Find charming holiday markets right at the doorstep of Spangdahlem

  • Published
  • By Iris Reiff
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
For many of us the nicest season of the year begins in November, when Germany turns into a Christmas wonderland. At this time, almost every mid-size to bigger community in the country will have their own unique Christmas market, attracting visitors from all over the globe, who flock in to welcome the holiday season.

Most Christmas markets in Germany are set up now and run through Christmas Eve. Only a few markets will stay open until after the holidays and into the New Year.

Most "Weihnachtsmaerkte" typically open around 10 a.m. and close either at 8 or 9 p.m. There are smaller markets or Christmas bazaars which take place for one day or over the weekend only.

The set-up of the nicely decorated wooden huts may vary between the different markets, and some holiday gifts can be typical for the region, where the market is located, but the atmosphere is always the same unique one everywhere.

People can enjoy the aromas of fresh gingerbread, hot chestnuts, sweet dumplings or other traditional snacks that can make a visit to a Christmas market an enjoyable experience.

Visiting a "Weihnachtsmarkt" is also a great way to enjoy quality time with friends and family or to find that unique Christmas gift that one cannot find anywhere else in a store.

Items offered at most Christmas markets include candles, colorful Christmas glass ornaments, wooden toys and carvings, Christmas figurines, warm wool winter clothing, socks, hats, scarves, gloves, or lambskin shoes.

The list of items is endless. Craftsmen and artists stay creative when it comes to their products. Popular gift items are possibly pyramids, nutcrackers, incense smokers, music boxes and figures. The prices can be a bit more expensive at Christmas markets, but, the gifts are unique and often hand-made.

People like to meet at Christmas markets after work and enjoy a glass of the delicious, hot spiced wine, which is called "Gluehwein" in Germany. At most markets, Gluehwein is also offered without alcohol and for both, adults and children.

Besides the ordinary food items, such as Bratwurst or Currywurst, the delicious "Reibkuchen" potato cakes, baked apples or dumplings with cherries, served on vanilla sauce, are very tasty holiday treats and people are willing to stand in line for them.

Historical carrousels are among the highlights for children, and fresh cotton candy will tempt old and young, alike.

Christmas carols and music performed by local choirs and music bands add to the events, helping put people into the holiday spirit. Concerts are performed in the evening hours and on weekends.

Sankt Nikolaus, the German version of Santa Claus typically pays a visit at many markets and surprises the children with holiday treats.

The oldest German Christmas market can be found in Dresden and is the "Striezelmarkt". A well known and traditional Christmas market is also the Nuremberg market.

But, people must not go far to find a charming Christmas market. Quite a few popular markets are located right at the doorstop of the base, in the Eifel:

Dudeldorf, a community, located on B-50, in-between the base and Bitburg, will host a popular and scenic market Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1. On schedule are a large number of Christmas sales stands, music, food and entertainment throughout the heart of the community. The Dudeldorf market is known to be one of the most scenic and largest markets in the immediate Eifel area.

Trier hosts its traditional Weihnachtsmarkt Nov. 26 through Dec. 22 in the Hauptmarkt or main market square and in the area in front of the city's Dom cathedral, featuring about 95 wooden huts or sales stands. This is a beautiful market in the immediate neighborhood of the base, with Christmas music and celebrations featured in the pedestrian area throughout the entire season. Music and entertainment is scheduled every weekend, and Santa will visit often. The Five Star Brass Quintet of the United States Air Forces in Europe Band will perform a concert at 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Trier Christmas market. With the traditional instrumentation of two trumpets, French horn, trombone and tuba plus percussion, the ensemble is known for their versatility and outstanding musicianship, and is well liked in the local area.

Trier-Pfalzel offers a small but charming Christmas market inside the Klosterschenke historical Saint Petris chapel in 54293 Pfalzel. Among the items offered at this market are jewelry, Christmas ornaments and decoration, wooden toys and house and living accessories. Traditional food snacks will be offered. The market is open from 2 to 7 p.m.

Bitburg's Weihnachtsmarkt takes place Dec. 4-15 offering booths and entertainment in the pedestrian area. Home-made gift items and traditional holiday food snacks will be offered as well as the delicious Gluehwein or spiced wine. Base members are invited to join the neighbors in Bitburg welcoming the holiday season at the Weihnachtsmarkt in Bitburg.

Kyllburg will host a small Advent market inside the Stiftskirche church Dec. 14. The market is small but nice and offers gift items and holiday food treats.

Wittlich has a Christmas market Nov. 29 through Dec. 22 in the center of town. Opening times are 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily. Highlights include regional, homemade and handcrafted items, a tall Christmas tree, and Christmas carols. Stores will remain open late on both days of the market in the pedestrian area. Fresh-baked waffles are among the food treats in Wittlich.

Bernkastel hosts its' annual Mittelalterlicher Weihnachtsmarkt, or medieval Christmas market, dating back to the year 1978, offering more than 50 decorated sales huts now through Dec. 22. near the Baerenbrunnen fountain in the town's market square and throughout the pedestrian area. Opening times are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. The market is closed Nov. 20. Many highlights are scheduled.

Manderscheid will host a Castle Christmas market at the Niederburg or Lower Castle noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 30 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 1. The Castle will be illuminated in the evenings.

Irsch/Saar will host a Christmas market 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 1. Art, handicraft and Christmas ornaments will be offered. All proceeds will go towards the renovation of the Gervasius church. Visit for additional details.

Traben-Trarbach/Mosel will host their third underground Wine-Nachts-market, or wine market underground and inside wine cellars. The event is open Nov. 29 through Jan. 5, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit

Cochem will host a Christmas market Nov. 21 through Dec. 15. People can enjoy a Riesling wine cake, sweet dumplings, fresh waffles with mousse made from red vinyard peaches and blueberry Glueuwein or spaced wine. Art and craft items will be among the gift items offered in Cochem.

Koblenz will host a Christmas market in Koblenz's picturesque old quarters, offering 100 nicely decorated wooden huts and culinary holiday goodies. Enjoy the smell of fresh gingerbread and Gluehwein spiced wine throughout the streets of the center.

Saarburg will host a Christkindl market Nov. 29 through Dec. 8 in the area around the city's fountain. The market will offer craft items, home-made food treats and holiday entertainment on both days.

Serrig, located on the Saar river near Saarburg will host an Advent market Dec. 1, starting at 1 p.m. Gift items and food snacks will be available.

Rohscheider Hof, near Konz offers a unique Christmas market Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 14-15 at the outdoor museum there. Visitors can find wood works, holiday wreaths, patchwork items, gems and other gift items. The market is open from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and from 11 to 7 p.m. Sundays. This is a popular market.

Daun will offer a traditional Christmas market Nov. 29 through Dec. 2.

Zeltingen-The Mosel town of Zeltingen will host their 17th Christmas market Nov. 30 through Dec. 1, offering craft items, Christmas treats and entertainment.

Bad-Bertrich--The spa resort of Bad-Betrich will host an Advent market Dec. 30 in the center of town, offering self-made items and traditional food items.

Klausen- A small Christmas market takes place Dec. 22 in Klausen, offering a variety of food snacks and gift items.

Kluesserath will host the 12th Advent market Nov. 30 through Dec. 1 featuring about 20 sales huts. Visitors can find art, jewelry, self-made Christmas decorations, and more. Kluesserath will have a special Christmas café that invites visitors to come in.

Zumethof, near Leiwen will host a small but fine Christmas bazaar Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 offering gift items, traditional food specialties, entertainment and a petting zoo for the small ones. Saint Nikolaus will stop by on both days.