Stuttgart in the capital of Baden-Wurttemberg, a southwest German state known as the region’s chief manufacturing hub. It is home to the Mercedes Benz and Porsche headquarters and museums. It is filled with green spaces including popular parks like Schlossgarten, Rosensteinpark and Killesbergpark. Wilhelma, one of the Europe’s largest zoos and botanical gardens, is also located in Stuttgart.
The city is a fantastic place to visit any time of year, but it really lights up at Christmastime. That’s when its streets become filled with a variety of markets that make terrific shopping destinations. Here are some that are worth checking out.
Stuttgart Christmas Market
The Stuttgart Christmas market is one of the oldest and largest Christmas markets in Europe. It was established approximately 300 years ago. It includes over 300 stalls set up throughout its winding streets.
The market is centralized to Palace Square, the city center, but stretches for New Palace (Neuen Schloss) to Schillerplatz. Shoppers can easily get lost in the experience that includes festively decorated stalls and various unique items available for purchase.
In addition to shopping, there are tons of activities for guests to enjoy. There are over 60 musical groups that perform while the event takes place. There is also a children’s fairyland that provides hands on activities, and a live nativity scene.
Palace Square is also the first stop on the Stuttgart Christmas tour which takes you through the streets of Stuttgart. The tour guide will provide you with information on the sites of the city and the Advent season.
Ludwigsburg Baroque Christmas Market
The Ludwigsburg Baroque Christmas Market is one of the most glamorous markets in the world. It takes place in front of the Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg, an 18th century Baroque Palace which is now home to several museums. Stuttgart did not experience much destruction during WW II, so the Palace and surrounding buildings have held up well over the years.
The lovely backdrop is further enhanced by the illuminated angels spread throughout the market. More than 175 stalls are set up in accordance with the symmetry of the Ludwigsburg streets. Two Baroque churches near the market are illuminated to add to the festive atmosphere. Concerts take place throughout the city.
The market offers several unique goods but the Christmas ornaments being sold stand out as some of the most beautiful items you are likely to see.
Esslingen Medieval Market & Christmas Market
This market takes place in the town of Esslingen which is about 20 minutes from Stuttgart. It sits on the Neckar River below Esslinger Castle, a medieval fortress that looms over the city. You can roam the streets to check out the canals and half-timbered houses or climb the 313 steps to see the castle’s interior.
The Christmas market and Medieval Market sit adjacent from one another. The medieval market takes you back to the Middle Ages with merchants dressed up in historical costumes and live performances including fire eaters and candlemakers.
The Christmas market includes over 200 stalls set up against the backdrop of the city’s half-timbered houses. You can buy fantastic items including Christmas Stollen, German fruitcakes and mulled wine served in medieval style mugs that feature a clay rustic design.
You can also partake in traditional activities including bow and arrow shooting and candle making.
If you are thinking of visiting Stuttgart, Christmas is the time to do it. The streets will be filled with markets that make for terrific shopping experiences and fill the air with a festive vibe. Which will you be checking out when you come to town?