Tuesday

Travel Germany. Magical Christmas Markets in Hamburg plus one off the beaten path



Christmas Markets in Hamburg with The Touristin

Where is your dream Christmas market destination? I created a list with Christmas Markets in Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden and Vienna and will publish these in the coming days. Today we are going to have a closer look at Hamburg’s Christmas Markets. Hamburg in the far north of the country is officially called Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, and neighbouring states are Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony. Germany’s second largest city has for ever been called the gateway to the world because of its large port.

Most visitors come to town to visit the port and its surrounding districts. Hamburg has always been the meeting place for people from different nations and cultures. The city by the river Elbe is well known for its red light district, and that has always attracted seafarers visiting the port town. It was just announced that a street in the new centre is going to be named after a famous prostitute who died in 2009. She worked in Hamburg as a domina and later as a street worker for drug addicted girls. A total of ten streets will be named after famous Hamburg women to remind people of the city's history. There is a lot of history to discover but if you visit in December, you want to start with the Christmas markets.

Five fantastic Christmas Markets in Hamburg

1. Christmas Market Jungfernstieg

Christmas market with an amazing view of Hamburg. There is a giant Christmas tree on a pontoon, on the river Alster and at the quay there are lots of colourful small vessels plus a huge Ferris wheel. Due to its location there is this winterly breeze. It is magical, wait till you see the Christmas parade, and inquire at one of the stalls for the times of the Christmas Parade on weekends.

Information: 21st November to 30th December 2016. Hours: 11am to 9pm. Fr. and Sat. 11am to 10pm. Closed 24th and 25th December 2016.

2. Traditional Christmas Market at the Town Hall

This is a massive market in front of the town hall. It is a pretty maze of little lanes, and yes, these lanes are packed with people who love this Christmas Market as much as everybody. You can buy handmade toys, delicacies, soap, flowers, and Christmas decoration. There are lots of stalls that sell mulled wine, sweet treats and food.

Information: 21st November to 23rd December 2016. Hours: 11am to 9pm. Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm. Closed 24th and 25th December 2016.

3. Christmas Market Fleetinsel

A maritime inspired picturesque little Christmas Market on an island between the Alster and the river Elbe. It is slightly off the beaten path, and well worth the short walk. From here it is only a few more steps to the harbour.

Information: 21st November to 23rd December 2016. Hours: Noon to 9pm. Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm. Closed 24th and 25th December 2016.

4. Christmas Market Gerhart-Hauptmann-Platz

This one is just off the main shopping strip and has the atmosphere of a tiny village. There are many wooden stalls selling a Christmassy choice of delicacies, but the real highlight is an old merry-go-round.

Information: 21st November to 30th December 2016. Closed 25th December 2016. Hours: 10am to 9pm (food stalls 10am to 11pm).

5. Christmas Market Spitalerstrasse

Romantic looking Christmas Market on one the biggest shopping streets in Hamburg, have a browse, you will find lots of handcrafted things. It conveniently leads directly to the central station.

Information: 21st November to 23rd December 2016. Hours: 11am to 9pm (food stalls 11am to 11pm).

Christmas Market Gut Basthorst Schleswig Holstein

Christmas Market off the beaten path: Basthorst in Schleswig-Holstein

This is certainly one of the cutest Christmas Markets in Germany. Imagine life in a village in the countryside in the early 1930’s, life still feels pretty much pre-industrial, no big machines and no tractors. There are only a few tiny grocery stores, a church and a school. Sheep are grazing the meadows, and the ducks own the pond. There are apple and pear orchards as far as the eye can see. Is there some movement on the horizon? Deers? At dusk children go to the barn to wish their donkey sweet dreams. After dinner and just before bed time it is all about stories by candlelight. There is lots of quiet and peace, life is charming.

Everybody often day dreams of a more simplified life closer to nature, right? I found it in the northern most state of Germany in Schleswig-Holstein. Basthorst is a village with 400 citizens in the district of Lauenburg. There is this big estate, with an impressive red brick manor house erected in 1750, several hundreds of year old barns around a court plus many different outhouses. Every Holiday Season the owners open their estate to the public and invite them over to visit their Christmas Market.

Information: Gut Basthorst. Auf dem Gut 3. 21493 Basthorst. Germany. Hours: On weekends of the 26th November, 27th November, 28th November 2016 /// 3rd December, 4th December, 5th December 2016 /// 9th December, 10th December, 11th December 2016 /// 16th December, 17th December, 18th December 2016. Hours: 11am to 7pm. Ticket: EUR 5, it is free for children up to the age of 16.

How to get to Christmas Market Basthorst

By shuttle bus

There runs a shuttle bus from Hamburg central station to Basthorst and back during opening hours of the market on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Travel time is approx. 45 minutes. One way ticket EUR 5 per person.

Timetable Hamburg central station to Basthorst Christmas Market
10.15am / 11.15am / 12.15pm / 1.15pm / 2.15pm / 3.15pm / 4.15pm / 5.15pm / 6.15pm

Timetable Basthorst Christmas Market to Hamburg central station
11.05am / 12.05pm / 1.05pm / 2.05pm / 3.05pm / 4.05pm / 5.05pm / 6.05pm / 7.05pm.

By car

From Hamburg via A24, approx. 40 kilometres. Parking is available.


How to best reach Hamburg?

Visit the website of the airport to find flight connections.
Visit the website of the Deutsche Bahn to search for train tickets.

More Hamburg? Read


From Berlin with love

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Greetings stranger. I always try to be myself and to be a tourist as often as I can. I would love to get in contact with lots of hard travelling tourists who love to be out and about as much as I do. I am looking forward to all your comments. Thanks so much in advance.