Five christmas markets you probably haven't heard of before
December is one of our favourite times of the year here in Germany because of all the Christmas markets everywhere: Hot "Glühwein", sugared almonds and gingerbread cookies. We just absolutely love the atmosphere and the fact that you can spend a nice evening together with friends or family and really enjoy the advent season.
Everybody knows the big Christmas markets in Frankfurt and Mainz. But truth is: There are also different and unique markets you probably haven’t heard of yet, who are totally worth visiting! That’s why we collected our top five insider Christmas markets, close to Mainz and its surroundings. Enjoy checking them out!
1. Christmas market in Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden is right on the other side of the river and super easy to get to (only 15 minutes by train). Yet I've talked with some international students, who haven't heard of its great Christmas market. Time to change that! Germans call it „Sternschnuppenmarkt“ which translates to “shooting star market”. The beautiful light decorations above all the stands create a charming atmosphere and with almost 150 stands, they also have great variety for shopping here. If you want to see something other than Mainz, but don’t want to go far, Wiesbaden is your best option.
2. Maritime Christmas market Lichtermeer in the Zollhafen (Mainz)
(c) Rudolph Zauritz & Partner | Quelle: http://rzmk.de/portfolio/maritimer-weihnachtsmarkt-lichter-meer/
A Christmas market that falls out of line due to its bigger and more crowded competitor at the Dome is the maritime christmas market called „Lichtermeer“. This „sea of lights“ is situated in the Zollhafen in front of the art gallery. It’s focus lies on artistic performances. While of course, you can have Glühwein and delicious food. This Christmas market offers interesting music performances, Poetry Slams and captivating show including the light figures you can see in the picture. Another plus, the market is in a large, heated tent so no cold hands or noses here.
3. Medieval Christmas market in Bingen
(c)Werbegemeinschaft Bingen | Quelle: www.bingen.de/tourismus/veranstaltungen/veranstaltungskalender/d-binger-weihnachtsmarkt-394963917
Only 20 to 30 minutes outside of Mainz, the city of Bingen is hosting a medieval Christmas market from December 11th to December 13th (super easy to reach with public transportation – from Mainz, go to Bingen Hbf). Next to the classic christmas market stands, they offer medieval themed food and drinks, crafts and other activities. Medieval actors are walking around and as highlight a fire show will take place on Saturday evening. People who dress up in medieval garments to the opening even get free beer.
4. Fairy tale Christmas market in Oppenheim
Another unique Christmas market that is a little outside of Mainz, but definitely worth the 20 minutes trip, is the fairy tale Christmas market in Oppenheim. Here you will find a historic carousel, Glühwein being heated up in authentic kettles over crackling fires and little pavilions decorated after different fairy tales between the regular stands. The city also offers guided tours through their cellar labyrinth, as well as multiple historic craft stands where real life artisans present their work.
5. International Christmas market in Rüdesheim
Last but definitely not least, we have the beautiful international Christmas market in Rüdesheim, opened until December 23rd. Even though you’ll need about an hour to get there from Mainz, you’ll be impressed by what they have to offer. More than 120 stands from 12 different nations are situated here to offer you everything: from German Glühwein to Italien or French cuisine to wool products like gloves and scarves from Nepal. Each country shares their impressive arts, crafts and christmas traditions. You can also take a scenic boat ride along the Rhine and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the city from the water.