Erbach’s Charming Christmas Markets and Shops

| September 10, 2014

Erbach sits just a kilometer up the road from Michelstadt.  While Michelstadt hosts a well-known large Weihnachtsmarkt, Erbach’s market is charmingly intimate.  They boast a Marktplatz with a giant Schloss, and a few side streets worthy of visits every time you pop into town.

erbach christmas market erbach christmas market

One noteworthy aspect about Erbach from a Christmas shopping standpoint is actually an important thing to know about the town in general: just down a street from the Marktplatz is a courtyard of shops that sell German handcrafted items.  Not imports, and not just your typical souvenirs.

My favorite of these shops is Drechselstube, the oldest shop in the Odenwald specializing in wood crafted items.  You’ll of course find typical items there: a few rows of nutcrackers, a few ornaments, and a nice selection of Christmas pyramids and arches, etc. – including giant, high-euro pieces.  They’re high-euro because of size and intricacy; in general, everything in the store is offered at much more reasonable prices than souvenir shops (particularly city shops).

Side of Drechselstube

Side of Drechselstube

Their rows of smoking men/incense burners are a bit more robust from some of the smoking men at most souvenir kiosks.  They sell large wood carvings and tiny miniature items–some I recognize from collections you see at other shops, others I’ve not seen elsewhere.  Picture frames, signs, bowls, bread boxes, music boxes…it is worth visiting the small shop whether to slowly browse or just to get a peek.  I dare you to leave empty-handed!

Some of their offerings are unique to the area.  In addition to the Christmas and decorative pieces, they sell wooden toys and doll furniture for babies, toddlers, and young children.  Most are handcrafted in Germany, but a box or tag will show if it is not.  I have never taken visitors to Drechselstube and not had them buy anything, from a few small items to a couple bags’ worth.  I’ve also never personally entered the store–alone or with visitors–and walked out empty-handed.  Don’t tell my husband.

Some of the shopkeepers speak English, and they are all friendly toward children.  However, I would note that you’d be better off keeping younger hands busy in the toy section rather than near some of the more fragile items.

erbach christmas market

The Christmas market itself was small but lovely, set to the picturesque backdrop of Erbach’s fairy-town-like Fachwerk.

Erbach in summer

Erbach in summer

erbach fachwerk in summerschloss erbrach


A choir sang, a wooden nativity scene greeted us, and there was plenty of Glühwein cheer.

erbach christmas market

Although there was a small merry-go-round for the little ones, the market is geared less toward children’s entertainment and more toward spreading holiday cheer.

erbach christmas marketerbach christmas market

Another important building the Marktplatz of Erbach features: an Odenwald visitor’s center chock full of good info about the entire region.  They also sell books and souvenirs from the area, including a large variety of Schnapps!

Erbach is a great little town to visit at Christmas or any time of year.

What I brought home from the Christmas Market: a bag filled with handcrafted wooden items from the shops, and a Glühwein mug that was emptied of a Heisse Oma.

Looking for a hotel in Erbach?


Category: Christmas Markets, Christmas Markets, FAMILY, Family Travel, Festivals, Germany, Travel, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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