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What to wear to German Christmas Markets

What to wear to German Christmas Markets

Are you wondering what to wear to German Christmas Markets? In this guide we cover everything you need to pack for Christmas Markets in Germany no matter whether you are visiting Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg or one of the smaller Christmas Markets spread across the country.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Considerations for your Christmas Market Packing List

View of German Christmas Market in Munich
What to pack for Christmas Markets in Germany

When starting to put together your Christmas Market Packing List there are two main things to keep in mind:

  • The weather and
  • walking.

The weather in Germany will really depend on the area you are visiting. However you should prepare for cold weather which could also include snow, ice and rain.

Also, many people choose to visit the Christmas Markets at night. Therefore it is important to pack for nighttime temperatures as well as day time ones, which are significantly cooler.

Also, the other main consideration is your feet. There is nothing worse than having sore feet when traveling and any Christmas Market vacation comes with a lot of walking. Therefore having comfortable walking shoes is an absolute must visiting the Christmas Markets in Europe. Just remember to have a pair that are versatile enough to deal with various weather conditions (more on this below).

Note: if you are wondering what to wear to Christmas Markets in Europe because you are taking a Christmas Market River Cruise be sure to check out this post.

What to Wear to German Christmas Markets

Woman holding mug at German Christmas Market
What to wear to German Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets in Germany have to be a bucket list item for anyone traveling to Europe in Winter. However they can be challenging to pack for due to the variations of temperatures across Germany in Winter and the cold conditions you are likely to face.

In essence I would say the key is comfort. This usually translates to a Winter travel capsule wardrobe full of lots of light layers, comfy shoes and of course a thick coat and winter accessories.

In this section of the guide we will tell you what to wear to German Christmas Markets for the weather and dress codes, before telling you what other things you need to add to your German Christmas Market packing list.

couple at christmas market
what to pack for christmas market river cruise


A coat is absolutely an essential for German Christmas Markets. For any Christmas Market in Germany we would recommend packing a thick coat with some insulation that also has some waterproofing and wind resistance. That is because in Germany you are likely to get wind, rain, ice and potentially some snow at the Christmas Markets.

And generally speaking people at Christmas markets, both locals and tourists will be dressed for the weather and practically before anything else. Therefore pick the warmest coat you have instead of being led by a style. For more information on how to pack Winter Coats for travel check out this post

Some of our favorite brands of coats for Northern Europe include:

Click here to shop coats for Northern Europe. 

Winter Accessories

Winter accessories are a must for visiting German Christmas Markets. They are a very practical item for being outdoors in Germany, particularly for strolling around the Christmas markets at night. We recommend at a minimum packing a hat, scarf and glove set. However ear muffs are also useful for very cold winters.

And be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.

Click here to shop winter accessories


Layers are the most important thing to pack for visiting Christmas Markets in Germany, or anywhere in Northern Europe for that matter. And in my opinion the layers should be multiple and light layers rather than chunky sweaters and bulky jumpers for top layers.

That is becase the latter are bulky and are harder to pack, especially if you are trying to pack a minimalist capsule wardrobe and not overpack.

Instead by having lots of lighter layers that can be combined as part of a sudoku packing list, yo can take them on and off as extra layers are required.

Also, I personally never travel in Winter without a merino wool sweater. Merino wool is one of my favorite fabrics to wear in Winter especially for Christmas Markets.

That is because merino wool provides extra warmth as it is an insulating fabric but is also compact unlike a thick knit. This means it is easy to pack, and everyone knows Winter is hard to pack for.

Also merino wool doesn’t absorb smell as quickly as other fabrics.

We also would always pack a festive sweater / festive jumper for a Christmas Markets in Germany to help you get into the festive spirit.

If you don’t want to go full on ugly festive jumper then you could pick something sparkly or glittery instead.

Click here to shop layers for Europe


Warmer trousers are definitely required for Christmas Markets in Germany. My favorite trousers for Christmas markets are jeans. However for rainy days I also like a cord pant.

Note: I would personally avoid dresses for visiting Christmas Markets as I find it just too cold. However if you do want to wear a dress I recommend having some thick thermal leggings or tights underneath.

T Shirts

T Shirts are a great base for Christmas Markets. We recommend packing more long-sleeve tops over short sleeve tees. And if you feel the cold you may want a thermal base layer too.


For those traveling to Germany in Winter we always recommend packing thicker, flannel pjs no matter the destination.

Underwear and Warm Socks

Goes without saying really. However I think socks are worth talking about in a bit more depth. There is nothing I hate more than having cold feet and for Christmas markets you will be spending a LOT of time outside.

Therefore picking the right socks is a really important part of my packing list for Christmas Markets. I would either pack some thick hiking socks or merino wool socks to make sure your feet stay warm strolling around the stalls at the Christmas Markets.

Shop merino wool socks here.

Thermal Base Layers / Thermal Underwear (optional)

A thermal base layer comprising of leggings and a long sleeve top don’t need to be on everyone’s packing list. It really depends on how much you feel the cold. My husband never packs them for Europe in December however I always have them.

Shop thermal base layers here.

Best Shoes for German Christmas Markets

Ankle Boots

Ankle boots are my number one pick for visiting German Christmas Markets. To cope with the weather, we recommend picking something like a Chelsea boot or Dr Martens with a thick sole with good grip. Click here to shop ankle boots.

Note: Ankle boots are easier to pack than knee high boots. However if you feel more comfortable and have space then yo can pack knee high boots too.

For further information on how to pack boots for travel check out this post.


After boots, sneakers are the next best shoe for Christmas markets in Germany. Comfortable shoes are important for Christmas Markets as you will be doing a lot walking. And I don’t think sneakers can be beaten on the comfort front.

My favorite sneaker brands for travel are  Hoka and AllBirds. Although I love the versatility of a white sneaker these can get discolored quickly if you visit Christmas Markets on a wet or icy day.

I love the Ecco brand of sneakers for comping with rain. However usually wear sneakers on a dry day and ankle boots on all other days when visiting German Christmas Markets.

What to pack for Christmas Markets in Germany (non clothing)

Women at German Christmas MArket at night
What to wear to Christmas Markets in Europe / What to wear to Christmas Markets in Germany

Travel documents 

A Passport and/or identification is always required. On top of that remember also your travel insurance, vaccination certificates and visas if required.


Pack any meds you need in your carry on and be sure to have prescriptions with you.

Travel Adaptor

I personally never travel anywhere without my trusty Universal travel adaptor that works in pretty much all locations. Germany uses traditional European plugs so if you are visiting from the US, UK or anywhere outside of Europe you will need a travel adaptor

Click here to shop universal travel adaptors.


You will also want a charger with you to keep all your electronics charged.

Cross Body Anti Theft bag

Pickpockets are found anywhere that there are tourists. And unfortunately this includes Christmas Markets in Germany.

To protect yourself from pickpockets we recommend traveling with a cross body anti theft bag. I prefer these to a fanny pack as these can often mark you out as a tourist in Europe.

Click here to shop anti theft bags.

A backpack is also useful for Christmas Markets.

Compact Travel Umbrella

Rain can happen whenever you are traveling in Europe however Christmas Markets can be particularly rainy. So be sure to keep a compact travel umbrella with you at all times.

Click here to shop travel umbrellas.

Lip balm

The cold weather in Germany in December is cold and can dry out your lips very quickly so we recommend always having a lip balm with you.

Click here to shop lip balm for cruise ships.

Toiletries (optional)

Although toiletries are easy to purchase in the cities in Germany, if there are certain brands you love you may want to bring them with you.

For our essential toiletries packing list click here.


As your lips can dry out in Winter in Germany, so can your skin when skin with the cold, wet and rainy weather. So on top of lip balm I always carry moisturizer with me. My favorite moisturizer for Winter is this one.

Reusable Water bottle

Although there are lots of beverages for sale at German Christmas Markets, I recommend taking a reusable water bottle with you. It is better for the environment and will also save you some money. w

Click here to shop reusable water bottles for travel.

Power Bank

The Christmas Markets in Germany are beautiful and you will want to be taking lots of photos. Couple this with using your phone for transportation, maps and other travel essentials your battery will drain quickly. Therefore you will want to have a battery pack with you at all times

And there you have it our full German Christmas Market packing list! We hope this has answered all of your questions but if there is something you still have a question about just pop us a comment below!