The Nuremberg Christmas Market (known officially as the Christkindlesmarkt) is one of the biggest and best known Christmas markets. There are many Christmas Markets in Germany – in fact almost every town or city has at least one. The Nuremberg Christmas Market is magical though, and should be top of your list to visit! This post should help you in planning a visit to Nuremberg Christmas Market!
If you need some inspiration as to why you should definitely visit the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, try my 10 reasons to visit the Nuremberg Christmas Market post!
Why should you visit the Nuremberg Christmas Market?
The Christkindlesmarkt is nearly 400 years old – it was first mentioned in writing in 1628. This long history defines the market today, and creates an atmosphere second to none. The smell of Glühwein or grilling sausages mixed with the red and white striped huts and fairy lights is something special! If you’re really lucky and there is snow on the roofs or in the air, it’s a scene you’ll remember for life. What makes Nuremberg special are the following:
- The products on sale are strictly controlled. Products made locally and/or by hand make up the vast majority of what is on sale. There’s no plastic tat!
- The foodstuffs on sale like Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and Nürnberger Bratwurst (sausages) are unique to Nuremberg and originated here
- The atmosphere in the Hauptmarkt (Main Square) and surrounding streets is wonderful. Nuremberg is a historic city, and the rivers and historic buildings make for a picture perfect backdrop
- For more great reasons to visit the Christkindlesmarkt view my 10 reasons you must visit the Nuremberg Christmas Market!
Visiting Nuremberg Christmas Market
Basics and Opening Hours
The Christkindlesmarkt always opens on the Friday before advent, and runs until Christmas Eve. In 2017 it opens on December 1st, with the opening ceremony (will be very busy) happening at 5:30 PM
The market is obviously busiest on the weekends and Friday evenings. It will also depend on the weather (mild and wet will keep people away). It is open daily from 10AM to 9PM
With Children at the Nuremberg Christmas Market
The market can get very crowded in the evenings. This is fine for older children but may be challenging with a pram! Luckily there is a whole section of the market specially for children – the Kinderweihnacht on Hans-Sachs-Platz. This is a spacious area with lots of rides and attractions especially for younger ones
Buying at the Nuremberg Christmas Market and using credit cards
Due to the number of international visitors, almost all stallholders will speak a reasonable level of English. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it therefore! Almost all transactions will be made at the market in cash. DO NOT expect to be able to pay with card, although a few stallholders are starting to offer this option.
The Mug Deposit!
When buying glühwein, you’ll need to pay a deposit on the mugs it’s served in (a few euros). Take the mugs back after you’ve finished and you’ll get your money back. When planning a visit to Nuremberg Christmas Market therefore, always have enough cash for the “pfand” (deposit) as well as the cost of the Glüwein!
Getting help at the Nuremberg Christmas Market
There are two tourist information offices in Nuremberg. One is located opposite the Hauptbahnhof, and one in the Hauptmarkt itself. Both operate extended hours during the Christkindlesmarkt, and have multi-lingual staff to assist.
The market is safe to visit. At all entries and patrolling around you’ll see police who will be able to assist should you have any problems.
How to get to Nuremberg Christmas Market?
Nuremberg has an excellent airport which is increasingly well connected to other major European cities.
The major airlines serving Airport Nuremberg are as follows: Ryanair (flights from several major European cities); Lufthansa (allowing connections from Munich and Frankfurt); Eurowings (expanding network inside and outside of Germany); KLM (connections from Amsterdam); Air France (connections from Paris); British Airways (seasonal connections from London in December/January); Turkish Airlines (connections via Istanbul and Izmir)
Nuremberg Airport is just to the north of the city and a short journey away. From the airport to the city centre a taxi will cost 20€. There is also a subway connection to the main railway station and beyond which is a cheaper option for single travellers.
Nuremberg is a hub for several high-speed train lines. Munich can be reached in only one hour, Berlin and Frankfurt are also easily reached on the ICE network. The Nürnberg Hauptbahnhof (Nuremberg main station) is at the south east corner of the Altstadt (old town), and many hotels are within walking distance
There are several long distance bus-lines serving Nuremberg ZOB (central bus station). This is located not far from the main railway station
Nuremberg has excellent connections to the German Autobahn network in all directions. Be aware that during the Christkindlesmarkt parking will be at a premium in or around the city centre. Most city-centre hotels have parking that may be booked in advance, but this will likely be quite expensive
How to get around in Nuremberg
The Nuremberg Christmas Market or Christkindlesmarkt is located right in the centre of town on the Hauptmarkt. When planning a visit to Nuremberg Christmas Market it’s useful to consider how best to get around the town
Nuremberg is quite a walkable city, especially in the Altstadt area. From the Hauptbahnhof you can reach the Christmas Market in about 10-15 minutes on foot. Just make sure you have appropriate footwear for the weather (it can snow or be icy in December)!
Nuremberg has a comprehensive public transport network operated by the VAG. This may be a cheaper option particularly if your hotel is further away thus increasing taxi costs. A good option if you’re planning on making several trips is the “Tagesticket Plus” which allows up to two adults and four children to travel for a complete day (11.90€). There is also a downloadable app for Android and Apple which you can use to purchase tickets and plan the journey!
The correct stop for the Nuremberg Christmas Market is “Lorenzkirche”
Nuremberg has a large taxi fleet, although unfortunately it is still in the analogue era. Don’t bother expecting to use Uber, and other Taxi Apps are not well used by the drivers: You’ll need to call 0911 19410 which is the central taxi office.
On weekdays driving into the city centre may be a practical option – you can use one of the several Nuremberg car parks. From Friday evening to Sunday I wouldn’t recommend this however – finding a space will be very time consuming. If you are planning a visit to Nuremberg Christmas market I’d leave the car at home
Where to Stay
This isn’t intended as a comprehensive guide, more to give some tips based on location. These are hotels that I have visited and that I know to be generally good options. For more options try the Nuremberg Tourism website or usual booking engines.
Right on the Hauptmarkt:
On the borders of the Altstadt (by Hauptbahnhof) – a veritable “hotel village”
- Grand Hotel
- Park Plaza
- Novotel (directly neighbouring this hotel is a Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and Motel 1)
Out of the City Centre (but likely cheaper and well connected by public transport)
Where to Eat
There are a lot of tourists in Nuremberg for the Christmas Market. It’s also office party season so the restaurants are busy. There’s plenty of restaurants, but those specialising in local cuisine get booked up early. When planning a visit to Nuremberg Christmas Market you’ll want to avoid the places aimed squarely at tourists. Try the following for traditional German foods in authentic and family owned settings (I’ve tested them all!):
- Zum Albrecht Dürer Haus – great local cuisine in a fantastic position right under the castle
- Alte Küch’n – historic building and interior with traditional food
- Albrecht Dürer Stube – wonderful Schäufele in a cosy setting
Useful Links in planning a visit to Nuremberg Christmas Market:
- The Official Christkindlesmarkt Website
- The Official Nuremberg Tourism Portal Christkindlesmarkt Page – you can book hotels here too
- 10 Reasons why you should visit the Nuremberg Christmas Market – more great ideas from A Nice Life!
I hope you find this guide useful in planning a visit to Nuremberg Christmas Market! If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.