Authentic Germany at the Crossroads of German, French, Pagan, and Roman Cultures with a love of the Outdoors and Dwarves.
Sankt Wendel Travel Guide
What makes St. Wendel Germany so special?
You had me at “day drinking” on the city cultural calendar. Additionally very compelling -- their obsession with Zwergen, or in English - dwarves.
Sankt Wendel in German, or Saint Wendel in English - is a vibrant town that hosts hands down, the best Christmas market in the southwest region of Germany.
It’s an outdoor lover's paradise located close to the French border about 30 minutes from Kaiserslautern, Germany.
It’s the kind of place to visit for the perfect weekend in Germany with authentic food, laughing people, hiking, golf, sweet hidden chapels and centuries of traditions at the crossroads of German, French, Pagan, and Roman Cultures.
I love to plan a cool hike to see the homes, the history, the foliage and Nature and end up at a really cool, local place to eat. This region has a strong influence from France and demand from the people who live here for really good, fresh food.
And they love to party!
How This St. Wendel Guide is Organized:
Christmas Market Magic - Medieval Delights in St. Wendel
Weihnachtsmarkt - Christmas Market
Christmas markets in Germany (in German: Weihnachtsmarkts) are magical. They set a festive mood, offer handmade ornaments and crafts from local vendors, and are highlighted by delicious drinks called Glühwein.
Each booth has its own recipe for this delicious hot mulled wine and there’s nothing more cozy than strolling around an outdoor market with friends and family. It’s a leisurely search for the perfect Christmas tree ornament while keeping warm with steaming Glühwein or Kinderpunsch.
Lovingly decorated huts line old towns throughout Germany expressing holiday joy with locals and tourists alike wandering over cobblestones, seeing twinkling lights, tasting and smelling the delicious treats like flame grilled salmon and funnel cakes.
St. Wendel blows away the Christmas market competition with fires, torches, and dragons.
Each year the city hosts a medieval themed Christmas market complete with ladies dancing with spinning fire, Papier-mache dragons breathing fire, camels munching, and blacksmiths actually working on a lit forge.
The Dwarf nartivity scenes are not to be missed!
To enjoy this incredible experience of the traditional Christmas market plus the Medieval Market, plan a stay in St. Wendel during December 3-12, 2022. It’s got small town vibes and world class Christmas creativity.
Best Things to Do in St. Wendel Year Round
Sankt Wendel impresses all four seasons. Christmas magic is supported by gorgeous Fall colors, plenty of outdoor activities in summer and winter, and a sweet Spring Easter market.
Leafy rolling hills surround this town marked with a gorgeous gothic Cathedral in it’s pedestrian Old Town.
The Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage trail runs through here on a mid-stop between Mainz and Saarbrucken. This path continues to the Atlantic ocean just past Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
St. Wendel lies at a stop on the Europe-wide “sculpture” path, the path of the Good Shepherd and many more. This website goes into great details and has many day hikes included.
We’ve put together 3 great hiking guides with interactive maps at the end of this post to help you enjoy St. Wendel by foot. Whether you’re pushing a stroller or want something strenuous, our guides will get you to add a little adventure to your culture.
St. Wendel Skate Park The skate park in St. Wendel is one of the largest skate parks in Europe and a paradise for all people on wheels. Elements like fun, curb or combi boxes, snaker runs, quarter pipes and ramps offer beginners and professionals a huge selection. The 300 m long speed skating oval with a lawn stand is good for international competitions. And free for users.
The skate park is located on a 5.1 km long, completely paved path. Dirtbikes, inline skating and more are possible.
Sankt Wendlinus Basilika
Gorgeous gothic cathedral that is the site of Saint Wendelinus’s tomb, a place of pilgrimage since 617 AD. Holy mass is at 6:30pm, Saturday: Rosary at 11:30am. Sundays high mass at 10:45am and evenings at 6:00pm.
Dog Friendly Golf Course
27 hole championship course that is dog friendly and hosts a wellness hotel right in the middle of the course. It’s 150 hectares in a hilly area and you have varied terrain to practice and have fun.
Ostermarkt in St. Wendel
The springtime version of the Christmas market, the Easter market is a scaled down version of unique ornaments, gifts, food and drinks worth beating through the spring mud. This year it will run March 31 - April 3, 2022.
Run a Marathon
Fitness runs deep in this community and you can run the Globus marathon scheduled for May 8, 2022.
On Whit Monday or “Pentecost Monday” you can come for a unique experience where a procession of tractors and horses takes place from the Basilica of St. Wendelin to this sweet hillside chapel. They are blessed as part of a Holy Mass in open air. June 6, 2022.
Best Spots to Eat in Sankt Wendel
Eating in St. Wendel has something for everyone and with good weather a ton of outdoor drinks and dining. Try some of our favorites!
Wendelinushof Cafe. Gorgeous organic cafe sitting above town where the produce is grown right outside and the milk cows are at the entrance. Located next to a yoga studio and has it’s own store selling fresh produce. Serving local dishes and drinks.
Bruder Jakob’s Cafe located in the heart of the old town. Fresh and modern and serving burgers, salads, pumpkin soup and Rieslings to die for.
Le Journal serving classic French inspired dishes and delicious wines on the main square of town. Wednesday nights in summers are jam packed, get there early for the live music.
Best Places to Stay in St. Wendel
View the Christmas market right out of your window by staying at the Angel’s - das Hotel am Fruchtmarkt. Located across the street from St. Wendelinus Basilica in the heart of the Old Town. Dog friendly!
Angel's - das Hotel am Golfpark Enjoy your active stay directly near the golfpark with spa and wellness facilities and excellent breakfast.
Want a little more privacy and an entire house? Stay at the Stadthaus mit Sonnendeck with 2 bedrooms and fully equipped kitchen.
How to Get to St. Wendel Germany
St Wendel has an underground parking garage in the middle of town and many surrounding outdoor spaces that all require payment. The main train station of St Wendel is within walking distance of the Basilica and all of the hikes and markets and the train schedule can be found here.
Best Outdoor Hikes and Strolls St Wendel with Maps
Beyond the food and culture, the most interesting thing for exploration in St. Wendel is the “Westwall” or “Siegfried Line”(Allied name) bunkers. It's not far to explore the Dragon's Teeth Hike nearby in Saarland.
Most nazi relics have been destroyed, but above the town of St. Wendel on a gorgeous overlook is a well preserved nazi bunker.
It’s sobering and a little scary, but helps me to remember the importance of freedom, kindness and compassion and to guard against fascism even during our unprecedented times of peace.
My intial instinct says get rid of anything of such an awful regime. But history that is forgotten is likely to repeat itself. Heck, most history repeats itself regardless.
Is this some version of the confederate statue debate in the southern United States?
Who knows, but they've been here since 1945 and I'm curious.
Here’s 3 great St. Wendel hikes personally curated by me and my goldendoodle Ruby - some are stroller friendly, some are on the Camino de Santiago, some are hard, and some pass by some haunting Westwall WWII relics.
Best War History & Mystical St. Wendel Hike
Saint Wendel WWII Walk - Bunkers and St Wendel's Basilica : Westwall Hike Series
This hike is for you if you want a foliage-filled, sport stroller friendly, super WWII and Roman and Christian and Pagan historical + mystical path.
Trail Name: St Wendel WWII Walk - Bunkers and St Wendel's Monestary : Westwall Hike Series
How to use this map: Use your computer mouse or fingers to zoom in and out. Click on the icons to get more information. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the written index. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your google maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open google maps, click the menu button, and go to “your places”/ “maps.”
Location: St Wendel Old Town
Trail Guide: Westwall Series : St Wendel Bunkers and Monastery
Type of Hike: 1 Loop
Distance: 4.4 miles
Elevation: 450 ft up, 450 ft down
Duration: Approx. 1.5-2 hours
Start/end point: CITY Garage
Stroller-friendly: yes - sport
Fees: Yes, parking
Camino de Santiago: Yes - Long Stretches on Camino & the Good Shepherd Path of St. Wendel
Something Good to Eat: Le Journal - Amazing food at Schlossstrasse 16 66606 St Wendel
Starting at the city parking lot, come above ground and wind your way through the Altstadt and out of the main part of city going past the main square. You’ll be headed towards the hidden little chapel in the woods under the St Wendel’s Basilica.
You’ll see old grand homes that remind you of Boston with gorgeous details and fine gardens and amazing colors.
When you come to the chapel take a moment to read the signs in English about the history during so many different time periods in this land that switched back and forth.
The man Saint Wendel is pretty popular around these parts. A hermit, a scotsman and people continue to travel to the Basilica in the Old Town to his tomb. They first started in 617 AD.
Watch out for the many sculptures, even randomly in the forest. There’s a path going to Russia with similar sculptures. Crazy.
Go uphill and walk around to the left of the gorgeous monastery. Then towards St Wendelinus Hof. It’s a whole ecosystem of organic farming, yoga studio, cafe, market and a place where people with disabilities work and earn their living and independence.
Then carefully cross the highway and turn into the forest onto the Tiefenbachpfad - this trail is really cool. A 10k loop that’s worth doing - but the entire thing isn’t good for a stroller.
Just after you pass a nursing home on the left, continue about 200 meters and there’s a rad overlook of the city of St Wendel that’s built into a natural bowl with gentle farms surrounding the city.
Then if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss the WWII bunker on the same overlook. It’s part of the Siegfriend line or Westwall. Hitlers last defence. It’s creepy and interesting at the same time. It’s easy to see why this hillside was important.
After turn left and wind your way down through the farms, housing and back into the city and to the main Altstadt of St Wendel to finish the loop.
Komoot App with GPS Tracking: Komoot allows one free region so you don’t have to subscribe to use this. It's an easy to use app for hiking.
Use my "tour" that I personally created to have this particular hike on your phone. Even without a good mobile signal, you can use your phone's GPS and follow the red dot.
Best Stroller Friendly St. Wendel Hike
Easy Saint Wendel Sculpture Stroll with Elves & Playgrounds
This super flat stroll in St Wendel is for the whimsical with interesting sculptures, elves and incredible playgrounds.
Trail Name: Easy St Wendel Sculpture Stroll with Elves & Playgrounds
Location: St Wendel Old Town & City Sculpture Park
Trail Guide: Easy Sculpture Stroller Walk
Type of Hike: Loop
Distance: 1 mile
Elevation: 50 ft up, 25 ft down
Duration: Approx. 30 min
Start/end point: CITY Garage
Fees: Yes, parking
Camino de Santiago: Yes Short stretch
Something Good to Eat: Bruder Jakob’s Cafe at Cathedral - Get the Hokkaido Cream soup! Bruder Jakob Cafe at start/finish.
Starting at the city parking lot, come above ground and wind your way through the Altstadt and out of the main part of the city going past the main square. Cross the main street on the Camino and follow the “skulpturenweg” signs and enter the long green park.
There’s wonderful sculptures and playgrounds. Turn left at the end and complete the loop walking through grand old manor homes and find the elf statues!
Plan to eat in the altstadt of St Wendel - it’s super delish. The Cortina ice cream shop has pomegranate gelato to die for.
Easy St Wendel Sculpture Stroll with Elves & Playgrounds Trail Guide on Google:
(Click here to learn how to use this map.)
Komoot App with GPS Tracking: https://www.komoot.com/tour/547878251?ref=wtd
Best Advanced St. Wendel Hike
Tiefenbachpfad - Wendelinushof Loop with Views of St Wendel : Westwall Hike Series
This advanced hike above St Wendel is for you if you love to see WWII history, varied terrain and end up at an organic farm cafe complete with it’s own cows, yoga studio and staffed by people with disabilities.
Trail Name: Tiefenbachpfad - Wendelinushof Loop with views of St Wendel : Westwall Hike Series
Location: Wendelinus Hof - 3km east of city center
Trail Guide: Wendelinushof Westwall Series Loop
Type of Hike: Loop
Distance: 9 miles
Elevation: 1100 ft up, 1100 ft down
Duration: Approx. 4 hours
Start/end point: Wendelinushof Parking is Free.
Camino de Santiago: Yes, long stretches
Something Good to Eat: Gorgeous organic Cafe at the Parking: https://www.wendelinushof.de
St Wendel holds a dear place in people’s hearts here in Saarland. The hermit prince from Scotland is the namesake for this really cool farm/yoga/social project called Wendelinushof that employs people with disabilities.
The impressive St Wendel Monastery lies just to the west between the farm and the city of St Wendel.
You’ll also traverse along the Camino de Santiago and come across Nazi bunkers from WWII. Sculptures and varied landscapes will take you to a relaxed place on this long hike.
Plan to eat local dishes at the Wendelinushof cafe before or after you start this hike. It’s delish, super local (their own farm) and organic. There’s a grocery store on the other side of the cafe also if you’d like to stock up on fresh, local produce.
Tiefenbachpfad - Wendelinushof Loop with views of St Wendel : Trail Guide on Westwall Hike Series
Komoot App with GPS Tracking: https://www.komoot.com/smarttour/1214987?ref=wsd
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Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a passionate hiker and writer, physical therapist, and European Cornhole Commissioner. She is living near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and featured giving science-based hiking tips and advice.
When not out exploring the mountains or sea, she’s writing articles and gear reviews to empower Outdoor Journeys that include family and good food. She is actively involved in the community and advocating for connection and sustainability with her community projects at Cornhole Europa and Sustainable Investors Group.