Lonely Planet Writer

In Pictures: get ready for the holidays as Christmas markets open in Germany

Forget Black Friday and get excited for the holidays with a classic German Christmas market.

Visitors walk among stalls at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz on the market's opening day on November 21, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week in a tradition that dates back centuries. For the next four weeks the Christmas markets, which are usually located on the main square of the hosting town or village, will provide holiday cheer with stalls selling mulled wine, sausages, Christmas ornaments and other delights.
Visitors walk among stalls at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz on the market’s opening day on 21 November, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week in a tradition that dates back centuries. Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The country’s traditional holiday markets, which date back centuries, are opening across Germany this week.

Wooden Christmas ornaments await visitors at a stall at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz on the market's opening day on November 21, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week in a tradition that dates back centuries. For the next four weeks the Christmas markets, which are usually located on the main square of the hosting town or village, will provide holiday cheer with stalls selling mulled wine, sausages, Christmas ornaments and other delights.
Wooden Christmas ornaments await visitors at a stall at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz. Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

For the next month Christmas markets, generally held on the main square of the hosting town or village, will be filled with stalls selling mulled wine, sausages, Christmas ornaments and toys.

Men roast sausages in a stall at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz on the market's opening day on November 21, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Christmas markets are opening across Germany this week in a tradition that dates back centuries. For the next four weeks the Christmas markets, which are usually located on the main square of the hosting town or village, will provide holiday cheer with stalls selling mulled wine, sausages, Christmas ornaments and other delights.
Men roast sausages in a stall at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz. Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The markets are a trip back in time to when kids played with wooden toys and merry-go-rounds were a top attraction.

Balls of filled dough await visitors at a stall at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz.
Balls of filled dough await visitors at a stall at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz. Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

While Christmas markets are often associated with Germany, they can be found in cities across Europe. While markets in some centres like Berlin are already in full swing, Nuremberg’s market, which is perhaps the most famous, opens today.