One of the biggest draws of Germany in the wintertime are the different Christmas markets that spring up in almost every town, and Hamburg is no exception. Germany’s second-largest city has dozens of different Christmas markets, all with unique themes and styles, and there is scarcely time to see them all in the six weeks leading up to Christmas.
Christmas markets can be categorized into two main types: The small ones, located in cul-de-sacs and street corners in every district of the city, that offer little more than warm snacks and hot spiced wine (Glühwein) to enjoy while soaking up the cozy atmosphere, and the bigger ones, which, in addition to food and drink, have a variety of shopping opportunities for unique German Christmas gifts. Many have live performances of music or short plays at various times, so be sure to check out what’s going on before you go online.
The Christmas market that Hamburg Mundus students will probably have the most contact with is the Christ-Grindel Markt, located at the doorstep of the academic building at Allende-Platz 1 and a perfect place to grab a drink with friends after (or between!) classes. The name is a parody of Christkindlmarkt, the southern German name for Christmas markets and also the name of the biggest Christmas market in all of Germany in the city of Nürnberg in northern Bavaria. A very small market, it doesn’t offer much in the way of shopping, but it does have several types of Glühwein, snacks, and several inviting covered or heated areas to hang out while enjoying it. The wood chips on the ground, scattered hay bales, and wooden huts give it a cozy atmosphere, and are typical of most German Christmas markets.
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