We are roughly two weeks away from Christmas markets opening in Germany. So, I'm passing my ten bits of wisdom on the situation.
1. Size of the city is what merits the 'weight' of the Christmas Market. Personally, I like the Wiesbaden, Mainz and Frankfurt markets. Munich is fairly big and hectic. Nuremberg is a five-star operation but there's just too many people to make it worth hanging out (don't go on a Saturday).
2. Gluhwein is something you really need to sip with care. It's normally fairly cold in the market....the Gluhwein is warm, and you tend to drink a bit too much.....which leads you to being stupid and drunk You might be bad enough.....that you spend three-hundred Euro in just an hour and don't remember much except waking up on a bench with some worthless candles. I'd strongly suggest you limit yourself to one per hour and don't drink more than three in one single day.
3. These Christmas markets are in the middle of town....and parking always cost money. If you can find a method to travel by public transportation and park on the outskirts of town.....that's my general advice. Be weary of alcohol consumption and driving. If necessary....stay a night at a local hotel.
4. The grease, fat and sodium content of the food that you might consume.....weighs heavily upon your body. You might want to limit yourself if you have health issues.
5. Weather absolutely matters. Don't go to a Christmas market in the middle of a snowstorm and marginal temperatures (below freezing). If you have to go and it's below freezing....wearing enough clothing to be able to stand the situation for at least an hour while outside.
6. Most Germans will split the experience, with an hour in the market.....an hour or two in the shopping district.....and finish off the afternoon with Gluhwein and some snack.
7. Pickpockets used to be non-existent. Over the past decade.....it's a bigger issue. Avoid carrying a purse, and ensure your keys are way out of their reach.
8. In a normal day of drink and consumption at some Christmas Market.....you probably are getting 400-percent of the sodium that your body absorbs. Your blood pressure might react to this amount. Just be aware of this.
9. Non-skid shoes/boots are recommended. Between ice and snow....you just don't want to fall and be one of those idiots that the ambulance has to pick up.
10. Most markets will close the gift stands by 7PM, and the food and beverage stands by 10PM. While gift stands typically open early.....it's rare that the food and beverage stand open at noon. Just plan your deal well....stay warm.....and drink in a safe fashion.