Hamburg, Germany is a unique city with impressive architecture and tall buildings lining canals. It is a major port city nicknamed Germany's "gateway to the world", and lots of people love the city for its traditional aesthetic mixed with international appeal and diversity. Although the town is lovely in the summer, it looks like something out of a fairytale in the wintertime.
The snow-topped buildings and half-frozen waterways are complimented by shining Christmas lights and grand markets. These Christmas markets in Hamburg are some of the highlights of the winter season, so try to visit as many of them as you can while you are here! Landing shortly at Hamburg Airport? You are probably excited to head out to explore the markets but first, you should leave your suitcases at a Hamburg luggage storage facility.
Hamburg Christmas Market
Locally known as the Hamburger Weihnachtsmarkt am Rathausplatz, the Hamburg Christmas Market is the most famous Christmas market in the city and you will find it set up right in front of the Hamburg City Hall at Rathausplatz. It is one of the most beautiful parts of the town and when it is lavishly decorated with Christmas decorations and lights it looks absolutely magical.
During the market's open hours you can stroll around nearly 100 stalls showcasing the best works of local artisans as well as food and drinks. Some of the treats you can look forward to include baked apples, hotdogs, ginger cakes, and hot chestnuts, as well as hot mulled wine to keep you cozy in the cold. The main star of the market is the huge Christmas tree made entirely out of lights! Kids will love it here, and you might even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus flying away.
What to do near Hamburg Christmas Market
The gorgeous Hamburg City Hall will be one of your favorite sights in the city. Want to do some more sightseeing? There are a few other landmarks in this part of the city centre! Go visit the St. Nikolai Memorial or the Stadthöfe historical landmark. If you want to keep shopping there are some festive stalls around the Gerhard-Hauptmann-Platz and Mönckebergbrunnen as well.
HafenCity Christmas Market
The HafenCity Christmas Market, which is open from late November until the end of December, is not quite like the other Hamburg Christmas markets but it still offers a fun experience for the entire family. You will find the market and all of its attractions set up at the Überseequartier. The Market is usually open starting late November all the way until the end of December, although it is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Aside from several stalls selling handicrafts and traditional holiday treats, the HafenCity Market sets up a few fun activities to entertain you. New in 2022 is winter golf. Imagine wielding a golf club while wearing cozy mittens and swinging your way through a course filled with penguins, nutcrackers, ice floes and more!
What to do near HafenCity Christmas Market
HafenCity offers lots of exciting things to do. You can find a movie theater called the ASTOR Film Lounge HafenCity right next to the square, or you can go see the exhibits at the International Maritime Museum which is just across the river.
Fleet Christmas Market
Another one of Hamburg's Christmas markets can be found on the small little island called Fleetinsel. The market is locally called the Fleet Weihnachtsmarkt and it is open for about a month every holiday season. Most years you can visit between the end of November and the day before Christmas Eve, so plan your trip accordingly.
This market boasts its own selection of market stalls and you can expect to find yummy food like candied nuts or roasted chestnuts, as well as gifts like handmade toys, jewellery and clothing. The enchanting winter atmosphere is complemented by a vintage carousel and two sailboats. It is a great spot for the whole family to visit together, or as somewhere to meet up with friends.
What to do near Fleet Christmas Market
Fleetinsel is home to lots of cute boutiques as well as one of the best shopping streets in Hamburg. Check out the Neuer Wall and do some window shopping in all of the luxury shops along the street!
Jungfernstieg Christmas Market
This Christmas market, also called White Magic at the Jungfernstieg, is a beautiful place filled with Christmas spirit and joy. Visitors from around the city centre and beyond come to enjoy the festive atmosphere and shop around the star-topped tents. This market opens beginning the last week of November and stays right up until the last day of December.
The market overlooks Alster Lake which can be quite a beautiful sight in the wintertime, especially as the modern architecture and buildings of the city are lit up behind it. If you want to get the best views you will have to ride on the Ferris wheel that is set up on site, of course! The stalls are filled with traditional snacks to taste, like Bratwurst or Glühwein, as well as items for you to take home as Christmas presents.
What to do near Jungfernstieg Christmas Market
After buying all of your Christmas gifts at the market you should have a bit more fun around the area. The Museum der Illusionen Hamburg is not too far away and is a nice spot to go see modern art.
Scandinavian Christmas Market
If you want to experience another side of Europe, stop by the Scandinavian Christmas Market found by Ditmar-Koel-Strasse. This market is hosted by the Scandinavian Seamen's Churches and the items sold in the shops reflect their heritage.
If you are a foodie, take this opportunity to taste different kinds of traditional Scandinavian food, like glögg or elk meat. Don't worry if you aren't hungry since there is also a fantastic selection of wooden toys, wool knit sweaters and other unique items that are great ideas for Christmas gifts.
What to do near Scandinavian Christmas Market
Looking for something else to do near the market? There are beautiful places where you can take a stroll, like the Jan-Fedder-Promenade which is right by the water.
Spending the Winter Holidays in Hamburg
It won't be hard to find Christmas markets in this part of Northern Germany, and they are a great place to spend your holidays. The sights, sounds and smells of the markets will immediately make you feel festive, and you can knock off some gifts from your shopping list as well.
If you still haven't gotten your fill of German Christmas markets there are even more for you to discover. Check out the Winter Pride Christmas Market in the St Georg neighborhood, which is where the LGBTQ+ community and its allies like to celebrate the holidays together. There is also a festive market set up in front of the Bergedorf Castle which offers all sorts of fun activities for kids.