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10 of the Best Things to do at the Nuremberg Christmas Markets

Discover things to do in Nuremberg at Christmas. Find out what it's like to spend Christmas in Nuremberg. Plan your trip to Nuremberg in the winter.
Since moving to Ireland, we've made an annual tradition of taking a weekend break to a different Christmas Market city.  

We were delighted to finally visit the grand-daddy and most famous of all Christmas markets in Nuremberg, Germany (Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt).  

Here are ten highlights from our visit.

When are the Nuremberg Christmas Markets in 2023?

You can find all the details about the 2023 Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt on the local christmas market website. This year, the opening ceremony for the Nuremberg Christmas Market is scheduled for 5:30 pm on December 1, 2023. 

The Nuremberg Christmas market opens on December 1, 2023 and closes on Christmas Eve (December 24th). The Nuremberg Christmas markets are open from 10 am - 9 pm daily except on Christmas Eve when the market closes at 2 pm. 

Make sure you get up and get to the market early if you leave your Christmas shopping to the last minute!

Prune men at the Nuremberg Christmas Market

1. Glühwein in Collectible Mugs

I'm a collector by nature...I think it's in my genes (my dad is a major sports memorabilia collector...).  

One of the things I like most about German Christmas markets are the souvenir ceramic mugs.  You can order up a glühwein in a festive mug and pay between 2-4 EUR as a 'deposit'. 

You can return the mug and get your money back after you're done drinking or you can take the mug home and let the memories of the trip live on.  

We've developed quite a collection and use them year round for our coffee.  We added some gems to our collection on this trip.

Nuremberg Christmas Market - Mugs of Gluehwein

2. Lebkuchen

Nuremberg is known for lebkuchen (gingerbread) and stalls all throughout the Nuremberg Christmas market sell it in various shapes and sizes.  

For less than 2 EUR, you can sink your teeth into a moist and delicious creation.  So yummy!

Nuremberg Christmas Market - Lebkuchen

3. Sweet Treats Galore

German Christmas markets in general are heaven for anyone with a sweet tooth and Nuremberg is no exception.  We saw everything from sausage fashioned out of marzipan to sugar coated nuts and dried fruits.

Nuremberg Christmas Market - Sweet Treats

4. Früchtebrot

Fruit cake has a bad reputation in the U.S., not so in Germany.  Huge dense loaves of früchtebrot are on offer in various stalls in the Nuremberg Christmas Market.  

We nearly dropped it because it was so unexpectedly heavy when the shopkeeper handed it to us. Früchtebrot tastes a bit like a British Christmas pudding but is easier to eat (no spoon required).

Nuremberg Christmas Market - fruechtebrot

5. Nuremberger Sausage

I'm sure you can see a theme developing here...  We find that food memories last the longest and that is definitely true of Nuremberg.  

In addition to the sweets on offer, we also sampled their signature sausage.  Nuremberger sausage consists of three mini-brats nestled on a roll.  So cute and so delicious.

Nuremberg Christmas Market - Nuremberger Sausage

6. Prune Men

Nuremberg is known for selling crafts made out of prunes.  These 'plum men' or 'prune men' reminded me a bit of the santons in Provence just not as durable, clearly.  

The prune men act out all sorts of scenes and occupations.  It's an ideal and unique souvenir to commemorate your visit to the Nuremberg Christmas Markets.

Nuremberg Christmas Market - Prune Men

7. Arts and Crafts

I love new and shiny things so the arts and crafts at Nuremberg made for endless photo opportunities.  Candles, lights, Christmas tree ornaments, and more lined aisle after aisle of the christmas market.

Nuremberg Christmas Market - Arts and Crafts

8. Impressive Churches

The setting of the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt is particularly magical.  There are a number of impressive church spires peeking out all over town.  

Frauenkirche, St. Sebaldus, and Lorenzkirche are just a few that dot the horizon.  The uniquely shaped Frauenkirche was our favorite; the main Nuremberg Christmas Market sits nestled in its shadow.

Nuremberg Christmas Market - Church Spires

9. Medieval Ambiance

90% of the medieval core of Nuremberg was systematically bombed and destroyed during World War II. Despite this, a fair amount has been rebuilt and the city still maintains a romantic, medieval ambiance.

Nuremberg Christmas Market - Medieval Atmosphere

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Did you know that Christmas markets can be found all over Europe? Here are some of my favorite places to spend Christmas.

10. Impersonating the Christkind

Nuremberg Christmas Market is dubbed 'Christkindlesmarkt', literally Christ child's market. There is a tradition whereby a young, pretty woman with curly blond hair is appointed for a two year term as the Christkind and presides over the market making regular appearances.  

While we were at the market, two reporters from nordbayern.de asked if they could ask us a few questions about our trip to Nuremberg and take a few pictures to be featured in their online newspaper.  Why not?  

We told them how we visit a different Christmas market each year and just love the atmosphere.  Before we departed, they whipped out a crown and bright blond wig and asked if one of us would be willing to be their 'Christkind of the Day'.  


I'm game for anything, especially after a couple mugs of glühwein so I agreed to do it.  As I was getting ready for my 'close-up', a few local ladies stopped and eyed me up and down.  

Laughing, I heard them say something in German that ended in 'nicht brille'.  I think they were basically trying to tell me that they didn't buy my turn as the Christkind because the Christkind doesn't wear glasses. 

Needless to say, I took off my spectacles for the final photo.  I don't think I'll be giving up my 'day job' anytime soon to take up a career as the Nürnberger Christkind!
Nuremberg Christmas Market - Inspecting the Christkind of the Day

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for more traditional German Christmas Market destinations? Why not:

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Things to do in Nuremberg at ChristmasThings to do in Nuremberg at Christmas

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 10 of the Best Things to do at the Nuremberg Christmas Markets
10 of the Best Things to do at the Nuremberg Christmas Markets
Discover things to do in Nuremberg at Christmas. Find out what it's like to spend Christmas in Nuremberg. Plan your trip to Nuremberg in the winter.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog