Tempting aromas, the festive glow, all the wonderful sounds of the season and delicious treats. Germany’s Christmas markets will appeal to all five of your senses. Beautifully decorated stalls offer handicrafts and gifts, festive baked treats, gliihwein and delicious regional specialities. Choirs and brass-bands provide festive musical accompaniment. Throughout Germany, Christmas markets celebrate seasonal customs and traditions in delightful historical settings. Here we chose 4 of more than 150 of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany.

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Munich

The highly traditional “Munich Christmas Market” invites you to the Marienplatz with its historic town hall. It’s just a few steps to Germany’s biggest “Kripperlmarkt”, where you can find everything that belongs at a Christmas market. When the live music rings out daily from the town hall’s balcony you find yourself completely immersed in Advent. In the Himmelswerkstadt children don shimmering robes and golden wings to become little angels who bake, draw and make models. You might bump into Bishop Nicholas with his companion “Krampus” in the Budengassen, giving life to a five hundred year old Alpine tradition.

Just a couple of quick Christmas messages sent with the “Santa Claus stamp’’ from the “Santa Claus post office” and on to the quaintly romantic Sternenplatzl at Rindermarkt, with its shining lights on the trees and lots of Christmas music. Make another diversion to the glittering Pink Christmas on Stephansplatz, where gay and lesbian curiosities are on offer. You can also visit the Christmas market held by artists and artisans in Schwabing, Munich’s bohemian district that goes back over 1,200 years. If you’d fancy a bit of greenery, enjoy the Christmas market in the English garden at the Chinese tower. At the medieval Christmas market on Wittelbacherplatz past times can be relived. Finish off with a round of skating at Eiszauber am Stachus. If you love contrast, you will certainly get your fill in Munich.

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Bamberg

Bamberg’s magnificent old quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage site, provides the perfect backdrop for this beautifully illuminated Christmas market. The medieval Christmas market in the Alte Hofhaltung takes you back to a bygone age. On the Bamberg Nativity scene trail, exquisite examples are displayed at around 40 locations. You will leave Bamberg with some unforgettable impressions.

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Regensburg

The witness of two thousand years shines in bright lights. The UNESCO World Heritage town on the Danube invites you to three Advent markets. The Lucrezia craft market, the traditional Christmas market on Neupfarrplatz in the heart of the old town, and the ‘Romantic Christmas market’ at Thurn and Taxis Palace, where you can enjoy craft stalls and demonstrations. Concerts by the famous Regensbur- ger Domspatzen boys’ choir are a highlight of any visit. A romantic Christmas cruise on the Danube with mulled wine and Christmas cake, or a guided tour through the festively decorated old town, followed by a visit to the Christmas markets are further unforgettable experiences in the incomparably beautiful Advent town of Regensburg.

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Medieval Rothenburg is transformed during Advent into a winter dream with its Reitlersmarkt, set picturesquely between the town hall, St.-Jakobs-Kirche and Griiner Markt. 500 years of tradition meet you head on with the appearance of the “Rothenburger Reiterle”, a benevolent visitor from another world. Experience the Christmas event from above with a stunning view from the tower of the town hall. Hear the call of the night watchman as he does the rounds -including restaurants- at night and announces important news. And while you’re here treat yourself with a visit to the famous Christmas museum.