany. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.