Maleficent Adventures

Travelling Around the World

Category: Christmas-Market

Top 9 Christmas Markets in Hamburg

Here at Maleficent Adventures we love Christmas markets, each year we go away with our sisters to a different European Christmas market for the weekend. This year we travelled to Hamburg for a weekend filled with mulled wine, bratwurst and good times.

We went to so many Christmas markets over the weekend that, in true Maleficent Adventures style, we decided to rank our top 9 and here they are:

 

  1. Rathausmarkt
    This is the largest market (we found) in Hamburg. Nestled next to the majestic and historic town hall, this market is packed with stalls selling everything from decorations to local delicacies and is a must see for all visitors to Hamburg in the festive period.

Käthe Wohlfahrt is by far always our favourite stall which specialises in Christmas decorations. It is filled with hundreds of very delicate ornaments to suit every taste, and whilst we had to queue to get in the door, this meant once we were in we had time to browse and weren’t rushed by the large crowd of market goers. It’s a winter wonderland!

 

  1. Mönckebergstrasse Christmas Market
    Along the streets of Hamburg, these market stall facades reminded us of wild west saloons. Regardless of the size this was a great place to pick up some tasty food and drinks with much smaller crowd then in the squares

 

  1. Christmas market at the church of St. Petri
    Located near the Rathaus this market snaked round the back of the historic church. It was nice and quiet during the day for perusing the stalls and had a few good places to perch with a hot beverage.

Look, even the cups match each individual market!

 

  1. Gänsemarkt market
    Nestled in a small square was Gänsemarkt Christmas market. All the stalls were designed to look like Gingerbread houses and whilst we were there it continued to snow making a magical backdrop for a cheeky mulled wine.

 

  1. Fleet Christmas Market
    We came here in the evening, the large marquee complete with chandeliers, provided a warm and relaxing atmosphere whilst we sipped mulled wine whilst overlooking the river.

 

  1. WinterWald
    Who doesn’t love drinking a toasty mulled wine whilst sitting in a Forest? Towards the back of the market was an area cleared just for drinks stalls and was lined with Christmas trees, very magical.

 

  1. White magic on Jungfernstieg
    Found across the road from Europa Passage shopping centre, beside Binnenalster lake, is the Jungfernstieg Christmas market. It is definitely one of the fancier markets we have seen, but this came with a higher price tag! Glasses of gluhwein were the most expensive here, but at night this really was very pretty. They even had exclusive fire pit booths available for hire.

 

  1. Winter Pride
    We stumbled across this area one night, we wouldn’t quite describe it as a market as it only had a few bar stalls and 1 food venue serving bratwurst. However, it was very lively, with good music and great atmosphere perfect for a night on the tiles!

 

  1. Santa Pauli
    Located in Hamburg’s right light district, this Christmas market is publicised as Germany’s best x-rated market. We actually didn’t get a chance to go into this market as it wasn’t open whilst we were there. But we think this would have been well worth a look in if you are passing by and into niche markets! Probably not suitable for families.

Honourable mention: not a Christmas market but we also visited Altes Mädchen the bar/restaurant attached to the Ratsherrn brewery for a few hours which we would strongly recommend. It stocked a wide selection of beers on draft (with a great beer flight to get you sampling some of them), tasty food and with a warm and welcoming environment. The staff were great and service was very efficient to say it was a busy Saturday. This was the reason we did not make the aforementioned erotic market – too busy drinking beer!

We all had a fantastic weekend, do you have a different order? Reach out to us on social media, we’d love to hear about it.

Top 9 Tips For European Christmas markets

Each year we go on a European Christmas market trip with our sisters. Coming home from our fourth annual trip we have put together our top tips on how to prepare for a great festive weekend:

  1. Think about logistics ahead of time
    If you are planning a trip abroad and therefore flying or getting the Eurostar, book early. We cannot stress this enough, the later you leave it, the more expensive it will be. We booked our latest trip to Hamburg in February! You may scoff, but flights and accommodation were £200 all in. Be sure to check your arrival and departure times as this will help maximise your market times and remember on a weekend there will be bigger crowds so you may want to think about heading midweek.

 

  1. Map out the markets before you go
    Whilst you have time and Wi-Fi at home take note of what Christmas markets the city offers and where they are located. You want to make sure you hit the biggest and best ones in the time you are there. Lucy saved us loads of time by pinning all the markets in Hamburg to her Google maps so it was easy to navigate through the city.

Top tip: some markets are only open select weekends – and during certain hours.

 

  1. Dress in layers and stay warm
    Make sure to pack comfortable shoes and supportive socks, in most cities the markets are spread out and if possible get waterproof ones! Waterproof shoes are best where possible because we are yet to have a 100% dry weekend! Hats, gloves and scarves are a godsend when you’ve been stood too long drinking mulled wine!

 

  1. Keep an eye on the weather
    This is both before you go and whilst you are away; try timing indoor activities with predicated spells of bad weather so you aren’t caught out. Our first trip to Berlin we managed to time ducking into a beer hut avoiding a heavy rain fall with lightning.

 

  1. Have a light breakfast or go hungry
    There are so many good food options at Christmas markets, make sure to leave space as you’ll want to try everything!

 

  1. Have a break from Christmas markets

This might seem a little strange but, taking time to warm up and see whats good in the area can be just as rewarding. During our latest trip to Hamburg went out of our way to visit the wonderful Ratsherrn brewery, which hosted homebrewed and local beer with over 20 tipples on draft.

 

  1. Go back at night
    Whilst evenings can draw a bigger crowd than lunchtimes, the warmth of mulled wine and sparkle of Christmas lights create a more festive atmosphere after dark.

 

  1. Try the local delicacies and Christmas specialities
    No two markets are the same either in the same city or country so keep an eye out for unique items. Berlin invented the Curry Wurst and Hamburg is famous for Frazbrötchen, similar to a cinnamon roll, and these were things we were glad we didn’t miss out on.

 

  1. Pick up a souvenir mug
    For every drink, mulled wine or otherwise, you normally have to pay a 2-3 euro refundable deposit. Every market has its own different mug, sometimes even for each year, so why not commemorate the occasion with a cheap souvenir which can be used again and again.

Top Tip: Feeling tired and cold? Most cities in Europe now have a Nespresso store, we’ve used these on our last few trips to have a warm up and a free coffee for an additional pick me up mid-afternoon!

 

So far, we have been to 4 different European markets (excluding the UK): Berlin, Brussels (where we did a day trip to Brugge), Stuttgart and Hamburg. Berlin has hands down been our favourite city, not just for the markets (there are over 50!) but because the city itself is so rich in culture.

We look forward to planning next year’s trip – where would you recommend? Get in touch through social media.

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