For those of you who ever wanted to experience a traditional Christmas, walking around huts where you could believe that Santa and his elves are hard at work then the Stuttgart Christmas market is definitely for you. Despite its size - it is one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany, it still has a very tradtional look and feel.
Starting off in the Schlossplatz with an outdoor ice skating rink, it then expands into the backstreets and then out into a couple of other squares along the way.
It used to be severly overcrowded - scarily so but over the last two years the planning of the huts seems to have got a little better and now a visit at anytime of the week can be pleasant.
There is a good mix of huts selling very traditional Christmas goods, food and drink stalls and stalls selling all sorts of Artisan products that are not necessarily just for Christmas. Over the last few years there has been an increase in the amount of "kitsch" items on sale - not my thing but obviously doing a business.
The food is good enough - there are not too many places where you can sit inside, although there are some and if you are lucky enough to get a table then its a great way to spend the evening. Otherwise the food is street fare. One tip is to try and head for the Finnish Markt. Its a separate small Christmas market, just a small walk away from the main one - just walk from the taxi rank in the Schloss platz away from the main square and then you"ll come across it. I recommend it as the food there - salmon grilled over a real fire, is worth the walk.
Its traditional to start off your visit by having a Gluehwein - mulled wine basically but somehow much more enjoyable in the midst of the Christmas market. Gluehwein tradtionally gets served in decorated mugs or glasses - which you can choose to keep as a souvenir or return to get your deposit back.
The market is open over two weeks and during the day as well up until 10pm at night. My recommendation for a first visit is definitely to go at night, preferably when its snowing as the lights are seen to better effect.
There are various other small Christmas markets close to Stuttgart which are only open for one weekend or for a day so its worth checking out what else is around at the same time as you are visiting Stuttgart - Esslingen is one to look out for as it is medieval market and Tuebingen to the south is also pleasant as its in a nice setting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC