With 16 different markets on offer this year, each with its own distinctive profile, the diversity of Hamburg’s Christmas Offering is unparalleled in Northern Europe. Some are nostalgic and romantic, others creative and arty, but all are bold and utterly modern.
Hamburg is a relative newcomer to the Christmas Market scene, daring to be different, toying with the traditional and proving itself unafraid to embrace new trends. This attitude is portrayed perfectly though their creation of an Event App to help you keep track – Hamburg has truly brought the Christmas Market into the digital age.
With over six million visitors to its Christmas Markets every year, it’s a strategy that seems to be working. Here are our top picks:
Quirky & Unusual Christmas Markets
Santa Pauli: Cool, modern and ironic: Santa Pauli is Hamburg’s famous erotic Christmas Market. Festive spirit and a party atmosphere go hand in hand here, with nightly strip shows, delicious cocktail creations and a range of quirky festive wares on sale – everything from naughty Christmas decorations, right the way to wooden dildos. Open 17 Nov – 23 Dec 2016.
Winter Pride: In the heart of Hamburg’s trendy LGBT district, St Georg, Winter Pride offers a welcome respite from “Jingle Bells” and “Oh Holy Night” with electro-pop tunes from Kerry Fay and creative covers by The Ukeboys instead. Open weekends only, 21 Nov – 30 Dec 2016.
‘Holy Shit’ Shopping Event: Look forward to young artists, designers and creatives presenting fashion, jewellery, small furniture, art and delicacies at the Hamburg Exhibition Grounds. There will also be an online shop to accompany the event, true to Hamburg’s love of all things digital! Open 17– 18 Nov 2016.
Winter Beer Day: Not one to ignore a trend, Hamburg has seized on the craft beer craze with a Winter Beer Day in the district of St Pauli, celebrating the seasonal beers of its Scandinavian neighbours. Open 19 Nov 2016.
Organic & Vegetarian Christmas Markets
Hammonia Veggie Christmas Market: those seeking a healthy and alternative Christmas will feel right at home at this vegetarian Christmas Market offering only products free of all animal ingredients. Open 26 – 27 Nov 2016.
Gut Karlshöhe: Always receptive to new trends, Hamburg is hosting an Organic Christmas Market with a focus on DIY and sustainability. As well as vegan food and organic burgers, visitors can browse recycled jewellery and crafts. Open 3 – 4 Dec 2016.
Christmas Markets the Nordic Way
God jul: The craze for all things Scandinavian looks set to continue, and visitors to Hamburg’s seamen’s churches on Ditmar-Koel-Strasse won’t be disappointed. Expect plenty of Glögg (Christmas punch), traditional Scandinavian winter beers and the chance to sample Norwegian Christmas meal Julenisse – a hearty dish of ribs, potatoes and sauerkraut. Open 18 – 20 Nov 2016.
Traditional & Nostalgic Christmas Markets & Events
While the city’s quirky and unusual Christmas Markets are a novelty, Hamburg has no shortage of traditional offerings for the whole family:
The Christmas Parade: It’s impossible not to get into the festive spirit with Hamburg’s Christmas Parade. On each of the four Advent Saturdays an ensemble of Santas, elves, reindeer and festively decorated floats make their way through the city – a real highlight of Hamburg’s Advent rituals.
The Hamburg DOM: Embrace the festive spirit at this funfair on the Heiligenfeistfeld, complete with steaming mugs of mulled wine, delicious pastries and freshly roasted almonds. Open 4 Nov – 4 Dec 2016.
The Fairytale Ships: Gliding across the Inner Alster Lake, the Fairytale ships have been an integral part of Hamburg’s Christmas programme for more than 30 years. In 2015 they welcomed almost 28,000 children on board, and with puppet theatre, dance, crafts and storytellers on offer, it’s not hard to see why! Open 24 Nov – 23 Dec 2016.
Further information from Hamburg Tourist Board
For more information about Christmas in Hamburg please visit: Christmas in Hamburg