This post is also available in: Dutch

Latest update: 16 February 2024

The snowflakes flutter, the sweet smell of crêpes alternates with the hungry-making cheese fumes from the raclette stall, and I warm my hands on a glass of mulled wine. Or a Gogli – the Finnish version. I’m loving the Christmas vibes at the Christmas market in Hannover.

To the Christmas market in Hannover

I have been to the German Christmas market a few times in December. Always to Cologne or Düsseldorf – as they are just beyond the Dutch border. And I quite enjoyed it, but it was also much, much too busy. I had to squeeze through the crowds and stand in line for a long time for a drink, and it seemed like the whole of the Netherlands was hopping around there.

That’s why I’m doing it differently this year. I’m not going to the Christmas market for a day, but I’m making a weekend of it. Which is an excellent excuse to travel a bit further, so I end up in Hannover in the German region of Lower Saxony. About 4.5 hours by train or car from Amsterdam. The NS will take you to Hannover by train from €28 (in 2023) (view ticket prices here) or check Omio for more international travel options. And if you go by car, parking only costs €6 per day in the Kaufland parking garage (this one).

Christmas market in Hannover: German!

Because it is a bit further to travel, the Christmas market in Hannover is virtually free of Dutch people. Of course, some are around, but not in the quantities you see in Cologne and Düsseldorf. Here, it is mainly Germans at the Christmas market.

It’s pleasant to stroll around the Christmas market in Hannover. Of course, there are some narrower stretches where some congestion occurs, but generally, it is pleasantly busy.

Two Christmas markets in Hannover

Hannover has two Christmas markets: one at the station and the Finnish Christmas market. I’ll come back to that in a moment. First, let’s explore the Christmas market on Ernst-August-Platz. There are many Christmas stalls in front of the station with beautiful lights, treats, and the standard range of Christmas gifts (from poinsettia (we call that a Christmas star in the Netherlands) to candles and woolen socks to jewelry). I mainly focus on the food and drinks. And there is more than enough of that! Flammkuchen, bratwurst, raclette… Hot chocolate and mulled wine.

I like that there are also crafts, performances, and a light show. An animation is projected on the station building. A little further, a 4-piece wind orchestra is playing Christmas carols, and a stall has been transformed into a blacksmith shop where you can buy a handmade Christmas gift from the blacksmith.

At the back of the station is a small skating rink if you’re into that!

Google Maps location

Tip! Hannover is undoubtedly a fun city to explore. Read more about the sights in Hannover.

Finnish Christmas market in Hannover

The second Christmas market is around Ballhofplatz. Part of this one is Hannover’s Finnish Christmas Market. It has a large stall where I order Flammlachs: grilled salmon on a roll or with potatoes. And this is where I drink a Glögi instead of a mulled wine in a giant tepee tent by a fire – the main difference between the drinks is that a spirit is added. I like them both.

Google Maps location

Have lots of Christmas fun!

Walking from Ballhofplatz towards the Leine River, you will pass many more Christmas stalls with gifts, food, and drinks. Here, you can also participate in old games and sports such as Jut’s Head (not sure if I’m translating that correctly), shooting, and ax throwing. There is even a short fire show twice a day. The two artists are so in tune with each other, so be sure to take a look – and give them a tip!

And it’s nice that there are so many different food and drinks for sale. Of course, all the typical Christmas market delicacies are there, but I also discover Hot Aperol. I know (and love) Aperol Spritz, but Hot Aperol? I have tried it for you, and you can confidently order it: it is delicious!

Christmas tree forest bar: Wunschbrunnenwald Hannover

I am impressed by the Hannover Christmas market. There is so much to do and see; everything looks beautiful. There is also a Christmas tree forest bar in the historic part. The Wunschbrunnenwald Hannover is a kind of maze of enormous pine trees. Fifty pines form the backdrop to a cozy open-air bar where you can enjoy mulled wine in small nooks and crannies. The word Wunschbrunnen comes from the wishing fountain – a fountain in the pine forest that you have to turn (3 times to the left), and then you can make a wish.

Google Maps location

Christmas pyramid

There is also a beautiful Christmas bar in the middle of the shopping street where you can eat and drink. It is a kind of wooden Christmas pyramid, and it’s so atmospheric when the lights are on. Especially beautiful on the outside. Inside, it’s simply cozy, and you’re a bit warmer than outside, thanks to the plexiglass. You will find the Christmas pyramid on Kröpcke Square.

Google Maps location

Christmas market in Hannover: the practical matters

  • Location: at the station (here) and at Ballhofplatz (here)
  • Cheap parking: Tiefgarage Kaufland for €6 per day (here)
  • Date: November 27 – December 22, 2023
  • Time: from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m
  • Deposit: if you order a drink, you pay €2 to €3 pfand per person. You will get that back when you return your glass or cup. Or take it with you as a souvenir.
  • Money: take cash with you, as 99% of the Christmas stalls do not accept card payments.
Finnish Christmas Market Hannover

Hotel during the Christmas market in Hannover

Because it is quite a journey to Hannover for most of us, you might prefer to go for a whole weekend, like me. The hotels in Hannover get booked up quickly during this period. I finally end up at the YORS Boutique Hotel – but I wouldn’t call it a boutique hotel, sorry YORS. It’s near the cheap parking garage at the back of the station. It’s not the nicest street (there’s even a mini red light district), but the hotel is clean, and I’m hardly there. Great for this particular visit. View the hotel on Booking.com.

YORS Boutique Hotel Hannover

Want more Germany inspiration?

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, I might receive a small commission.

Write A Comment