We love Christmas markets! Christmas lights, Christmas shopping and Christmassy food all in one place; what more could any self-confessed Christmas fanatic want? As the initiators of the Christmas market craze, Germany’s markets are always filled with festive cheer and enough traditional present and gift ideas to see the whole family through to the next decade. But if you’re looking for something a little different for your uncle Pete or cousin Juan this year, you should check out the more ‘unique’ Christmas markets Germany has to offer…
Erotic Christmas Market, Hamburg
Santa Pauli on the Spielbudenplatz in Hamburg is the hottest Christmas Market in Germany, and I’m not talking about the weather. The saucy German market is full of cheeky surprises, including the Santa Pauli Strip tent where you can get a pole dance from one of Santa’s little helpers.
Of course there’s a bunch of bars too; don’t miss the Glühfick, a mulled wine with a splash of black currant liqueur. But remember, drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea, so don’t miss all the foody delights of the traditional Christmas markets, including the usual massive sausages – ahem. You can also buy some saucy Christmas gifts – if you’ve always wanted a hand-carved wooden dildo made of spruce, Santa Pauli is the place to get it.
If you need cover from the harsh German weather – or maybe just cover from anyone passing who you might know – there’s also a cosy lounge bar with a fireplace, sofa and floating fir trees. Check out the video below – better brush up on your German though…
Dates: 20 Nov-23 Dec 2014
Opening times: Mon-Thu 4pm-11pm, Fri and Sat 1pm-12am, Sun 1pm-11pm
Accommodation: Kiezbude on the Reeperbahn is just a stone’s throw away and carrying on the ‘eroctic’ theme, it was once a brothel. Dorms start at €22pppn and private rooms at €27pppn.
Schlachte Zauber, Bremen
A christmas market with a medieval twist, Schlachte Zauber takes place in the sea side town of Schlachte in Bremen. The market combines some festive wintery fun with a historic atmosphere; there are medieval taverns, woodfire torches and theatre spectacles to take you back in time to the days of yore…
This year, there will be a stage built to resemble a privateer’s trade ship. Visitors can explore the upper and lower deck and climb to the top for an impressive view of the town. There will also be colourful characters dressed in medieval costumes and plenty of culinary delights.
Dates: 27 Nov-23 Dec 2014
Opening times: Mon-Fri & Sun 11am-8.30pm, Sat 11am-10pm
Accommodation: We don’t have any accommodation in Minden, but you can in a hostel in Hanover and take the car to the mine. Kruegers Gasthaus in Barstow is perfectly positioned on the way to Minden with privates starting from €28pppn.
Floating Christmas Market, Cologne
In addition to five traditional German Christmas markets around the cathedral, Cologne has also a more ‘unique’ offering. Europe’s largest Christmas market on a ship to be more specific. The Christmas market is located on board the ‘MS Wappen von Mainz Weihnachtsmarkt‘ close to the Rhine promenade and in front of Cologne’s historic anchor. The Christmas ship boasts incredible views of the Cologne Cathedral and the Old Town too.
Aboard the ship there are nearly 40 stalls with crafts, toys, pictures and other traditional German Christmas gifts. Head up to Panorama Deck to get stuck into the mulled wine, or if it’s food you’re after delve below to the boat restaurant filled with Christmas treats, delicious hot chocolate and even some unique Christmas shows.
You can also take a look at the medieval Christmas market in front of the Chocolate Museum while you’re in the area. Medieval craftsmen will be using their skill to carve traditional gifts while regaling ancient tales and grilled wild boar is on the menu along with spiced hot red wine served in old stone jugs.
Dates: 27 Nov-21 Dec 2014
Opening times: Thu-Sun 15:30-17:30
Admission: 15 Euros
Accommodation: The Black Sheep Hostel in downtown Cologne is within walking distance of all the top sites of Cologne. Dorms start from €20.72pppn and private rooms from €25pppn.
Have you got any hot tips for more ‘unique’ Christmas markets? Tell us in the comments box below!
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