SouthWest Germany’s Christmas Markets

The Christmas markets in SouthWest Germany are particularly charming as they are often nestled in small towns with cobblestone streets and half-timbered buildings, palace courtyards while former cloisters also provide romantic backdrops. Each Christmas market is different than the next with gifts and goods varying from town to town and neighborhood to neighborhood. On Lake Constance, the many Christmas markets lure visitors lakeside and to tour the islands between the snowy mountain peaks of Switzerland and Germany’s baroque castles.

The lake that carries the sugary scents of waffles and cinnamon is the same on which ferries sail back and forth connecting visitors to different Christmas markets around the Bodensee. Schupfnudeln (finger-shaped potato dumplings), Dinnele (thin-crust flatbreads with different savory toppings) and Winzerglühwein (hot mulled wine) make the perfect outing also delicious. From Baden-Baden to the Black Forest Highlands, Christmas markets offer unending satisfaction – browse, buy and marvel!

Lakeside and Island Christmas Markets Offer Special Experiences Around the BodenSee

In the town of Constance, the Christmas ship with its 360° panoramic bar, a two-story Christmas tavern, the breathtaking lake and alpine panorama characterize the Constance Christmas Market. Take a stroll along the Advent village of 170 stalls set up between the medieval city center to the harbor.

Almost 100,000 twinkling lights reflect off the lake and the fragrant scents of hot mulled wine and gingerbread bring the holidays to life for the whole family. You can also enjoy the wintry landscape of the island of Mainau on a leisurely stroll through the sleeping gardens. After exploring the island, two warm places invite you to linger: the Butterfly House and the Palm House. In addition to the winter exhibition, come and explore the new boutique winter market in the Baroque castle courtyard. Many of the regional hotels around the lake offer Christmas specials. 

 >>  Christmas on Lake Constance

Chocol’ART in Tuebingen in December Lures Chocolatiers and Chocolate Lovers around the World

Tübingen famous for its university, the River Neckar and its old town is particularly fun during the Advent season. Tübingen’s particular flair can be experienced in the small, owner-managed shops that offer exceptional goods and personal advice. From the 3rd to the 8th of December 2019, the city of Tübingen once again turns into a city filled with chocolate.

Karlsruhe Christmas Market. Photo © KME / ONUK.

Throughout the city’s main squares, vendors offer some of the most extraordinary chocolate experiences. Chocol’ART is one of Germany biggest chocolate festivals and offers a unique chocolate odyssey in a magnificent historic town.  All different shapes, sizes, and flavors are on offer with handmade chocolate bars, chocolate figurines, chocolate cream, chocolate tools, chocolate drinks, chocolate beers, pralines, truffles, nougat, and even dragees. From sweet and bitter to mild and spicy, exotic and bio-chocolate to fair trade, vegan to sugar free chocolate are on the stands. The cheerful window shopping and the white chocolate tents in the city square and the magical lighting across the historical city square turn this experience into a fairy tale adventure.  

>>  Chocol’ART

Stuttgart’s Special City Illuminations Create a One of a Kind Holiday Experience

With some 290 stalls and a tradition of more than 300 years, Stuttgart’s Christmas market is one of the loveliest in Germany and one of the oldest and largest of its kind in Europe. It was first documented in 1692, though its roots go back much further. From November 27 to December 23, the stalls of the Christmas Market will stretch from the New Palace and the Königsbau across Schiller Square, the Old Palace and the Collegiate Church to the Marketplace.

Stuttgart Christmas Market. Photo© Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH

Special to Stuttgart is the incredible light display highlighting Stuttgart’s top destinations. For example, a Porsche, a Mercedes or the TV tower bring the city center together with an atmospheric illumination that runs from the Schlossplatz, the heart of the city, down the 1.2 km long pedestrian shopping street. Only 20 minutes outside of Stuttgart is the exciting medieval Christmas market of Esslingen where felters, dyers, jugglers and musicians take visitors back in time. The elegant baroque Christmas market at Ludwigsburg is also close to Stuttgart and offers beautiful handicrafts and delicious foods next to the palace. 

>>  Stuttgart Christmas Market

Baden-Baden’s Elegant Christmas Market Delights Visitors with a Fairy Tale Allee through Jan 6

Baden-Baden. Photo© Baden-Baden Kur & Tourismus GmbH

Surrounded by the mountains of the Black Forest, visitors to Baden-Baden’s traditional Christmas market will experience the feeling of strolling through a scene from a winter fairy tale. The enchanting atmosphere begins at the start of the world-famous Lichtentaler Allee: flickering candles and lights in front of the Kurhaus and festively decorated stands next to the exclusive boutiques in the Kurhaus Colonnade while in the air the aroma of mulled wine and gingerbread follow you around as you amble past the wooden yuletide cabins. 

Stuttgart Lighting Installation. Photo © Sevencity GmbH/ Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH.

Arts and crafts, Christmas jewelry at the over 100 stalls are on offer and a nativity scene also greets visitors. Younger visitors can look forward to tasty Christmas treats, a children’s bakery, a merry-go-round and a varied program of Christmas entertainment performed on the open-air stage. The Christmas market is open November 28 to January 6 so you can actually experience this festive display into the new year. 

Baden-Baden Christmas Market

Christmas Markets of the Black Forest Highlands are Charming and Unique

Christmas markets in the Black Forest Highlands offer a special experience and the little towns are so close together that it is easy to visit two and maybe three in one late afternoon and early evening. These romantic towns, including St. Blasien, Breitnau, St. Maergen, Todtmoos and many more, are sprinkled throughout the Black Forest Highlands and around the city of Freiburg so you can stay in Freiburg which has its own special Christmas market and a variety of hotels or you can overnight in one of these charming towns. Just above the Lake Titisee in Hinterzarten for example is a very special four star boutique hotel, the Alemannenhof which provides wonderful views of the lake, beautiful rooms, and delicious meals.

The Christmas markets in the Black Forest towns are charming and the cheery atmosphere is highlighted with the scent of hot mulled wine, baked goods and beautiful huts decorated for the season. Handicrafts and gifts and local products are for sale and each town has its unique offerings. In the Ravenna Gorge, there is a very popular Christmas market that is nestled underneath the 120 foot high train overpass. Guests can also stay overnight at the Hofgut Sternen which offers glass blowing and Black Forest cake demonstrations and great gifts. The Christmas markets offer a real escape and capture visitors with their atmosphere, delicious food and holiday spirit. 

>>  Black Forest Christmas Markets

For interactive maps and more information on cultural events and destinations in SouthWest Germany and to start planning your trip, please go to  SouthWest Germany 

SouthWest Germany Showcases its Six UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The State Tourist Board of Baden-Württemberg, also known as SouthWest Germany, is marking the 75th
anniversary of the UNESCO with a reminder about its extraordinary UNESCO world heritage sites. SouthWest Germany proudly maintains its six UNESCO world heritage sites, including the distinguished and perfectly preserved Cistercian monastery of Maulbronn which was the first in SouthWest Germany‘s UNESCO crown in 1993.

Today SouthWest Germany’s UNESCO range from the oldest cave art in the world to iconic twentieth
century architecture. SouthWest Germany, officially the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, is a beautiful part of Germany that offers green hills and valleys, caves of ancient art and forests, large and small rivers and lakes, as well as great cities,palaces, castles, medieval monasteries and delicious food and wine. What many people do not know is that SouthWest Germany is also home to no less than six of Germany’s 46 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We present these sites in the order of their own history from oldest to the most modern.

The state’s most recent UNESCO award was made in 2017 but interestingly, it went to one of the oldest
monuments: the caves and art of the ice age in the Swabian Alb, southwest of Stuttgart. When the first modern humans settled in Europe during the last Ice Age about 40,000 years ago, some of them settled in the numerous caves of the Swabian Alb that offered protection. In the caves, they left behind the oldest works of art in the world, whose significance for the understanding of human history and the development of the arts is unique worldwide. After decades of research, archaeologists presented around 50 small mammoth ivory sculptures and eight flutes from the six caves in the Ach and Lone valleys. These are the oldest musical instruments known worldwide. You can visit some of the caves and see the art in nearby museums.

In the south on Lake Constance is the collection of the Pfahlbauten or prehistoric lake dwellings from the Late Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. In 2011, 111 places with pile dwellings in six European countries became UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including nine on Lake Constance. There is a museum on the shores of Lake Constance as well as a village, or a network of thatched huts built on pilings (said to be for transportation or security) and the huts provide re-enactments of the lives of the pile dwellers, including a show of their tools, such as the oldest wheel and textiles in Europe, which date from around 3000 BC. The museum shows the results of the excavations from 3,000 to 900 BC. It was the preservation of archaeological finds in the mud that enabled this unique reconstruction for early life at the lake. They provide fantastic tours in English for all ages.

The legacy of the Roman Empire is one of the greatest empires that ever existed and is included in the UNESCO in Germany. Of course you have heard of Hadrian’s Wall in England, well the Limes Route is the Roman’s line of defense in Europe. (Limes means path or boundary in Latin) The Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes is part of the Roman border fortifications with castles, watchtowers, walls and palisades with which the former world power demarcated its empire from free Germania. There are also museum-like facilities such as protective structures covering roman ruins which are explained by plans, photographs and finds as well as archaeological parks located in the neighborhood of boundary wall structures with reconstructed or restored exhibitions. Most of the forts were founded at the beginning or middle of the 2nd century and existed until the end of the Roman occupation 260/270 A.D. It is actually a perfect site to visit while practicing social distancing as you can walk or bike the entire route – there is a walking trail and a cycling route – and most of it is located in two nature parks.