Stuttgart Christmas Market

Stuttgart Christmas Market
European Christmas markets originated in Germany and Austria. No wonder that these countries host some of the largest Christmas markets. The Stuttgart Christmas market is one of the most colorful events of its kind in Germany, it attracts more than 3.5 million visitors every year.

The city of Stuttgart is the capital of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. It hosts one of the longest-running Christmas markets in Germany. The first official mention of the Stuttgart Christmas market dates back to 1692, but its history is thought to be even longer. In 1507, Duke Ulrich of Württemberg ceded to Stuttgart the right to collect stall fees at annual fairs. This market privilege was probably just a written confirmation of an already existing entitlement. Originally, the market opened on St. Othmar’s Day (November 16), but today it usually opens shortly before Advent.

Stuttgart’s main Christmas market (Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt) is held in Martkplatz (Market Square), Schillerplatz (Friedrich Schiller Square), Schlossplatz (Castle Square), and Karlsplatz (Charles’ Square). It features around 290 wooden chalets where merchants and craftsmen offer countless Christmas gifts and souvenirs, handicrafts and jewelry, traditional German Christmas treats, culinary delicacies and hot drinks. At the end of the market, the jury chooses the most beautifully adorned stall which is awarded a prize.

The Stuttgart Christmas market beings in late November. It opens officially with a traditional ceremony presided over by the city’s Lord Mayor. The highlight of the ceremony is the lighting of the city’s main Christmas tree. Over 25 meters high, it is bedecked with about 40,000 Christmas light and topped with a 2.5-meter star. Stuttgart’s official Christmas tree is one of the tallest Christmas trees in Germany.

As far as entertainment is concerned, the Stuttgart Christmas market has plenty to offer. Its entertainment program features open-air concerts by local musicians in the Alten Schloss’ inner courtyard, on the Town Hall steps and in the Stiftskirche, winter-themed events, workshops for kids and grown ups, an ice rink, fairground rides, and more.

One of the market’s main attractions is a giant Advent calendar. From December 1 onwards, one of the Town Hall’s windows is opened every day to reveal a coat of arms belonging to one of the 23 districts of Stuttgart. A musical greeting from the respective district is played every evening. Other attractions that draw tourists to the event include the Antique Market on Karlsplatz, Children’s Fairyland with hands-on activities, a live nativity scene with a petting zoo, and more.

Stuttgart Christmas Market

Photo by Thomas Niedermueller /




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