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The Beautiful Christmas Market At Hohenzollern Castle

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I’ve been to many different Christmas markets over the years, but none quite as unique as this one.

It checks all the boxes – you have a German castle set high on a hill, perfectly set lighting for the holiday mood, and a Christmas market.

The castle is also mostly open to roam around inside, which is a nice escape from the cold.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Dates: 11/24/2023 – 01/07/2024
  • Hours: 3:00pm – 8:00pm (open until 9pm Fri & Sat)
  • Location: 72379 Burg Hohenzollern, Germany
  • Costs: Varies. 22EUR for adults, less for children, seniors, disabled. Family tickets available
Hohenzollern Castle Inside

About the Castle

Hohenzollern is located in an area called the Swabian Alb and is set on a mountaintop overlooking the area. This area serves at the foothills to the Alps.

Personally, I think this castle rivals the famous Neuschwanstein and is much less touristy, which is always a plus.

It’s roughly an hour south of Stuttgart too, making it an easy day trip.

Hohenzollern has been rebuilt three times over the course of its history. Over the centuries, the castle underwent multiple renovations and expansions, transforming it from a medieval stronghold into the magnificent structure seen today.

The version that stands today was built in the 1800’s by King Wilhelm IV.

It is privately owned by the Hohenzollern and Sigmaringen family lines. For the longer family history be sure to visit their website.

 Click to Enlarge

About the Christmas Market at Hohenzollern

This Christmas Market lived up to my expectations. While it’s small, there were stands set up in the courtyard and the garden, as well as a few other areas inside the castle and around it.

We also had access to view a lot of the castle on our own. We were able to go underground into the cellars, visit the main hall inside, the two churches, and the treasury as well. We saw almost as much as you would see on a regular castle tour here.

A large room inside the castle is lined with stalls selling local handmade items.

The castle walls are illuminated at night with a lot of red, giving the paths a beautiful yet eerie feel as you make your way up. Once inside the courtyard, the castle walls are illuminated with Christmas and religious images.

Getting There

When you arrive, park at one of the lots below the castle. They’re well-marked.

Then to get to the castle, you can either walk up the side trail (it might be slick this time of year) or take the shuttle bus. When we went, there was a small queue to shuttle to and from the castle.

On the way back we waited about 10 minutes in line to get down. The bus ride takes you up a windy narrow path that switchbacks all the way to the castle. It’s not intended for two lanes but somehow the buses manage to maneuver past each other. Thankfully it was short because it made me a little queasy!

Opening Hours and Reservations

The market used to only be open on a few weekends, but now it runs daily for a few weeks leading up to Christmas.

The hours are more limited than other markets (it starts at 3:00pm and ends at 8 or 9pm).

There is also a fee to visit this market, and the funds help with the maintenance and upkeep of the castle.

If you want to experience a formal dinner at the castle, you can make reservations and enjoy their winter menu. There is also the option of reserving a hut for yourself and your friends to hang out and enjoy the market without the crowds.

Be sure to purchase your ticket and make additional reservations ahead of time at their website.

The outside has great views of the lights in the towns below. If you arrive before dark on a clear day, then you’ll get a 360 degree panorama of the valley below.

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