The first Christmas Market of the season for me was in the town of Stolberg, just on the outskirts of Aachen. The majority of the market was surrounding the large castle, Burg Stolberg. I was too close to get a picture of all of it, but the Stolberg city website has a good picture on their homepage. The market surrounding the castle (Burg) and just below in the Altstadt (Alter Markt) are open on Saturdays and Sundays while the Kaiserplatz market is open daily.
I showed up too early because a few stands were still setting up. It seems to be a pretty small market even if you add all of the stands together from the three markets. If you don’t go for the shopping, the ambiance is still excellent. The city is beautiful and old. We walked down many one lane streets surrounded by old houses with the sound of the stream just on the other side. Business will probably pick up next week with the start of advent, but the city was not crowded at all, which was quite nice.
There were a few shopping and food stands in Alter Markt. Kaiserplatz only had food and a few stands when I was there, but they do have the largest Advent calendar in the area, with a window opening everyday (starting in December) at 1730. We spent most of our time at the Burg market. There are stands surrounding the castle and quite a few inside. There is also a restaurant to enjoy inside the castle. We stopped for some red and white Glüwein (warm mulled wine) and enjoyed the ambiance. There were also crepes, hot chocolate, reibekuchen (potato pancakes) and sausages available in the stands surrounding the castle.
While the shopping choices are small, I think Stolberg is worth a visit to just walk around the city and castle and enjoy some Christmas market food and drink. You can find out more about the market at the city website.
Kaiserplatz Market (mostly food) open daily 12-20
Alter Markt and Burg Market open Sat-Sun 12-20
Parking available near the castle and at Stolberg-Aldstadt train station.