Magical season is here, and the best way to make the most of it is by heading to a Christmas Market. 

Around this time every year, I thank the universe for making me live in Germany so that I can enjoy some of the best Christmas Markets in Germany.

Many first timer visitors try to find the most famous Christmas markets in Germany but as someone who’s living there, I highly recommend the smaller ones.

Firstly, the most famous Christmas Markets like the one in Dresden or Trier are extremely crowded. Second, the hotels sell out months in advance. Third, if you’re thinking of driving to them, then be aware that the parking areas fill out too.

Keeping that in mind, I highly suggest you check out the Christmas Markets in Germany that aren’t as famous. I did write a post about a small and sweet Christmas Market Rheda-Wiedenbruck (my town), but today I want to talk about a bigger one.  

Bielefeld is a big city in North Rhine-Westphalia (the Western German state). Although I never found Bielefeld exciting but I was presently surprised by the Christmas Markets here. Here’s why I love the Christmas Markets in Bielefeld and you will too:

Many Bielefeld Christmas Markets within Walking Distance, 

The View from the Top of a Ferris Wheel at Altstädter Kirchpark Christmas Market in Bielefeld

The first time I visited Bielefeld, I walked around the main shopping street between the main train station (Bahnofstrasse) and Jahnplatz. It was beautifully decorated and had a lot of small temporary shops with Chrristmas-y things and Gluhwein, I thought that was the main Christmas Market but it is just one of the many.

Big Cities like Bielefeld have multiple Christmas Markets and they usually have different names. Three of the Christmas Markets in Bielefeld are near to each other so you can just walk from one to another.

My favorite one is in Klosterplatz, it is called Weihnachtsmarkt Bielefeld “Mitte” with a Winter Wonderland theme. Another one nearby is in Alter Markt (Old Market) with the backdrop of old buildings. A third one that’s right next to it is in Altstädter Kirchpark with carousels and a Ferris Wheel. Fourth market that’s just there too is on Niedernstraße, and fifth in Obenstrasse.

To make things easy, I have marked the Christmas Markets on a Map for you, you will find it at the end of this post.

So to recap, the 6 Christmas Markets of Bielefeld are:

  1. Weihnachtsmarkt Bielefeld “Mitte” in Klosterplatz 
  2. Shopping Street Christmas Market – Bahnofstrasse
  3. Alter Markt (Old Market) 
  4. Altstädter Kirchpark
  5. Niedernstraße
  6. Obenstrasse

If the above list confuses you, and if you’d like to pick just two, then I recommend number Weihnachtsmarkt Bielefeld “Mitte” in Klosterplatz  for ice skating, the bar scene and the old school feel and Altstädter Kirchpark Christmas Market for the carousels, food and bars. Actually they all have amazing bars but the ones in these two Christmas Markets especially stood out.

Honestly, if you move between these two then you can easily stop at Bielefeld Alter Markt Christmas Market, which is small but the decoration looks amazing with a backdrop of old buildings. The bars are nice and they have a nice gazebo like circular sitting area in the middle.

If you live in Bielefeld and know of another Christmas Market that I didn’t mention, then please tell me. 

The Decoration (+ Santa)

Altstädter Kirchpark Bielefeld Christmas Market

Bielefeld isn’t the prettiest city if you compare it to the likes of Cologne or Heidelberg, but I love how the city lights up during Christmas time. Expect to see pretty lights, massive Christmas Trees, Santas and literally everything that will make you feel like you just stepped into a winter wonderland.

Santa Claus at Weihnacht Markt Bielefeld Mitte in Klosterplatz Bielefeld Christmas Market

I wanted amazing Chrismasy pictures this winter, and I was planning on clicking them inside the house with the Christmas Tree but I clicked some of the best ones in the Christmas Markets in Bielefeld.

Ice Skating

Omg, I’m in a Winter Wonderland!

Ice Skating Rink at Weihnacht Markt Bielefeld Mitte in Klosterplatz Bielefeld

That’s what I thought when I saw the Ice Skating rink in Weihnachtsmarkt Bielefeld “Mitte” in Klosterplatz. This was actually my favorite market of all because of the theme.

I absolutely love everything Christmas-y but for me the ice skating rink with pretty lights on top and wooden Christmas market stalls in the backdrop added a breathtaking touch. Activities such as ice skating, sledding or skiing scream winter. It was like a cherry on top of an amazing cake.

Ice Skating Rink at Christmas Market in Bielefeld Mitte in Klosterplatz Bielefeld

Seriously, the winter vibes can’t get more intense than this. For me, the ice skating rink was the highlight of the Christmas Markets in Bielefeld.

Glühwein (Mulled Wine)

Typical Glühwein at Bielefeld Christmas Market

If you’re a Christmas Market newbie, then you probably don’t know what Glühwein is. I didn’t know too before visiting Germany in 2014.

Glühwein is Mulled Wine, which is warm wine with herbs, fruits, and spices added on to it. I don’t mean hot spices but things like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise, mace, etc. Everyone has their own recipe for Glühwein and it is fun to try all different variations.

Most of the Glühweins are made with red wine but some also with white. Some also have fruit slices in them – mostly oranges. You will also find Glühweins that are mixed with rum, vodka and more interesting things. Of course the mixed ones are highly potent. 

Delicious Gluhwein with Orange at Christmas Market in Bielefeld Mitte in Klosterplatz Bielefeld

Not only it is fun to try all the variations of Gluhweins in different Christmas Markets in Bielefeld but I absolutely adore the mugs or glasses that are used in most of the shops for Glühweins. 

The typical cost of Glühwein in Bielefeld Christmas market is around 3-4 Euros per glass. There’s also a “pfand” – refundable fee that you will initially pay and recover from the bar when you give your cup back. The prices go up per glass if you add more things to your glühwein.

In 2021, one needs to show a proof of two vaccinations when ordering anything from a bar in a Christmas Market in Bielefeld.

Christmas Markets are cold so if you want to warm up your hands and eventually your body, then get yourself a mug of Gluhwein. There are non alcoholic ones too!

You will find amazing Gluhweins everywhere but in terms of the variety, the bar atmosphere and the energy, I pick Weihnachtsmarkt Bielefeld “Mitte” in Klosterplatz as the best one for drinking.

Eggnogs (Eierpunsch)

Eierpunsch (Eggnog) in Bielefeld Christmas Market, Germany

Glühwein isn’t the only alcoholic Christmas Market beverage in Germany, there’s also Eierpunsch (Eggnog). This is actually made with egg, milk, cream, vanilla, and white wine.

Honestly, it sounds a little disgusting because of raw eggs and alcohol – eww. But if you have had mousse at any time or tiramisu, then be aware that they also are made with raw eggs. Thankfully if the Eierpunsch is well made then you won’t smell the egg but only vanilla.

i highly recommend the Eggnog in Altstädter Kirchpark Bielefeld Christmas Market. The main bar does tend to get crowded but the service is super quick.

The Eierpunsch in Bielefeld costs 3-4 Euros. You need to show a proof of two vaccinations when ordering anything from a bar in a Christmas Market in Bielefeld.

Carousels

Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad) at Altstädter Kirchpark Christmas Market in Bielefeld

Carousels aren’t just for children. Yes, they aren’t scare if you compare then to adventure park rides but they add a magical touch. The carousels aren’t there in all the Christmas Markets in Bielefeld but are only at Altstädter Kirchpark

You will find the typical Christmas carousel that’s simple but beautifully decorated with Christmas lights. There’s also a small snowman in the middle of the carousel that throws fake snowflakes on people. Cute, right?

Carousel at Altstädter Kirchpark Christmas Market in Bielefeld

I also love the big Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad in German) that’s in Altstädter Kirchpark Christmas Market. Of course the ride is fun (sadly a little short) but the view from the top is definitely worth seeing. You will see the Christmas Market from the high up in every direction and it looks magical with the lights.

The Carousel and Ferris Wheel costs EUR 2.5 for children and EUR 3 for adults. You need to show a proof of two vaccinations when buying your ticket.

The Food at Bielefeld Christmas Markets

Mushrooms with gravy and herb sauce and bun at Bielefeld Christmas Market

In terms of food, the Christmas Market at Altstädter Kirchpark has the most variety. You will find the typical German food that you can find in Christmas Markets – brat wurst, curry wurst, Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus, grünkohl, but also typical Kirmes food like Mushrooms with gravy, Lángos, Krakowska, etc.

My favorite of course are the Mushrooms (champignons) and I love the gravy and the bun that comes with it. 

In my experience, the food in Christmas Markets in Bielefeld isn’t expensive. It is always less than 10 Euros per person and is pretty filling. Just like drinks, you need to show a proof of two vaccinations when ordering anything from a restaurant in a Christmas Market in Bielefeld.

The Old School & Winter Holiday Feeling

The View from the Top of the Altstädter Kirchpark in Bielefeld

This is actually the case with not just Bielefeld Christmas Markets but most of them in Germany. There’s an atmosphere of joy, love and merry.

A Bar with an Old School Vibe at Weihnachtsmarkt Bielefeld Mitte in Klosterplatz

The magical decor with lights and garlands add to the festive mood. The small shops with handmade winter things offer something unique for everyone. In fact, the whole decor makes one want to spend their money as quickly as possible.

Bielefeld Christmas Markets Map (Walking Directions)

Below are the markets that I have marked on the map.

  1. Weihnachtsmarkt Bielefeld “Mitte” in Klosterplatz
  2. Shopping Street Christmas Market – Bahnofstrasse
  3. Alter Markt (Old Market) 
  4. Altstädter Kirchpark
  5. Niedernstraße
  6. Obenstrasse

 

 

Closing Thoughts on Christmas Markets in Bielefeld

If you live in NRW, then give the multiple Chrismas Markets of Bielefeld a try. Arrive here by train or car, park your car and spend a few hours moving from one Christmas Market to another. You can find more information about them on the city’s official webpage.

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