“Blessed is the season, which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
– Hamilton Wright Mabi
Hot glühwein, burned almonds, gingerbread men, happy hearts and Christmas lights all over. What screams German Christmas market more than that?
My family and I have spent a weekend in Germany the last many Decembers. My mum in particular LOVES Christmas markets, and we all enjoy a trip out to one of them once a year. It has become a Christmas tradition in our family, and I’ve been documenting it since 2015, when we spent a weekend in Hamburg. Last year, we went on a day trip to Flensburg, and this year, the time had come for Kiel, where we spent two lovely days.
Kiel dates back to the 13th century, and it was part of Denmark until 1871, where it became the capital of the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Today, Kiel is one of the biggest maritime centres of Germany. During Christmas time, Kiel really comes to life with an entirely lit up center, where the four cozy Christmas markets are all located in close proximity to each other from Rathausplatz and Holstenstraße to Asmus-Bremer-Plats and Alte Markt.
We left my birth town of Hov early in the morning on the Saturday, and arrived in Kiel a few hours later, ready to start our 2017 Christmas market adventure. In Kiel, we found a small-city kind of feeling, where half the people seemed to know each other, and the other half, well, they all spoke Danish. Kiel seems to be a very popular destination for Danes during Christmas time!
We spent several hours enjoying the traditional Christmas markets, drinking cups after cups of Glühwein and hot chocolate. My favourite market was Alter Markt, a small market located by the foot of the majestic St. Nikolai Church in Kiel’s historic center. It was the perfect setting for an intimate and cozy Christmas market, full of atmosphere, happy people, crafts, hot drinks and great food!
We spent the night at a hotel located in the center of Kiel with the most beautiful view of the lit-up Christmas markets from the 7th floor. After a good night’s sleep, we woke up and saw that the city was covered in a light blanket of snow. It just couldn’t get any more Christmassy than that.
Do you have a family tradition to set the mood for Christmas? Let me know in the comments below!