If you're like me, you've probably seen photos of the German Christmas Markets and daydreamed of visiting. They're dripping in lights, showcase artisan crafts, and warm treats are plenty. It's one of the most famous European holiday traditions, but you don't have to cross the pond to experience one. Surprisingly, authentic German Christmas markets in the U.S. will give you the same festive vibes without the plane ticket.
The Best German Christmas Markets in the US
The lure of the German Christmas Market was so strong that major U.S. cities wanted to create their own version. Gather with friends over mulled wine, shop for holiday trinkets, listen to live music, and nosh on German sweets. These markets engage all of your senses for an unbelievably festive outing.
1. Denver, Colorado—Chriskindlmarket
A holiday tradition for over twenty years, the Denver Christkindlemarket aims to promote cultural business ties with the local German community. Listen to polka bands and traditional holiday tunes while shopping for Christmas gifts from local vendors. Kids can enjoy the children's book readings and craft time. Since it's one of the U.S.'s most popular German Christmas markets, guests are encouraged to check out the interactive market maps online and consider making advanced reservations in the Festival Hall for beverage service. The Denver Chriskindlmarket is constantly updating and improving every holiday season.
2. Bethleham, Pennsylvania—Christkindlmkt
Obviously, the city of Bethlehem goes big for the Christmas season. They even dub themselves America's “Christmas City.” The city was founded in the 18th century by German-speaking Moravians, but it took until 1992 for the Christkindlmkt to come to life. Find wooden toys, nutcrackers, jewelry, and illuminated Moravian glass stars under the heated tents. Adding to the authenticity, an actual German Christmas store, the Käthe Wohlfahrt shop, has a market pop-up location. You'll feel immersed in German culture without ever leaving Pennsylvania!
3. Vail, Colorado—Kris Kringle Market
Vail is naturally a beautiful Christmas destination. A blanket of snow covers the city, storefronts are decorated for the season, and the city's Christmas lights twinkle off the snow. Take the festivities to the next level by going to the Kris Kringle Market. Vail is rich in Bavarian history, and the Kris Kringle Market is authentic. The market is entirely free and located in downtown Vail. Shop from over 65 vendors for German holiday gifts and Colorado-made items. Sip glühwein and get into the holiday spirit while visiting Vail.
4. Roswell, Georgia—Christkindlmarket
Heading into its inaugural 2023 year, Roswell, Georgia's Christkindlemarket is raising the bar. Inspired by German Christmas markets, the family-friendly event will feature vendors
offering a variety of seasonal crafts, Food, and drinks, including authentic German pastries. Children can ride the carousel, hop on the train ride, take free photos with Santa, or write letters to Santa. As a bonus, the Roswell Christkindlmarket is located on the grounds of Bulloch Hall, the childhood home of President Theodore Roosevelt. After perusing the market, tour the home decorated for the holiday season.
6. Chicago, Illinois—Chriskindlmarket
Traditional wooden booths of Chicago's Chriskindlemarket stand out against modern glass buildings that the downtown area is known for. The Chicago market was launched in 1995 by the German-American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest to foster trade partnerships between the two countries. What makes this market unique is the combination of performing arts with delicious homemade sweets and crafts. See performances of the Nutcracker, listen to carolers, and watch holiday performances by an Alpine brass band. It's magical to experience the Christmas season in Chicago and even more special to walk through the Chriskindlmarket.
7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—Peoples Gas Holiday Market
The residents of downtown Pittsburgh claim they can smell the irresistible German treats from Peoples Gas Holiday Market from miles away. Imagine a towering Christmas tree and rows of wooden booths decorated with illuminated garland. Germany inspires the People Gas Holiday Market, but the shops feature artisan pieces from all over the world. Find Kenyan jewelry, woolen goods from Nepal, and even international holiday snacks. On weekends, guests can enjoy happy hours, including alcoholic drink specials.
8. Washington D.C.—Downtown Holiday Market
Located near the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, guests can easily make a day of visiting the Downtown Holiday Market in Washington D.C. Nibble on German pretzels and cookies. At the same time, you stroll through one of the best German Christmas markets in the U.S. This market does a fantastic job combining the local community with the German feeling. They purposefully use vendors that represent the Black community. Shop apparel, jewelry, and beauty products that are all made locally. Live music includes holiday classics and beyond – including jazz, blues, and hip-hop.
9. Frankenmuth, Michigan—A Frankenmuth Christmas
The whole city of Frankenmuth transforms into a Christmas wonderland every year. Nicknamed “Little Bavaria,” it's fitting that they'd have a German Christmas market. Frankenmuth's boutiques are built in German architectural style for a picture-perfect backdrop. Find more Christmas decor in Frankenmuth than almost any other market. You'll find a few treasures in Frankenmuth—hand-crafted lights, evergreen wreaths, candles, and ornaments. Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland is also located in Frankenmuth, the world’s largest year-round Christmas store. There's always a festive reason to visit Frankenmuth!
10. St. Paul, Minnesota—European Christmas Market
Most people don't associate the MidWest with European traditions, but St. Paul's European Christmas Market is a seasonal tradition started by German immigrants in the region. Moravian stars illuminate wooden booths as visitors can shop well into the evening hours. Gingerbread, pfeffernüsse cookies, spätzle, and potato pancakes are some of the festival's treats. While home goods, candles, jewelry, and clothes are just a few special items shoppers can browse. The market is held every weekend during the holiday season and overlooks the beautiful banks of the Mississippi River.
11. Helen, Georgia—Christkindlmarkt
Helen, Georgia, is a Bavarian city in the North Georgia mountains. Every year, the Christkindlmarkt fills the streets with vendors who sell unique gifts and savory and sweet foods. Helen's festivities extend beyond the Christkindlmarkt. Dazzling nighttime decorations light up the city, making it the perfect destination to feel the holiday spirit. The market takes place annually over two weekends, and it’s the perfect excuse to add a bit of shopping to your trip.
12. New Orleans, Lousisana—ChristKindlMarkt at The Deutsches House
The Deutsches House was formed as a resource for German immigrants who were settling in New Orleans. They provided meals housing, and assisted in finding employment. Now, to give back to the community, the Deutsche House gets into the Christmas spirit each year with its market. Food, drink, seasonal items, handmade gifts, and crafts are all available. Visitors are treated to traditional Christmas music and singing during the market.
13. Hermann, Missouri—Kristkindl Markt at Stone Hill Winery
Of all the authentic German Christmas markets in the U.S., our favorites are the ones that offer a twist with more to see or do. The Kriskindle Markt in Hermann, Missouri, is located in a winery. Giving guests double the reasons to go! Decorations, handmade gifts, entertainment, and European Food and drink combine for a festive holiday atmosphere at this weekend market. Gingerbread decorating contests are also part of this annual market, making it unique. After visiting the market, tour the Stone Hill Winery or dine at their restaurant overlooking the vineyard.
14. New York, New York—Union Square Holiday Market
Chocolate Advent calendars, stollen cakes, and hot winter drinks are some of the items found in the famous Union Square Holiday Market. Shop for everyone on your list in the city's largest green market. Over 150 vendors participate, including some of New York City‘s most iconic restaurants. The entertainment is also top-notch, with performances from the School of American Ballet (the official school for New York City Ballet).
15. Arlington, Texas—Texas Chriskindl Market
Inspired by German tradition and featuring its own Christkind, this holiday market brings Germany to Texas. Hand-crafted items and authentic German collectibles are beloved items at this family-friendly Christmas celebration. From all children’s activities in Kinder World to German Food and drink, visitors can enjoy all the German holiday traditions at Texas Chriskindl Market. School bands and local choirs provide market entertainment, while Santa is a big draw for little ones.
16. Elkhart Lake, Wisconson—Old World Christmas Market
A decorated and heated tent filled with the sights and smells of a German-style Christmas welcomes visitors to the Osthoff Resort’s annual holiday tradition, Old World Christmas Market. Bratwurst, Glühwein, nutcrackers, fresh green wreaths, and more can all be found at this magical winter event.
Dumplings, schnitzel, potato pancakes, red cabbage, pulled pork, and apple strudel are a few of the tasty market offerings. Admission is $7 per adult, while children 14 and under are complimentary with an adult ticketholder. Since the market is located at Osthoff Resort, guests can enjoy overnight accommodation for an extraordinary holiday getaway.