What to Expect: On the Friday before Advent, the golden Christmas Angel appears on the high gallery of the medieval Frauenkirche to recite the opening prologue for one of the biggest and most famous Christmas markets of them all. Two million shoppers descend upon the 180 candy cane-striped stalls that fill the main square with crafts, ornaments, and toys. The air is perfumed with gingerbread, glühwein, and smoke swirling from bratwurst grills. Market officials enforce traditions with typical Teutonic efficiency: no plastic wreaths, recorded Christmas Muzak,
or gaudy carousels allowed.
Look For: "Nuremberg Plum People," tiny puppets made of prune limbs, fig torsos, and walnut heads with painted-on faces. Stall owners compete to win the coveted "Gold Plum Person" prize for their displays.
Dates: Nov. 25–Dec. 24