Christmas Markets Bremen
Market Square and Schlachte Zauber
Bremen´s Christmas Markets are the most beautiful ones in Germany (and thus, in Europe). Yes, you may have thought this prize would go to other Christmas Markets, but if you visit, you will see why this is the case.
Okay, I might be biased because I am from Bremen and just adore this city (btw: have I mentioned that Bremen is the most beautiful city in Germany?) 🙂
But seriously, the Bremen Christmas Markets are really special and were voted the most popular in Germany (yes, this is a fact – I did not make that up).
So, this guide will offer you some help – why to visit the Christmas Markets, which markets to visit, what to expect, what to see and do (and eat), and of course, about the opening hours and times (for 2018; it will be updated next year for 2019).
Two Christmas Markets – Let´s start with the first one – the one at Market Square.
Bremen Christmas Market
Dates – Bremen Christmas Market
November 23 to December 23, 2018
Opening Hours – Bremen Christmas Market
Mondays to Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sundays: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Locations: Bremen Christmas Market at Market Square in the city center.
You will find many stalls spread over the city center. The two main Christmas Markets are at Market Square and at the Schlachte (a promenade next to the Weser River named Schlachte Zauber).
How to Get to the Christmas Market /How to Get Around
I highly recommend getting to Bremen by train from Hamburg or another city and avoid arriving by car before Christmas. From the train station, you can either take a tram or a bus, and get off at Domsheide or Schüsselkorb station. Or you can walk from the main train station to Schüsselkorb (15-minute walk).
It is a lovely walk and you will find some stalls along the way – and you will also get a good idea of what else to expect. Head to Sögestrasse (big sign) and then head to the Market Square.
You can easily walk from one market square to the other (it is just a few hundred meters from the Market Square Christmas Market to Schlachte Zauber).
Things to Do and See at Christmas Market Bremen
There are a few special activities, which are listed later. Mostly, it is just about getting around, eating your weight in sweets and fast-food, and drinking delicious hot drinks. Oh, and buying last-minute Christmas presents.
Depending on where you come from, I suggest starting from Sögestrasse (a shopping street) and heading towards the Market Square.
The Market Square Christmas Market houses 176 stalls – food, snacks, drinks, and shops! There are even carousels for kids.
In front, behind, and next to the stunning town hall (which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), you have all kinds of stalls – get your mulled wine, and other hot – or cold – drinks.
Mulled wine (Glühwein) is big. I, personally, don’t like the smell of it and haven’t even tried it, but I guess I am one of the few who doesn’t enjoy a warm mulled wine on a cold day.
Prices are about 3-4€ for a mug of mulled wine (you have to pay a deposit for the mugs, but get it back if you bring the mug back).
But don’t feel bad for me, I am all about the sweets – crepes, waffles, Poffertjes, and Schmalzkuchen. Anyone with a sweet tooth will be in heaven. Psssss: Vegan options are available quite often.
Do you prefer some heavier and heartier foods? Well, you will love it here, too.
Say hello to Santa: Santa Claus is in Bremen, each day until the 23rd of December.
Next to the Cathedral, he can be found reading to children in his little hut (near all the carousels). I went there with my little nephew and though we did no hear him reading, he actually had a little present for all the kids, so it might be worth to visit.
Every day at 4 pm, except on the 9th of December.
Watch the Winter Fantasies: Five fantasy characters with illuminated robes will stroll through the Christmas market – something for adults as well as kids.
2018 dates: Friday, November 30, and December 7,14, and 21. Time: 6 – 8 pm
Listen to the Turmbläser playing from the balcony of the Town Hall
2018 dates: Saturday, December 1, 8, 15, and 22; Sunday, December 2, 9, and 16. Time: 6 pm
Okay, here is a bit of info on the second main Christmas Market – Schlachte Zauber.
Dates – Bremen Schlachte Zauber
November 26 to December 23, 2018
Opening Hours – Bremen Schlachte Zauber
Mondays to Thursdays: 11 am to 8:30 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11 am to 9 pm
Sunday: 11 am to 8:30 pm
Location (Schlachte Zauber)
Schlachte Zauber is located right at the Schlachte, a lovely promenade at the Weser River. You can get here by walking from the train station or the Market Square (closest tram station: Am Brill).
Things to Do and See at Schlachte Zauber
While it is also a Christmas Market, it is totally different from the one at Market Square. Its location is what makes it unique. Situated next to big trees, which are illuminated in a blue color, it has a special charm. It looks like a winter wonderland (even though there is no real snow).
There are about 100 “snow-capped” wooden huts, selling drinks, all kinds of food, and merchandise. It has a historic charm, although this Christmas Market has only been held for the last 15 years. It seriously feels like a Christmas Market in the Middle Ages (though there probably were none back then…).
Given its location next to the river, there is even a shipwreck – built just for the Schlachte Zauber. Musicians and other performers offer a program to entertain visitors.
There is actually a different program and activities scheduled each day (some of them are free, and some theater plays require a ticket).
So, if you are looking to spending some time at a beautiful Christmas Market in Germany, add Bremen to your itinerary – whether for 2018 or 2019.