December is the time of the year when the city of Nuremberg transforms into Santa Claus land. You'll hear the jingle bells and see the red and green decorations all over the city with a festive spirit in the air.
Nuremberg is famous in Europe for its traditional Christmas market featuring stands that have passed from generation to generation since the 1800s. Exploring the market in Nuremberg is a magical Christmas experience to enjoy with family or friends and even when traveling solo—there's something for everyone!
Discover local delicacies
As you enter the market, aromas of roasting chestnuts and mulled wine will delight your senses. No matter what time of day it is, indulge in a warm cup of homemade wine to continue your journey through the stalls. The best part is that you can keep the cup as a souvenir.
Among the local delicacies, make sure to taste the famous Nuremberg bratwurst, called 3 im Weggla (3 in a bun), served with a delicious mustard dip. These 23-gram pork sausages are spiced with marjoram (an herb with a citrus taste) which gives them a unique flavor. The recipe is original to the area and dates back to 1497.
Try the popular gingerbread called Lebkuchen. Baked in Nuremberg for over 600 years, this tasty treat comes in different shapes and sizes with chocolate coating or frosting decorations. It's the perfect gift to bring home. For another sweet treat, the small, deep fried apple pancakes with powdered sugar and cinnamon are a must for apple lovers.
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Take a ride in one of the stagecoaches and explore the area while you listen to Christmas songs the coachman plays on a trumpet.
If you are looking for Christmas decorations, you will have plenty to choose from. Peruse various options ranging from wood to glass. Ask for the Rauschgoldengel, a gold foil angel and a local favorite, to add to your tree. Also, look out for the funny-looking dolls known as the Prune Men. Made of dried prunes and figs, you'll find over 350 different types, from piano players to kissing couples.
During weekdays, you can meet the Nuremberg Christkind—the main symbol of the market. Dressed in gold with blonde curls, the Christkind appears every afternoon at 15:00 on the church's balcony and gives a speech. Afterward, she walks through the market and you can take pictures with her.
Be sure to climb the stairs of the Church of our Lady for the best view of the market.