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2023 Christmas Markiets

Hello everybody,

My wife and I are looking to get an early start on planning our trip for 2023 to the Christmas Markets. My questions is, when do the markets usually begin, date wise? My wife has limited time that she is able to leave so we are thinking November 23, 2023 (Thanksgiving) to December 6, 2023. I know I saw a lot about them markets opening on that thanksgiving day, which I know is not a holiday in Germany, but I have also heard people say that they don't open till around December 1. Just trying to get more insight. TIA

Posted by
267 posts

The traditional start of Christmas Markets is the beginning of Advent, which in 2023 is December 3. Having said that, some larger markets around Germany do open sooner than that. In 2021 we did a Christmas market trip and the earliest we found was November 17 in Bonn. There are lots of Christmas market posts and trip reports on this site -- I would use them to pin down where you'd like to focus. And then research the markets individually for dates. Do not rely on aggregation sites or list sites, which often are incorrect. Find the weihnachtsmarkt sites directly (Google Translate will be your friend!)

I suspect it is too early for most 2023 sites to be updated, but you can look at 2022 information to see which markets opened pre-Advent, and which ones follow the traditional calendar (Advent started November 27 last year). Keep in mind that markets in small towns and villages are often weekends only. Good luck!

Posted by
8445 posts

Each city and town is different, the large cities may open earlier. They usually have this on the city website by now, so you can check.

26 Nov. is Toten Sontag in 2023, so markets are not usually open that day. Some markets may wait until the 27th to open.

Posted by
50 posts

3 Dec is 1st Advent this year, and most bigger markets open during the week prior to that weekend. Dresden e.g. on 29 Nov, Freiberg 28 Nov.

A good adress all year round for Christmas ambience is Seiffen, wheere you find lots of manufactures that make the famous items.

Posted by
2793 posts

Hi Sean,

The Markets in Austria generally open mid November. I know you posted in the Germany Forum, but I hope this helps.

We have flown into Munich this same week twice before. Actually, we left the Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving. We based near Berchtesgaden (we had a rental car) and visited the Markets in Berchtesgaden, Salzburg, Hallein and the towns along the Wolfgangsee (we drove to St. Gilgen, got on the lake ship and also visited Strobl and St. Wolfgang). Maybe the best day of our Christmas Market trip.

We then based in Hall in Tirol near Innsbruck. Now, Innsbruck is spectacular during the markets. Hall in Tirol has a more “subdued” local feeling market. We attended nearby Rattenberg’s opening night of their Christmas Market. Simply Spectacular. We drove into Italy, the border is so close to Innsbruck and went to the Markets in Sterzing/Vipiteno and Brixen/Bressanone as a day out.

Besides the markets these towns are all lovely and plenty to do besides the markets.

Hope this helps.


Posted by
8 posts

I just looked up a few Christmas market start dates for 2023:

Munich: Nov 27
Leipzig: Nov 28
Salzburg: Nov 17
Nuremburg: Nov 25
Rothenburg: Dec 1
Dusseldorf : Nov 17
Cologne: Nov 21

Hope that helps.

Posted by
80 posts

Thank you. We will get to a few markets. We will be in Munich Dec 1st and Nuremberg on Nov 25th. Hoping to go to Rothenburg but that won’t be happening.

Posted by
2645 posts

The Rothenburg markets are rather small. I love being in that town any time of the year, so you can feel the magic whenever you get to visit. Have a great trip.

Posted by
80 posts

Good to know. We are really looking forward to getting back to Germany. We had planned for the markets in 2021, but COVID ramped up. We will be in the Nuremberg area Nov 24-28, Freiburg im Breisgsu area Nov 28-Dec 1, and a Munich Dec 1-6. Can’t wait.

Posted by
351 posts

Maybe you want to watch this video from 'Near From Home' - this couple is crazy about Munich's Christmas Markets :-)^

As well worth paying a visit is: Münchner Freiheit in Schwabing. The market is full of artisan stands and kind of different.

Posted by
80 posts

Watched a video of theirs and can’t wait to watch more.

Posted by
8445 posts

I would double check those Christmas market dates. Many of them seem to be from 2022 or from websites not associated with the cities themselves. I went to several websites for the cities mentioned and they do not have their dates for 2023 posted at all. Only trust the websites from the cities. For example - or and then do a search.

Posted by
1050 posts

Also check each markets website. The Chinese Tower was closed this year, which we knew, but was still listed on various websites.