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December 2007

Markets for Millions

Despite Munich’s extensive Christmas markets, ambitious shoppers will also find it worthwhile to have a look beyond the Bavarian capital’s borders. Within an hour’s driving distance you will discover historic markets with a comprehensive program of events.

Germany’s most famous Christmas market will take place this year from November 30 to December 24 in Nuremberg. The city takes pride in having more than 2 million visitors at the Christkindlesmarkt each year. More than 200 vendors present traditional goods, such as the Springerle cookies and Elisenlebkuchen first baked here. North of the main market at the Rathausplatz, an international extension has been established over the years with stands from Nuremberg’s numerous sister cities, including San Carlos (Nicaragua), Shenzhen (China) and Kalkudah (Sri Lanka). Opening hours are Monday to Thursday, 9:30 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday, 9:30 am to 10 pm, and Sunday, 10:30 am to 8 pm. For further information, see

Just like Nuremberg, Augsburg can look back on 500 years of Christmas market tradition. Set in front of Augsburg’s Renaissance City Hall, the market is comparatively small; nonetheless, it attracts about a million visitors annually. One of the Chistkindlesmarkt’s highlights are the 24 tinsel angels who will appear at the windows of City Hall on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The angels—in costumes modeled after pictures of Renaissance painter Hans Holbein—will intone a traditional Christmas concert on all weekends at 6 pm. For a spectacular view of the market’s festive activities, one can climb up the 260 stairs to the Perlach tower’s top, which itself boasts a thousand-year history. The tower’s opening hours are Friday through Sunday, 2 pm to 6 pm. The market will be open from November 26 to December 24, Monday through Thursday and Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 9 pm. A full schedule of performances and events is available at

No less than three markets illuminate Regensburg’s Old Town during December. The cozy market at Neupfarrplatz offers traditional culinary treats, from more than 40 different kinds of Glühwein to the famous Knackwurstsemmeln with horseradish, pickles and mustard. The official Regensburg Christkindlmarkt will run from November 29 to December 23, Sunday through Thursday, 10 am to 8 pm, Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 9:30 pm. For further information, visit A grandiose setting with an air of romanticism is to be found at the Christmas market at St. Emmeram castle, which even today remains the residence of the baronial Thurn und Taxis dynasty. From November 30 to December 23, the castle’s courtyard will host the Christmas market, Monday through Wednesday, 12 pm to 10 pm, Thursday through Saturday, 12 pm to 11 pm, and Sunday, 10 am to 10 pm. The Lucreziamarkt at Haidplatz was named after a legendary lady named Lucia, who went from house to house with a crown of lights to bring brightness into the dark season. Since 1982, Lucia is the patron over Regensburg artisans who organize a unique market displaying glass, wood, wax or paper crafts. Lucreziamarkt’s stands will be open from December 1 to 23, Sunday through Friday, 11 am to 7:30 pm, and Saturday, 10 am to 7:30 pm. For more information on the artisans’ market, visit <<<

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