23 November 2020 to 22 December 2020
Location Bismarckplatz & Kornmarkt open until New Year / Karlsplatz open until 10 January
Christmas Market Heidelberg
In the Old Town, especially along the Hauptstraße, there are about 140 Christmas stalls, distributed in several corners. You can find the most different stalls at the Bismarckplatz, at the place of the Old Anatomy Garden, at the Universitätsplatz, at the Marktplatz, at the Kornmarkt and at the Karlsplatz.
As many stalls as there are, there is also a great variety. One finds a lot of handicrafts, among them some beautiful advent stars and mosaic-like tableware and of course a lot of food stands with waffles, crêpes, hot sausages, hot chestnuts, any kind of roasted almonds and much more. Of course, the stands with mulled wine, lumumba, Feuerzangenbowle, children’s punch and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic winter drinks are not to be missed. Every year you will receive the annual cup of the Heidelberg Christmas Market with a new design. You can get the cup at all hot drink stands and can even take it home in return for the deposit. If you visit the market a few times, you might even have a small collection.
If you are still looking for the right Christmas present for your loved ones, you might find your luck at the Christmas market in Heidelberg. And if not: the Hauptstraße offers a lot of shops where you can find something for the Christmas tree. A little tip: Every year during the Advent season there is the Heidelberg Shopping Night, where all shops, in addition to the Christmas market, are open until 10 pm.
But the Christmas market also offers its guests other activities. On Mondays, students get a discount on mulled wine, and on Thursdays there are many discounts for families and seniors. On Saturdays there are guided tours of the Christmas market, for which you can either buy tickets online or at the tourist information office. There is also a campaign for children in care, whose wishes are fulfilled on that day, and an “Advent market of good deeds”, where social and diaconal institutions are represented.
In 2020, probably on 30 November, the marketplace will be shining all in pink. The reason for this is the “Pink Monday”, where cosmopolitanism and tolerance towards the LGBTQ community is celebrated. On this day, the Heidelberger Aids Hilfe will take over the Bürgerhütte and collect donations.
If you are not from Heidelberg, there are enough hotels in the Old Town near the market. Some of them even have the Christmas market right in front of their front door, such as the ArtHotel or the Hotel zum Ritter St.Georg.
At the Bismarckplatz and at the Old Anatomy Garden there are also some stalls. If you really want to see everything from the Christmas market, start at Bismarckplatz and stroll through the Hauptstraße. Because from Karlsplatz to Universitätsplatz, many of the stalls are very tempting, so you might want to stay there with some mulled wine for the whole evening.
The market place offers food stalls and various handicrafts as well as stalls of some schools and clubs, like the one of the Lions Club. Usually there was a brightly illuminated pyramid at the market place. But in 2019 this pyramid had to be moved to the University Square, because a new highlight was built on the market place. A replica of the Heidelberg cask, which is in the castle, is now on the square in front of the Church of the Holy Spirit. Although the barrel is “only” half as big with a capacity of 120,000 litres, it is still big enough to have a sales stand inside. The special thing about the barrel: Above the sales stand there is a small room for about 30 people. From there you have a perfect view of the market place and the hustle and bustle that goes on there.
The “Winterwäldchen am Kornmarkt” has its very own flair. With about 100 fir trees in different sizes and shapes, the Kornmarkt really becomes a small grove at Christmas time. The fir trees are decorated with fairy lights and the stands are under white pagoda tents. The small children’s train gives the Kornmarkt an almost magical effect.
Attention: Those who have children should put the Karlsplatz at the very bottom of the list. This is where the Heidelberg Christmas Market has its very own open-air ice rink until the beginning of January, including its own skate rental service. But the ice rink is not only suitable for children. Even for lovers, turning a few laps with the castle in the background can be a great experience. Especially when it gets dark, the Christmas market becomes really magical with its lighting. However, you should be a bit more experienced on skates if you want to skate at the Christmas market. Because when there is a lot of activity, the ice rink can quickly become bumpy. And who really wants to plant oneself on the cold floor of the ice rink?
From 2010 to 2015 there even was a part of the Christmas market at the top of the castle. Even though this part was at least as well attended as the rest of the market, the city had to close it down because of rare bats that have established their winter quarters in the castle.
If you still haven’t had enough, there are other Christmas markets on certain days in the other parts of Heidelberg, and there is also a Christmas market at the Heidelberg Zoo. On those days, visitors even get a reduced entrance fee. With small children, who quickly get bored at Christmas markets, a visit to the zoo during the Advent season is therefore more than profitable if you want to enjoy one or the other mulled wine peacefully.