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The Christmas season is here and with it comes the joy of festive markets, full of lights, sounds, and smells. One of the most magical places for this is the Monschau Christmas market in Germany.
It’s the perfect place for a holiday adventure and there’s plenty to explore, from little Christmas markets all around the town to the glass-making demonstration.
Read on for practical tips to plan ahead your visit to the Christmas market in Monschau.
Dates: 24-25.11, 01-03.12, 08-10.12, 15-17.12, 22-23.12
(last week of November until before Christmas)
Fridays and Saturdays 11.00-21.00, Sundays 11.00-20.00
Monschau Christmas Market Video
Here’s a (very) short video to get an idea of what it’s like
Monschau Christmas Market
The beautiful Monschau Christmas Market is located in the small town of Monschau, Germany. It’s one of the most popular Christmas markets in the area, and it takes place every year during Advent (the four weeks leading to Christmas).
The market is surrounded by half-timbered houses, cobbled streets, and the impressive Monschau Castle. The whole place is lit up with Christmas lights and decorations, and the atmosphere is magical.
The Monschau Christmas Market attracts both locals and visitors from all over the world, and it’s the perfect place for a weekend. There’s something for everyone, from the carousel and glass-making demonstrations, to the delicious food and festive atmosphere.
The Christmas market in Monschau is open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
What to Do at Monschau Christmas Market
Monschau Christmas Market
You can’t help but be amazed by how cute the Monschau Christmas market is. The main Christmas market is at Marktplatz (the town’s main square).
There are also several “Christmas pockets” around the town. The town has stalls selling traditional German Christmas decorations, handmade candles and wooden toys, handmade jewelry and pottery, and local specialties like Bratwurst and Glühwein.
You can also find a range of international dishes, from Italian pasta to French crepes. The market is also home to local artisans, selling everything from leather goods to glassware.
The main market at the central square is also a great place if you have kids, with its colorful stalls and the carousels. It’s the perfect place to spend a fun-filled family day out.
Museum Rotes Haus
The Museum Rotes Haus Monschau (Red House Museum in German) offers a window to the bourgeois life of the cloth manufacturer Johann Heinrich Scheible. It was a trading center with an office, warehouse, and wool laundry, a clear sign of his success.
The museum is open 01.4-30.11, so if you are visiting for the Christmas market, there is a good chance it will be temporarily closed.
Next to Rotes Haus, you will find one of the most iconic views of Monschau with the half-timbered houses. At the back of the photo you can see Haller-Ruine, the ruins of the old tower of Monschau.
Don’t forget to snap a photo! Also check the Sherlock Holmes statue at the corner (it is made by Peter Sussner, see more about the artist right below)
Monschau Burg (Monschau Castle)
The Monschau castle is visible from the other side of Rotes Haus. Today it is a youth hostel and it hosts concerts and operas in the summer.
At one of the “Christmas pockets” you can find Peter Sussner making these beautiful angel statues. Take a photo between the two angels and speak with the artist. He loves his work so much and he is such a warm and funny person
PS: Make sure you take a look at the back side of the angels to see who has ordered 🙂 Spoiler: looks like Elon Musk and many more are fans!
What to Eat at Monschau Christmas Market
The Monschau Christmas Market is a great place to sample some of the local treats. Traditional German dishes like Bratwurst (sausage), Kartoffelsalat (poato salad), and Reibekuchen (potato pancake) are all available, as well as international dishes like French crepes.
Monschau also produces its own mustard at mustard at Senfmühle (Mustard Mill), where the 5th and 6th generation of owners is producing it in a similar way as their ancestors.
There’s also a range of festive sweets and treats, from Lebkuchen (a honey-sweetened German cookie) to hot chocolate and mulled wine. Aachener Printen are a type of Lebkuchen that are made in Aachen and Monschau has its own version, Monschauer Printen.
Do not forget to taste some local delicacies like Dütchen (cream filled biscuit cones) and Vennbrocken (pralines).
Where to Eat in Monschau
The best stall to eat something quick at the Christmas market in Monschau and where people are always queueing is just a few minutes away from the main Christmas market at Marktplatz. The exact spot is here.
We have tried several restaurants throughout the years. We especially liked the restaurant at the other opposite side of the Rur river to Rotes Haus. If the weather is good, the view is excellent. It is also centrally located to spend the night
Hotel HORCHEM & BRAUKELLER Monschau
Rurstraße 14, 52156 Monschau, Germany
Shopping at the Christmas Market
The market is a great place to pick up some unique gifts and souvenirs. There are stalls selling traditional German decorations, handmade jewelry and pottery, and local specialties like Bratwurst and Glühwein. You can also find a range of international culinary delights, from Swiss tartiflette to French crepes
Very close to Marktplatz you will find Weihnachtshaus (Christmas house in German). There you can shop everything related to Christmas all year round
Markt 6, 52156 Monschau, Germany
Watching the Art of Glass Making
On your way to the main Christmas market you pass by a vintage handmade market and Glashütte (glasshouse). This indoor market is vintage – not necessarily in a good way.
Be warned that this is not ideal for toddlers, as there are glass works and more fragile items at the handmade market – but the glass-making demonstration makes it a worthwhile short stop with older kids. There is a small café/restaurant too inside.
The market features a glass-making demonstration, where kids can also help with making a glass ball for a small fee. The demonstration is run by experienced artisans, who show the basics of glass-making and the kid can help create their own unique piece. It’s the perfect way to get creative and take home a special souvenir from your trip.
Photos of the glass-making demonstration are not allowed, so there is no photo for this section of the post
What to Do with Kids: Erlebnis Museum
Right next to the vintage handmade market mentioned above you will find the Erlebnis Museum. This is a museum with over 1,000 specimens of taxodermy, so it could make for a short visit in combination with the handmade market, as they are next to each other. It is also good value for money
What to Do with Kids: Carousel
One of the highlights of the Monschau Christmas Market is the antique carousel. It’s a great way for the kids to have some fun and get into the festive spirit. The carousel turns slowly, so it is great for kids.
Be very careful with estimating your toddler’s ability to stay on the carousel even though it turns slowly and it seems relatively safe. A toddler can still decide they want to get off the turning carousel immediately and without a warning and fall (ask me how I know..)
A Family’s Guide To Christmas Markets: Tips on planning your visit with kids
The following tips will help you know what to expect and to plan ahead your Christmas market experience with kids
Making Memories at Monschau Christmas Market
The Monschau Christmas Market is the perfect place to make some special holiday memories. From the carousel and the iconic views, to the delicious food and festive atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to celebrate the holiday season.
- Every Saturday Nikolaus visits the Monschau Christmas market!
- Cost: free entrance
- There is a carousel and stalls at the central square, a few small Christmas pockets around the town as well
- You can find more info on the official site of the Christmas market here
How to get to Monschau
Reaching Monschau by train
There is no train station in Monschau. The closest you can get by train is either Aachen in Germany or Eupen on the Belgian side. From there you need to take a bus to Monschau.
We use this search engine to find the best deals in train tickets. You can compare and book journeys by train, bus and flight.
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Reaching Monschau by bus
If you want to use public transport, then you can either get to the train station in Aachen or Eupen (on the Belgian side), then take a bus to Monschau
Reaching Monschau by car
If you drive to the entry point of Monschau, you will redirected to the nearest parking place. There are several parking places. If the first one is full, then you need to drive a bit further until you reach one with a place to park. See more details right below.
We always use this search engine to find the best car rental deal. They compare all major companies, like Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, and more, and you get the lowest price. The earlier you book a car, the lower the price. You also get free cancelation up to 48 hours before pick up, which is great if anything happens
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Parking at Monschau during Christmas Market
Where Can You Park in Monschau during the Christmas Market?
The last few years you can only park at specific places and take the shuttle to the Christmas market. The market is not easy to get to, as you have to park at one of the available parking places and then take a shuttle to get to the town. See the map for parking places here.
How Often Does the Shuttle in Monschau Run?
The official website says that the shuttle runs every 10 minutes; the driver told us it runs every 15 minutes, but in reality, it was more like 20 minutes, and the crowds were piling up at the end of the day. About half of the people waiting to leave did not get in the shuttle.
Is Visiting Monschau Easy with Kids?
Visiting Monschau was more manageable when we could park closer to the town center and a lot easier before we had kids. As you can imagine, waiting in the cold to get the shuttle at the end of the day is quite tricky – especially with young kids in tow.
If you plan on visiting the Monschau Christmas market with kids, it might be a good idea to dress the kids warmly and leave a bit earlier to avoid the crowds.
Read also: How to Dress Kids for Winter
Although we love the picturesque little town and have been visiting every year for over 10 years (except 2021 when it was canceled), unfortunately, it is not very well organized.
Should You Visit Aachen or Monschau Christmas Market?
Deciding between Aachen Christmas Market and Monschau Christmas Market for a festive family holiday can be tricky. Ideally you would do both over a weekend, since they are located so close to one another. But what if you can only visit one of the two?
Read also: Aachen Christmas Market
While both markets offer a wonderful selection of Christmas delights, Aachen has a few advantages when it comes to traveling.
First, Aachen is more organized and less crowded than Monschau. In Monschau you can park at one of the parkings available and take the shuttle to the center of the town. It is important to realize that this arrangement is not ideal especially if you have kids when you want to leave. The kids are tired after a long day and having to wait in the cold to take the shuttle is really too much with young kids.
There are also more things to do with kids in Aachen, such as the Aachen zoo and carousels.
Aachen also has more accommodation options and is closer to other attractions, like the Aachen Cathedral. All things considered, if you’re looking for an easier or a more family-friendly option, Aachen Christmas Market is the perfect choice.
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So, here are the 10 best Christmas markets near Brussels to visit with kids and practical tips to plan ahead.
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Weisser Stein is a great place for family fun in snow with a great slope for skiing and sledding, a small playground, a restaurant and a forest to enjoy nature even more. It is about 30 minutes drive from Monschau.
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Read more: Hautes Fagnes
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Jo Koni (Georgia Konidari) is a writer and the creator of World Wild Schooling, a digital platform dedicated to travel. She is on a mission to explore the globe and share her experiences with fellow travelers. You can follow Jo on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.