The Christmas season isn’t complete without Christmas markets. Here are my 10 favorite Christmas markets in Bavaria.
Christmas is a great time to be in Germany. Especially in Bavaria where you will find some of the most amazing Christmas Markets. You will find plenty of Christmas markets in Bavaria. And let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t be able to visit every single one of them. So I have narrowed it down for you and made a list of some of my favorite Christmas markets in Bavaria.
Füssen & Hohenschwangau
Fussen is the transportation hub for Neuschwanstein Castle. And it is a town with ~15,000 residents. It’s famous for its violin-making and there’s also more happening there, including the Christmas market. Hohenschwangau is a small village where Schloss Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein Castle are located.
Christmas Market in Füssen, Bavaria
The Füssen Christmas market is held in the courtyard of the festively decorated St. Mang Monastery. Highlights include choirs from the region and a magical illuminated setting. It’s a small, but beautiful Christmas market.
Dates: December 6-8 and December 13-15 2019
Opening Hours: Fri: 2:00 to 8:00 pm and Sat & Sun from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Location: St. Mang’s Abbey, Lechhalde 3, 87629 Füssen
Where to Stay in Füssen/Schwangau
Hotel Rübezahl While Hotel Rübezahl is not a castle. The 4-star hotel provides excellent views of both Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles. The next best thing to actually sleeping in a castle. It has a spa area (try the Kneipp area for a local treat). And a gourmet restaurant serving regional food and an elegant cozy atmosphere. Best of all, it’s location can’t be beat! They can also arrange for entrance tickets for both the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles upon request.
Hotel Schlosskrone You’ll find spacious rooms in this 4-star hotel with a touch of Bavarian decor. Warm-up after visiting the Christmas market in the Finnish sauna or steam room.
Ferienwohnung-Königsschlösser 5-star luxury apartments that offer views of Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle. Each apartment comes with a fully furnished kitchen, making it ideal for families.
Related Reading: Neuschwanstein: How to Make the Most of Your Visit
The Chiemsee is often referred to as the Bavarian Sea. You’ll find rolling alpine meadows. And King Ludwig’s impressive Herrenchiemsee Castle which is based on the Palace of Versailles. Another highlight is the beautiful car-free Fraueninsel (Women’s Island – because there’s a Benedictine Convent there). It is famous for its fresh fish. The Chiemsee is a wonderful mix of culture and outdoor activities.
Chiemsee Christmas Markets, Bavaria
Fraueninsel Christmas Market
Frauninsel Christmas Market is the only island Christmas market in all of Germany! It’s also one of the most romantic! Surrounded by the clear waters of Lake Chiemsee, you take a boat to visit this Christmas market! The island is illuminated with festive lights highlighting the 90 stalls. Come hungry, there’s so much to eat! The large selection of crafts is also impressive. It’s a short boat ride from Herrenchiemsee, so I recommend visiting King Ludwig’s Herrenchiemsee Palace first, then taking the boat over at dusk. The market is at its best in the evening. This is one of my favorite Christmas markets in Bavaria!
Dates: 29 November – 1 December and 6 – 8 December 2019
Opening Hours: Fri from 2:00 to 7:00 and Sat and Sun from 12:00 to 7:00 pm.
Note: Allow enough time for the boat crossing. It crossed every 30 minutes from Prien an Chiemsee to Fraueninsel (and Herrenchiemsee, where the castle is), from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm.
Location: Fraueninsel (head left when you get off the boat, it’s easy to spot)
Christmas Market Prien am Chiemsee
You may smell this Christmas market before you see it as whiffs of roasted chestnuts lead you there. You’ll find vendors with locally made handicrafts along with local performances. There’s also a Christmas workshop for children. This will be held in German, but depending on the activity, it may also be suitable for non-German speakers.
Dates: 29 November – 1 December 2019
Opening Hours: 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Location: Marktplatz, Prien am Chiemsee
Where to Stay at Lake Chiemsee
Inselwirt Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Chiemsee, on Fraueninsel (Women’s Island), you’ll have to take a 30-minute boat ride to reach this island rich with history and home to fishermen, nun, and craftsmen. It’s a getaway that most tourists skip or only spend an hour visiting. It offers a very unique experience – most people don’t know that you can stay on an island in Bavaria! It’s steps away from the very special two-weekend only Fraueninsel Christmas Market and a 10-minute ferry ride to Herrenchiemsee Island, where you’ll see the majestic Herrenchiemsee Castle.
Hotel Inselwirt is a 4-star hotel that was built in the 12th-century building and over the course of its eventful history has served as an official residence, Hofrichter, tavern and even a clothing factory in the 1800s.
Hotel Gut Ising – Hotel Gut Ising Chiemsee is a romantic 4-star manor with a history dating back to 1220. Its spa suite is the nicest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in! It features a jacuzzi and sauna. It’s the perfect recipe for romance and a little indulgence! It’s full of surprises everywhere you go. It consists of 8 different buildings, built in different styles, ranging from Toscana to Salzburger to Bavarian, to name but a few and all of a variety of ages. It’s located in a rural area near the Chiemsee (lake) and even has it’s own private pebbly beach!
Yachthotel Chiemsee – You’ll find rustic 4-star accommodation, along with a cozy lounge with a fireplace waiting to warm you up after your Christmas market visit. Or perhaps the outdoor whirlpool is your preferred way to warm up.
Oberammergau & Ettal
The village of Ettal is most famous for Ettal Abbey, a Benedictine monastery with over 50 monks, making it one of the largest Benedictine houses! The village is between the town of Oberammergau and Schloss Linderhof. Oberammergau is a town famous for its wood carvings, frescos, and the Passion Play. It only runs every 10 years though, so you’ll have to wait until 2020 to see it!
Christmas Handicraft Market Oberammergau
Oberammergau is a village with rich traditions, including wood carving. At the Christmas Market be on the lookout for hand-carved nativity scenes that are so intricate that they fit in a nutshell! They’re great for a souvenir or a gift. Also of special interest is the local program featuring regional alphorns. Finally, there’s the Christmas nativity scene, that dates back 300 years. It’s a source of local pride and can be seen at the Oberammergau Museum.
Dates: Dates to be announced for 2020
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 6:00 pm
Location: Ammergauer Haus, Eugen-Papst-Straße 9A
Where to Stay in Oberammergau
Alte Postvilla Hotel Alte Postvilla (old post office villas) offers 4-star apartments in the former post office which is now a landmark! It’s a great option for families looking for extra space. Fresh bread and a newspaper are hand-delivered right to your door each morning! It’s located right in Oberammergau, making it easy to walk and explore the town.
Ludwig der Bayer Hotel This 4-star hotel is part of the Ettal monastery! Yes, you can sleep in a present-day monastery! It serves as a cozy place where you can unwind in front of the fireplace while sampling the monastery’s brewery. Monks definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to beer making. It makes a great base for hiking and Linderhof Palace is just a short bus ride away! Of course, you’ll also want to check out Ettal Abbey itself. It has over 50 monks, making it one of the largest Benedictine houses in the world!
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
This well-preserved medieval town dates back to 1274 and charms visitors with its medieval architecture, half-timber houses, and cobblestone streets. It’s one of my favorite towns in Bavaria! Located further north than the aforementioned places in Middle Franconia, it has a different feel. Of special interest at this time of year is the Käthe Wohlfahrt store which features a year-round Christmas village and is the leader for traditional German Christmas ornaments.
Christmas Markets in Rothenburg, Bavaria
Rothenburg Reiterles Market
This Christmas market dates back to the 15th century, and may make you feel like you’ve time-traveled 500 years back in time! Beware of the market’s namesake – the Reiterle. He’s a mythical figure from another world that floats around with other deceased souls during the winter months! Of special interest is the Town Hall Tower, which offers spectacular views of the town every Friday and Saturday until 8:00 pm. This Christmas market is one of my all-time favorites.
Dates: 29 November to 23 December 2019
Opening Hours: Mon to Thu: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, Sat/Sun: 11:00 to 8:00 pm
Location: Marketplatz, Rothenburg ob der Taube
Where to stay in Rothenburg ob der Taube
Historik Hotel Gotisches Haus Garni Housed in a historic house that dates back to the 13th century, a romantic, historic ambiance with Gothic touches awaits you! Couples will love that every room features a corner bathtub for 2 people.
Hotel Eisenhut This historic hotel located in the heart of Rothenburg features antiques, original artwork and guest rooms that are originally furnished. Enjoy a gorgeous view of the Tauber River Valley from the restaurant.
Hotel BurgGartenpalais This hotel is ideally located between the marketplace and the castle gardens. Wood furnishings give it a cozy feel.
Hotel Herrnschloesschen Located in one of Rothenburg’s oldest buildings, this hotel has a history that has been brought up to present-day comfort with its French-country decor. Be sure to check out the sauna, it’s located in the historic cellar, providing a very unique experience.
Nürnberg is known for being the ‘unofficial capital’ of the Holy Roman Empire. Visitors will be entranced by its medieval architecture featuring fortification sandstone towers in the Altstadt (Old Town), towered over by the Imperial Castle.
This is one of Germany’s most famous and oldest Christmas markets in Bavaria. It was first mentioned in 1628. Be sure to try the Nürnberg Bratwurst. It’s a specialty of the city and has a history of more than 700 years. Nürnberg is also renowned for its Lebkuchen (gingerbread) since it was on the spice route and the citizens took pride in making the best gingerbread and as early as 1441. There was even a spice inspector at the city gates. Today, there are more than 4000 gingerbread makers in the city. You’ll even be able to find gluten-free gingerbread if you ask around.
Dates: 29 November to 24 November 2019
Opening Hours: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, open until 2:00 pm on Christmas Eve
Location: Hauptmarkt, Nürnberg
Where to Stay in Nuremberg
Park Plaza Nuremberg Just reopened on June 2016, this hotel makes a nod to the past by honoring two of Nürnberg’s famous citizens with an Albrecht Dürer and Martin Behaim inspired theme.
Hotel Drei Raben This 4-star design hotel gives travelers a choice of unique themed rooms that reveal the legends of Nürnberg.
Hotel Victoria Nürnberg A 4-star hotel with individually decorated rooms offering guests the chance to indulge in home-made cakes in the hotel’s conservatory.
This city east of Munich is best known for its well-preserved medieval city center which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It sits on the banks of the gorgeous Danube, the second-longest river in Europe and doesn’t have the crowds that other cities have despite all that it has to offer.
Christmas Markets in Regensburg
You’ll find not one, but four Christmas markets in this medieval city, all within walking distance of each other! They each have their own flair and are a great place to try a pint of Glübier, a warm beer dating back to the middle ages that keep the cold away.
Traditional Christmas Market
Dates: 25 November to 23 November 2019
Opening Hours: Sun to Wed: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, & Thu to Sat 10:00 to 9:00 pm
Location: Neupfarrplatz, Regensburg
Romantic Christmas Market at Thurn and Taxis Palace
Date: 22 November to 23 December 2019 (Closed on 24 November)
Opening Hours: Sun to Wed: 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm, & Thu. to Sat 12:00 to 11:00 pm
Location: Emmeramspl. 5, Regensburg
Advent Christmas Market at Spitalgarden, in the Garden of St. Catherine’s Hospital
Dates: 28 November to 23 December 2019
Opening Hours: Wed & Thu: 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Fri: 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Sat: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm and Sun: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Location: St. Katharinen-Platz 1, Regensburg
Craftsmen Lucrezia Christmas Market, a Small Artisans’ Market
Date: 29 November – 23 December 2019
Opening Hours: Sun to Fri: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm, Sat: 10:00 to 8:00 pm
Location: Haidplatz, Regensburg
Where to Stay in Regensburg
Bohemian Hotel This historic hotel features individually designed themed rooms about Regensburg’s history. How about a stay in the hat maker’s room, or perhaps the brewery room is more to your liking?
Domresidenz Regensburg Located just 100m from the Regensburg Cathedral, the central location can’t be beaten! The historical building has been updated with modern touches.
Eurostars Park Hotel Maximilian The Neo-Rococo-style facade on this 4-star hotel is designed to impress. It’s conveniently located in the Old Town.
With all these options of Christmas markets in Bavaria, you won’t be short of things to do this festive season.