We all know the common Christmas markets like Düsseldorf, Keulen, Bremen and Essen in Germany. So we decided to check out some picturesque and alternative Christmas markets. We visited ‘Niedersachsen’, a federal state in north-western Germany.
Local Christmas vibes in Stade
We arrived in Stade at the perfect moment. On the third weekend of the Advent Calendar, the locals welcome you to their city with some special Christmas magic. A medieval market lures visitors around the town hall. The locals are dressed as if they live in the medieval times, and the street is lit by candles. Different local delicacies can be enjoyed here, like ‘Baumkuchen’. This is a real treat! It’s a layered cake, looking like the inside of a tree (baum means tree). But also a lot of delicious liquors, wines, marzipan and more.
In this weekend the locals will also introduce you to the traditional ‘Winterfackelschwimmen am Fischmarkt’. Brave men defy the cold water in the beautiful Hansehafen with torches in their hands to sing some traditional Christmas songs. Lots of respect for them, I wasjust standing there on the land, in a warm coat was freezing cold! Stader Weihnachtsmarkt is open till 23 December 2018 (at the Fischmarkt till 30 December). Monday to Saturday from 10.30 untill 20.00 and Sundays from 12.00 untill 20.00. For more info about Niedersachsen, check the website.
What to do in Stade (anytime)
Visiting Stade can be jolly during each month of the year. Getting here was easy, from Amsterdam to Stade takes about six hours by car. The Hansehafen is very photogenic, which you can also admire from the top of the church St. Cosmae. It’s a steep walk up the stairs, but you will be rewarded with a beautiful view. A public tour in the tower will cost you 3 euro per person. You can book tickets here.
Topographical fact: Don’t be afraid to get lost in Stade, the town center is only 400 by 800 meters.
Where to stay
Trust me, you want to stay the night. Christmas markets are at their best when it’s dark, and this way everybody can enjoy some nice hot ‘Glühwein’. Don’t forget to try out the ‘Schmalzkuchen’. This sweet indulgence will make you want more. It’s kind of like a doughnut, but not as sloppy fat and more tasteful. You just have to try it for yourself! For the night, we stayed at Parkhotel Staderhof. The perfect place to stay during a trip to Stade. Parking is free, the beds are heavenly and the breakfast is even better. The German people really know how to pamper you.
Alternative Christmas vibes in Kliemannsland
The Germans will know his name: Fynn Kliemann, a German web designer, entrepreneur, musician, writer, actor, YouTuber and winner of “1 Live Krone 2018” (a German music award) in the category “Best Newcomer”. He is best known for his various YouTube Channels “Fynn Kliemann” (The Heimwerkerking), “Kliemannsland” and “Fynn Kliemann Musik”. Because of Fynn’s all-round talents, it was only a matter of time before he needed more space. And so Kliemannsland was born, a place where anyone who wants to create is welcome to do so. Because it will always be a work in progress, visitors are asked to bring some nice decorations, write on the walls and bring in any ideas they have for the place.
Tip: Everybody is welcome to bring along some Christmas decorations for in the tree!
In the winter, Kliemannsland introduces ‘WuWiZaKliLa’, meaning: ‘WunderWinterZauberKliemannsland’. You can expect a lot of food stands with more than just the usual crepes and bratwurst (think about sweet potato boxes and pasta’s), nice drinks (try not to be the designated driver) and a stage with live music! For everybody who’s done with traditional Christmas markets, this is the place to be. It’s hip, new and takes sustainability serious. For example; the toilets are all natural. Your number 2 won’t be flushed away by water, but covered with sawdust. Naturally biodegradable! Have a look at their Instagram account to find out what’s on. The next Christmas Market at Kliemannsland will be mid-December 2019.
How to get there
The best way to get to Kliemannsland is by their shuttle service from Zeven. You can park the car at a large parking lot, Gerhard-Liesegang-Str. in Zeven, and get transferred to Kliemannsland. What a service!
So for all of you who are looking for something fresh and alternative Chistmas Markets, Niedersachsen is worthy of a visit. There is so much more to explore around the Holidays than the big and well-known city’s. I’m curious where we’ll end up next year, in 2019. With that said, I want to wish you a lot of new experiences and travels in next year and cozy times with family and friends during Christmas. Happy Holidays!