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Christmas market breaks in northern Germany

Make the most of a visit to the lively port city of Hamburg by adding trips to the magnificently picturesque northern German cities of Lübeck and Schwerin. Check out our suggested itinerary below and read all about the highlights of this fascinating region.

Getting to the German Christmas markets is easy. The country's trains are fast, efficient, and take you to the heart of all major cities. Within this itinerary we provide further details on travelling to each market.

Want a convenient pass for German trains? The Interrail German Rail Pass entitles you to 3, 4, 5, 7,10 or 15 days of rail travel in Germany within 1 month!


Cities visited in this trip:


1. Hamburg

2. Day trip to Lübeck

3. Day trip to Schwerin

1. Stay in Hamburg, Germany

The port city of Hamburg is the perfect place to base your stay in northern Germany. Not only does this Hanseatic hero have fantastic ferry links to Scandinavia, it’s also heaving with city life. Take a boat cruise on the Elbe River, Alter lakes or canals or take a stroll through the tall brick warehouses of the Speicherstadt.

More than 30 annual Christmas markets bring extra sparkle to Hamburg and offer something for everyone, like the romantic White Magic Market (Weisser Zauber) on the Jungfrausteig. You could also try something different altogether and visit the world’s first erotic Christmas market in the St Pauli quarter, named Santa Pauli for obvious reasons.

Hamburg Christmas Market dates:
22 November – 23 December 2021

From Hamburg main train station to the Christmas market at the town hall, you can take the S1, S2, and S3 suburban trains to Jungfernsteig, which are covered by your Interrail Pass.
Town hall Christmas market in Hamburg

From Hamburg to Lübeck

Travel time:




  • Hamburg, Germany

    Hamburg Hbf

  • 0h 44m
  • Lübeck, Germany

    Lübeck Hbf


2. Day trip to Lübeck, Germany

With frequent trains from Hamburg, why not take a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Lübeck. From the pointed towers of the city gate (Holstentor) to the 90 walkways and courtyards that are hidden around the city, exploring the picturesque beauty will keep in you in a constant state of awe.

Lübeck is a gorgeous setting for its Christmas market, where you keep an eye out and your taste buds ready for the local chocolate-coated marzipan sweets. The church bells of the Marienkirche, left where they fell after bombings during WWII, are also worth looking out for.

Lübeck Christmas Market dates:
22 November – 30 December 2021

Lübeck train station is only 6 minutes from the city centre where the Christmas market it held. No need to take a taxi!
The iconic Holsten Gate in Lübeck

From Hamburg to Schwerin

Travel time:




  • Hamburg, Germany

    Hamburg Hbf

  • 0h 55m
  • Schwerin, Germany

    Schwerin Hbf


3. Day trip to Schwerin, Germany

Save a day for visiting Schwerin, the land of the lakes. Its beautiful 18th and 19th century architecture and lakeside trails are sure to delight you. The main highlight is undoubtedly Schwerin Castle, which you’ll find upon the Palace Island (Schlossinsel) in the middle of the city lake.

Schwerin holds one of the longest lasting Christmas markets in Germany. It features a 20 metre tall, decorated fir tree as well as a street of illustrated fairytales. These are also read aloud from a main stage and take you right back to your childhood.

Schwerin Christmas Market dates:
21 November – 30 December 2021

It takes 2 minutes by tram or bus to get from Schwerin train station to the city centre.
The beautiful Schwerin Castle

Explore Germany with Interrail

  • Choose from 3, 4, 5, 7,10 or 15 days of rail travel within 1 month.

  • As soon as you're in Germany, hop on and off as many trains as you like using just one rail pass.

  • You'll arrive at city centre locations just a few steps from the nearest Christmas market. Leave everyone else to battle it out for car parking spaces!