Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to Europe’s Christmas markets. The smaller villages in Germany offer fewer crowds and a more intimate festival experience. This couldn’t be more true than in the town of Goslar just 75 km southeast of Hannover, Germany. Founded in the 10th century, the town owes its existence to the ancient discovery of silver deposits and the significant wealth it brought to the region. Along with the Rammelsberg Mine nearby, Goslar’s Altstadt (Old Town) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Goslar Christmas Market is one of the best in Lower Saxony. Because the town was largely undamaged during WWII, its architecture is noteworthy, particularly the buildings near the Marktplatz where the Goslar Christmas Market is held.
The star attraction of the Goslar Christmas Market is undoubtedly the Christmas Forest – 36 fir trees temporarily arranged in the main plaza of Old Town. The trees are draped in thousands of twinkling white lights. Rustic make-shift tables are built around the base of some of the trees where visitors can visit and sip hot mulled wine in the embrace of fir boughs. It’s terribly romantic!
Have you visited the Goslar Christmas Market? What’s your favorite Christmas market in Germany?
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- The Goslar Christmas Market generally runs from 23 November – 30 December.
- Opening times for the 2016 season are Monday – Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm.
- The market is typically open for at least a few hour on both Christmas Eve and Day. Check their schedule before planning your visit.
- The market has about 70 stalls arranged in the shape of a star in the historic Old Town.
- The Christmas Forest is on Schuhhof, a block or so northwest of Marktplatz Goslar.
- Note that if you opt to do the train ride, it will be in German. We can’t recommend it in winter because the windows steam up so completely from passengers that you can’t see through them.
- Website for the Goslar Christmas Market (EN)