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Christmas markets in 2014

Long Beach
posts: 54
reviews: 4
Christmas markets in 2014

Hello,

This fall my husband and I will be in Germany and would like to visit several(?) Christmas markets. I know they are in just about every city but I wondered which would you recommend? I was told that most begin in December - do any begin in earlier? When should we start booking hotel rooms? We usually rent a car but will it be wiser to go by train? Germany is one of our favorite countries to visit but our trips have always been in the summer. What should we expect (other than colder weather?) Thank you!

7 replies to this topic
Frankfurt
Destination Expert
for Frankfurt
posts: 4,278
reviews: 24
1. Re: Christmas markets in 2014

Medium to large cities, the markets begin 4 weeks before Christmas. Often right around Thanksgiving. Smaller towns will just have their markets on one weekend, but that could be anytime during Advent.

No one knows what the weather will be like, and up by Berlin, it may completely different than down by Salzburg or Munich, and Cologne, Frankfurt or the Rhine will be different than all the rest too. It could be snow or freezing rain, or blue skies and milder.

sydney
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
posts: 12,845
reviews: 75
2. Re: Christmas markets in 2014

why not check out the German Christmas Markets website http://www.christmasmarkets.com/Germany.html

Karlsruhe, Germany
Destination Expert
for Baden-Wurttemberg
posts: 6,485
3. Re: Christmas markets in 2014

Take your calendar. Look up Christmas Day, then count back the four Sundays before Christmas. These are the four Advent Sundays. Most Christmas markets in cities and larger towns begin on a fixed weekday during the week before the First Advent Sunday (in my city it's always the Thursday before First Advent Sunday). From the first Advent weekend onwards you can be sure to find them all open. Only a handful of cities in the Ruhr District, for example Essen and Dortmund, start theirs already a week earlier, but they have to stay closed on that Sunday, which is Eternity Sunday in the protestant churches, memorial day of the dead and end of the church year.

For your planning: try to avoid the big cities on weekends, especially on Saturdays when they will be crowded wall-to-wall with shoppers and day trippers.

Edited: 6:08 pm, March 01, 2014
Long Beach
posts: 54
reviews: 4
4. Re: Christmas markets in 2014

Thank you!

Houston, Texas
posts: 43
reviews: 176
5. Re: Christmas markets in 2014

Hope it isn't too late to get into this topic. We did this in 2010 and hit the Christmas markets in France, Switzerland and Germany, all by train in this order: Paris, Mulhouse, Basel, Switzerland (very short train ride from Mulhouse), Colmar, Strasbourg, Mannheim, Worms. Due to very bad weather we missed Heidelberg and Frankfurt but they were very easy to get to via train and in our plans. If you look at my name MargaretEllen1950, you can find the hotel reviews for places to stay and restaurants from this trip. DB Bahn has some regional fares that make train travel within Germany well priced. Mannheim wasn't a great choice of cities for its own sights but it was well located to hub/spoke to other places and they do have a nice Christmas market.

Christmas Markets in large cities like Paris or Frankfurt or Strasburg are great because you can be outside in the cold at the market and then inside to a museum to warm up. In small towns, the only places to warm up are back to your hotel or to a restaurant. So be aware when you are in the smaller towns that it is really cold and there isn't much relief from the cold! It was a great trip and we are planning another one in the Nurnberg/Munich side of Germany this year.

greeley, CO
posts: 970
reviews: 154
6. Re: Christmas markets in 2014

We visited Stuttgart, Rothenburg, Nuremburg, and Salzburg. I thought Stuttgart was the nicest. There are two others in suburban Stuttgart that we didn't visit but are highly recommended. We visited Nuremburg on a Wednesday afternoon when it wasn't crowded at all. Rothenburg's market isn't worth going to, but of course the town is. Salzburg's was also very nice.

If you can reach all of the towns you eventually decide on by train, then I would use the train. We were there just before Christmas and the temperatures were 25-35 F

Some nice trip reports (including mine) at www.bensbauernhof,com. Lots of good, practical information

Long Beach
posts: 54
reviews: 4
7. Re: Christmas markets in 2014

Thank you!

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