The Essen Christmas Market is known for its glittering city center covered in thousands of golden fairy lights, its diversity in festive stalls, offering over 250 different stands with products from over 20 different countries, and its quiet and well-located location that facilitates access to other stunning Christmas markets in the country.
We first visited this North Rhine-Westphalia Christmas market in December 2017 and loved the experience of walking through a stunning festive market without having to deal with the overwhelming crowds that some other more popular Christmas markets tend to come with, and still, you are a short train ride away from some of the biggest Christmas markets in Germany.
Looking to learn more about Essen Christmas market, or perhaps need some guidance on planning your own trip there?
In this post, we’ll be covering…
- Practical Info for Essen Christmas Market
- A Brief History of Essen Christmas Market
- Why Visit Essen Christmas Market?
- Christmas Markets in Essen to Visit
- More Photos of Essen Christmas Market
We hope you find it helpful and interesting!
Practical Info for Essen Christmas Market
Here are some quick must-knows for Essen Christmas Market this year:
- Dates: Nov 17 – Dec 23, 2023
- Official website: VisitEssen.de
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A Brief History of Essen Christmas Market
Essen’s Christmas Market has only been running for about 50 years, making it a relatively young Christmas market compared to the centuries-old offerings in Munich, Nuremberg, or Frankfurt.
Nonetheless, over the years, Essen’s Christmas Market has grown to become one of the largest in the country, with about 250 stalls, alongside new additions like a Medieval Christmas Market in the city center as well.
Today, Essen remains an under-the-radar Christmas market destination for most international tourists, making it a great choice for visitors looking to get a bit more off the beaten path.
Looking for more Germany travel inspiration?
Check out these guides on the best places to visit in…
Why Visit Essen Christmas Market?
It doesn’t get as much tourist traffic as other markets in the area
Despite being one of the larger cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, Essen isn’t a well-known destination for most international tourists. This means that you’ll be less likely to encounter huge tourist crowds like in Cologne or Düsseldorf.
Although make no mistake – the Essen Christmas Market is still a highly popular affair among locals, so do expect some crowds.
It’s close to many great Christmas markets in the area
Another great feature of the Essen Christmas Market is that it’s well-connected by public transport to other excellent Christmas destinations, like the Dortmund Christmas Market (home to the world’s largest Christmas Tree), the Düsseldorf Christmas Market, and if you want to venture a bit further, the world-famous Christmas markets in Cologne.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even grab a day ticket like the SchönerTagTicket NRW which gives you unlimited access to regional trains in the state. This would allow you to cheaply and easily do day trips to other nearby Christmas markets.
Christmas Markets in Essen to Visit
The Essen Christmas market is the perfect day trip if you are coming from a bigger Christmas market in the area, it has tons to offer but it is all very centralized, which makes it easy to explore leisurely in one day.
Here is where you will find the Essen Christmas market:
The heart of the Essen Christmas market is located at the beautiful Kennedyplatz, which you will easily be able to identify by the golden glittering lights draping over the stalls that will draw you in like a moth to a Christmassy flame.
This cozy Christmas market has over 250 different stalls with all kinds of international goodies, typical festive treats, and an array of souvenirs, from your traditional handmade ornaments to some modern ones, so make sure to take it slow and explore all the stands the Essen Christmas market has to offer.
There is one section of the Essen Christmas market that might take you by surprise, and that is the Medieval-themed market that is hosted here.
This section of the Essen Christmas market will transport you back to medieval times, with sellers dressed the part, and an offering of fun souvenirs such as leather coin pouches, wooden treasure chests, and all the medieval weaponry your knightly heart might desire.
Side Street Stalls
The Essen Christmas market is mostly focused in the Kennedyplatz area, however, we consider it is worth mentioning that you can also find more stalls spread out through the city’s streets, as well as beautiful light installations sprinkled around, so make sure to also venture out of the city center.
More Photos of Christmas Market
Want to see more of what is waiting for you at the Essen Christmas market? Here are some more visuals to inspire your next trip there:
We hope you enjoyed this Essen Christmas Market Guide!
Let us know in the comments if you have any more questions about your trip – we’re always happy to help.