Christkindlesmarkt: An expat pilgrimage
14 Dec 2014

Christkindlesmarkt: An expat pilgrimage


Tourists spilling out from the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt

It was inevitable that eventually, like a moth to the Feuerzangenbowle flame,  this expat would be unable to resist the temptations of the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt.

And why would I? As one of the biggest and most tradition-steeped Christmas markets in Germany, if not the world, the Christkindlesmarkt is the epitome of everything us summer-Christmas southerners yearn for in the festive season.

Glühwein to ward off the cold nights, warmly-lit wooden stalls filled with Lebkuchen (next-level Gingerbread), Bratwurst, artisan-crafted wooden gifts and the excuse to feel like an excited kid again, all under the impressive gothic facade of the Frauenkirche.

Packed with tourists? Yes. Should every expat in Germany do it? Definitely. Unlike Berlin’s gaudy Alexanderplatz Weihnachtsmarkt and others of its ilk, there’s a very strict control on what can be sold in the Christkindlesmarkt, which means that it’s as authentic as it can get.

It’s easy to get bogged down with the daily challenges of bureaucracy, language and cultural differences far away from home, so it’s important to enjoy the small things in expat life.

Especially when the small things are filled with marzipan, nuts and spices.


A Christmas bakery stall underneath the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).


Nuremberg Prune Men (Zwetcshgenmännle) are a popular souvenir and are said to bring good fortune


The Christkindlesmarkt is only one of the city’s Christmas markets – there’s also a Kinder (kids) Weihnachtsmarkt and another that celebrates with stalls from Nuremberg’s many sister cities.


Lebkuchen. While the name may have you thinking about the heart-shaped gingerbread you see at Oktoberfest festivities, the best Lebkuchen in the country is undoubtedly from Nuremberg – the delectable Elisenlebkuchen.


An equally charming Christmas market in the nearby city of Erlangen.


If you make it to Nuremberg for the market, a night visit is a must.

About the Author:Joe Dodgshun

Brand storytelling consultant creating stories to scale solutions in social enterprise, cleantech, climate action & responsible travel. What's your story?

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