Grüner Tannenzweig

Christmas and New Year’s Eve

Germany’s true north is always worth a visit – especially at the end of November and in December, Schleswig-Holstein is unique. Where else can you enjoy the pre-Christmas season by the sea or with that certain Scandinavian flair?

Zwei Männer und zwei Frauen stehen an einer Punschbude und trinken ein heißes Getränk. Im Hintergrund befindet sich eine Seebrücke.
© / Oliver Franke

“This year, we’re doing things differently!” – to make your dream of a stress-free pre-Christmas period and relaxed holidays come true, the holiday region of Schleswig-Holstein is offering you a wide range of options to make December just the way you want it. Now is the time to plan for Christmas, as well as the days before and after: With or without family, enjoy some time-out on the North Sea islands, a visit to the festively decorated Christmas markets in the heart of Schleswig-Holstein, or perhaps a New Year’s Eve celebration on the Baltic Sea beach?

Christmas markets with that special charm against a historical backdrop, such as those in Husum or Lübeck – also known as the “Christmas City of the North” – usher in what is truly the most wonderful time of the year. Anyone on holiday at the North Sea can get into the festive spirit with a trip to “Husum’s Christmas House”. Whether it’s in search of a cosy atmosphere, rustic arts and crafts markets or the cold sea air mixed with the scent of sweet Christmas biscuits and mulled wine – in Germany’s true north, no one can escape the magic of Advent.

Even after Christmas, the festivities keep going in Schleswig-Holstein. Discover our New Year’s Eve highlights on and between the coasts, experience northern German New Year’s traditions and start the new year with a fresh, invigorating breeze. Happy Holidays!

Christmas markets

Important information: Christmas markets can be cancelled, postponed or changed at short notice due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Before travelling to your destination, please check again whether the event you have chosen can actually take place, and which hygiene rules apply.

Grachtenweihnacht Brücke in Friedrichstadt

At the North Sea


In Schleswig-Holstein’s “Little Amsterdam”, it gets all Christmassy on the first Advent weekend. Between gleaming gabled houses and glittering canals, the Christmas season is welcomed in Friedrichstadt.


Festively decorated between the impressive house facades and with a particular maritime flair, Husum Christmas Market on the market square looks forward to welcoming its guests. A varied programme with concerts and a visit to the “Husum Christmas House” is offered by this beautiful “Christmas City on the North Sea”.


The island of Sylt offers many opportunities to get into the Christmas spirit with cocoa and mulled wine during the winter season. Seek out the inspiration you need for your Christmas presents at the “Keitum Scheune” or purchase lovingly made Christmas decorations from the Morsum Christmas market for your own home.


Experience Christmas events with handicrafts, a petting zoo and Christmas carols in the historic “Packhaus” at Tönning harbour. This place takes on the form of a large Advent calendar – the windows and doors are marked by numbers from 1 to 24. Behind it, there are wonderful new things for the whole family to discover every day.

Tannenbaum auf dem Marktplatz
© Sven Meier, Güby

Between the coasts


Once a year, the Pronstorf Manor Estate shines in Christmas splendour. A cosy village consisting of huts situated in “Alleengarten” makes the hearts of all craft fans beat faster. A colourful Christmas programme is offered for children in the “Kinderscheune”.


When temperatures drop, this decorated old town will once again be all Christmas-cosy this year. The large, festively decorated Christmas tree in the middle of the old market square gets visitors to the Mölln Christmas Market in the mood to celebrate this wonderful time of year. Last-minute presents can be bought at the stalls, and Christmas treats can be sampled. In the inviting music tent, you can sing along to your heart’s content during the live programme.


The Lauenburg Christmas Market hosted at the castle starts in a dreamlike setting directly on the illuminated “Lauenburg Schlossplatz” on the third Advent weekend. Visitors can enjoy classic Christmas market treats with a fantastic view of the Elbe.

Kleine weihnachtliche Hütten stehen auf dem Kieler Weihnachtsmarkt. Im Hintergrund befindet sich der Rathausturm.
© KaiKoPhoto

At the Baltic Sea


In Kiel, you can experience the magic of Christmas at several Christmas markets within walking distance of each other. Your winter Christmas stroll can begin at the festively decorated traditional market on “Holstenplatz”. Asmus-Bremer-Platz and the historic “Altstadt” are great places to nibble on a sweet treat. The cosy Christmas village on Kiel’s “Rathausplatz” town hall square attracts visitors from near and far with its incredible tightrope act.


Visit the famous Lübeck Christmas Markets and experience the festive magic in the atmospheric old town. The Hanseatic city invites you to stroll around traditional and historic Christmas markets – for younger guests, there is the “Märchenwald” Fairytale Forest at St. Mary’s Church, as well as the Christmas Wonderland to discover.


In Germany’s northernmost city, the Christmas Market impresses all with its Scandinavian flair. It stretches from “Südermarkt” through the entire pedestrian zone to “Nordermarkt”. Strolling through the alleys and courtyards, the smell of roasted almonds and delicious baked apples wafts from every corner.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

Ein Paar vorm Feuer am Strand
© / Oliver Franke

The year is drawing to a close, and in Germany’s true north, the New Year is duly welcomed. New Year’s Eve in Schleswig-Holstein guarantees a very special way to welcome in the year to come. Whether at a lively New Year’s Eve party or in cosy fashion in front of the hotel fireplace – slide into the new year with a relaxing holiday in Schleswig-Holstein. Historic towns between the coasts, picturesque fishing villages and secluded beaches on the North Sea and Baltic Sea are waiting to be discovered by you. A unique calm settles over the land and blends perfectly with the magical anticipation of the new year. Sample typical northern German New Year’s Eve specialities while you snuggle up in front of the TV with your loved ones as “Dinner for one” – the ubiquitous and obligatory TV show watched by everyone at this time of year – beams from TV sets around the nation. Forget all those other supposed lucky charms – you will find your greatest happiness in Germany’s true north, on your Schleswig-Holstein holiday.

North German New Year’s Eve and New Year’s traditions

Mehrere Menschen gehen beim Anbaden ins Wasser
© TMS Büsum GmbH

New Year’s bathing in the sea

On 01 January, it’s that time again when the bravest among us plunge into the ice-cold waters of the North Sea and Baltic Sea to welcome the New Year.


“Rummelpottlaufen”, in which children dressed up in costumes go from door to door with a “Rummelpott” on New Year’s Eve, is still widespread in some regions of Schleswig-Holstein. Learn more on the Schleswig-Holstein home page.

Futjes or Förtchen

They are small balls of yeast dough fried in fat with a delicious filling. Dipped in sugar and eaten warm, they are enjoyed straight to go. Before they came in delicious and varied varieties, they used to be enjoyed without filling. Their recipes were passed down from generation to generation within a family. In northern Germany, they went on to conquer the turn of the year as traditional New Year’s biscuits. And children were also delighted with the sweet dough balls they had baked themselves during the “Rummelpott” run early on New Year’s Eve. Find out more about this traditional New Year’s sweet treat.