It was the best of times, and the worst of times. Who couldn’t ignore the magical charm of fairly tale-like stands and shops full of gingerbread, Christmas decorations and novelties? Of course, sifting through tons of unique items in an outdoor Christmas market sounds like a nice afternoon, but when rain falls heavily from a sunless sky, the ambience seems less than perfect.
My family and I visited the annual Mannheim Christmas market last week, because no Christmas in Germany is complete without stopping by the stands circling the city’s water tower. Although Christmas markets, or Weinachtsmarkts, are quite ubiquitous throughout the country, we’ve shopped Mannheim’s holiday attraction for almost 10 years. More than a simple trip, a sojourn to the southwestern German city brings back fond memories of my youth – from eating cookies laced with colored frosting to witnessing mesmerizing tree ornaments so shiny I could see my reflection.
Below are pictures I took while wandering the market whilst attempting to keep dry.
This is right before crossing the street to enter the market. You can see Mannheim’s iconic water tower soaring above the shops.
Meat and more meat populate several eateries across the market – from bratwurst to frankfurters set cozily into a warm bun, or brötchen.
Sauteed mushrooms can satisfy the vegetarian or passerby looking for a light snack.
Cotton candy, heart-shaped gingerbread, gummy bears and more are one of the more popular attractions at the market. After all, what sweet tooth could resist bon bons in every color imaginable?
In addition to food, the markets offer interesting knick knacks difficult to find in other places, including this gorilla mask made out of a coconut shell.
Imported merchandise are present as well, such as this Indian pottery.
German village figurines permit the ardent collector to create his or her own idyllic village.
Adults can buy toys for their children while sauntering about as well – actually, Christmas markets are a kid’s paradise. Toys, candy, carnival rides and more furnish a fun atmosphere, and for once, dreary weather can’t damper a child’s afternoon.
No Christmas market is complete without some glühwein, or spiced wine. I didn’t stop for a drink, but I highly recommend it. You can even purchase mugs made specifically for the market as a keepsake to remember your time shopping in the snow.
Even the trash cans are Christmas-themed!
And, in typical German fashion, some storefronts contained airbrushed cartoon characters. I never understood this tendency/”art movement”, but alas, they were still a common sight.
Although the market closes today, I’ll forever remember the first time I visited 15 years ago when I first lived in Germany. Now, I can legally drink glühwein unlike then, but for some reason I still felt like a child when crossing into the familiar territory. And I was thrilled.
7 thoughts on “Meandering Through Mannheim’s Christmas Market”
Your photos put me in Germany again. I LOVE German Christmas markets! One of my favorite memories from living abroad is going there last Christmas. My husband and I had such a great time. I would love to go again. One day :)
I’m glad the photos helped you reminisce! And who knows, maybe you’ll turn up coming here again – although the weather isn’t too great at the moment. Thanks for reading (:
Great photos, loved feeling like I was there again, too. (Yep, we also lived in Mannheim at one time) The pottery you showed looks Tunisian, maybe Moroccan, lovely! Hands-of-Fatima hors d’oeuvres dishes cracked me up!
Looks like we’ve lived in the same places (: And yes, they have practically every random item there imaginable, which definitely adds to the experience. Thanks for commenting!
Wow! Looks like such a fun market:) one day when I visit Germany, will deffinatley note this down!✨
It’s definitely worth visiting, and the best thing is that most cities throughout Germany have their own, so you’d probably have several close by wherever you are! Thanks for reading!