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Christmas markets in Germany - Monschau Christmas market - market square with Christmas stalls and people walking around

Monschau Christmas market – the cutest Christmas market in Germany

by Daniela

German Christmas markets are perhaps the most popular Christmas markets around the world, but which one is the cutest and most romantic one? I don’t think anyone will argue with me, if I say that this is the Monschau Christmas market. Once chosen for the most beautiful Christmas market in Germany, the Christmas market in Monschau is as if coming from a Christmas tale – charming, nostalgic, dreamy.

Read more: Want to visit more than one Christmas market in Germany? Read here which are the best Christmas markets in Germany.

This post has been last updated on 30 August 2020.

Have you ever been to a fairy-tale Christmas market? Visit the Christmas market in Monschau for authentic Christmas experience!Click To Tweet


Once I was working with a German girl and when I asked her which place in Germany offers the most authentic Christmas spirit, she did not hesitate – Monschau. So, I’ve been wanting for many years to visit the place, but life always got in the way until last year when we finally headed to Monschau. I was happy as a child as it was a dream coming true! Would it live to my expectations? Will it be that beautiful as in my dreams? Of course I have idealized the image of it, so I was a bit concerned that it might turn into another Disney-type Christmas trap.

Well, the German girl was right, and my expectations were even exceeded.

Read more: Visiting Monschau in the summer? Read here about what to see and do in Monschau in the summer.

half-timbered houses alongside a river, Monscahu and the Rur River in Germanyhalf-timbered houses and a wheel of a water mill in the foreground, Monschau in Germany

The Christmas market in Monschau

We arrived in the early afternoon and I got immediately excited – half-timbered houses alongside the meandering Rur River – what can be more romantic than that? Monschau looked like a perfect snow-globe village minus the snow. We weren’t lucky to have a white Christmas that year, but we didn’t care.

Tip: Fascinated about half-timbered houses just like me? Visit Blankenheim – another quaint village in the Eifel region. It’s at about 40 km from Monschau.

 


The smell of cinnamon and clove lingered in the air and even before we reached the market square with the Christmas stalls I was dragged by an invisible hand into the first Konditorei. I had to try those chocolate covered printen and all other things which names I didn’t know! It was hard to resist the temptation to grab every possible treat, so I bought only a pack of traditional printen – a sort of lebkuchen popular in the Aachen region. They told me at the shop that the recipe of this particular traditional-style printen was kept with the family since the 18th century! And of course, it was a secret.

various sweet biscuits and cookies behind a shop window with Christmas decoration, a shop window of a Konditorei in Monschau, Germany

My boyfriend had to drag me out of the shop, as we came for the Christmas market, or not. The inner child in me was jumping around with joy from one shop window to another. Finally, we reached the market square. There were numerous stalls offering anything Christmassy – ornaments, hand-carved nutcrackers, mulled wine. Did I mention mulled wine? It was getting chilly and it was time for little something, so we headed to the first vendor to get some glühwein and reibekuchen (fried potato pancakes).

a market square with Christmas market stalls and a Christmas tree in the middle, the Christmas market in Monschau, Germany

Then we walked along more festively decorated streets and houses and shops. The Christmas market continued further on the streets of this little place. At one point I saw a street going up that promised nice views and we were not disappointed. The street turned into a path and we reached the ruins of a tower – Der Haller, a 13th century watchtower part of the town’s fortifications. From there, Monschau looked really like a snow-globe town waiting for someone to shake and let the snow fall. We could spot the Castle of Monschau (Burg Monschau), built in the 13th century and functioning today as a youth hostel.


ruins of a medieval tower on top of a hill, the Haller tower in Monschau Germanygrey houses from above with a church spire and a river crossing the town, a bridge with Christmas stalls on, Monschau in Germanyhalf-timbered houses with grey-tiled roofs seem from above and a castle on the top of the hill, Monschau and the Castle of Monschau in Germany

It started getting dark, so we got back to the town. It was even more magical than in the afternoon! All Christmas lights were lit up and it felt as if we were in that miniature Christmas village that I put each year beside the Christmas tree, only without the train circling around it. OK. I don’t have that one at home either. So, the illusion was complete.


It was time for another glühwein, this time paired with a bradwurst. The merriment was everywhere in the air and I could hear Christmas carols coming from the market. We walked once again through all the streets and the market square to enjoy the town all lit up and then it was time to head back home.

tiny street with houses decorated for Christmas, Monschau Germanylovely decorated facade of a house with Christmas decoration, Christmas decorations in Monschau Germanya house with Christmas decorations on it, Christmas in Monschau Germany

Read more: Need more Christmas markets inspo? Read here about the most beautiful Christmas markets in Belgium.

Tips about visiting the Monschau Christmas Market

The opening times for 2020 aren’t set yet due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019 the opening hours were: Friday & Saturday – 11:00 – 21:00, Sunday – 11:00 – 20:00, 26 November – closed

At the market: When you buy glühwein at the Christmas market, they will ask you a deposit for the mug, so don’t get surprised by the price! When you return the mug, you get your money back. Otherwise, it makes a nice souvenir.

How to get to Monschau

As Monschau is located close to the Belgian border, it is a perfect destination for a day trip from Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg or even France. We went to Monschau by car from the Netherlands.

There are parking spaces around the old town, but as the Christmas market is very popular, it’s difficult to find a free parking spot. It took us about hour and half to find where to park. My advice – take the advice on the web page of the Christmas market and park in the nearby Höfen from where you can get a shuttle bus to Monschau, or arrive in the morning.

Where to stay in Monschau

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. If you book your hotel using the links below immediately after you have visited my page, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. 

If you decide that it’s too much of a hassle with the parking (which actually is, but still doable), you can opt for spending the night in Monschau. Well, this is actually not a bad idea! Perfect for a long weekend getaway in November/December, as the market is open only on weekends.

Here is my choice of hotels in Monschau:

Hotel Graf Rolshausen – a super charming 3-star hotel located in a 16th-century building in the centre of Monschau.

Check prices and availability for Hotel Graf Rolshausen here.

Der kleine Globetrotter – a lovely B&B, simple but with great location.

Check prices and availability for Der kleine Globetrotter here.

As the Christmas market in Monschau is very popular, hotels might be full during the weekends. Another idea would be to stay in the nearby Höfen and go to Monschau by shuttle bus (see above section for more info).

Höfener Wirtshaus – a simple hotel with parking which is handy if you are going by car to Monschau.

Check prices and availability for Höfener Wirtshaus here.

Pin this for later!

a building with Christmas decorations and overlay text: Monschau Christmas Market in Germany
a few pictures of cities with overlay text: Best city breaks in Europe in fall and best hotels to stay in Europe in fall

 

Have you ever been to a Christmas market in Germany? Which is your favorite one? Share in the comments below. Do you have questions about your visit to Monschau, ask them below and I will try to help you.

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