The Nürnberger Christmas Market

Authored By:

Lucas C.

Christmas markets are exactly like snow globes. Don’t believe me? Grab your nearest snow globe and look inside. For the most part, you’ll see a perfect Christmas scene: friendly snow falling on merry people and buildings. Now imagine that you are one of those figures. A smile is pleasantly painted on your face and snow falls lightly on your warm hat. The merry buildings are suddenly big and tall. They sell pretty trinkets and shine brightly in the moon’s light glow. Best of all - a whiff of gingerbread whisps throughout the people and stands. A perfect snow globe.

Now my visit to the Nuremberg Christmas markets was almost, almost that. Only switch the snow for rain. I didn’t mind though; the largest Christmas market in Germany made up for it. Wait a minute, let me say that again. The Nuremberg Christmas market is the biggest in all of Germany with around 2 million visitors every December! That's almost 4 times the amount of people that live in Nuremberg. As you can tell, it can be a little confusing. Let me give you a little run down of what you can expect to find, so if you go, you can be a little more prepared than I was.



Food is a central part of Christmas markets all over. In the smaller Christmas markets that I’ve been to, that’s really all there is.

In the Nuremberg Christmas market, you can expect to find:


Bratwurst Semmel - A traditional Nuremberg bratwurst in a fluffy piece of bread. In Nuremberg, Bratwurst are traditionally much smaller than what you might be used to and sold in threes. Every German city does theirs a bit differently; and personally, Nuremberg’s Bratwurst are on the top of my list.


Gebrannte Mandeln - Roasted almonds glazed with sugar. There's even whole stands dedicated to these delicious, nutty snacks! Don’t worry, If you don’t like almonds, they usually have a variety of nuts.


Lebkuchen - Gingerbread! Nuremberg is extremely well known for its amazing gingerbread, and sellers in the Christmas Markets certainly prove they deserve the fame. You’ll find colorful arrays of gingerbread, with many intricate flavors. This is a must if you end up going.


Baumstriezel - A traditional baked good originally coming from Transylvania made a noteworthy appearance in my visit, maybe yours too? These are dough in the shape of a cone, covered in sugar and any topping you want. I’m not sure if I can describe them adequately, so you're just going to have to try one for yourself!


There’s really anything you can think of. I would suggest going with an empty stomach and definitely get at least one Bratwurst Semmel - they are absolutely delicious.


But… you can’t forget the drinks!

You can find:

Gluhwein - Mulled wine with a bunch of spices - this is a Christmas Market classic all over germany. You’ll find it repeatedly throughout the market and if you are of the age, definitely have a taste. 

Tipp: when you buy Gluhwein, you pay a couple Euros extra as a safeguard to bring the mug back. These mugs are usually beautifully made and a memorable keepsake. If you don’t give it back after you’ve finished, you won’t get the little extra you paid back. But… the unique souvenir might be worth it.


Kinderpunsch - Non-alcoholic and incredibly tasty, this kid friendly version of Gluhwein is perfect if you’re underage or don’t drink. This was my personal favorite. I got many, many refills.


Apfelpunsch - Appel punch - a classic in and out of Germany. This also is made with many christmassy spices and will warm you up while you shop for ornaments and other trinkets.


Eierpunsch - Made from Egg liquor, white wine, milk, sugar, and vanilla. I've heard this tastes amazing, although I am underage, so I couldn’t try it myself. 


Christmas gifts

The Nuremberg Christmas market is a perfect place to get Christmas gifts. There's a good mix of handmade and professional merchandise. Around the different Christmas markets (there are many small ones throughout the city, not only the one big one!) you’ll also find stores selling Christmas decorations, clothes, toys, etc… 


It’s a little difficult to put everything that you can buy into a list, since there is just so much. I’ll try though and list the things I found the most interesting: 


Christmas ornaments - There is a plethora of beautiful Christmas ornaments for sale. The good thing is that you can find cheap, high-quality ornaments. I was able to find an ornament of Santa Claus delivering presents from a helicopter - amazing.


Nativity figures and scenes - Due to Christmas being a Christian holiday, you’ll find many religious figures and representations. From little baby Jesus with cute goats to the three holy kings, your favorite biblical representation will surely be found!


Viking/medieval memorabilia - I found a couple stands dedicated to Viking drinking horns and medieval axes. The axes and swords were real and honestly fun to swing around. Sadly I don’t think bringing a sword back with me to the U.S. is allowed, so I didn’t buy it :(


Anyways, that’s a quick rundown on what you can expect to find at the Nuremberg Christmas market. I had an absolutely amazing and memorable time there so I really hope you end up checking it out! It is open practically the whole month of December, so you have a bit of time.