First mentioned in 1628, the roots of the market most likely go back to the time of Martin Luther, when the tradition of giving children gifts on Christmas Eve was first established. From then until now, one can find traditional wares such as hand-made Christmas decorations and local culinary delights in 180 wooden booths decorated with charming red-and-white-striped roofs.
The Christkindlesmarkt has much to offer. Nuremberg's Sister Cities' Market brings international flair to the Rathausplatz, located just north of the main market square. Twenty partner cities and regions enchant with a wide selection of culinary delicacies and arts and crafts typical to their countries.
Families should head to Hans-Sachs-Platz. Here, right around the corner from the Christkindlesmarkt, the Children's Christmas Market, with its nostalgic two-tiered merry-go-round, a mini Ferris wheel and a steam railway, is sure to appeal to little ones. A Christmas bakery, candle-making shop and a crafts booth offer plenty of hands-on fun. In "Oli's Children's Post Office", kids can write and send their Christmas wish lists and in the "Nikolaus House", Old Saint Nick will listen to them personally.
A special highlight is the visit of the Nuremberg Christkind: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 2:30 pm, she visits the Children's Christmas Market and invites children to ride free on the merry-go-round.
Kids aged 5 to 11 and their parents or grandparents can discover a lot of exciting things about the market with the Christkindlesmarkt Children's Rally. A surprise awaits those that turn in a completed rally sheet at the Children's Christmas Market. Children's Rally questionnaires are available at Tourist Information.
Across from the Children's Christmas Market, the festively-decorated "Sternenhaus" awaits little visitors. Here, a magical cultural program with fairy tales and stories, children's opera, musicals, ballet, magicians and custom productions from the local regional children's theater scene are presented each afternoon from December 2 to 23. And the Nuremberg Christkind appears personally each Tuesday and Thursday at 2 pm for a special fairy-tale hour.
At the Nuremberg Christmas Market, it's not only important to offer traditional wares but also to promote sustainable development. To support the regional economy, many of the products offered are produced locally in small handicraft firms. The market stands are built from local pine and are reused year after year: More than 30 of the historical booths date back to 1890. Traditional handicraft products and selected specialties from Franconia and the Upper Palatinate can be found at "Original Regional", across from the town hall in the niches of St. Sebald. The wide range of products includes unique mulled wine and punches, hand-made wool products, hand-made soaps, brandies and fruit spreads made from fruits from local orchards, lamb-, beef- and pork-sausage specialties, honey, beeswax products and much more.
Since 2012, the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is supplied with renewable electricity from regional hydroelectric and photovoltaic systems. And it was already in 1990 when the reusable mug system was established with a modern, highly-efficient cleaning station.
The "Organic Metropolis" Nuremberg was the first German city to join the organic city network "Città del BIO" - in December 2006. Since then, the city supports companies and farmers who produce organically. One goal is to continually increase the amount of organic products offered at the Christkindlesmarkt. The majority of the culinary spectrum is available in organic quality. More than 40 booths offer excellent organic products in accordance with the EU organic farming regulation. These stands are marked with the EU Organic Seal and are listed in the category "organic" on the market map at www.christkindlesmarkt.de/der-markt/budenplan.
Those who want to plan their visit at home can find all the information they need at www.christkindlesmarkt.de. Starting at the end of November, a virtual stroll through the market is made possible by a 360-degree panorama. The webcam has a new location with a better perspective and a higher-resolution livestream. New are self-guided tours: Once the market opens, themed tours (which can be printed as pdfs) lead to specially-selected booths of arts and crafts or to "Nuremberg Originals" such as prune men, bratwurst and "Rauschgold" angels. And the city guides of Nuremberg will offer tours about the eventful history of the Christkindlesmarkt on six dates.