Cosy Christmas in the Harz of Germany

Close your eyes.
Imagine yourself standing on cobblestones in a medieval city centre, where half timbered houses look like a gingerbread cottage from a fairy-tale, gently illuminated and with a sprinkle of snow on top. Bonfires light up the faces of smiling people and carousels swirl the kiddies round and round, while their family get warm at one of the many cottages selling hot beverages.

Take a breath.
Smell the fur trees, the caramelised almonds and apples, the spices of Lebkuchen, the sweet, alcoholic scent of Glühwein and Punsch.

Open your eyes.
You’re in the Harz of Germany.


The Harz itself is a wondrous place, filled with medieval history, spectacular nature, charming towns and a fairy-tale ambiance. And in December, when the days are murky and the nights are long, you can sense the stories of the Grimm brother come alive.

Maybe that’s why the Christmas markets in Germany in general and Harz in particular, are so cosy, hearty and friendly. Everyone turn their backs to the darkness and meet, greet and are merry together in the different Christmas markets around towns. And there are plenty to choose from.


The cuteness of this UNESCO World Heritage is palpable, so it’s easy to understand why it’s many Germans’ favourite Christmas Market. They either get together on the central square, Marktplatz, or disappear among the temporary forest of fur trees in the Weihnachtswald. It’s wonderful to get lost in the dark greenery of the forest with medieval architecture and christmas carolling as backdrop. Armed with warm Glühwein, of course!


While the medieval skyline of Wernigerode is dominated by the castle, the centre of town is overlooked by the beautiful two-spire Rathaus centrally located in Marktplatz. Many of the old quaint houses, which have escaped numerous fires through the years, are elaborately adorned with wood-carvings. As Marktplatz is the heart and centre of a town, it’s also here. you’ll find Christmas celebrations and markets.


The Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town of Quedlinburg are all UNESCO World Heritage classified and for medievalists, the town is an outstanding example of Middle Age history. Although a part of the former East Germany, it escaped much urban regeneration of the DDR government, which favoured the use of industrially prefabricated structures. The result is an outstanding example of a town with medieval foundations, that has preserved a number of timber-framed buildings of exceptional quality.

These building provide the perfect scenery for a romantic Christmas experience, which is why they have not only a single Christmas market, but consider themselves an Advent City, where the whole town is one big Christmas festival.

If you want to learn more about Christmas markets in Germany, check out our guides to Top 3 Christmas Markets in Berlin or Lübeck – Christmas Capital of the North.

And Merry Christmas to all!

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