Updated October 2021
Nuremberg Christmas Market is one of the best Christmas markets in Germany.
A statement we had heard several times, so we made a plan to see it for ourselves.
But looking outside from our cosy, warm German house, it was the thought of warm Gluhwein that got us out the door and on our way.
With a warm coffee and a soft yummy Bretzel, we waited for the regional train to Munich Hopbahnhoft for our connection to Nuremberg.
Nuremberg Christmas Market 2022 Dates
Nuremberg Christmas Market (Christkindlesmarkt) opens each year on the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent. Closing on Christmas Eve.
The celebration of the first day is spectacular and gets everyone into the Christmas spirit. Even the children have their own Christmas market with the enchanting carousel.
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 21:00 (except Christmas Eve – 10:00 to 14:00)
How to Get to Nuremberg Christmas Market from Munich
Taking the train from Munich to Nuremberg is the best option. You can choose the fast train or the slower regional train, with one difference.
InterCity Train – is fast and takes 1.10 hours at a cost of about €30-50 per ticket.
Regional Train – slower at 1.45 hours with a change at Ingolstadt station.
Both trains depart from Munich Hauptbahnhof (central train station).
If like us you decide to purchase a Day Pass (€28 for both of us) then the regional train is your only option.
Because Nuremberg is a memorable day trip from Munich, the train will be packed with day-trippers.
However, the change at Ingolstadt station for the Nuremberg train is a mad scramble as everyone wants to ensure they get a seat.
Check the Weather for Nuremberg Christmas Market
Travelling north of Munich the weather changed as we left the sun behind for low clouds and icicles on the trees.
Thankfully we had put on an extra layer of clothing (in fact four layers) plus we had our coat, scarf, gloves, and hat.
The average temperature for December in Nuremberg is -2degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celcius, with very little sun. The average sunshine hour for Nuremberg in December is one hour. Yikes.
Wrap up warm so you can enjoy the winter Christmas market in Nuremberg.
1. Start your Tour at the Artisan Stalls
Emerging from Nuremberg the train station you don’t have to go far to start exploring the stalls of Nuremberg’s Christmas Market.
In fact, you only have to walk across the road.
The small fortress, Handwerkerhof Nürnberg with its small half-timbered houses use to be the weapon yard of the imperial city Nuremberg.
At Christmas time, the narrow streets within the fortress display the beautiful artisan craftsmanship in one of the many Christmas stalls.
The selection of items is extensive and each stall held your attention as you browse for Christmas gifts.
2. Shop for Gifts on Konigstrasse
Having the Konigstrasse pedestrian-friendly meant you could window shop on one side of the street and browse the Christmas stalls on the other.
Our first stop was for coffee and a chance to warm up on what to see in Nuremberg. But first, we had to buy some delicious gingerbread (Lebkuchen) from one of the stalls to have with our coffee.
Our focus today was exploring the famous Christmas market of Germany, as well as some famous landmarks of Nuremberg.
3. Look in Inside at St Lorenz Church
The imposing gothic structure of St Lorenz (St Lawrence) is one of the first evangelical Lutheran churches in Germany.
There is a small entrance fee (about €2) to visit the church with its three organs and imposing stained glass windows.
Inside the orchestra was practising for a Christmas concert. We took in a warm atmosphere, as we sat and listened to some wonderful music.
4. Count the Hauptmarkt Christmas Stalls
Where to start.
Oh my goodness, how many stalls are there?
Walking into the Nuremberg Hauptmarkt (main marketplace square) was a little overwhelming.
There was row upon row of peppermint striped tents of Christmas stalls. We could be here for hours.
Some of the stalls had unique gifts, other stalls the traditional Christmas decorations and nativity scenes. As well as food ideas for Christmas gifts.
5. Wait for the Glockenspiel Hour
Overlooking the Nuremberg Hauptmarkt is Frauenkirche (“Church of Our Lady”).
Impressed by the exterior Gothic brick architecture, the warmth of the interior was also a bonus.
As the time was approaching noon, we left the church to find the whole square at a standstill.
At noon, the glockenspiel began to chime and the trumpeters and drummer figurines started their story ritual.
The medieval mechanical clock (Männleinlaufen) of Frauenkirche was installed between 1506-1509 to commemorate the seven electors who chose Emperor Karl IV.
All these centuries later, it is still a fascinating thing to see when in Nuremberg.
6. Eat the Famous Nuremberg Sausages
Time to try some Nuremberg Bratwurst (sausage).
These small and narrow sausages are served in threes, within a bun with sauerkraut and mustard to taste. They are made from ground pork mixed with spices and herbs like ginger, cardamom, and marjoram.
These tasty little sausages date all the way back to the 14th century.
A small snack we’ll definitely be eating later with a Ghluwhein.
7. Walk the Hill to the Imperial Castle
While we waited for the light to fade and the Christmas lights to sparkle, we walked up the Imperial Castle.
Walking from Nuremberg Hauptmarkt up towards the Police Station Town Hall (impressive looking building) we made a note of some restaurants oozing with delicious flavours as we admire beautiful architecture on our walk.
The Imperial Castle is impressive and dates to the Middle Ages when it was the Empire’s head of state residence. As it was a strategic area, you’ll get the best views out across the old town and city.
If while you are here you want to visit the museum and castle rooms, there is an entrance fee.
However, it’s free to walk around the rampart and enter the tower free.
8. Enjoy a Carriage Ride of Nuremberg
Wandering back from the Imperial Castle we took a look at some of the side streets.
We found the Nuremberg Caves (closed today) dating back to the 13th century where the famous red beer was stored.
We also found the house of Albrecht-Durer, a native of Nuremberg, who created the first woodcut star chart of the northern and southern hemispheres
And outside St Sebald, a carriage ride tour of Nuremberg, everyone rugged up to keep warm, is an enchanting way to see Nuremberg old town.
9. Warm Up with Rum
Ok, so we thought we had bought ourselves some Gluhwein.
In fact, we had just bought a mug of Feuerzangenbowle made with red wine and 54% rum.
Yes, it’s definitely more potent but oh so enjoyable on a cold Nuremberg day.
Feuerzangenbowle is made when a rum coated sugar cone is lit and allowed to drip into the red wine and spices.
We needed to soak up the rum with some Nuremberg sausages as we had more Christmas stalls to see.
10. Drink the Warmth of Glühwein
Waiting for the magic of the Christmas lights, and to keep warm, we got a mug of Gluhwein to sip.
Finding some Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and roasted almonds, was the perfect accompaniment.
It wouldn’t be long now until the daylight faded for some early evening photos.
Nuremberg Christmas Market
If the Christmas Markets of Europe have been on your travel bucket list a while, you won’t be disappointed with the Nuremberg Christmas market.
Take the regional train from Munich to Nuremberg, to arrive at the Handwerkerhof Nürnberg artisan market.
Be prepared for a packed train as getting a seat, especially on the return journey, may be an issue.
Nuremberg Christmas market is a centuries-old event bringing people together.
Lap up the atmosphere for an enjoyable way to spend a winter’s day.
Maybe go easy on the Feuerzangenbowle.
With one of us getting off the train at the wrong station for the change to Munich. Luckily realizing in time to reboard the train before it moved on. It could have been an “oh no” moment.
Ok, it could have been the Gluhwein.
If you are travelling to Europe for winter, spending a day at the Nuremberg Christmas market will be a highlight of your trip.
Create your own memories at this famous Christmas market.
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