I've been researching Christmas markets in the area to visit because after this year we only have one more year to check out all the beautiful markets before we are heading back to the states. I came across the Christmas market that's held at Hohenzollern castle. The castle is located in the Swabian Alb and is set on a mountaintop overlooking the area. Personally I think it rivals the famous Neuschwanstein and is much less touristy, which is always a plus. The castle is roughly an hour south of Stuttgart and is well worth a visit if you're in the area. It's been rebuilt three times and the one that stands today was built in the 1800's by King Wilhelm IV. It is privately owned by the Hohenzollern and Sigmaringen family lines, but there is a much longer family history that can be read at their website (http://www.burg-hohenzollern.com/family-history.html).
So I was really excited to check out the Christmas market here and the market did not let us down. 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.
It wasn't very crowded and we went on a Saturday night, but you have to take the shuttle bus up to the castle which means waiting in line to get to and from the castle. On the way back we waited about 10 minutes in line to get down. That was fine, however, the bus ride takes you up a windy narrow path that switch backs 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 bit queasy!
The inside of the castle was beautiful and there were also stalls inside as well.
The outside had great views of the lights in the towns below. If you arrive before dark on a clear day, then you'll get a 360 panorama of the valley below.
Below is the inside of the castle heading to the courtyard.
Here is another market in the Garden area
The castle was lit up in red when we were walking up. It looked more like a Halloween event than a Christmas event.
Thanks for stopping by!