Gift shopping at German Christmas Markets

Posted on 19. Nov, 2014 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Germany

Loud Christmas music is blaring from speakers everywhere, while massive crowds fight their way to the newest item on sale. This isn’t a very shiny portrait of Christmas shopping in the Western world, yet it’s pretty much the reality of it. Looking for a different experience this year? Head to Germany, home to the oldest Christmas market in the world. Talk about iconic – and pleasant - Christmas shopping!

There are a number of things to do at Christmas markets beside eating your weight in bratwurst and Kräppelchen – but perhaps the most popular one is Christmas gift shopping. There are presents for just about everyone and anyone, which will make even the pickiest of your friends sincerely thankful.

Mouth-watering savoury goods…

While scientists have yet to find a legal way to bring pounds of bratwurst back home, there are a few delicious options available at Christmas Markets that won’t offend any custom inspector – in fact, it might even make them want to come up with a reason to confiscate them.

  • Iconic heart-shaped gingerbread cookies
  • Artisan chocolates
  • Candy
  • Stollen, the German Christmas cake
  • Bottle of kirsch (cherry liquor, a German speciality)
  • Canned local specialities (wildberry jam, hot mustard, wurst spice mix, to name a few).

The traditional items…

The Christmas Markets are a 500-year old tradition in Germany, and therefore, institution obliges, there are certain staple items that can be found aplenty regardless of which market you decide to go to. This includes:

  • Christmas ornaments and décor
  • Beeswax candles / hand-made candleholders
  • Nutcrackers
  • Incense smokers
  • Music boxes

And for the fashionistas…

Christmas Markets of Berlin

Lastly, if one of your female friends is more the “give-me-a-gift-card-so-I-can-go-shopping” type, why not get her a thoughtfully picked fashion accessory? Not only do you encourage the business of a local artisan, you also show your friend that you thought of her by selecting a gift to specifically suit her taste.

  • Hand-made jewellery
  • Scarves, mittens and hats
  • Funky-patterned wool socks
  • Leather goods

Disclaimer: I was a guest of German Rail for this assignment. All opinions are my own.

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