Christmastime in Heidelberg is magical. You’ve got a medieval castle as a backdrop to one on the prettiest markets in Germany. It can get crowded, but somehow it feels intimate and cozy.
You can’t go to Heidelberg and not visit the Castle. It’s gorgeous and offers sweeping views of the city. During Christmastime, they have huts set up and a huge lighted Christmas tree. They sell hand made ornaments and other crafts as well as food like artisan chocolates. When I was there they had these cool hand tools like wrenches, screw drivers and hammers all made from chocolate.
From the Castle, you can see forever. The views are magnificent and it really gives you a sense of the city from up there. The oldest castle ruins are from the 1200’s. Over the years the castle was expanded, and has survived through wars, fire, plague and even a lightning bolt. I have been to fancier castles, but this rustic castle, set on a hill surrounded by lush greenery is spectacular.
Heidelberg Christmas Markets
If I had to pick only a couple of German Christmas markets to visit, Heidelberg’s market would be one of them. It’s just stunningly beautiful and full of Christmas spirit. At night, the Castle glowing in the background at Karlsplatz gives it an extra special atmosphere. Even by day, the presence of a castle is pretty special.
Over 130 market stalls offer all sorts of goods like hand made ornaments, hats and gloves, star lights and, of course, tons of food. Besides the castle, the Heidelberg Christmas Pyramid provides a lovely ambiance found in the market square where it revolves with historical figures from Heidelberg’s history.
The Heidelberg Christmas market offers all the usual suspects–leibkuchen, gluehwein, pretzels, pommel frittes, gingerbread and cinnamon stars. The smells hang in the air and my favorite is the Christmassy fragrance of roasting chestnuts.
This market has an ice skating rink. At night it glows in different colors and skaters are given a beautiful soundtrack by a children’s choir singing Christmas carols. They are ridiculously cute all bundled up singing songs while surrounded by lights and Christmas trees.
Christmastime in Heidelberg Bottom Line
Heidelberg is one of the German towns I would make a point to visit during Christmastime. Any time really, it’s gorgeous. I’ve been there many times and it never loses its appeal to me. But Christmastime is extra special and if you will be in Germany or are planning a trip, be sure to include Heidelberg. Find out more on the Germany Tourism website.