The “Weiße Zauber” on Hamburg’s Jungfernstieg became one of the first of several Christmas markets to open Monday (November 21). Wafts of roasted almonds, mulled wine and traditional pastries came from the many elegant pagoda tents set up for the season of Advent. Around 6 million visitors flock to 16 Christmas markets in the city every year. These include many smaller markets that open for one weekend only in the run-up to Christmas in addition to several other markets in places across the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.
Drag queens and “strip angels”
Drag queen Olivia Jones opened Hamburg’s “horniest Christmas market” aka Santa Pauli last Thursday (November 17). The Santa Pauli market offers traditional Christmas goods and atmosphere combined with flippant neighbourhood-culture. Excellent parties with “hot angels” are held in the Santa Pauli Strip-Zelt literally the striptease marquee, and in the Pink Christmas Disco of Wunderbar Hamburg. The “Winter Pride” market hosted by the lesbian and gay community offers both mulled wine and opportunities for chats. Various show acts offer weekend entertainment.
From hatters to lantern makers
Roncalli’s Historic Christmas Market in front of Hamburg’s City Hall offers traditional fare such as gingerbread and beautiful handmade goods. Around 80 dealers including hatters, glass blowers, lantern makers and amber grinders tout their wares there in the run-up to Christmas. The stylish Christmas Market in HafenCity boasts a splendid Christmas tree in Überseeboulevard as well as a skating-rink, a big laser show and fireworks on November 26.
Enjoy an evening with workmates
The Christmas market on Fleetinsel, near both the port and Alster Lake, conjures up a maritime feeling. Two vintage sailing ships from the Oevelgönne Harbour Museum will dock in Fleet for the season of Advent. Food on sale is hearty and ranges from Nordic green cabbage with sausages and bacon, suckling pig to potato cakes and other traditional dishes.
Singer Jojo Cumbana will perform several times at the Christmas market on Gänsemarkt this year. The market near the Lessing memorial has attractions such as tarte flambée, burnt punch and traditional handicrafts and its central location makes it popular for enjoying an evening out with workmates.
Visiting Hamburg city centre becoming experience
The season of Advent traditionally attracts record visitor numbers to Hamburg. Retailers say November and December are the most profitable months of the year. Turnover in north Germany over the previous year (nominal) could increase by up to 2.5 per cent, Handelsverband Nord has predicted. This would account for around EUR 7.5 billion of turnover in November and December. Brigitte Nolte, Manager of the Hamburg branch of Handelsverband Nord, said. “The many Christmas markets turn a visit to the city of Hamburg into an experience and make it even more competitive with online business.”