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Culture

Christmastime Is Here Again

Mulled wine, gingerbread cookies and traditional German wood carvings can be found at the hundreds of traditional Christmas markets across Germany. DW-WORLD presents a guide to the best.

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Traditional Christmas markets opened across Germany this weekend

As the run-up to Christmas begins in earnest, Germany's Christmas markets are opening their doors nationwide in one of the country's favorite yuletide traditions.

With their fairy lights and traditional wood trading huts, Germans and visitors alike flock to town squares all over the country to sample the festive treats on offer.

If you’re looking to stock up on Christmas tree decorations or simply sample some traditional German Christmas fare, then this is the place to be. From traditional wood carvings to candles, mulled wine and gingerbread biscuits to roasted almonds, the markets showcase Germany’s artisan and culinary delights.

Here's DW-WORLD's guide to the most popular:

The Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg is arguably the king of all Christmas markets. Hundreds of vendors will peddle their wares through Christmas Eve. It's open daily -- from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Thursdays through Saturdays until 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Visitors to Aachen's Christmas market, located on the western German border with Holland and Belgium, can sample countless varieties of the city's famous and delectable specialty, spicy flat Printen cookies, which often includes anise, coriander seed, cinammon or cloves. The market is open through Dec. 22, daily from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Cologne's largest Christmas market (there are four in total) is set in front of the city's imposing cathedral and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. through Dec. 23. It also boasts the tallest Christmas tree in the Rhineland region.

In the German capital, Berlin, there are over 50 separate markets taking place this year, but the biggest is on the city's grand central boulevard, Unter den Linden. This year, it's open daily until Dec. 26, with opening hours Monday through Thursday from midday until 8:30 p.m. On weekends, it's open until 9:30 p.m

In the former West German capital city of Bonn, the Christmas market is a mere three-minute walk from the main train station. It's open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Travelers to Southern Germany are in for a special treat in Stuttgart. The city's Christmas market, founded in 1692, is one of Germany's oldest. The market features more than 230 stands spread out over 3,356 square meters of downtown Stuttgart. It's open daily through Dec. 23 -- on Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Even more artisan wares await visitors to the eastern German city of Leipzig, where the local Christmas market is home to 257 craftsmen and other purveyors of all the Weihnachts spirit money can buy. The market runs through Dec. 22 and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.