In the already romantic Altstadt (Old Town) of Rüdesheim am Rhein, the Christmas Market gives this town the final touches of becoming a real-life fairy tale village. The Rüdesheim Christmas Market has 124 delightful stands with handmade crafts, delicious food and warm drinks that will put you right into the Holiday Spirit. The market prides itself on being the ‘Christmas Market of Nations’ and it offers international specialties across the market.
Compared to other markets, here you will notice there are many visitors from around the world. This also includes the attractions of many people from the daily docking Rhein River cruises.
Magic of the Old Town
It seems not too long ago when I was walking the same winding enchanting streets in the extreme summer heat during the Rüdesheim’s annual wine festival. However the winter is surely upon us and the magic of the old town has transformed nicely along with the seasons. Friends gather just like before, but this time there are no fest tables. During the holiday festivities, people stand a little closer for warmth and the chilled Riesling has been swapped for warm drinks like Glühwein (mulled wine).
Hover Above the Market
A very fun and special aspect of the Rüdesheim Market is that you can take a cable car (Seilbahn) and hover over the market. You can take in the spectacular view from the Niederwalddenkmal monument located high above the hills.
The cable cars run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and a round trip ticket costs 7 Euros.
Before getting in your cable car, you have the option to buy Sekt or Glühwein to go! You can also borrow a blanket from a basket to stay warm on your journey. (Seriously…how romantic?!)
They call this the ‘Silent Ride’ and it really is so perfectly quiet up there. You can relax in the serenity and gaze upon the beauty of the middle Rhein.
The ride is about 10 minutes up to the Niederwald landscape park. Here you will feel like you on the top of the Rheingau. Commemorating the 1871 Unification of Germany, you can also explore the Niederwalddenkmal monument.
On the way back down I saw a familiar face of a jolly man we all know and love! Clearly, he was enjoying the Seilbahn as well!
Great Items to Buy and Treats to Taste
Back on the streets of the market, which is spread out all over the Old Town, there are great items to buy and treats to taste. If the lyrics “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” ever had you wondering what they actually tasted like, here is your chance!
After the wind from the hills gave me a chill, I wanted to try the Christmas drink that rules this town- the Rüdesheimer Coffee. Created with flames right at your table for a special demonstration, the delicious local coffee is offered in most cafes and restaurants in the town.
You can enjoy such a cozy and delightful atmosphere!
Rüdesheim Coffee was invented by a German chef in 1957. It is served in its own specially designed mug, which is very similar to an Irish coffee mug. First you add sugar cubes and Asbach Uralt brandy, that is burned and stirred for a minute. Then you add strong coffee and a big thick topping of whipped cream followed by the sprinkling of vanilla sugar. It is finally garnished with chocolate flakes on top. This festive drink packs a punch while warming you up!
Coffee is done and I am ready to hit the streets again. I ventured to the beautiful center square where they have the main drinking stalls and a lot of many food vendors.
I got my favorite market treat called Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes), and they did not disappoint! I have always had apple sauce with my pancakes before, but this time I tried them with Preiselbeeren (like our cranberry sauce). It tasted amazing!
Going to the Rüdesheim Christmas Market of Nations is nothing short of a dreamlike day. I am leaving with a bag of hand-crafted Christmas decorations and a belly filled with wonderful treats. Do not miss this Christmas Market as it runs from November 23 to December 23.
How to Get There
By car Rüdesheim is approximately 30 minutes west of Wiesbaden, 1 hour and 20 minutes north of Kaiserslautern and 2 hours and 40 minutes north of Stuttgart.
Author’s Profile: Gemma is a mom, a veteran and an Army civilian living in Wiesbaden, Germany. With New Jersey roots, she is enjoying her extended European vacation.
Featured Image Photo Credit: © Gemma