I believe the best Christmas Market is the one at Nuremberg. This is the one above all others that I would recommend friends to visit. It is huge.
There is enough to do and see for a long weekend break and it is easy to get to. The main market is in Hauptmarkt square but it extends for the whole length of Konigstrasse street. In other locations throughout the City other stalls have been erected. Nurnberg's Airport is linked to the City centre by the train line U2 and U21.
Get off at the main station called hauptbahnhof. It is in the south west of the old town near the city wall. The Tourist Office is nearby at Konigstrasse 93. Call in to get a free street map and advice. As you get out of the station look up to see the massive Konigstor city wall castle tower called the Dicker Turm or fat tower. Walk across the road and under the gate to enter the enchanting historic old city of Nűrnberg.
The Nűrnberg Kinderweihnacht - Nuremberg's Children's Christmas market
This is a separate smaller Christmas market for children in Hans-Sachs-Platz in the centre of the old town, near the larger Christkindlesmarket in the Hauptmarkt. It includes an old style traditional Carrousel merry-go-round, a mini ferris wheel, and a miniature steam railway. The children can visit Father Christmas and tell them what they would like for Christmas. Some of the stalls have Christmas themed activities the children can take part in.
To add to the festive atmosphere teams of great shire horses pull two 300 year old restored postal coaches around the streets. The Nuremberg Museum for Communications provides the coaches, horses and authentic looking Coachmen with postal horns which they blow along the route to warn of their approach. You can queue up and get a ride. It gives a real Victorian Dickensian feeling to the event.
Nűrnberg Spiel Zeugmuseum - Nuremberg's Toy Museum
If you like toys then you will enjoy a few hours spent looking around the Spiel Zeugmuseum. This Toy Museum was opened in 1971 and it is based on the private collection of Lydia and Paul Bayer. There are four floors in the museum on the Ground floor there are wooden toys. On the First floor are dolls and dolls' houses. On the Second floor you will find Tin World that include trains and steam engines.
The displays on the Top floor tells you about toy history from the immediate post-war years to toys today. If you have children with you they will love it. Mine are grown up but I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. You can find it in the heart of the Old Town at Karlstrasse 13-15, 90403 Nuremberg
How did Nuremberg get its name?
It all started in 1050 when the German Emperor decided he needed a castle in this part of Bavaria to guard there old trade routes. His courtiers explored the countryside for a suitable place and found and area of high ground near the river. When the Emperor saw it, he is said to have exclaimed, 'But it is just a hill!' (in German: 'nur e(i)n berg'), and that is how this little village got its new name. After the castle was built, it soon rose to importance.