Christmas Glitters: Germany’s Camper than Christmas Markets

Some things can never be as good as the original.

One example is clear when you discover the original is a tradition that has become widely copied – but never bettered: Germany’s Christmas Markets.


Hamburg’s Christmas Market – Hamburger Weihnachtsmarkt.

Christmas is to me a quintessentially gay time of year. All that dressing up, colour and movement. The season is the usually height of camp and vamp with lots going on to remind you the year is almost done.

Your town might in recent years have ‘discovered’ a Christmas Market ‘tradition’ but if you’ve never seen the original, you don’t know what you are really missing.

I like my Christmas to be authentic with a big slice of peace and celebration. ‘Camp as Christmas’ with my family of choice is also great in my world – but most things with Bing Crosby carols or ‘Happy Holidays’ attached leaves me stone cold.

That’s why I am so excited with this year – as I am returning to Germany to explore a new Christmas Market – or five.

Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt Christmas Market – Frankfurt am Main : Weihnachtsmarkt © 2009 Jochen Keute

German Yuletide celebrations are built upon a history of literally centuries and you can feel their authenticity from the minute you arrive in the historic centre of so many German towns and cities that have nurtured and treasure their Christmas Market traditions.

Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt Christmas Market. © 2009 Jochen Keute, Frankfurt am Main

In larger centres there are often two or three markets running from late November until Christmas Eve so there is lots to choose from.

Below I have shared Seven Top Christmas Markets for you to add to your Christmas shopping list this year.

Don’t just take my advice though. Check out even more German Chrissy Market action over on the German National Tourist Office official website. You will also find bagloads of LGBT travel info on their site about some has-to-be-seen German destinations – all with gay travel info to make your next German sojourn one to tell those at home all about on your return.


Leipzig Christmas Markets

Seven Unforgettable German Christmas Markets

  1. Leipzig – celebrating Christmas since 1458
  1. Hamburg – take your pick from many around town and be sure to check out the main market outside the Town Hall
  1. Berlin – Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg is a great place to add to your list
  1. Düsseldorf Christmas Market – catch modern architecture and Christmas tradition entwined
  1. Frankfurt Christmas Market – dating from 1353, this is a true Christmas you will not forget
  1. Munich – drenched in lights the Munich market attracts thousands of visitors each year. You can even enjoy a special ‘Pink Christmas’ market, presented by the city’s gay community at Stephansplatz.
  1. Cologne Christmas Markets – Choose one from the seven markets and check out the gay scene in the legendary ‘Bermuda Triangle’

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