Chugging Glögg at the Goslar Christmas Market

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.

Built in 1254, the Great Holy Cross near Old Town was originally a hospice, providing sanctuary to orphans and those in need of charity.
One of the twin spires of the Market Church St. Cosmas and Damian marks a corner of the Old Town square where the Goslar Christmas Market is held.
The Goslar Christmas Market has about 70 stalls in the Marktplatz, including some that are lodged right inside the base of the church.
We enjoy the market with these lovely ladies, a few of Trav’s labmates from his biology department.
Some of the statues around town are downright “cheeky”, like this one on the exterior of the 500-year-old Kaiserworth Hotel. The region is so wealthy from ore mining, the statue is shown excreting a coin from his bum.
A small train offers a scenic tour through the narrow streets of Old Town Goslar.

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!

“Blue Burn” might sound like an intriguing item on the menu, but avoid temptation. It’s truly terrible – some sort of weak, fruity alcohol/energy drink. Stick with the classic gluehwein!
Goslar’s Christmas Forest is literally a small patch of woods temporarily created in the Marktplatz.
A stand sells glögg, the Scandinavian version of German glühwein.

Have you visited the Goslar Christmas Market? What’s your favorite Christmas market in Germany? Let us know!



Know Before You Go:

  • The Goslar Christmas Market generally runs from 23 November – 30 December.
  • Opening times are Monday – Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm.
  • Christmas Eve hours are 11 am to 2 pm and noon to 7 pm on December 25th and 26th.
  • The market has about 70 stalls arranged in the shape of a star in the historic Altstadt, or 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)

What’s up next on our agenda?

Cooking up a storm in the kitchen – our first traditional American Christmas dinner in Germany…

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