Leipzig’s Christmas market (Weihnachts Markt) traces its roots back to 1458 making it the second oldest in Germany. Festivities start around the end of November with things getting busier with bigger crowds and more events until everything comes to a close by mid-day December 23rd. The main action is centered about the historic Marktplatz in front of the old town hall. More activity extends along the streets radiating from here.
The Zentrum (city centre) takes on a carnival atmosphere of festive lights, parades, music, smells and noise, and hundreds of wonderful food, drink and gift stalls. Glühwein (mulled wine), bratwurst, and hand-made Christmas toys are the traditional stuff. There’s also games for the kids, beer drinking, hearty winter foods, musicians and entertainers, and other treats.
Look out for the giant Advent calendar, a lovely old-fashioned carousel, and the “Old Leipzig” arts and craft market. On the Augustplatz you can take a chilly spin on a 38-metre ferris wheel. And near to the Nikolaikirchhof look for a pyramid-shaped wooden tower with a rotating top, and a bar at the bottom that serves alcoholic punch (just go see it!).
The lead up to Christmas is a very special time to visit Leipzig. The city receives a lot of visitors who come to soak up the atmosphere of the Christmas market. It’s hard to capture the mood in words but with the dark evenings, wintry skies and (usually) some snow it all adds to the ‘old Europe’ feel.
The better hotel options fill up especially the closer you get to Christmas. For Leipzig hotel reservations Booking.com consistently shows the widest selection and the best prices. Check out our Hotels & Hostels section for more hotel ideas.
For parking and transport, licensed stalls, locations and maps the City of Leipzig has a very good Leipziger Weihnachtsmarkt website here.
[page content last updated March 2016]