10 unusual Christmas markets

Travel

Very large candle: Schlitz in Hessen

In Advent, a 36-meter-high stone tower in the old town center is wrapped in red cloth and embedded in traditionally decorated half-timbered houses. A six-meter-high flame at its peak shines into the sky. With a total height of 42 meters, it is said to be the world's largest waxless candle.

Travel

Under the bridge: the Ravenna Gorge

With its picturesque location in the Ravenna Gorge, this Christmas market in the Black Forest offers a very romantic atmosphere. Surrounded by steep cliffs of the gorge, under the 40-meter-high (131-feet) railway viaduct of the Höllentalbahn, a small village of little wooden huts can be found here on the four weekends before Christmas.

Travel

Ship ahoy!

The Engelkemarkt in Emden takes place both on land and on board the ships. The boats in the inland port are festively decorated with lights. On board you'll find everything to warm your heart: mulled wine, pea soup and even a full Christmas menu.

Travel

A stone quarry Christmas market

A special ambiance can be found at the Christmas market in Bavaria's Hauzenberg. Held on the former location of a stone quarry, it features handicrafts from the Bavarian forest. Workshops demonstrating different traditional crafts like stone cutting are popular. Its nativity scene, with real animals, is another highlight.

Travel

Erotic yuletide with Santa Pauli

Santa Pauli is "Hamburg's hottest Christmas market," claim its organizers. Visitors who head to the notorious Reeperbahn in the red light district of St. Pauli can enjoy there a daily disco and live music, as well as shop for sex toys and watch the "hot angels" in the strippers' tent.

Travel

In the middle of a lake

Every half hour, ferries bring visitors to the Fraueninsel market on Bavaria's biggest lake, the Chiemsee. More than 90 stalls sell Bavarian souvenirs, handicrafts from the island's abbey, such as nativity scenes and Christmas decorations, as well as a huge choice of anything knitted, crocheted or carved. An added bonus here is the spectacular Alpine backdrop.

Travel

Designer goods in a power station

An advent's calendar can look like this too. Designer pieces in this style can be found at the Holy Shit Shopping, held in a former power station in Berlin Mitte. It offers an alternative to conventional Christmas markets and is a platform for young artists and designers. There are now Holy Shit Shopping events in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Cologne too.

Travel

LGBT Pink Christmas market in Munich

The annual Christmas market on the Stephansplatz in Munich's fashionable Glockenbach district is pink and relaxed. Pink Christmas is the name given to the gay and lesbian event, which includes different performances by drag queens. Plus, anyone looking for pink Christmas decorations will find a huge selection here.

Travel

In the wine cellar at Traben-Trabach

Underground Christmas magic can be enjoyed at the market in the former wine cellars in the town of Traben-Trabach on the Moselle river. In the atmospherically lit historical wine cellars, visitors can buy regional handicrafts and sample wine, of course. An added bonus is that the vaults always offer pleasant temperatures, even when it's bitterly cold outside.

Travel

Enjoy the lobster huts in Helgoland

Anyone visiting Helgoland, Germany's only island not in close vicinity to the mainland, will have the chance to experience the magic of the lobster huts. These sheds used to serve as workshops and storage rooms for the fishermen; now the colorful wooden huts house different stands with delicious treats such as waffles, cake and mulled wine.

Welcome to the realm of Christmas markets. Nowhere in the world are there as many as in Germany - the choice is huge. We'd like to introduce 10 markets that stand out.