For more than 300 years, the city of Stuttgart has hosted their traditional Christmas markets as one of the oldest markets in the whole of Germany. A fascinating fact for someone like me, who has been growing up to the splendour of similar Christmas markets back home in Austria. Whether it’s a creative workshop in Stuttgart’s ginger bread factory, an evening concert or a simple stroll across the old town:
Definitely do consider Stuttgart when heading for an experience of the German Christmas markets. In close proximity, you will not only experience one but three – Stuttgart, Ludwidgsburg and Esslingen markets.
The Christmas Market in downtown Stuttgart, for instance, has a curious feature: A competition as to which of its almost 300 stands has the “most beautiful rooftop decoration”!
“Look at that one, Elena. Rumour has it that it’s going to win this year’s rooftop competition”, quite a few people tell me with a convinced look on their faces. The stand they are pointing out is arguably pretty, and does manage to strike a balance between utter kitsch and tasteful decoration – at least in my eyes. I smile, somewhat stunned: The Vienna Christmas markets I know couldn’t care less about their rooftop armour! But Stuttgart, I learn, tells a different story. Check this out.
Check out progress on my “sweet moves” and let me wrap you up in the magic of exploring the Christmas markets of Stuttgart in this short little travel video I’ve made:
As night falls, the Christmas markets become truly alive. Head out for an evening concert to the former Renaissance Palace of Stuttgart – or take a tram out to Esslingen and time travel back into the Middle Ages .!
Darkness is what lights up the Christmas markets, essentially creating the ambiance we all love. The smell of hot apples, the warm light of candles, the charm of the surrounding framed timber houses in Esslingen: A visit to its Christmas market is nothing short of a real time travel experience.
Back downtown, you may be just in time to hear the Christmas carols sing traditional songs known the world over. Indeed, I’d agree that late November / early December is one of the best times to visit Stuttgart – at least from what I’ve experienced during my visit there.
In addition to all the Christmas markets, here are some travel tips for planning your upcoming stay in Stuttgart.
Arcotel Stuttgart is a conveniently located hotel featuring a great breakfast buffet to get you going for the day. Besides the fresh start, it is also just a mere ten minute walk from the city centre as well as Stuttgart Main Station. Do climb the adjoining station tower, as it will give you a good overview of one of the largest European infrastructure (re)building projects – or simply head on over to the Schlossplatz, whose typical “Brauhaus” restaurant will wrap you up in the cosy creature comforts of spaetzle food, German sausages, and beer.
If you wish for a slightly more elaborate restaurant experience, I can recommend you to head up the Cube Restaurant featuring a spectacular view across the old town. Spot the old market hall of Stuttgart and head out there later for a well-earned espresso, a whole range of food items, Glühwein and what have you. Stuttgart is simply too good, as is the local Swabian cuisine (and their wine!) to stay abstinent for too long. So build in the sport as you move from one Christmas market to the next, or climb up the city tower by the main station, if you feel you must burn some of those calories. …
So yes. Do visit, do #EnjoyStuttgart! Especially now before Christmas. Here are some more impressions for you:
Next up, I would love a visit back during summertime or spring. Back to “the sound of the city’s many outdoor concerts, a stroll through its parklands and immersed in the livelihood of its countless festival and events”, as my city guide Heike continues to emphasise throughout our tour through the old town of Stuttgart.
“Stuttgart, whether in a foodie, artistic or historic sense, is always worth a trip to Germany for. I look forward to seeing you back here soon, dear Elena.”
And so do I. 😉 When will we see you?
Disclaimer: I have been invited by the German National Tourism Board as well as Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH to travel and experience the Christmas markets in Stuttgart. All opinions are my own.