The first time I saw a picture of the Christmas market in the Ravenna Gorge, I knew I wanted to go there.
This German Christmas market spreads out in a gorge underneath a railway viaduct, and it’s the cutest and most romantic Christmas market we have ever visited. It’s easy to reach, the food is fantastic, and you can buy great souvenirs.
If you’re considering visiting this unique market yourself, keep reading, and you will get all the information you need.
Ravenna Gorge Christmas Market
Why visit the Christmas market in the Ravenna gorge?
As we already said in our introduction, this Christmas market is gorgeous and one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany.
It takes place in the Ravennaschlucht, the Ravenna gorge and, in case you’re wondering, it has nothing to do with the Italian city of Ravenna. The name likely comes from the French word ravin, which means gorge.
A viaduct crosses the gorge, allowing trains to pass. The Christmas market is set up underneath this viaduct. If you arrive at night, lights illuminate the stalls and the arches above, making for a beautiful view.
Plus, if you’re lucky, the Ravenna valley is covered in snow, making the setting even more magical. In December, it often snows in the Black Forest, so your chances are good that you’re going to get the whole Christmas experience.
The Ravenna gorge Christmas market opens every advent weekend, from Friday to Sunday. It usually starts in late November and finishes the weekend before Christmas. In 2022, it takes place on 25-27 November, 02-04 December, 09-11 December, and 16-18 December.
Here are the opening hours for 2022:
- Friday: 3-9 pm
- Saturday: 2-9 pm
- Sunday: 2-8 pm
Buying tickets for the Ravennaschlucht Christmas market
If you want to visit the Christmas market in the Ravenna gorge, you need to buy an entrance ticket.
Ticket sales usually start in October. You can check the official website to get more information and to book your ticket (you might need to change the language in the menu at the upper right corner).
When booking your ticket, you need to choose the day you want to go and then pick a two-hour time slot. To avoid overcrowding of this famous Christmas market, only a limited number of people can visit simultaneously.
When booking, you can also choose whether to arrive by shuttle bus, car or hiking.We visited from 4-6 pm, which we think is the most beautiful time slot. At 4 pm, you still have daylight to see the market. The sun sets shortly afterwards, so you have the chance to admire the fully lit-up Christmas market and viaduct at night.
How to get to the Ravenna gorge Christmas market
As we already mentioned, when buying your ticket, you need to choose whether you want to take a shuttle bus or are going to arrive independently.
All shuttle buses drop you off at a parking lot not far from the car park. From there, you need to walk for around five minutes to reach the Christmas market. The car park is just behind the bus parking.
Here is more information on your options:
Arriving by car
If you arrive independently by car, you must book your parking ticket online. You can get it on the website of the Ravenna gorge Christmas market, and you need to print it and place it behind the windshield of your car. Parking costs 7€ for around two hours.
If you don’t have a rental car, the easiest way to get to the Christmas market in the Ravennaschlucht is to buy a ticket that includes a shuttle bus from Freiburg. The shuttle leaves from the city centre or the main station and takes around half an hour.
Our bus left strictly at the time printed on the ticket, so make sure to arrive there around ten minutes before departure.
For going back, you can find the time printed on your ticket. We had booked the time slot from 4-6 pm, so for going from Freiburg to the Ravenna gorge, our bus left at 3:10 pm. For going back, the bus left at 5:55 pm.
The bus back was very punctual as well, so it was good to be there a few minutes earlier.
From the Black Forest
If you’re already in the Black Forest, multiple shuttle buses connect to the Ravenna gorge. They leave from Himmelreich, Titisee and Hinterzarten. Once again, you book the shuttle together with your entrance ticket for the Christmas market.
The shuttle buses from the towns of the Black Forest are regular town buses, so you’re not guaranteed a seat. Fortunately, the drive is short, so you don’t have to worry about it much.
From Hinterzarten, it’s possible to hike to the Ravenna gorge Christmas market. It’s a well-maintained path, even in winter, and it only takes around one hour.
The total distance is just above 3 kilometres, and the path is pretty flat. It descends around 200 metres in altitude, which you’ll have to walk up again if you decide to hike back, but it should be easily doable for anyone who’s reasonably fit.
What to see at the Ravenna gorge Christmas market
The main point of interest at this Christmas market is, of course, the Christmas market itself. You should walk around to see what the stalls offer. Some sell handicrafts, souvenirs or woollen items, while others provide food and drinks.
Besides the market, you can find two more places of interest. The first one is the viewpoint.
If you arrive from the bus station, you need to turn right just before the viaduct. A small path takes you up to a viewing platform. The trail itself is not on Google Maps, but you can see the viewpoint here, and it’s easy enough to find that you won’t miss it.
A pavilion stands on top of the small hill, but you don’t need to go up there. Instead, stop halfway along the way. From here, you have the best view of the Christmas market and can take the iconic photo with market stalls underneath an illuminated railway viaduct.
The other point of interest is a small set-up with Nativity scenes, which you can visit if you leave the Christmas market on the northern end. The path here goes for a few metres along a river, and you have art and lights on both sides.
What to eat and drink at the Christmas market in the Ravenna gorge
We have a whole post dedicated to the best Christmas market foods that you should try when visiting German Christmas markets.
At the Ravenna gorge, you can find a mixture of popular foods and drinks, as well as local delicacies. Here are some that you shouldn’t miss:
Glühwein und Glühmost
Mulled wine, called Glühwein in German, is the most famous German Christmas market drink. No matter where you go, you can enjoy a cup of steaming hot wine seasoned with spices and sugar.
At the Ravenna gorge Christmas market, you can find stalls set up by vineyards. Their mulled wine is usually a much higher quality, so it’s worth paying a little extra.
One stall, just underneath the viaduct, also sells Glühmost. This is mulled wine but without the wine. Instead, it’s based on must, the young wine, but made from apples. It’s often a bit less sweet than regular mulled wine and a good choice if you don’t like sweet and sticky drinks.Always return your mugs to get back your “Pfand”. This is money you pay for the cup and get back when you return it. Sounds confusing? Then check out our post with the most important
The Nikolausi is a drink you can only find at the Ravenna gorge Christmas market. It’s made from baked apple liqueur topped with whipped cream. You can order a single shot or get a plank with six or twelve Nikolausi.
If you like liqueur and want to try an unusual drink, this one is for you.
Besides the usual Christmas market food, you can buy Schupfnudeln in the Ravenna gorge. These are thick, almost dumpling-like noodles boiled in hot water. They have a very distinct oval shape with pointy ends.
When you order Schupfnudeln at the Christmas market, you’ll usually get them with Sauerkraut, a traditional German type of fermented cabbage. The noodles are fried in a pan, together with the cabbage, to get delicious roast aromas.
If you want a regional dish but aren’t fond of cabbage, go for the Käsespätzle.
Spätzle are German noodles which are especially popular in Southern Germany. They’re traditionally made by scraping dough off a wooden board, which gives them their irregular shape.
Käse means cheese, so Käsespätzle is noodles with cheese. They’re delicious, and you should try them if you haven’t already. If you don’t have the chance at the Christmas market, you can also find them at many of the local restaurants in the Black Forest.
What to buy at the Ravenna gorge Christmas market
The Ravenna gorge Christmas market is perfect if you’re looking for souvenirs or still need to buy Holiday presents. Take your time looking around at the different stalls. Here are some ideas for inspiration:
At every Christmas market in Germany, you can find stalls selling wooden handicrafts. The Ravenna gorge is no exception.
I particularly like the so-called Räuchermännchen. They’re wooden figures that smoke. Traditionally, they depict a man with a pipe. You put in a small incense cone, and smoke comes out of the little man’s mouth. These days, you can also find many variations, from houses with smoke coming out of the chimney to chefs with steaming dishes.
If you’re looking for a small souvenir, go for a wooden ornament. You can get lovely Christmas tree decorations at this market, perfect for bringing home as they’re easy to carry.
Alternatively, you can also buy wooden kitchen accessories like chopping boards, bowls and spoons. Those are great if you’re not a fan of decorations and prefer more practical items.
Hat and gloves
Are you cold? Then you should look for a stall selling woollen hats, gloves and slippers. The Ravenna gorge is often covered with snow, and if you didn’t prepare accordingly, you’re going to appreciate any warm clothes you can get.
The items here also make for great Christmas gifts. They’re light, easy to carry, and you can use them daily.
We already mentioned great food to eat and drink at the Ravenna gorge Christmas markets. There are also excellent options if you want to bring some food items home.
I bought little jars with bread spreads as a gift for my mother, and we also looked at a stall that sold different salts. Those are great presents, both useful and delicious.
Some stalls also sell traditional cured meats from the Black Forest. The area is famous for its ham, called “Schwarzwälder Schinken”. Or maybe you prefer a cured sausage made from boar? There are lots of fantastic options to choose from.
Christmas markets near the Ravenna gorge
In the Black Forest, you can find multiple Christmas markets worth checking out.
The largest one is in Freiburg. We highly recommend visiting. Freiburg is a beautiful city worth a trip on its own, and it’s even better in December when you can stroll over the Christmas market. Make sure to check out our Freiburg Christmas market guide!
Here are some other Black Forest Christmas markets in the area:
- Triberg Christmas Magic (takes place between Christmas and New Year’s)
- Baden-Baden Christmas market
- Offenburg Christmas market
- Basel Christmas market
We hope you can now see why you absolutely have to visit the Ravenna gorge Christmas market. It’s such a gorgeous market, and the two-hour time slot you get for visiting is barely enough.
While you’re here, check out our other blog posts about Germany that will help you plan your trip. You’re also going to find the following articles helpful:
- The best Christmas market food you need to try
- Your Freiburg Christmas market guide
- Everything you’ve always wanted to know about German Christmas markets
- The best places to stay in the Black Forest
- What are your favourite German Christmas cookies?
Until your next adventure!
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