Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany!

Did you know that there are over 1,000 Christmas Markets in Germany ~ & more than 80 in Berlin alone??!  And did you know that 85 million people visit these markets, each year??!  That is C-R-A-Z-Y!!  I had no idea when my friend Kathleen “dragged” me to all the Christmas Markets surrounding Stuttgart that they are such an important German tradition (dating back to the 1400’s).  In this post, we’ll discuss the “Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany,” including the days & hours they’re open this year!

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World

There’s no better place to get into the Christmas spirit than at the German Christmas Markets! Pictured here at the Esslingen Christmas Market, just outside of Stuttgart!

How Did Christmas Markets Start?

Christmas Markets date back to the Middle Ages; they were a way for people to come together & trade food & goods, in order to stock up for the long winter.  In the 20th century, the markets became much larger & more elaborate affairs: they became more about entertainment than simply trading goods.  Nowadays, in addition to starting your winter shopping, you can find live music, rides for kids, & even shows.  And of course, the famous German/Austrian winter drink: gluhwein is served everywhere, & it’s delicious

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World

Gluhwein is the most popular drink at the German Christmas Markets: it is red wine combined with cinnamon, cloves, sugar, & oranges ~ & it makes the whole market smell like a sweet winter dream…

Map of Christmas Markets

Stuttgart Xmas Market

Esslingen Xmas Market

Ludwigsburg Xmas Market

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany

1. Stuttgart Christmas Market

You don’t have to go far to visit the first Christmas market: because one of Germany’s oldest & most beautiful markets takes place every year right in Stuttgart’s main square: Schlossplatz.  Here, you’ll find Christmas decorations, winter clothes, honey, toys, candles, sweet & savory goodies ~ & a ferris wheel & ride-able train for the kiddos!  Stuttgart’s market dates back to the 1600’s, & today over 3.6 million people visit it each year, making it one of Germany’s most popular markets. 

And it’s easily accessible: as the metro station virtually empties out right into the market…

Stuttgart Christmas Market Dates = November 27th – December 23rd, 2019

Location = All around Schlossplatz

Hours = Typically 10AM – 9PM, with later hours on weekends. Check website for complete hours.

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World

Stuttgart’s Christmas Market features this very colorful ferris wheel, as well as a cute train…

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World, Stuttgart Christmas Market

Stuttgart’s market started back in 1692….making it one of the oldest in the country!

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World, Stuttgart Christmas Market

Ride the train around the snow-covered “tiny” village…

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany

2. Esslingen Christmas Market, aka “The Medieval Market”

The first thing we did upon arriving in Esslingen was climb up a TON of stairs to reach Burg Esslingen ~ a castle with views of both the Christmas Market & the town of Esslingen.  It was worth the 10-minute climb, & was the perfect spot to watch the winter sunset.  Then we headed back downstairs to wander through Esslingen’s “Medieval Market,” which has over 200 stalls selling everything from gluhwein to Christmas goodies, handicrafts, glassware, & hearty food. 

Esslingen’s shop-keepers often dress up in medieval garb, in keeping with the market’s theme ~ & there are several stages for live performances.  Esslingen is one of the largest Christmas markets in the region, & is located about 10 minutes south of Stuttgart.

Esslingen Christmas Market Dates = November 26th – December 22nd, 2019

Location = Next to the Marktplatz Esslingen

Hours = Typically 11AM – 8:30PM, but check website for changes

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World

The first thing Kathleen had us do when we got to Esslingen was climb a MASSIVE staircase to get views over the whole city!

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World

Esslingen views.

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World, Esslingen Xmas Market

Esslingen is known as the “Medieval Market,” as shopkeepers dress in medieval garb, transporting patrons back in time…

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany

3. Ludwigsburg Christmas Market, “The Baroque” Market

Kathleen & I traveled to the Ludwigsburg Christmas Market with her three kids, on the metro….which was QUITE the adventure ~ let me tell you!  Ludwigsburg is located about 15 minutes north of Stuttgart, & the Christmas Market was just a few block-walk from the metro station.  Ludwigsburg is known as the “Baroque Market,” because its main square is framed by two Baroque churches (which have very long names, that I can’t pronounce)!

There are over 170 stalls at Ludwigsburg, & angel wings can be found all throughout the square, illuminated by thousands of twinkling white lights.

Ludwigsburg Christmas Market Dates = November 26th – December 22nd, 2019

Location = Wochenmarkt Ludwigsburg 

Hours = 11AM – 9PM 

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World

The snowy Ludwigsburg Christmas Market, framed by angel wings, lies just north of Stuttgart.

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World

Have a glass of mulled cider (aka GLUHWEIN!!) at the Ludwigsburg Christmas Market.

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany, Girl Who Travels the World

One of Ludwigsburg’s baroque churches, Evangelische Stadtkirche, makes a perfect backdrop for photos…if you can get low enough!

Top 3 Christmas Markets by Stuttgart, Germany

Thanks for reading about the Christmas Markets near Stuttgart ~ & for more on Germany, read the article below which talks about the AMAZING & outrageous yearly event that is Oktoberfest!!

xoxo Noelia

Read Next: 18 Reasons Why You NEED to Do Oktoberfest!!