Christmas Markets in Hamburg
Hamburg has long been famous for its food markets - the fish markets have been exported around the world - but the second-largest city in Germany also does a good line in Christmas Markets.
Hamburg's main Weihnachtsmarkt is held in front of the Town Hall with a large Christmas tree marking the location.
But there are a variety of other 'styles' of market dotted around the city, with for example the 'Santa Pauli' festival on the Reeperbahn offering the mindblowing concept of the world's first erotic Christmas market.
Below we've featured some of the better-known ones, especially those that have their own websites.
City Hall Market
This is the most visible Christmas Market in Hamburg with its stalls located outside the city hall under a large illuminated tree.
Dates: 23.11.15 – 23.12.15
Times: Sunday-Thursday : 11.00-21.00
Friday-Saturday : 11.00-22.00
Location: In front of the Hamburg Rathaus
Winterwald in Hamburg
This is the main Christmas market in the shopping streets and was formerly known as 'Traditionen in Winterwald'. As the German name suggests, the concept of the market is centred on creating a winter forest in the city centre.
Dates: 23.11.15 - 30.12.15
(closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day)
Location: Around the Mönckebergbrunnen and on the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Platz
White Magic on the Jungfernsteig
The Weisser Zauber Christmas Market is located in a romantic location on the promenade which runs alongs the Binnenalster, the large artificial lake which is enclosed by the city.
Dates: 24.11.14 - 06.01.15
(closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day)
Location: On the Jungfernsteig
Fleet Christmas Market
Surrounded by canals, the Fleet island - and the Christmas market which is held on it - has a particularly maritime air.
Dates: 23.11.15 - 23.12.15
Location: Near the Stadthausbrücke S-Bahn station
This X-rated Christmas market is held in the Kiez, the red-light St Pauli district of Hamburg around the Reeperbahn. It markets itself as the 'horniest Christmas market' in the city.
Dates: 19.11.15 - 23.12.15
Times: Monday - Wednesday : 16.00-23.00
Thursday : 16.00-24.00
Friday & Saturday : 13.00-01.00
Sunday : 13.00-23.00
Location: On the Spielbudenplatz
Other Things To Do in Hamburg
Take advantage of the water. Hamburg is a city that lives from water. Still a major European port, the city is also criss-crossed with canals and the centre is surrounded by rivers and artificial lakes. It is possible to book tours of the harbour, the river or the canals.
Visit the different quarters of the city. Some visitors like to visit the (in)famous red light district (it also has a connection to the early days of the Beatles). Others prefer to head to the trendier areas of the neighbouring Schanzenviertel or the Karolinenviertel. Or try the old fishing village Blankenese, now an expensive suburb of the city.
Don't forget that all that water means fish. So try the fish restaurants around the city (take local recommendations as to which place is good at any given season) and don't forget the famous Hamburg fish market (although you will have to get up early in the morning).
Plan Your Own Christmas Market Break in Hamburg
Some budget airlines use Lübeck Airport as 'Hamburg Airport'. This is around 65km away from the city. There are regular buses between Lübeck Airport and Hamburg.
Hamburg's Hauptbahnhof is the busiest rail station in Germany. It is located near the centre just to the east of the Binnenalster and the old town. The station provides InterCity services to other parts of Germany, as well as acting as a main junction for the S-Bahn (regional train service) and the U-Bahn (underground rail service). All the local services, including buses, trams and ferries, are integrated into a common ticket service by the HVV (Hamburger Verkehrsverbund).
Hamburg Airport: www.hamburg-airport.de
Lübeck Airport: www.flughafen-luebeck.de
National Railways: www.bahn.de
Local Public Transport: www.hvv.de
Tourist Office: www.hamburg-tourism.de