Travel Germany - Wonderful Gut Basthorst Christmas Market 2023

How many Christmas Markets are there in the world each holiday season? In Germany, there are the big ones in Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin. And in Austria, all the beautiful ones in Vienna. You could spend the whole festive season visiting Christmas Markets and there still would be some you haven't visited. Here comes one of the most wonderful and cutest Christmas Markets in Germany. 
Travel Germany - Wonderful Gut Basthorst Christmas Market 2023

Travel Germany - Wonderful Gut Basthorst Christmas Market 2023

Imagine life in a village in the countryside in the early 1930s, 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 bedtime it is all about stories by candlelight. There is lots of quiet and peace, life is charming.

Everybody often daydreams of a more simplified life closer to nature, right? You can find that in the northernmost 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. As dreamed of there are meadows with sheep, and there is also a pond, and yes, also ducks. Every Holiday Season the owners open their estate to the public and invite them over to visit their Christmas Market.

While being at this idyllic place, remember that 20 minutes by car from here the iron curtain would have been. What a delight that the nearly 1,400-kilometre-long border doesn't divide Germany anymore. West and East. How must it have been in this part and on the other side in the GDR during these long 40 years? It meant living suppressed by the SED dictatorship, versus living freely in the western part. Living conditions and ideologies imposed by politicians on these previous neighbours, could probably not have been more different from each other. It is 2022 and albeit all this only ended over 30 years ago, it seems utterly absurd. It somehow feels like someone created this story for a novel or feature film. At the same time, it also is a miracle that the wall isn’t there anymore. Miracles still happen these days.

Have you ever had traditional German food and mulled wine in a barn where the horses live? There isn’t a cosier experience one can have. Back outside, it is winter and after a short moment in the fresh air, it gets freezing cold, but the mulled wine comes in different varieties and quickly warms visitors. Mingle merrily around a huge bonfire or browse the more than 250 stalls in the barns and outhouses for selected handcrafted products and clothes in country style. No matter what, this is a very special Christmas market and very unlike any others. Due to its location and venue, the atmosphere is magical and I declare this officially Christmas Market heaven.

Info Gut Basthorst Christmas Market 2023

Gut Basthorst. Auf dem Gut 3. 21493 Basthorst, Lauenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. 
-Dates: Pre-Christmas Bazaar: 24 to 26 November 2023. 1st Advent, 1 to 3 December 2023. 2nd Advent, 8 to 10 December 2023. 3rd Advent, 15 to 17 December 2023. Hours: 11am to 7pm. 
-Tickets: EUR 8, free for children up to the age of 15 when the Christmas market is attended together with an adult.
How to get to Gut Basthorst Christmas Market.
-Public transport from Hamburg Central Station: RE1 to Schwarzenbeck. Bus 8880 from Schwarzenbeck to Basthorst station. Walk with following the signs from the stop. 
-By car: 35 kilometres over the A24 from Hamburg. Parking: free.

Enjoy the spirit of Christmas at Gut Basthorst.

 The article has been updated in October 2023 for accuracy.