Picture this: as the frosty air of Atlanta’s winter sweeps across your face, the warm glow of fairy lights from myriad Christmas market stalls beckons you.
In a city well-known for its southern hospitality, diverse food scene and rich history, the annual German Christkindl market truly sets hearts alight with festive cheer.
Dive into this guide as I lay out the essentials for your 2023 visit to Atlanta Christmas Market, including key dates, openings, locations and the unique local treats to look out for.
As the city dons its winter coat, you’ll find residents and visitors alike revelling in the holiday season, its magic enveloping you in a uniquely Southern embrace.
Atlanta Christmas Market 2023
The Atlanta Christmas Market stands out due to its enchanting fusion of Southern hospitality and traditional German culture.
Nestled in the Buckhead Village District of Atlanta, this market transforms into a festive hub from mid-November.
The myriad of stalls showcase authentic German handicrafts, ornaments and snacks, making this market a vibrant cultural destination.
Plus, with a lively entertainment schedule that features carolers, brass bands, and the beloved parade of lanterns, it offers an engaging mix of tradition and entertainment that is truly distinct.
Dates and Location
Atlanta Christmas Market dates: 17th to 19th November and 24th November to 24th December 2023.
Location: Buckhead Village District. 290 East Paces Ferry Road Northeast.
Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 3pm to 8pm. Friday to Sunday: 11am to 9pm.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Ice skating: Yes, at Ponce City Market.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten-free: Yes, but may be limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a lead.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Artisan crafts exclusive to the South; a fusion of festive cheer and Atlanta’s historic charm; mouthwatering Southern culinary delights.
Recommended tour: See the highlights of Atlanta with this popular trolley tour.
Specialities: Sweet pecan pies; mouth-watering peach cobbler; hearty Brunswick stew; aromatic cornbread; crispy fried chicken.
Where to stay: Hyatt Centric Buckhead is a highly-rated hotel 5-minutes drive from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Atlanta Christmas Market
Choosing to reside in Buckhead Village during your Christmas trip to Atlanta places you right in the heart of the festive buzz.
This neighbourhood teems with upscale boutiques, esteemed eateries and the twinkling lights of the Christmas market.
Among the many comfortable accommodations available here, I highly recommend a stay at Hyatt Centric Buckhead for its prime location and excellent guest ratings.
Location of Atlanta Christmas Market
Christmas in Atlanta
I’ve shared a video below to give you a genuine feel for the Atlanta Christmas Market. It provides a vivid portrayal of the lively atmosphere, charming stalls, and festive spirit that you’ll encounter on your visit.
Christmas Specialties in Atlanta
- Sweet Potato Casserole: Particularly prevalent in the Southern states, this side dish marries the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes with a blend of warming spices.
- Collard Greens: A staple of Southern cuisine, collard greens are slow-cooked with a piece of smoked meat until tender, imbuing them with a rich, smoky flavour. For a vegetarian twist, replace the smoked meat with a mix of onions, garlic and vegetable stock.
- Cornbread: Originating from Native American cuisine, cornbread has become a staple in the Southern US. It’s a savoury bread made with cornmeal, and its slight sweetness makes it an excellent companion to savoury dishes. For vegetarians, this can be a hearty and satisfying option.
- Pecan Pie: Hailing from the Southern US, pecan pie is a classic dessert that features a filling of pecan nuts mixed with a concoction of eggs, butter and sugar. The result is a sweet, nutty treat with a caramel-like consistency, perfect for rounding off a Christmas meal.
- Eggnog: This creamy beverage, popular during the holiday season, combine milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites and egg yolks. Typically, it’s infused with spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon and can be spiked with a splash of rum or bourbon.
- Pumpkin Pie: A classic American dessert, pumpkin pie is made with a smooth, spiced pumpkin-based custard filling. The pumpkin is usually seasoned with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
Food at the Christmas Market
- Fried Chicken and Waffles: A true Atlanta classic, this dish combines perfectly fried, crispy chicken with soft, fluffy waffles. It’s an unexpected but delicious pairing often enjoyed with a drizzle of maple syrup for a sweet and savoury treat.
- Brunswick Stew: Originating from the South, Brunswick stew is a hearty, slow-cooked dish brimming with a variety of meats – usually chicken and pork – and vegetables. It’s a warming bowl of comfort that’s ideal for a chilly winter’s day at the Christmas market.
- Peach Cobbler: Georgia, the capital of Atlanta, is famous for its peaches. Peach cobbler is a sweet dessert that typically consists of juicy peaches topped with a crumbly biscuit or pie dough. Warm and comforting, it’s a local favourite ideal for enjoying the Christmas market.
- Mulled Wine: Borrowed from traditional German Christmas markets, mulled wine, or glühwein, is a popular festive drink. Red wine is simmered with a medley of spices like cloves, cinnamon, star anise and sometimes citrus fruits, making it a wonderfully warming beverage for a winter’s day.
- Pretzels: Another European favourite, these are often found at Christmas markets worldwide. These baked bread products come in a distinctive twisted knot shape and are typically topped with coarse salt. Enjoy a soft, warm pretzel while you explore the market stalls.
- Bratwurst: Hailing from Germany, bratwurst is a type of sausage made from pork, beef, or veal. It’s usually grilled or pan-fried and served in a bun with a squirt of mustard. Despite its German origins, it’s become a staple of international Christmas markets, Atlanta’s included.
- Hot Chocolate: A universal winter favourite, hot chocolate is a sweet, rich beverage made from melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar. Some stalls might even offer a splash of cream or a sprinkle of marshmallows on top.
What to Buy
- Handcrafted Ornaments: These special items, often made by local artisans, can range from beautifully carved wooden decorations to hand-blown glass ornaments. Each one encapsulates a piece of Atlanta’s unique charm and makes a perfect gift or keepsake.
- Local Art: Atlanta has a thriving art scene, and the Christmas market is ideal for discovering pieces from local artists. You might find an array of items, from beautifully framed prints to innovative sculptures, each capturing a different aspect of the city’s vibrant culture.
- Homemade Jams and Preserves: Produced using local ingredients, these sweet treats make for an excellent gift. They often come in a range of unique flavours, like peach and pecan, capturing the essence of the region’s agricultural bounty.
- Handwoven Baskets: A reflection of the area’s rich craft heritage, these are often found at the Atlanta Christmas Market. Each is a unique, intricate piece of craftsmanship, useful as well as decorative.
- Pecan Treats: Georgia is famous for its pecan trees, and you’ll find an array of treats made from this local nut at the Christmas market in Atlanta. Think pecan brittle, candied pecans, or pecan-flavoured coffees — delightful gifts for food lovers.
- Atlanta Themed Apparel: Show off your love for the city with T-shirts, hoodies and hats featuring Atlanta-themed designs. Created by local designers, these items are a great way to remember your trip and support the local creative community.
- Handmade Soaps and Candles: Crafted with care, these make wonderful gifts or souvenirs. Often made with natural, locally sourced ingredients, you’ll find a variety of scents and styles to choose from.
- Local Craft Beers and Spirits: Atlanta has a flourishing craft beer and spirits scene. You can often find a selection of locally brewed ales, craft gins or whiskeys at the Christmas market, perfect for those who appreciate a tipple.
For more holiday markets worth visiting this winter, read my guide to the best Christmas markets in the United States; it’s packed with details that will help you tailor a perfect holiday trip.
To make your visit to the city as smooth as possible, I highly recommend using Discover Atlanta. It’s a valuable resource full of practical information and local insights.
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 Atlanta at Christmas.
- Choose Accommodations Using Renewable Energy: Opt for hotels and guesthouses that use renewable energy sources.
- Minimise Food Waste: Atlanta restaurants are renowned for their hearty portions. Order judiciously to avoid food waste, and don’t hesitate to ask for a takeaway box for leftovers — enjoy them as a meal the next day.
- Shop Ethically: When buying gifts and souvenirs at the Atlanta Holiday Market, prioritise products made by local artisans. Not only will you support the local economy, but you’ll also reduce the environmental footprint associated with mass-produced goods.
- Adopt a Sustainable Diet: Atlanta has a growing number of restaurants offering plant-based options. Opting for these choices can reduce your environmental footprint.
- Use Sustainable Transport: Atlanta has an extensive public transport system, including buses and the MARTA rail system. Choose these over taxis or rental cars to lessen your carbon footprint. Alternatively, take advantage of Atlanta’s bike-sharing programme, Relay, for shorter distances.
The Atlanta Christmas Market starts from 17th to 19th November and 24th November to 24th December 2023.
The Atlanta Christmas Market is held in Buckhead Village, a vibrant area known for its shopping and dining options.
The Atlanta Christmas Market opens Monday to Thursday: 3pm to 8pm. Friday to Sunday: 11am to 9pm.
Winter in Atlanta tends to be milder than in many other US cities. You can expect temperatures to range from 0°C to 13°C, with the occasional chance of snow.
At Christmas, you’ll find a wide array of specialities, including cornbread stuffing, Southern-style macaroni cheese and sweet potato pie.
Warm clothing is advisable for winter in Atlanta. Consider packing a medium-weight coat, gloves, and a hat, especially for evenings at the Christmas market.
Yes, Atlanta has a lot to offer during winter. You can enjoy ice skating at Atlantic Station, see the Christmas lights at Atlanta Botanical Garden, or explore indoor attractions like the Georgia Aquarium and the High Museum of Art.
Buckhead Village is a great place to stay for the Christmas Market. The Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta is a well-regarded hotel with a prime location near the market.
A trip to Atlanta during winter provides a unique opportunity to engage with Southern culture, especially at the lively Christmas market, which is sometimes known as the Atlanta Christkindl Market or Buckhead Christmas Market.
With the city’s blend of world-class food, entertainment, and holiday cheer, I can vouch that your experience will be warm and hospitable. Despite the colder temperatures, Atlanta’s vibrant spirit shines brightly, making it a rewarding destination for your winter visit.
If you would like to leave a review of Atlanta 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 Atlanta, United States. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.