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Christmas Market Reviews

We went to our first Christmas market in 2010 and went to Hamburg - what a wonderful experience. The atmosphere was wonderful and felt really festive. Stayed in the City Centre and was in easy walking distances to loads of markets. The Germans really know how to do these markets. The Gluhwein & Eggnog was wonderful in the festive china mugs which you could keep if you wanted. We loved every minute of our stay.

So we thought we would go to another Christmas market this year but were worried out going back to Germany in case it was very much the same - so we thought we would try Zurich, Switzerland. What a complete waste of time and money! The markets were rubbish - not a patch on the German ones. Did not feel festive at all and the Gluhwein was served in plastic cups! They did not have a clue. The only half decent market was in a train station and although they said there were markets on every street corner - there was not. And massively expensive as well! Came home with nothing. Very disappointing.

We would definitely go back to Germany again - as they are the best at Christmas Markets!

First Name. Donna
Location.  Kent, England

We have just returned (2011) from a trip to the Rhine Valley Christmas Markets at Rudesheim and Koblenz.  Koblenz is a complete waste of time! The market square no longer exists (building is taking place on it), there are just 3 very small market areas squeezed in around the town with a total of 34 stalls, most of which are food and drink.  It was so disappointing and we, together with about half the members of our tour group, cut short our visit and returned early to Boppard where we were staying.

Rudesheim was better, but there didn't seem to be the 120 stalls from several different countries that we had read about. Please don't waste your time/money going to Koblenz if it is markets you want.  We wish we had gone to Cologne instead, we drove past one of the markets there en route and it looked great.

First Name. Andrea
Location.  Nottingham

We returned last year(2010) for our second trip to Germany during Christmas Market season.

I think we were concerned coming for the second time that there would be a let down, and maybe our memories of our first trip 3 years prior could not be lived up to, Wow were we wrong.

We cruised with Uniworld River Duchess both times and the ship and crew add even more to the holiday experience, docking near the markets in several cites. We started in Nuremburg, Bamberg, Wuerzburg, Rothenburg, Frankfurt, Heidelberg and Cologne.

On this trip we stayed two extra days at the beginning in Nuremberg at the Hotel Agneshof Nurnberg, within walking distance of the Christmas Markets, yet quite being off the main streets and two extra days at the end in Cologne at the City Class Hotel Europa Am Dom, right across the street from the main Christmas Market at the Dom Cathedral, we had an amazing view from our room of the Dom. 

Heidelberg is still out favourite overall as the entire city area is engulfed in the spirit, not only the Christmas Markets, but all the great main street shops as well.

Wish we could come every year, but hope to come at least every other. The German Christmas markets will refresh your attitude and love of this season, in the US it has become a hectic commercialized enterprise, not so in Germany. Enjoy.

First Name. Don
Location.  California

We have visited Dortmund Christmas Markets about 7 times and every year it continues to be really special. Especially when the snow is falling, you are feeling cold and you heat yourself up with a mug of  gluhwein........Magic.  I would also recommend the Dortmund Christmas Liquer, made only at Christmas time.

Would just like to mention Express by Holiday Inn, Moskauer Strasse 1, for excellent accommodation every year, not forgetting to mention their excellent breakfast.

First Name. Gail & Derek
Location.  Scotland

I’ve just come back from a wonderful 3 day trip to Koln to see the Christmas Markets. I’ve been every year for the last 3 years and each time it is better than before. The best bits were:

* The snow on our first day – coming out of the Dom to see the snow falling and wandering around the market in the snow made the picture perfect.

* The café at the Chocolate Museum – watching the boats on the river whilst sipping hot chocolate through a straw (we had to go twice!)

* The stars in the trees at the Neumarkt market – fairytale time

Next year I’m inspired to visit the city by boat, travelling up the magnificent Rhine.

FirstName. Sally Ann  
Location. 
UK

FABULOUS, is the only way to describe our trip to Berlin last year to visit the Christmas Market. Not only was the market above and beyond our expectations but aside from that there are so many interesting places to visit. Our first stop was the Jewish Museum which is harrowing yet compulsive but also has many inspirational stories of men and women and children who have fought against great hardship to live to tell the tale. Then on to Check Point Charlie where we purchased an historical piece namely a chunk of The Berlin Wall. We also browsed the many antique shops that sells Militaria and purchased a Pickelhauben. There really is so much to do and see, I would highly recommend a visit. We are going again this Christmas - this is a first for us as we have never before visited the same place twice. Well done Germany for enticing us back.

FirstName. Alexandria  
Location
.  UK

Occupation
. Insurance

We took a coach holiday to the black forest area of Germany last December, we stayed in Triberg and it was like staying in a winter wonderland. The Christmas markets were wonderful, the mountains and forest where lovely, the snow looked beautiful. We did not want to come home, the mulled wine was beautiful, the people were friendly and where the nicest people we have ever met and everything about the place was wonderful, it felt it like coming home, so much so we have booked a weeks holiday this year in December, going to Ingolstadt. We can't wait to come back to where our hearts belong.

FirstName. Susan
Location
.  UK

Occupation
.

I went to the 2006 Christmas Markets in Germany, and I had such an amazing time! Make sure you go to the markets early - I didn't realise that some close up to a week before Christmas! I went to a few around Munich - Tollwood was great, very big, but also seemed more like a normal market. Marienplatz was beautiful, the tree outside the glockenspiel - wow! I went to the top of a bookshop opposite it, and you can see the whole market from the top, great views! But my favourite was the market at Chinesische Turm. It was smaller, but had such a friendly and romantic atmosphere. Because it was small, there were carts drawn by fairy tale -esq white horses. And the gluhwein/kinderpunsch is the best. Usually (at least at all the markts i went to), you can keep the mug which you get the gluhwein in. Definatley keep it. It might cost you a few extra euros, but it's worth it. I realised this at the end, and I only got a mug with penguins...so make sure you keep them! And try to go to a midnight mass, even if your not religious. Its such an amazing experience!

FirstName. Catherine
Location. 
Australia

Occupation. Student

 

 

This year (2007) has been my first Christmas in Germany. The Christmas Markets have made the season special. The Nürnberg market was truly wonderful, but don't forget it's neighbour town Fürth. There are two markets in Fürth. The main market includes an ice rink and a mini train for the kids. The old town market is smaller and has mostly hand-made items (some made right there while you wait). It also features scheduled musical events. And for you mug collectors, each Fürth market has it's own mug.

FirstName. Lillian
Location. 
Fort Worth, Texas

Occupation. Occupational Therapist

I just got back from my visit in Esslingen (Dec. 2007) and liked the medieval theme to a section of this market. Lots of things for kids to do and unique food and vender items too - Definitely worth the visit - you should climb the steps to the top of the wall of the city at dusk for the view when the lights go on.

FirstName. LA Trageser
LocationBaltimore, MD
Occupation.

 Just back from a fantastic day out in Dortmund! After reading this site, we (four ladies) decided to take ourselves to Dortmund with Easyjet from Luton.

When we arrived in Dortmund, we got a taxi with total ease and paid 20 euro, cheaper than we were told to expect, to go straight to the markets. And WOW!

Grab yourself a free map (blue booklet), although if you basically travel in a massive circle you can't go wrong, to see all 350 stalls. There were lots of different types of stall, plenty of food and drinks, and the tree, what can I say, it really was breath taking. It's amazing, I have never seen such a thing before. The stall holders were friendly, spoke great English and did things like gift wrapping for free.

We spent from 11-4.:30, and still could've spent more time there. The atmosphere was relaxed no one was rushing about, you can look and dawdle without any pressure at all. And the same taxi driver picked us up for the short journey back to the airport. Next year, we'll try Munster, just for a different city, but I can absolutely recommend Dortmund to anyone. What fun!

FirstName. Jackie
Location.
Northampton, England
Occupation.
HR Management Trainee

Went to Dortmund last year what can i say GREAT!

We were booked into a Best Western for one night but easy jet cancelled our flight back and they paid for the extra night!!

A group of twelve of us went and we all loved it, the women the shopping and the men plenty of small bars to stop and have a coke (you know what i mean). The Christmas Markets were great specially at night and friendly people.

You can eat and drink to your hearts content walking round the markets we loved it, of to Berlin this year to try there if it's as good as Dortmund should be great RECOMMENDED!!!

FirstName. Simon
Location.
Stevenage, England
Occupation.
Gas Engineer

We make it a habit to travel to Europe 3 times a year. I have been and seen all of the wonderful tastes and sights but this was the most fabulous of trips. It was charming and every market looked just like a postcard. I plan to return every year to the Christmas markets. Heidelberg always on the agenda.

First Name. Robin
Location.
Houston, Tx
Occupation. 

My husband and I enjoyed the Christmas markets so much last December, we are returning this year. Being in Germany at Christmas time was an indescribable feeling. The smell of the wine and cookies, the very friendly citizens of Germany, the beautiful historic atmosphere, all were unbelievable. A friend had told me that "no one does Christmas like Germany." She was very right! We had such a great time, we will never forget it! Oh, I almost forgot, but cant believe I did, The FOOD! Every restaurant was phenomenal! I cant say enough good things about our experience in Germany.

First Name. Ryan & April
Location.
Virginia, USA
Occupation.
Navy/homemaker

Our first trip to the Christmas Markets took place in 2004. We started our tour in Frankfurt. The beautiful square with its tremendous tree immediately put us into the holiday spirit. It is here we discovered one of the best souvenirs you can get from the markets - the Gluwein mug. Each market has its own design, color and sometimes shape. In all we collected 11. Freiburg, Munich, Nuremberg, Bamberg...

Nuremberg, being the largest and most famous of the markets truly lived up to its reputation. From the main market in the central square to the smaller but charming international market, all were a delight. Being so large you would expect people to be in a gruff mood but the Christmas spirit prevails. Add that to the regular attractions of the city and you have a truly memorable experience.

Smaller markets in Bamberg, Coburg, Fussen and other small towns offer a more traditional experience with yet more gluwein, mugs and countless decorations.

2006 marks our second trip to the markets with hopefully many more to follow. We start in Vienna with a cruise on the Danube to Nuremberg where we pick up a car and drive up the Romantic Road, over to the Rhine, quick stop in Brussels, then finish off with Bonn, Koln & Dusseldorf. I'm looking forward to it and many more mugs. I can't recommend the markets enough.

First Name. Mario
Location. Seattle, USA
Occupation. Education

Although each and every Christmas market is unique in itself and each has something to offer to someone, my personal taste is Rothenburg. For years it has been a destination for the family to go. It is small enough to be cozy and yet big enough to not get bored. What a lovely Bavarian town anyway. Go see it!!

First Name. Steven
Location. Bamberg, Germany
Occupation. Army Civilian

I have been to the German xmas markets three times.

Germany, in December, is truly beautiful. The houses are all decked out with lights and window decorations and almost every town has some sort of christmas market. Our trips have been based along the Moselle and Rhine rivers, taking in places such as Koblenz, Trier and Rudesheim. Koblenz is a smaller market, with approx 100 stalls and a small ice rink. Trier, with its imposing Porta Negra (a roman ruin of the original city wall) is larger. 

Rudesheim is my favourite, the journey along the Rhine is gorgeous and you strain to take it all in! The `streets` of Rudesheim are narrow and have many, many shops along them. The stalls are strewn all over the town centre but easily lead on from one another and sell the most beautiful hand crafted gifts. The smell of the gluhwein and food cooking, people meeting up to chat, the music played by bands, the live nativity scene, its what christmas should be about!!! If you need to warm up, try the Rudesheimer coffee..but only when you are going straig!

ht back to the coach..it will blow your head off!! Enjoy your trip, wherever you go, and look in awe at the magic of christmas because it still exists in Germany!!

First Name. Lynn
Location. North-West England
Occupation. Student

Heidelberg is really fun and it is very beautiful. I recommend that everyone go there because it's just so beautiful and fun. During Christmas there are festivals and markets. At the festivals you can go on rides and get food and drinks, it's great for kids and adults. Now, at the markets you can go shopping for lots of Christmas stuff and other things, There you can also get food and drinks.

First Name. Sasha
Location. Heidelberg
Occupation. Student

We went with Moswin Tours last year to Cologne Christmas Market and it was a wonderful experience. It was our first trip to the Christmas Markets and we were advised by Moswin that Cologne would be an excellent starting point, as they have a wide range of markets throughout the city. How right they were - Cologne was excellent and the fact they had six different markets made the whole trip even better. I would certainly recommend Cologne for anyone wishing to visit the Christmas Markets in Germany.

First Name. Janine
Location. Leicestershire
Occupation. Accounts

Christmas in Germany appears to be more traditional than here in England.  The markets are superb, a real treat.  In Stuttgart the markets covered a wide area in the Zentrum.  The roofs of the stalls were a feast themselves, festively decorated with Xmas scenes.  The stalls are lovely too with lots of crafts, ideal for presents.

First Name. Millie
Location. England
Occupation. n/a

Discovering Bernkastel Kues was definately one of the highlights of my summer holiday this year. We were based in a lodge in Thalfang and from there could easily reach places such as Trier and Cologne. What we hadn't expected was the beauty of Bernkastel Kues, it was breathtaking. The village was like something out of a picture book. The food was fabulous, it seemed that a healthy salad was served with every meal we had, regardless of the location of the restaurants. The weather was wonderful and popping into the cellars to buy locally produced wine was a real treat. I still have a bottle that I've kept, it has a picture of the slanting house where we purchased it. We loved it so much we have decided to go back for a Xmas market. Is it possible it could be even more spectacular at Xmas.

First Name. Julie
Location. Scotland
Occupation. Counsellor

We started our trip by catching the 17:30 ferry from Dover (it was half an hour late) and making our way to the first nights stop at Lille (1 hour), next day we did the longest part of the trip to Cologne (4 hours), here we were based for three nights. We travelled on free motorways through France, Belgium and Germany only using main roads to go into the different towns. Day one ; was to Monschau an olde world German village with loads of charm and character, continuing on to Ahrweiler another small town, we then aimed for Bonn. On the way we stopped at the small village of Remagen on the banks of the Rhine, here we saw a Xmas market put on by the villagers for the locals not a tourist in sight. Bonn as befits a large city had a big Xmas market, this together with the shops made it a good place to visit, it even had an open air ice skating rink at the end of the market. Day two; we spent looking around the four xmas markets in Cologne the most popular city for tourists, the markets were the Dom (beside Cologne cathedral, Alt (old ), neu (new) and the Rudolf. Most of these markets being Sunday were bursting at the seams full of tourists and locals on their day off. Day three; It was the turn of Aachen again as the shops were open everybody found something to their liking. 
The Xmas markets are like no other markets I’ve seen, they are dedicated to Xmas, there are nativity sets from one that will fit on a saucer to one that takes half a room. They are made of all conceivable materials from gold to straw. If you like Xmas decoration this is the place for you, fantastic shapes in glass decorated in wonderful colours and designs, all forms of tinsel and glittering objects for the tree. Most of the shopping centres and markets even had xmas tree tied to lamp posts. If gazing at all these wonders made you hungry there were plenty of food stalls serving Hot roast chestnuts, Bratwursts (12” sausage in a 6” roll), deepfried fish in a roll (£1), Fried potatoe fritters with apple sauce (many others I didn’t try – too full) all washed down with german beer or Gluwine ( hot mulled wine) which warmed you up, or perhaps made you not notice the cold !! Wether it was the wine or just Xmas the atmosphere was wonderful.
Our trip was a 5 day special, all our hotels were “Formula 1” costing approx £15 per night per room (for up to three people) continental breakfast was approx £2.20 pp, lunch and dinners were taken in local Mcdonalds or local resturants near to the hotels. Super petrol was 60P a litre. I hope this report gives you just a flavour of what I experiencd.

First Name. Harry
Location. North Wales
Occupation. Retired

The atmosphere is festive and the crowds enormous. Everybody in town, and from the surrounding countryside, seems to show up to have a good time and look for some Christmas items. Some of the stalls the stalls carry very inexpensive ornaments and even small figures made of prunes and nuts, (Yes prunes!). Other stalls sell more interesting and expensive Christmas products and toys. Different cities have different specialties and different sized Christmas markets. As one would expect in Germany, the whole process is well-organized. Some of  the stores accept credit cards for more expensive items and English is widely spoken./font>

The biggest and best Christmas market is certainly Nuremberg. Surprisingly, the market in Munich was not as large as in some other cities nor was the selection of items as extensive. Some of the markets in smaller sized cities, particularly Ulm, had interesting collections of locally produced Christmas handicrafts, particularly glass. One of the larger Christmas stores from Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Kathy Wolfart, had stalls at several markets.

First Name. John
Location. Ramsgate, Kent
Occupation. Engineer

 

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