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Top 5 Christmas markets in the Black Forest
Top 5 Christmas markets in the Black Forest

Top 5 Christmas markets in the Black Forest

Five places to visit in the Black Forest during the Christmas season

Author: Freeontour, Header image: Dieter Wissing / Kultur- und Tourismus GmbH Gengenbach

Latest update: October 23rd, 2023 

The days are getting shorter and Christmas is getting closer – 'tis the season for Christmas markets in Germany! And they are set to open soon, offering mulled wine, gingerbread, chestnuts, roasted almonds and other delicious delicacies while spreading festive cheer among visitors and locals. Many campers hope these festivities will be surrounded by a snow-covered landscape. We can't promise snow, but Freeontour has selected five of the most beautiful Christmas markets for a motorhome road trip in the Black Forest – well worth visiting with or without snow.

1. The Christmas Market in Freiburg, the capital of the Black Forest

The Christmas market at Rathausplatz in Freiburg's city centre opens on 23rd November 2023. More than 120 market stalls invite you to discover handicrafts, Christmas decorations and delicacies. You can treat yourself to a "Freiburg Red" sausage, sweet waffle or local mulled wine between St Martin's Church, the town hall and Unterlindenplatz daily until 23rd December. And the many pubs, cafés and wine bars in the romantic Old Town are the perfect place to rest, warm up and watch the world go by.

Pitches & Parking:
There are two RV pitches in Freiburg relatively close to the city centre from where you can either walk or use public transport. About a 15-minute walk from the city centre, the Stellplatz Freiburg motorhome park also offers short-stay parking. The Extrol station car park is slightly further away, but could be practical if you have to refuel anyway and want to save on parking fees.

2. The Ravenna Gorge Christmas Market

If you plan on visiting the Freiburg Christmas market, you should also schedule a detour to the Ravenna Gorge in the Upper Black Forest. There is a small Christmas market here with around 40 market stalls under the illuminated viaduct of the Höllentalbahn railway line every Friday to Sunday between 24th November and 17th December 2023. On Fridays the Christmas market is open from 3pm to 9pm, on Saturdays from 2pm to 9pm and on Sundays from 2pm to 8pm.

You will not only find traditional handicrafts and local cuisine, but can also enjoy Christmas concerts. Admission costs €5.50 (before 4 pm) and 7.50€ (after 4 pm) for adults and is free for children up to the age of 15. Please note: tickets for the Christmas market have to be bought online in advance as they will not be sold on site. There is also a beautifully illuminated nativity trail in the forest near the Ravenna Gorge that tells the Christmas story with carved wooden figures.

Arrival & pitches:
The Ravenna Gorge Christmas market cannot be reached by motorhome or campervan and does not have parking facilities. Instead, shuttle buses run to and from Hinterzarten/Himmelreich, but you will have to buy a ticket. Park & Ride parking is available there, but it can get overcrowded quickly during the Advent weekends. An alternative is the Bankenhof campsite, which is open all year round and has motorhome parking spaces just before the barrier. Shuttle buses also run from Freiburg.

3. The Gengenbach Advent Calendar and Advent Market

The Gengenbach Advent calendar has been held here for more than 20 years and houses the world's largest Advent calendar according to town officials. Thanks to its 24 windows, Gengenbach town hall will be transformed into an Advent house calendar from 30th November to 23rd December 2023, with a new window being "opened" every evening at 6pm until 23rd December.

They have even been known to conceal real art treasures, e.g. works by well-known artists such as Otmar Alt, Quint Buchholz, Marc Chagall, Tomi Ungerer, Jan Peter Tripp and Andy Warhol – but in all likelihood not the originals. The Advent calendar can be seen up to and including 7th January 2024. In addition to the Advent calendar, there is an accompanying programme on the stage in front of the town hall that starts at 5 pm on weekdays and 3 pm at the weekends.

From 30th November to 23rd December 2023, the Gengenbach Advent Market will once again be held around the Advent Calendar House, which will then be open daily until 8 pm.

Parking & pitches:
The WoMo-Park Gengenbach motorhome park is ideal as you can simply walk to the city centre from here. You can also combine the route with a nice stroll along the river.

4. Ice skating and Christmas markets in Karlsruhe

Visitors to Karlsruhe in 2023 can get into Christmas spirit in the "Christmas City". Thus, between 28th November and 23rd December 2023, Karlsruhe's Christkindlesmarkt will once again be spread across the Marktplatz and Friedrichsplatz. In addition, there will be a medieval Christmas market in front of the Karlsburg in Durlach. After the break in 2022, you can now also look forward to the traditional ice rink in front of the Karlsruhe Baroque Palace again in 2023. From 28th November 2023 to 28th January 2024, you can once again put on your skates and skate around the monument to Grand Duke Karl Friedrich. You'll be able to rent ice skates if you don't have any of your own. Moreover, you'll also be able to try out Bavarian curling, but not on ice.

Parking & pitches:
There aren't many places where you can park your motorhome in Karlsruhe itself. The best option is the motorhome park at the Maxau Marina, with public transport within walking distance. A good alternative are the motorhome parking spaces on Ettlinger Allee, which can accommodate five campervans.

5. Triberg Christmas Magic between Christmas and New Year's Eve

We recommend anyone heading to the Black Forest with their campervan after Christmas Eve to make a detour to Triberg Christmas Magic near Triberg in the central Black Forest. The cascades of the Triberg Waterfalls will provide the backdrop for a romantic winter scenario once more from 25th to 30th December 2023. More than a million lights will then put the spotlight on the winter waterfall area. It will all be accompanied by music and shows on two stages, a magical children's world with a storyteller, a labyrinth, light castle and children's world stage as well as a fire show that transforms the winter waterfall into a fairy tale of ice and fire five times a day. There will also be a spectacular fireworks display at the end of each evening from 27th to 30th December.

Please note: tickets for Triberg Christmas Magic 2023 should be purchased online in advance. However, you will also be able to buy tickets on the spot. 

Parking & pitches:
Free shuttle buses run from the car park at the train station, the Lidl car park and Schonachbach to the area around the Triberg Waterfalls. There is no motorhome park or campsite in Triberg. The nearest place to stay is the Lynx Camp & Camping Resort in Schönwald. There are a few free pitches at the Gasthaus Stadt Frankfurt restaurant and five piches at the natural outdoor pool in St Georgen.

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