German

Christmas Markets in Germany

12/25/2018 01:30:00 AM

Hello hello! Merry Christmas! hope you're all having a lovely day and eating lots of delicious food! We're actually in Germany for Christmas this year, spending time with Sandra's family and enjoying Germany's wonderful Christmas markets. Woohoo! I love German Christmas markets, and I think they're essential part of the German Christmas experience. It's so lovely walking around the stalls with the lights and the people, and of course a mug (or two) of Glühwein. (Here's my recipe for Glühwein for those of you on the other side of the world).

Giant Christmas Pyramid, Mannheim Christmas Market

We've visited three Christmas Markets whilst we've been here, and I want to tell you all about them! The three markets we visited (Mannheim, Bensheim, Heidelberg) were all different in terms of atmosphere, but the actual stalls were all quite similar, so I thought I'd show you a couple of photos of each market, and then get into the food and drinks we enjoyed.

Mannheim! This is one of the bigger Christmas markets (there are actually three separate Christmas markets in Mannheim, all within walking distance of each other). The largest of the three is set up around the water tower in the centre of town. (You also saw the life-sized Christmas pyramid at the top of this post - so beautiful!)

Mannheim Christmas Market

Mannheim Christmas Market

Bensheim has a smaller Christmas market, with the stalls dotted in and around the old city. The atmosphere is super gemütlich!

Bensheim Christmas Market

Bensheim Christmas Market

The Heidelberg Christmas Market was more spread out than the other two, with groups of stalls being set up in courtyards off the Hauptstrasse (main street) in the Aldstadt (old city). It wasn't quite as atmospheric as the other two, but it was still enjoyable, and I loved seeing the old castle from the market.

Heidelberg Christmas Market

Christmas Pyramid, Heidelberg

Heidelberg Christmas Market

Ok, let's look at the food and drink! The following pictures are a mix from all three Christmas Markets that we visited.

For me, it is essential to have a mug of Glühwein (mulled wine). Traditionally it's made with red wine, citrus fruit and spices, but you can also get different kinds, like white Glühwein, Kinderpunsch (non-alcoholic), or Glühwein with a shot of schnapps added.

Glühwein - Heidelberg

My friend Clarice came to visit from Paris for a night, and we took her to the Mannheim Christmas Market while she was here. She's a bit of a Christmas Market-enthusiast, and was keen to have some Eierpunsch, a warm punch that's based on Advocaat, and is similar to eggnog.

Eierpunsch - Mannheim

In the below picture we've got normal Glühwein, white Glühwein, a hot chocolate and another Eierpunsch!

Heisse Schokolade, Eierpunsch, Glühwein - Mannheim

It's not really a German celebration without sausages. Yummmmm!

Wurst

Sandra was keen to have a Thüringer (as you can't get them back in Australia), and I tried a wild boar Bratwurst with sauerkraut. Both were great!

Wildschwein Bratwurst, Thuringer

A favourite of mine is Kartoffelpuffer - fried potato pancakes. These crispy patties of deliciousness are usually served with apple sauce. (Check out my Kartoffelpuffer recipe too!)

Reibekuchen

You may remember last time I came to Germany for Christmas, I was too full to try a Lángos. No such mistake this time! Lángos is a Hungarian delicacy of deep-fried yeasted dough, topped with whatever takes your fancy. I tried sour cream and grated cheese and it was glorious.

Langos

We saw this impressive hot-smoked salmon stall at the Mannheim Christmas Market. Clarice got a roll and said it was great!

Flammlachs - hot smoked salmon

Lachsbrötchen

Hot roasted chestnuts are very popular, and I particularly liked this guy's stand at the Heidelberg market, all covered in hairy chestnuts.

Heisse Maroni - Heidelberg

These sweet stalls are super inviting - full of different types of Lebkuchen (gingerbread), sugared nuts, marzipan and other sweet treats.

Zuckerstübchen

Plain Lebkuchen is very nice, but real Genießers go for the Elisen Lebkuchen. (They're the round ones in the bottom right of the below photo, each with three almonds on the top). The plain ones are made with white flour and are like a spiced soft cookie that can sometimes be a little dry, but the Elisen Lebkuchen are made with generous amounts of ground almonds and hazelnuts, and are super moist and fragrant.

Lebkuchen - plain on the left, Elisen Lebkuchen on the right

I bought a few types of Lebkuchen to take home, but for eating at the market, you can't beat a crepe or waffle - it's so nice wolfing into a hot one on a cold night! The waffles in Germany are super light and fluffy and crisp. Those are also German amounts of whipped cream. Ahem.

Waffle!

Waffles are my favourite, but crepes are good too! (I actually only ordered this crepe below because the stall had run out of waffle batter, but I still enjoyed it). My family likes crepes with apple sauce; I prefer nutella.

Crepes

This particular stall sold waffles and fried dough. (Do you think they'd let me move in?)

Donut Stand

Sandra walked past and went "ooh, Spritzgebäck!" and immediately bought one. Spritzgebäck are donuts made of choux pastry, and they're incredibly light and airy.

Spritzgebäck

I've focused on the food offerings, but of course there are more stalls - selling things like crafts, Christmas decorations, candles and more! I thought this particular shop was very pretty.

Christmas Decorations

It's been so fun visiting the Christmas Markets while we've been here, and I'm so glad we got to visit a few! If you celebrate Christmas, how have you been celebrating? Have you been to a German Christmas Market before? What are your favourite things to eat and drink? Anything else I must try for next time?

See my previous posts on German Christmas Markets:

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4 comments

  1. The markets look amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're so great! I'm so lucky we got to visit a few :)

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  2. OMG. It looks great. In 2019 Welcome in christmas market in Poland. In Wrocław is Good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I've never been to Poland, I'd love to visit the Wrocław Christmas market one day!

      Delete

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