Weihnachtsmarkt (4) – Stuttgart

As the capital of Baden-Württemberg and the sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has one of the biggest, oldest and prettiest Christmas markets in Europe. Thanks to Uni-Heidelberg’s excursion program, we were able to go there (as well as the nearby Esslingen Christmas market) for only €17!

Stuttgart
Stuttgart (New Palace)

Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Size: ★★★★☆
Price: ★★★☆☆
Diversity of goods: ★★★★☆
Link: Click here

Date visited: Dec 1, 2012

Wintertraum

The Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt is held near the Old Castle, on Schiller Square and Marktplatz in the center of the city, so going there means you can also visit some of the best-known sights of Stuttgart.

Altes Schloss - Old Castle
Altes Schloss – Old Castle
Stiftskirche  - the Collegiate Church.
Stiftskirche, the Collegiate Church

Wooden huts at Christmas markets in Germany often have decorated roofs and I think those in Stuttgart are the most beautiful. It’s not hard to see why the market has been voted as the “schönste Weihnachtsmarkt”.

DSC06213

DSC06212

Beautifully decorated booths at the Christmas market
Huge Nutcracker
Giant nutcracker

Some of these roofs are even animated, like the reindeer above would tilt his head and tell funny festive jokes, and the huge nutcracker actually cracks a giant nut every few seconds.

Schokofrüchte - chocolate fruits are common in Christmas markets.
Schokofrüchte – chocolate fruits are common in Christmas markets
Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus - German potato pancakes with apple sauce. I think this is sorta like our hash brown, but a bit more chewy and sticky.
Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus – German potato pancakes with apple sauce. I think this is sort of like a hash brown, but a bit more chewy and sticky

They have a wide range of festive goods and food on sale, so if you’re still hunting for Christmas gifts, ornaments or just want to have a warm Glühwein, you’ll certainly find something here.

As for the price, I’d say it’s not too expensive but not cheap either – mind you, Weihnachtsmärkte are always slightly more expensive. The cheapest Glühwein I saw there was about €2.50, which I didn’t try; instead I got a Schokofrüchte Trauben (grapes coated in chocolate) stick (€3) and a Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus (€3.50). Schokofrüchte are everywhere if you visit a Christmas market, and they aren’t exactly cheap for what they are (though super yummy!) The cheapest kinds are chilies (would you try?) and whole apples (if they cut them in slices, somehow it’ll be more expensive).

I was so tempted to try raclette here but it was really expensive for just one piece of cheese!
I was so tempted to try raclette here!
Huge Advent Calendar on Marktplatz
Huge Advent Calendar on a building on Marktplatz

If you don’t mind the crowd, I suggest you go during the weekend when everyone is out celebrating. Unlike the Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt, there is more space and tables for people to stand around, eat and chat. The street performers and all the decorations there can really get you in the mood for Christmas!

Street performer (and his parrot) playing Christmas music on his Saxophone.
Street performer (and his parrot) playing festive music
Stuttgart Altes Schloss and Weihnachtsmarkt
Stuttgart Altes Schloss and Weihnachtsmarkt
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