Rothenburg-Christmas7

A woman experiencing the magic at a Bavaria Christmas market stall

Bavaria is one of the most beautiful regions in Germany and it is the perfect place to enjoy the Christmas markets.

Located in the Southern part of the country, the capital of Bavaria is Munich and the federal state consists of storybook villages, stunning alpine mountains, enchanting castles, breathtaking nature and so much more.

During Christmastime, Bavaria is thriving with authentic markets, beautiful decorations and a spirit that is merry and bright.

A Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas market

Every year, I enjoy doing a Christmas trip during the month of December.

I started this tradition in December 2017 when I went to Lapland, Finland with Crawford Concierge by SitInMySeats.

In 2018, I visited Munich and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany; Salzburg and Hallstatt, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria.

During December 2019, I started my Christmas trip in Kraków, Poland and then made my way to Prague and Česky Krumlov, Czechia; Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria, Germany along with Frankfurt and Cologne, Germany.

The Rothenburg Christmas markets in Bavaria, Germany

There is something truly special about the German Christmas markets, especially in Bavaria.

Between the beautiful wooden stands, glühwein (German mulled wine), decorative gingerbread cookies, stunning Christmas displays and more, there is a reason why Germany (or Bavaria in general) is renowned for their magical Christkindlmarkts.

After experiencing the Christmas markets in Munich during 2018, I knew I had to make my way back to Bavaria at some point.

In 2019, I decided to check out Nuremberg (or Nürnberg in German), which is known to have one of the largest and most famous Christmas markets in Germany, as well as the charming village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

(Please note that the German Christmas markets usually end the day before Christmas Eve as compared to the Eastern European markets that end in early January.)

A heart-shaped gingerbread cookie from the Nuremberg Christmas Market in Bavaria

In this blog post, discover all of the festive things to do while you explore the best Bavaria Christmas markets in Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. During my time in Bavaria, Hocher Hotel hosted me for two nights in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

The Best Christmas towns in Bavaria, Germany

Traveling to and around Bavaria:

The Old Town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Before visiting Bavaria, I spent a few days in Czechia (Czech Republic) checking out the Christmas markets in Prague and Česky Krumlov and before that, two days in Kraków, Poland.

I found great flight deals through Skyscanner from NYC to Europe and used Omio to book all of my trains and buses to all of the different cities I visited. What I love about Omio is that they plan the most convenient and cost-friendly route for your travels around Europe.

The Nuremberg Christtkindlesmarkt

From Česky Krumlov, I took a Flixbus to Nuremberg in Bavaria with a stopover back in Prague.

Technically, I went out of my way to spend time in Česky Krumlov, but it was definitely worth it. Overall, it was around a 7-hour journey to get from Česky Krumlov to Nuremberg, but that was the easiest way I could get there through public transportation.

If you are looking to do a road trip around Bavaria, it is best to rent a car.

Colorful Houses in Rothenburg along the Romantic Road

During my two days exploring the Christmas markets in Bavaria, I spent one day in Nuremberg before making my way to Rothenburg later that day, where I spent two nights.

Rothenburg is a much smaller city than Nuremberg and it is located in a secluded area in Bavaria that required three trains to get to from Nuremberg.

From the Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof (main train station), it took less than an hour to get to Rothenburg, but it required a transfer in the towns of Ansbach and Steinach.

I will admit that it was annoying transferring trains a few times, but visiting Rothenburg is worth it because it is so beautiful!

Christmas lights in Nuremberg, Germany

Since I wasn’t staying in Nuremberg and had my luggage on me, I used Nannybag, which offers a secure luggage storage during your time in a specific city or town.

What you do is download the Nannybag app, type in the city that you will be visiting and when you plan to arrive and leave.

At a small cost per luggage, Nannybag will list the stores, restaurants or hotels where you could drop your bag off at the city you are visiting.

Nannybag is also insured against theft, loss and breakage. I ended up dropping my luggage off at an Asian store located near the Nuremberg Christmas market.

The owner’s of the store locked up my luggage in a private room and they also provided me with a receipt that I needed to show when I came to pick the bag back up.

Overall, it is super convenient and a great way to store your bags when you are traveling from one city to the next in Europe. (I also did this when I visited Frankfurt.)

Staying at Hocher Hotel in Rothenburg:

A woman standing in front of Hocher Hotel in Rothenburg, Bavaria

During my two nights in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, I stayed at the charming Hocher Hotel & Café.

It is a family-run boutique hotel and café that is located in the heart of the old town. I absolutely adored staying at Hocher Hotel and it was absolutely welcoming and warm.

What I loved most about staying at Hocher Hotel was that it was everything you picture a Bavarian home to be – wooden furniture, Christmas decorations everywhere and pretty architecture.

A woman enjoying her cozy hotel room in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

One thing to note prior to about staying at Hocher Hotel is that reception opens at 7am and closes at 6pm.

If you are planning on arriving early or late, it is best to contact the hotel and let them know. Hocher Hotel consists of a main house along with a back house.

During my two nights at Hocher Hotel, I stayed in the back house in a double room that was perfect for myself. (It also would’ve been good for a couple too.)

Hocher Hotel in Bavaria, Germany

What I loved about staying in the backhouse was how cozy it was. When you walk in the door, there was a Charlie Brown Christmas tree that was lit up. There were also other Christmas decorations as well as garland along the staircase.

My room was on the second floor and offered a double bed, ensuite bathroom, desk, closet space, television, high-speed WiFi and more.

The hotel room at Hocher Hotel in Rothenburg

In the morning, breakfast was included in my stay which consisted of cold cuts, fresh breads with Nutella or fruity jams, cereals, yogurt, oatmeal and granola, fresh fruit, plus tea, coffee, hot chocolate and juices.

I also loved the bakery and café at Hocher Hotel. There were so many delicious baked goods such as croissants, pastries and more. It is definitely a charming place to hang out in if you want a coffee and cake break.

The cafe in Hocher Hotel in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Overall, I enjoyed my stay at Hocher Hotel during my time in Bavaria and recommend staying there if you are planning an overnight visit in Rothenburg.

Now, before I go into everything I did in Rothenburg, read all about my time spent wandering through the Nuremberg Christmas markets.

Best Bavaria Christmas Markets:

Nuremberg, Bavaria Christmas Markets:

The church in Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg is the second largest city in Bavaria behind Munich. It is known for having the most spectacular Christmas market in Germany and it is also renowned for its nightlife.

Nuremberg Christmas Market in Bavaria

Nuremberg has expansive history in the country of Germany.

For many centuries, it was the undeclared capital of the Holy Roman Empire and the preferred residence of the German kings. It was also a city for Bavaria’s artists and a powerhouse during Germany’s industrial revolution.

Nuremberg, Germany at night

During World War II, the Nazis held rallies in the city and it was where the Nuremberg Laws outlawing German citizenship for Jewish people were enacted and it was also where the boycott of Jewish businesses began.

On January 2, 1945, most of the city was bombed and 6,000 people were killed in the process. After the war, it was the site of the Nuremberg Trials and most of city was rebuilt resembling its former grandeur.

The World-Famous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt:

The Children's Christmas Market in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany

The best time to visit Nuremberg is definitely during Christmastime. I was completely awestruck by how impressive the city’s Christmas markets were and I consider them to be some of the best in Bavaria, Germany.

It could take you hours to walk past all of the wooden stands, which is awesome!

The Christmas market stands in Nuremberg, Bavaria

During my day in Nuremberg, I had both lunch and dinner at the Christmas markets because I seriously wanted to eat everything!

When it comes to food, the German Christmas markets definitely do not disappoint. Here is a list of everything you could enjoy at the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt:

A woman purchasing a heart-shaped gingerbread cookie at a Christmas market stall in Nuremberg
  • Decorative Gingerbread Hearts and Cookies
  • Nuremberg Bratwursts (they are mini bratwursts)
  • Roasted Almonds
  • Homemade Chocolates
  • Pretzels of all Kinds
  • Potato Pancakes and Applesauce
  • Roasted Mushrooms
  • Raclette
  • Spätzle
  • Currywurst
  • Sauerbraten (pot roast)
Spiked hot chocolate from the Rothenburg Christmas market

Next, you cannot visit a Bavaria German Christmas market and not get glühwein. This warm beverage is seriously my favorite part of attending a Christmas market because it is tasty and heartwarming.

The traditional glühwein is usually made with red wine, but there are spin offs made with white wine, fruity flavors and more.

Other popular drinks at German Christmas markets are Eierpunsch, which is similar to eggnog. It is made with egg yolks, white wine, spices (cinnamon and cloves), vanilla and citrus juice. I’m personally not an eggnog fan, so I unfortunately didn’t get to sip this beverage during my time at the Bavaria Christmas markets.

Another Christmas market beverage I enjoy drinking is Heibe Schokolade, which is a spiked hot chocolate either with rum or Amaretto.

Lastly, you could also enjoy glühbier at the markets! Pretty much, it is the same thing as glühwein where it is heated and filled with spices, but instead it is made with beer instead of wine.

(You could also get grog, which is straight up mulled liquor, but that personally isn’t my jam.)

Potato pancakes and applesauce in Nuremberg

During my time at the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, I made my way through the stands in the hauptmarkt.

Since I had both lunch and dinner at the market, I savored A LOT – glühwein (obviously); a Nuremberg bratwurst sandwich, which are two mini bratwursts on a round roll; a heart-shaped gingerbread cookie; potato pancakes with applesauce and a sugary pretzel with a chocolate drizzle. (No shame at all!)

I also walked around and admired all of the lovely trinkets, crafts, decorations and artwork the stalls offered. What I also love about the German markets are that they sell beautiful Christmas village houses that resemble the timber wood houses of Bavaria.

The Kinderweinnacht in Nuremberg

You could wander all throughout the regular market and even make your way over to the Children’s Christmas Market that is a lovely area filled with more stalls serving bratwursts, frites (French fries), sugary treats and non-alcoholic hot punch.

The Children's Christmas Market in Nuremberg, Bavaria

There is even a carousel, Ferris wheel and other fun rides and games for little ones to enjoy.

In addition, you could find more Christmas stands and shops all throughout the city.

Things to do in Nuremberg:

Nuremberg, Germany in December

During my time in Nuremberg, I was mainly at the Christmas markets, but there are plenty of other wonderful things to do in the city.

Below is a list of other awesome things to do in beautiful Nuremberg:

A church in Nuremberg lit up at night

Visit the Imperial Castle: Like I mention above, Nuremberg was once the undeclared capital of the Holy Roman Empire.

Since the Middle Ages, The Imperial Castle of Nuremberg played an important role in royalty and it is considered one of Europe’s most formidable medieval fortifications. There are no organized tours of the Imperial Castle, so you are free to explore on your own.

The only area of the castle where you need a tour guide is at the Deep Well.

Other areas of the castle to see are the Sinwell Tower, Double Chapel, Imperial Hall, Emperor’s Living Room, Corner Chamber, Imperial Castle Museum as well as the Castle Gardens.

A Christmas tree in front of a church in Nuremberg

Climb the Frauenkirche: Located at the center of the hauptmarkt is the Frauenkirche, or otherwise known as Church of Our Lady. It is also the center of the Christmas markets.

This beautiful Gothic church was built in the 14th Century and contains many sculptures from the Holy Roman Empire, many of which have been restored over the years.

You could climb up the church’s tower and catch stunning views of the city as well as the magical Christmas markets.

A beautiful Christmas gem in Nuremberg

Wander and Get Lost: Nuremberg is a wonderful city to get lost in. There are so many gorgeous half timbered houses, lovely cobblestone lanes and other beautiful churches and historical sites that showcase the beauty of Bavaria.

You could even find more Christmas stands and decorations throughout the city.

Click here to discover the best walking tours in Nuremberg.

A beautiful timber house in Nuremberg, Bavaria

Go Shopping: Located in the heart of Nuremberg are numerous stores for you to get your shopping fix in.

A popular German Christmas store to definitely check out is Käthe Wohlfahrt. It is here where you could find any and all types of Christmas decorations. It is definitely fascinating to walk through and take a look around.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Markets:

A woman exploring the fairytale city of Rothenburg during the Bavaria Christmas markets

The most beautiful town I’ve visited in Germany is definitely Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

It means above the Tauber River in German and it’s a medieval jewel located along the Romantic Road in Bavaria.

In case you are wondering, the Romantic Road is a 350km (or 217-mile) route that leads through the forests and mountains of Bavaria, Germany. The northern end point of the Romantic Road is in the wine region of Würzburg and the southern end point is in Füssen near the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle.

Timber wood houses in Bavaria, Germany

Rothenburg is one of the top tourist destinations in Germany and it definitely does draw in heavy crowds (similar to how it did in Česky Krumlov).

The town is the best depiction of fairytale Germany with its cobbled lanes, timber wood houses, towered walls, breathtaking scenery and more. It is a fairly small town and you could easily see everything in one full day.

An adorable house in Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany

Discover everything I did during my time in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:

Get Lost in Rothenburg:

A woman strolling around Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria

Rothenburg is the definition of a magical Christmas town. No matter where you go, you will find higgledy-piggledy houses with stunning Christmas décor on almost every single one of them.

Some of the most picturesque parts of Rothenburg is at the Market Square, the Master Builder’s House (Baumeisterhaus) and the Plönlein, which is the town’s most photographed site and also considered the Pinocchio house. Not only was the Plönlein the inspiration behind the 1940’s Walt Disney classic, it is also seen in German video games, music videos and Japanese manga.

A woman standing in front of the Plonlein in Rothenburg at the Bavaria Christmas Markets

If you are looking for the best Instagram locations throughout the city, you definitely won’t have a problem finding the perfect photo spot in Rothenburg.

A woman standing in front of a timber home in Rothenburg, Bavaria

I do recommend waking up earlier to get your photos in, especially if you are a solo traveler like myself who is reliant on a tripod.  

Click here to discover walking tours in Rothenberg ob der Tauber.

Walk the Rothenburg Town Walls:

The town walls of Rothenburg, Bavaria

One of the best ways to capture great views of Rothenburg from all around (and also get an exercise in) is by walking the town walls. The walls itself are around 2 miles long and it could take around 2 hours or more to walk the entire length of it.

I only meandered through a small part of it and do want to let you all know that the walkway is very narrow and only allows people to walk single file.

The Town Walls of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Before you walk up to the walkway, there is a sign informing you that walking the walls could be dangerous due to weather. The walkway also does not meet city standards, so please note that you are walking at your own risk. I personally didn’t feel unsafe, but for an elderly person or young child, it could be a bit risky.

Enjoy the Christkindlmarkts:

The Rothenburg Christmas markets in Bavaria

To top off all of the magic in Rothenburg, Bavaria, the city’s Christmas markets are absolutely enchanting!

You will find gorgeous wooden stands at the Marktplatz, which is the main Market Square as well as in the Grüner Markt and Kirchplatz.

A crepe from a Bavaria Christmas market

At the Rothenburg Christkindlmarkts, you could find the typical German Christmas market staples such as glühwein, bratwurst and other German wursts, warm crêpes, gingerbread and more.

During my time at the Rothenburg markets, I had hot chocolate with Amaretto along with a bratwurst sandwich and a crêpe with white chocolate for dessert. Everything was delicious!

I also loved walking around and looking at all of the different stands.

A woman standing in front of a Christmas store in Rothenburg

One thing to note about the Rothenburg Christkindlmarkt is that the Reiterle will make a random appearance on certain days during Advent season.

Beautiful streets of Rothenburg in Germany near the Bavaria Christmas Markets

Similar to Krampus, Reiterle is a feared figure for children who have misbehaved throughout the year. He is the contrast to Santa Claus.

Visit St. James’s Church:

St. James Church in Rothenburg

A beautiful church to visit in Rothenburg is St. James’s Church. It is a Lutheran church that serves as a place of worship on the Bavaria pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

A nativity scene in Rothenburg, Germany

Honestly, I thought I was just seeing things when I spotted the infamous Camino de Santiago seashell in Rothenburg. Now, I know why! (Click here to read my blog post from the Camino de Santiago.)

Stroll through the Burggarten:

The Burggarten in Bavaria

One of the most picturesque nature spots in Rothenburg is the Burggarten, which is located behind a few buildings in the town.

Burggarten in Rothenburg

The road leading towards the Plönlein is where you could find the lookout spot as well as the stairs that lead down into the Burggarten.

It is the perfect place to stroll and relax with a nice book.

Admire the Decorations at Käthe Wohlfahrt:

A woman standing in front of Kathe Wohlfahrt at the Bavaria Christmas markets

As I mention above in the Nuremberg section of this blog post, Käthe Wohlfahrt is the official Christmas store of Germany.

Inside of Kathe Wohlfahrt in Rothenburg

Their head office is actually based in Rothenburg and they also have a beautiful museum to check out.

Christmas ornaments at Kathe Wohlfahrt

Opened 360 days a year, this beautiful Christmas store has a gorgeous display of Christmas trees that are lit up; there are beautiful village houses, sparkly ornaments, nutcrackers, home décor and so much more.

During my time at Käthe Wohlfahrt, I purchased my very own German stein. (My dad once owned a stein he bought during his time playing basketball in Europe, but my parents got rid of it when they moved… why? I do not know lol.)

Savor Authentic German Food:

A German dinner in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

During my time in Rothenburg, I mainly ate at the Christmas markets, but I definitely couldn’t wait to savor an authentic German meal, special to Bavaria, at a local restaurant.

Since Rothenburg draws a lot of tourists, I did have a tough time finding a restaurant that had open tables. I was so lucky to have found Hotel Reichsküchenmeister, which offers a lovely and cozy Bavarian restaurant.

I had a delicious German beer with pork and Spätzle in a mushroom cream sauce. I will admit that I am not a big pork eater, but this dish was amazing!

Cafe Einzigartig in Rothenburg, Bavaria

In addition, I also enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea at Café Einzigartig, which is a cute and unique café located a few buildings down from Hocher Hotel.

Christmas treats at Rothenburg ob der Tauber Bavaria Christmas markets

I absolutely loved how unique it was. Other restaurants that were recommended to me were Restaurant Klosterstüble, Profumo di Pasta da Giuseppe and Eiscafé Pizzeria Roma.


A higgley-piggley house in Rothenburg, Germany

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my time in Bavaria and exploring the Christmas markets in the towns of Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany and my experience staying at Hocher Hotel.

Bavaria Christmas markets in Germany

If you have any questions about my time in Bavaria during Advent season, please email me at [email protected]

Make sure to pin this post if you find it useful!

The Best Christmas Towns and Markets in Bavaria, Germany

Basic Facts of Germany:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Berlin, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Click here to join my private blog sharing Facebook group.

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Bavaria Look:

Related posts

Taylor’s Year in Review 2020

“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got...

40 Things to do in NYC During the Holidays

One of the most fascinating places to experience all of the Christmas magic is in New York City. From Rockefeller...

Pursue Your Dream Life with CreditRepair.com

Thank you CreditRepair.com for sponsoring this post. CreditRepair.com’s team understands that a credit score is not just a number; it's...

20 Comments

  1. Emma on December 20, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    This is such an informative blog! I visited Nuremberg earlier this year and loved it – guess I’ll have to go back for the Christmas markets!

    • Taylor Deer on December 20, 2019 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you Emma! It’s such a beautiful city! 🙂

  2. Elena Pappalardo on December 22, 2019 at 12:05 am

    I’m absolutely in love with all the architecture. Your pictures are so gorgeous! Rothenburg has been on my list for awhile now, but I honestly had no idea how crowded it was…I have to say you totally nailed the tripod shots here! (Also, I’m drooling over all the FOOD!)

    • Taylor Deer on December 22, 2019 at 1:22 am

      haha I got lucky with some of the tripod shots, but it totally is worth traveling to! I loved getting lost there. 🙂

  3. Kim Deer on December 22, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    I think this blog on the Bavaria Christmas markets was my favorite out of all the ones you visited this year. The Christmas decorations, cathedrals and beautiful architecture homes blew me away. Loved all your photos and reading this very interesting blog ~ I felt like I was there enjoying the warmth of Christmas and all those delicious German staple meals. Love you, Mom xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on December 23, 2019 at 8:58 am

      Thank you mom! Bavaria is a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas festivities. Love you too!

  4. Maria on December 28, 2019 at 6:19 am

    I’ve never been to a Christmas market in Bavaria but it looks so dreamy there! I suppose they’re quite similar to Austrian Christmas markets. I totally understand you that you wanted to eat everything. I always feel the same and usually I gain weight in December because the food and hot drinks are just too good haha

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      haha yes! I would say the German Christmas markets are very similar to the Austrian ones. Last year I did Salzburg and Vienna and they were also magical with great food!

  5. Abigail Reagan on November 9, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Loved this! If I ever go back to Germany I’ll need to re read this! I’ve never been to Bavaria!

    • Taylor Deer on November 13, 2020 at 9:32 am

      Thank you Abby! It was so magical there! 🙂

  6. Bea on December 13, 2020 at 5:30 am

    Bavaria looks absolutely stunning!! I’ve only ever been to Christmas markets in Berlin which were brilliant, but the ones you showcase above just look even better. And that chocolate crepe!! You’ve made my mouth water!

    • Taylor Deer on December 13, 2020 at 6:26 pm

      It really is! Bavaria is one of the best places to celebrate Christmas. 🙂

  7. Anna on December 13, 2020 at 8:29 am

    How cute! The Christmas Markets are on my bucket list. Maybe next year!

    • Taylor Deer on December 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you Anna! You should totally go next year, they are so magical! 🙂

  8. Hannah Dawn on December 13, 2020 at 8:53 am

    I’m going to really miss Christmas markets this year, but reading this blog has made me excited for next year!

    • Taylor Deer on December 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm

      Yay! I’m excited to see more next year too! 🙂

  9. Disha Smith on December 13, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    I love your photos from these Christmas markets! I was supposed to be in Europe right now and I feel like I’m actually there after reading your post. I’m adding these to my bucket list!

    • Taylor Deer on December 13, 2020 at 8:46 pm

      Aw thank you Disha! I was supposed to go to Europe again too for the markets. Can’t wait for 2021. 🙂

  10. Francesca on December 14, 2020 at 11:59 am

    I seriously need another trip back to Bavaria and I want to go during the Holidays SO bad. All of the food looks so good and I love all the decorations. You also can’t go wrong with German beer!!

    • Taylor Deer on December 14, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      Yes, you totally should go next year! It is so magical! 🙂

Leave a Comment





Rothenburg-Christmas7

A woman experiencing the magic at a Bavaria Christmas market stall

Bavaria is one of the most beautiful regions in Germany and it is the perfect place to enjoy the Christmas markets.

Located in the Southern part of the country, the capital of Bavaria is Munich and the federal state consists of storybook villages, stunning alpine mountains, enchanting castles, breathtaking nature and so much more.

During Christmastime, Bavaria is thriving with authentic markets, beautiful decorations and a spirit that is merry and bright.

A Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas market

Every year, I enjoy doing a Christmas trip during the month of December.

I started this tradition in December 2017 when I went to Lapland, Finland with Crawford Concierge by SitInMySeats.

In 2018, I visited Munich and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany; Salzburg and Hallstatt, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria.

During December 2019, I started my Christmas trip in Kraków, Poland and then made my way to Prague and Česky Krumlov, Czechia; Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria, Germany along with Frankfurt and Cologne, Germany.

The Rothenburg Christmas markets in Bavaria, Germany

There is something truly special about the German Christmas markets, especially in Bavaria.

Between the beautiful wooden stands, glühwein (German mulled wine), decorative gingerbread cookies, stunning Christmas displays and more, there is a reason why Germany (or Bavaria in general) is renowned for their magical Christkindlmarkts.

After experiencing the Christmas markets in Munich during 2018, I knew I had to make my way back to Bavaria at some point.

In 2019, I decided to check out Nuremberg (or Nürnberg in German), which is known to have one of the largest and most famous Christmas markets in Germany, as well as the charming village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

(Please note that the German Christmas markets usually end the day before Christmas Eve as compared to the Eastern European markets that end in early January.)

A heart-shaped gingerbread cookie from the Nuremberg Christmas Market in Bavaria

In this blog post, discover all of the festive things to do while you explore the best Bavaria Christmas markets in Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like. During my time in Bavaria, Hocher Hotel hosted me for two nights in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

The Best Christmas towns in Bavaria, Germany

Traveling to and around Bavaria:

The Old Town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Before visiting Bavaria, I spent a few days in Czechia (Czech Republic) checking out the Christmas markets in Prague and Česky Krumlov and before that, two days in Kraków, Poland.

I found great flight deals through Skyscanner from NYC to Europe and used Omio to book all of my trains and buses to all of the different cities I visited. What I love about Omio is that they plan the most convenient and cost-friendly route for your travels around Europe.

The Nuremberg Christtkindlesmarkt

From Česky Krumlov, I took a Flixbus to Nuremberg in Bavaria with a stopover back in Prague.

Technically, I went out of my way to spend time in Česky Krumlov, but it was definitely worth it. Overall, it was around a 7-hour journey to get from Česky Krumlov to Nuremberg, but that was the easiest way I could get there through public transportation.

If you are looking to do a road trip around Bavaria, it is best to rent a car.

Colorful Houses in Rothenburg along the Romantic Road

During my two days exploring the Christmas markets in Bavaria, I spent one day in Nuremberg before making my way to Rothenburg later that day, where I spent two nights.

Rothenburg is a much smaller city than Nuremberg and it is located in a secluded area in Bavaria that required three trains to get to from Nuremberg.

From the Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof (main train station), it took less than an hour to get to Rothenburg, but it required a transfer in the towns of Ansbach and Steinach.

I will admit that it was annoying transferring trains a few times, but visiting Rothenburg is worth it because it is so beautiful!

Christmas lights in Nuremberg, Germany

Since I wasn’t staying in Nuremberg and had my luggage on me, I used Nannybag, which offers a secure luggage storage during your time in a specific city or town.

What you do is download the Nannybag app, type in the city that you will be visiting and when you plan to arrive and leave.

At a small cost per luggage, Nannybag will list the stores, restaurants or hotels where you could drop your bag off at the city you are visiting.

Nannybag is also insured against theft, loss and breakage. I ended up dropping my luggage off at an Asian store located near the Nuremberg Christmas market.

The owner’s of the store locked up my luggage in a private room and they also provided me with a receipt that I needed to show when I came to pick the bag back up.

Overall, it is super convenient and a great way to store your bags when you are traveling from one city to the next in Europe. (I also did this when I visited Frankfurt.)

Staying at Hocher Hotel in Rothenburg:

A woman standing in front of Hocher Hotel in Rothenburg, Bavaria

During my two nights in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, I stayed at the charming Hocher Hotel & Café.

It is a family-run boutique hotel and café that is located in the heart of the old town. I absolutely adored staying at Hocher Hotel and it was absolutely welcoming and warm.

What I loved most about staying at Hocher Hotel was that it was everything you picture a Bavarian home to be – wooden furniture, Christmas decorations everywhere and pretty architecture.

A woman enjoying her cozy hotel room in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

One thing to note prior to about staying at Hocher Hotel is that reception opens at 7am and closes at 6pm.

If you are planning on arriving early or late, it is best to contact the hotel and let them know. Hocher Hotel consists of a main house along with a back house.

During my two nights at Hocher Hotel, I stayed in the back house in a double room that was perfect for myself. (It also would’ve been good for a couple too.)

Hocher Hotel in Bavaria, Germany

What I loved about staying in the backhouse was how cozy it was. When you walk in the door, there was a Charlie Brown Christmas tree that was lit up. There were also other Christmas decorations as well as garland along the staircase.

My room was on the second floor and offered a double bed, ensuite bathroom, desk, closet space, television, high-speed WiFi and more.

The hotel room at Hocher Hotel in Rothenburg

In the morning, breakfast was included in my stay which consisted of cold cuts, fresh breads with Nutella or fruity jams, cereals, yogurt, oatmeal and granola, fresh fruit, plus tea, coffee, hot chocolate and juices.

I also loved the bakery and café at Hocher Hotel. There were so many delicious baked goods such as croissants, pastries and more. It is definitely a charming place to hang out in if you want a coffee and cake break.

The cafe in Hocher Hotel in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Overall, I enjoyed my stay at Hocher Hotel during my time in Bavaria and recommend staying there if you are planning an overnight visit in Rothenburg.

Now, before I go into everything I did in Rothenburg, read all about my time spent wandering through the Nuremberg Christmas markets.

Best Bavaria Christmas Markets:

Nuremberg, Bavaria Christmas Markets:

The church in Nuremberg, Germany

Nuremberg is the second largest city in Bavaria behind Munich. It is known for having the most spectacular Christmas market in Germany and it is also renowned for its nightlife.

Nuremberg Christmas Market in Bavaria

Nuremberg has expansive history in the country of Germany.

For many centuries, it was the undeclared capital of the Holy Roman Empire and the preferred residence of the German kings. It was also a city for Bavaria’s artists and a powerhouse during Germany’s industrial revolution.

Nuremberg, Germany at night

During World War II, the Nazis held rallies in the city and it was where the Nuremberg Laws outlawing German citizenship for Jewish people were enacted and it was also where the boycott of Jewish businesses began.

On January 2, 1945, most of the city was bombed and 6,000 people were killed in the process. After the war, it was the site of the Nuremberg Trials and most of city was rebuilt resembling its former grandeur.

The World-Famous Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt:

The Children's Christmas Market in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany

The best time to visit Nuremberg is definitely during Christmastime. I was completely awestruck by how impressive the city’s Christmas markets were and I consider them to be some of the best in Bavaria, Germany.

It could take you hours to walk past all of the wooden stands, which is awesome!

The Christmas market stands in Nuremberg, Bavaria

During my day in Nuremberg, I had both lunch and dinner at the Christmas markets because I seriously wanted to eat everything!

When it comes to food, the German Christmas markets definitely do not disappoint. Here is a list of everything you could enjoy at the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt:

A woman purchasing a heart-shaped gingerbread cookie at a Christmas market stall in Nuremberg
  • Decorative Gingerbread Hearts and Cookies
  • Nuremberg Bratwursts (they are mini bratwursts)
  • Roasted Almonds
  • Homemade Chocolates
  • Pretzels of all Kinds
  • Potato Pancakes and Applesauce
  • Roasted Mushrooms
  • Raclette
  • Spätzle
  • Currywurst
  • Sauerbraten (pot roast)
Spiked hot chocolate from the Rothenburg Christmas market

Next, you cannot visit a Bavaria German Christmas market and not get glühwein. This warm beverage is seriously my favorite part of attending a Christmas market because it is tasty and heartwarming.

The traditional glühwein is usually made with red wine, but there are spin offs made with white wine, fruity flavors and more.

Other popular drinks at German Christmas markets are Eierpunsch, which is similar to eggnog. It is made with egg yolks, white wine, spices (cinnamon and cloves), vanilla and citrus juice. I’m personally not an eggnog fan, so I unfortunately didn’t get to sip this beverage during my time at the Bavaria Christmas markets.

Another Christmas market beverage I enjoy drinking is Heibe Schokolade, which is a spiked hot chocolate either with rum or Amaretto.

Lastly, you could also enjoy glühbier at the markets! Pretty much, it is the same thing as glühwein where it is heated and filled with spices, but instead it is made with beer instead of wine.

(You could also get grog, which is straight up mulled liquor, but that personally isn’t my jam.)

Potato pancakes and applesauce in Nuremberg

During my time at the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, I made my way through the stands in the hauptmarkt.

Since I had both lunch and dinner at the market, I savored A LOT – glühwein (obviously); a Nuremberg bratwurst sandwich, which are two mini bratwursts on a round roll; a heart-shaped gingerbread cookie; potato pancakes with applesauce and a sugary pretzel with a chocolate drizzle. (No shame at all!)

I also walked around and admired all of the lovely trinkets, crafts, decorations and artwork the stalls offered. What I also love about the German markets are that they sell beautiful Christmas village houses that resemble the timber wood houses of Bavaria.

The Kinderweinnacht in Nuremberg

You could wander all throughout the regular market and even make your way over to the Children’s Christmas Market that is a lovely area filled with more stalls serving bratwursts, frites (French fries), sugary treats and non-alcoholic hot punch.

The Children's Christmas Market in Nuremberg, Bavaria

There is even a carousel, Ferris wheel and other fun rides and games for little ones to enjoy.

In addition, you could find more Christmas stands and shops all throughout the city.

Things to do in Nuremberg:

Nuremberg, Germany in December

During my time in Nuremberg, I was mainly at the Christmas markets, but there are plenty of other wonderful things to do in the city.

Below is a list of other awesome things to do in beautiful Nuremberg:

A church in Nuremberg lit up at night

Visit the Imperial Castle: Like I mention above, Nuremberg was once the undeclared capital of the Holy Roman Empire.

Since the Middle Ages, The Imperial Castle of Nuremberg played an important role in royalty and it is considered one of Europe’s most formidable medieval fortifications. There are no organized tours of the Imperial Castle, so you are free to explore on your own.

The only area of the castle where you need a tour guide is at the Deep Well.

Other areas of the castle to see are the Sinwell Tower, Double Chapel, Imperial Hall, Emperor’s Living Room, Corner Chamber, Imperial Castle Museum as well as the Castle Gardens.

A Christmas tree in front of a church in Nuremberg

Climb the Frauenkirche: Located at the center of the hauptmarkt is the Frauenkirche, or otherwise known as Church of Our Lady. It is also the center of the Christmas markets.

This beautiful Gothic church was built in the 14th Century and contains many sculptures from the Holy Roman Empire, many of which have been restored over the years.

You could climb up the church’s tower and catch stunning views of the city as well as the magical Christmas markets.

A beautiful Christmas gem in Nuremberg

Wander and Get Lost: Nuremberg is a wonderful city to get lost in. There are so many gorgeous half timbered houses, lovely cobblestone lanes and other beautiful churches and historical sites that showcase the beauty of Bavaria.

You could even find more Christmas stands and decorations throughout the city.

Click here to discover the best walking tours in Nuremberg.

A beautiful timber house in Nuremberg, Bavaria

Go Shopping: Located in the heart of Nuremberg are numerous stores for you to get your shopping fix in.

A popular German Christmas store to definitely check out is Käthe Wohlfahrt. It is here where you could find any and all types of Christmas decorations. It is definitely fascinating to walk through and take a look around.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber Christmas Markets:

A woman exploring the fairytale city of Rothenburg during the Bavaria Christmas markets

The most beautiful town I’ve visited in Germany is definitely Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

It means above the Tauber River in German and it’s a medieval jewel located along the Romantic Road in Bavaria.

In case you are wondering, the Romantic Road is a 350km (or 217-mile) route that leads through the forests and mountains of Bavaria, Germany. The northern end point of the Romantic Road is in the wine region of Würzburg and the southern end point is in Füssen near the fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle.

Timber wood houses in Bavaria, Germany

Rothenburg is one of the top tourist destinations in Germany and it definitely does draw in heavy crowds (similar to how it did in Česky Krumlov).

The town is the best depiction of fairytale Germany with its cobbled lanes, timber wood houses, towered walls, breathtaking scenery and more. It is a fairly small town and you could easily see everything in one full day.

An adorable house in Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany

Discover everything I did during my time in Rothenburg ob der Tauber:

Get Lost in Rothenburg:

A woman strolling around Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria

Rothenburg is the definition of a magical Christmas town. No matter where you go, you will find higgledy-piggledy houses with stunning Christmas décor on almost every single one of them.

Some of the most picturesque parts of Rothenburg is at the Market Square, the Master Builder’s House (Baumeisterhaus) and the Plönlein, which is the town’s most photographed site and also considered the Pinocchio house. Not only was the Plönlein the inspiration behind the 1940’s Walt Disney classic, it is also seen in German video games, music videos and Japanese manga.

A woman standing in front of the Plonlein in Rothenburg at the Bavaria Christmas Markets

If you are looking for the best Instagram locations throughout the city, you definitely won’t have a problem finding the perfect photo spot in Rothenburg.

A woman standing in front of a timber home in Rothenburg, Bavaria

I do recommend waking up earlier to get your photos in, especially if you are a solo traveler like myself who is reliant on a tripod.  

Click here to discover walking tours in Rothenberg ob der Tauber.

Walk the Rothenburg Town Walls:

The town walls of Rothenburg, Bavaria

One of the best ways to capture great views of Rothenburg from all around (and also get an exercise in) is by walking the town walls. The walls itself are around 2 miles long and it could take around 2 hours or more to walk the entire length of it.

I only meandered through a small part of it and do want to let you all know that the walkway is very narrow and only allows people to walk single file.

The Town Walls of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Before you walk up to the walkway, there is a sign informing you that walking the walls could be dangerous due to weather. The walkway also does not meet city standards, so please note that you are walking at your own risk. I personally didn’t feel unsafe, but for an elderly person or young child, it could be a bit risky.

Enjoy the Christkindlmarkts:

The Rothenburg Christmas markets in Bavaria

To top off all of the magic in Rothenburg, Bavaria, the city’s Christmas markets are absolutely enchanting!

You will find gorgeous wooden stands at the Marktplatz, which is the main Market Square as well as in the Grüner Markt and Kirchplatz.

A crepe from a Bavaria Christmas market

At the Rothenburg Christkindlmarkts, you could find the typical German Christmas market staples such as glühwein, bratwurst and other German wursts, warm crêpes, gingerbread and more.

During my time at the Rothenburg markets, I had hot chocolate with Amaretto along with a bratwurst sandwich and a crêpe with white chocolate for dessert. Everything was delicious!

I also loved walking around and looking at all of the different stands.

A woman standing in front of a Christmas store in Rothenburg

One thing to note about the Rothenburg Christkindlmarkt is that the Reiterle will make a random appearance on certain days during Advent season.

Beautiful streets of Rothenburg in Germany near the Bavaria Christmas Markets

Similar to Krampus, Reiterle is a feared figure for children who have misbehaved throughout the year. He is the contrast to Santa Claus.

Visit St. James’s Church:

St. James Church in Rothenburg

A beautiful church to visit in Rothenburg is St. James’s Church. It is a Lutheran church that serves as a place of worship on the Bavaria pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

A nativity scene in Rothenburg, Germany

Honestly, I thought I was just seeing things when I spotted the infamous Camino de Santiago seashell in Rothenburg. Now, I know why! (Click here to read my blog post from the Camino de Santiago.)

Stroll through the Burggarten:

The Burggarten in Bavaria

One of the most picturesque nature spots in Rothenburg is the Burggarten, which is located behind a few buildings in the town.

Burggarten in Rothenburg

The road leading towards the Plönlein is where you could find the lookout spot as well as the stairs that lead down into the Burggarten.

It is the perfect place to stroll and relax with a nice book.

Admire the Decorations at Käthe Wohlfahrt:

A woman standing in front of Kathe Wohlfahrt at the Bavaria Christmas markets

As I mention above in the Nuremberg section of this blog post, Käthe Wohlfahrt is the official Christmas store of Germany.

Inside of Kathe Wohlfahrt in Rothenburg

Their head office is actually based in Rothenburg and they also have a beautiful museum to check out.

Christmas ornaments at Kathe Wohlfahrt

Opened 360 days a year, this beautiful Christmas store has a gorgeous display of Christmas trees that are lit up; there are beautiful village houses, sparkly ornaments, nutcrackers, home décor and so much more.

During my time at Käthe Wohlfahrt, I purchased my very own German stein. (My dad once owned a stein he bought during his time playing basketball in Europe, but my parents got rid of it when they moved… why? I do not know lol.)

Savor Authentic German Food:

A German dinner in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

During my time in Rothenburg, I mainly ate at the Christmas markets, but I definitely couldn’t wait to savor an authentic German meal, special to Bavaria, at a local restaurant.

Since Rothenburg draws a lot of tourists, I did have a tough time finding a restaurant that had open tables. I was so lucky to have found Hotel Reichsküchenmeister, which offers a lovely and cozy Bavarian restaurant.

I had a delicious German beer with pork and Spätzle in a mushroom cream sauce. I will admit that I am not a big pork eater, but this dish was amazing!

Cafe Einzigartig in Rothenburg, Bavaria

In addition, I also enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea at Café Einzigartig, which is a cute and unique café located a few buildings down from Hocher Hotel.

Christmas treats at Rothenburg ob der Tauber Bavaria Christmas markets

I absolutely loved how unique it was. Other restaurants that were recommended to me were Restaurant Klosterstüble, Profumo di Pasta da Giuseppe and Eiscafé Pizzeria Roma.


A higgley-piggley house in Rothenburg, Germany

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my time in Bavaria and exploring the Christmas markets in the towns of Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany and my experience staying at Hocher Hotel.

Bavaria Christmas markets in Germany

If you have any questions about my time in Bavaria during Advent season, please email me at [email protected]

Make sure to pin this post if you find it useful!

The Best Christmas Towns and Markets in Bavaria, Germany

Basic Facts of Germany:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Berlin, Time Zone: Central European Standard Time

Click here to join my private blog sharing Facebook group.

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

Shop my Bavaria Look:

20 Comments

  1. Emma on December 20, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    This is such an informative blog! I visited Nuremberg earlier this year and loved it – guess I’ll have to go back for the Christmas markets!

    • Taylor Deer on December 20, 2019 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you Emma! It’s such a beautiful city! 🙂

  2. Elena Pappalardo on December 22, 2019 at 12:05 am

    I’m absolutely in love with all the architecture. Your pictures are so gorgeous! Rothenburg has been on my list for awhile now, but I honestly had no idea how crowded it was…I have to say you totally nailed the tripod shots here! (Also, I’m drooling over all the FOOD!)

    • Taylor Deer on December 22, 2019 at 1:22 am

      haha I got lucky with some of the tripod shots, but it totally is worth traveling to! I loved getting lost there. 🙂

  3. Kim Deer on December 22, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    I think this blog on the Bavaria Christmas markets was my favorite out of all the ones you visited this year. The Christmas decorations, cathedrals and beautiful architecture homes blew me away. Loved all your photos and reading this very interesting blog ~ I felt like I was there enjoying the warmth of Christmas and all those delicious German staple meals. Love you, Mom xoxo

    • Taylor Deer on December 23, 2019 at 8:58 am

      Thank you mom! Bavaria is a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas festivities. Love you too!

  4. Maria on December 28, 2019 at 6:19 am

    I’ve never been to a Christmas market in Bavaria but it looks so dreamy there! I suppose they’re quite similar to Austrian Christmas markets. I totally understand you that you wanted to eat everything. I always feel the same and usually I gain weight in December because the food and hot drinks are just too good haha

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      haha yes! I would say the German Christmas markets are very similar to the Austrian ones. Last year I did Salzburg and Vienna and they were also magical with great food!

  5. Abigail Reagan on November 9, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Loved this! If I ever go back to Germany I’ll need to re read this! I’ve never been to Bavaria!

    • Taylor Deer on November 13, 2020 at 9:32 am

      Thank you Abby! It was so magical there! 🙂

  6. Bea on December 13, 2020 at 5:30 am

    Bavaria looks absolutely stunning!! I’ve only ever been to Christmas markets in Berlin which were brilliant, but the ones you showcase above just look even better. And that chocolate crepe!! You’ve made my mouth water!

    • Taylor Deer on December 13, 2020 at 6:26 pm

      It really is! Bavaria is one of the best places to celebrate Christmas. 🙂

  7. Anna on December 13, 2020 at 8:29 am

    How cute! The Christmas Markets are on my bucket list. Maybe next year!

    • Taylor Deer on December 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you Anna! You should totally go next year, they are so magical! 🙂

  8. Hannah Dawn on December 13, 2020 at 8:53 am

    I’m going to really miss Christmas markets this year, but reading this blog has made me excited for next year!

    • Taylor Deer on December 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm

      Yay! I’m excited to see more next year too! 🙂

  9. Disha Smith on December 13, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    I love your photos from these Christmas markets! I was supposed to be in Europe right now and I feel like I’m actually there after reading your post. I’m adding these to my bucket list!

    • Taylor Deer on December 13, 2020 at 8:46 pm

      Aw thank you Disha! I was supposed to go to Europe again too for the markets. Can’t wait for 2021. 🙂

  10. Francesca on December 14, 2020 at 11:59 am

    I seriously need another trip back to Bavaria and I want to go during the Holidays SO bad. All of the food looks so good and I love all the decorations. You also can’t go wrong with German beer!!

    • Taylor Deer on December 14, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      Yes, you totally should go next year! It is so magical! 🙂

Leave a Comment





Related posts

Taylor’s Year in Review 2020

“When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got...

40 Things to do in NYC During the Holidays

One of the most fascinating places to experience all of the Christmas magic is in New York City. From Rockefeller...

Pursue Your Dream Life with CreditRepair.com

Thank you CreditRepair.com for sponsoring this post. CreditRepair.com’s team understands that a credit score is not just a number; it's...