Esslingen is a small city (though according to Wikipedia, it’s the largest city in the district of Esslingen) only 14km from Stuttgart, so we could go to both cities on the same day. However, if you’re really into Christmas markets, I recommend going there on a separate day because there is an interesting Medieval Market and I wish we could stay longer.
Esslingen: Mittelaltermarkt & Weihnachtsmarkt
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Diversity of goods: ★★★★★
Date visited: Dec 1, 2012
What’s interesting about Esslingen is that they’ve got this Medieval Market, where people dress up as pirates, sailors and craftsmen from the Middle Ages. There are many cultural events for everyone at the market and kids will enjoy the “Land of Dwarfs” with mini-rides for children. There was a parade while we were there; it was crowded and I had no idea what it was about, but the atmosphere was nice and everyone was clapping or singing along with the musicians playing traditional tunes on historical instruments in the parade.
Unlike other typical Christmas markets, you can find a lot of handmade wooden crafts, baskets of all sizes and traditional ornaments and gifts in this market. I only got a cup of hot apple juice with cinnamon for €2 but it wasn’t that good – if you want a warm non-alcoholic drink, perhaps a Kinderpunch would be a better choice.
The traditional Weihnachtsmarkt is located on Marktplatz, next to the Stadtkirche “St. Dionys” (City church). This is one of the most beautiful Weihnachtsmärkte in Baden-Württemberg, with over 180 booths that offer a variety of items for sale, from Bratwurst and Glühwein to christmas ornaments and toys.
Unfortunately we couldn’t stay for long as it got dark pretty early and our bus had to leave at 17:30. We went to the market in Stuttgart earlier that day but it’d have been better to do that on a separate day as both markets are really nice and one can only eat so much in a day!
*The Christmas market closes on Dec 21, i.e., tomorrow.