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Christmas markets?

Wigan, United...
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Christmas markets?

Hi Guys,

We generally visit Cologne for the Xmas markets and would like to try somewhere different this year, basically, we looked at either Berlin or Nuremberg. Berlin is a lot easier and cheaper to get to for us but after doing a little research I'm leaning towards Nuremberg as we'd also like to spend a night or 2 in Rothenburg au Tauber (apologies if the spelling is incorrect).

Has anyone been to either/both Berlin and Nuremberg at Christmas? We're trying to get an insight as to whether it'd be worth the extra time and money to take the Nuremberg option as we'd more than likely have to take connecting flights and hire a car? Is Berlin just as good as Nuremberg at Xmas?

Any info would be great.



Bautzen, Germany
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1. Re: Christmas markets?

I'm not a big fan of Nurembergs Christmas market. Sure, it's the most famous one.... but sadly also one of the most crowded. And I also can't say that I like the setting too much. Nuremberg was one of the most beautiful places in Europe... before the city was completely destroyed in WW2. Today the city is a collection of often quite ugly post-war boxes.

Because of these reasons I would recommend to visit Berlin instead. Sure, Berlin can't be called a beauty either, and some parts are uglier than everything you can find in Nuremberg, but Berlins Christmas markets offer a unbeatable variety. I think there are more than 40 Christmas markets all over the city, and if you are tired of all the Christmas stuff you can enjoy all the offers of a metropolis, like world-class museums, several operas and symphony orchestras, two(!) zoos etc..

BTW: there is also a city that combines the traditional, big Christmas market of Nuremberg and the romantic old world charm of Rothenburg ob der Tauber: Erfurt, halfway between Berlin and Nuremberg. Erfurt is the capital of Thuringia and offers one of the biggest preserved old towns in the country. Rick Steves actually calls Erfurt a "untouristy Rothenburg":


The Christmas marketwith ~200 stalls, which is beautifully situated between the old town and below the cathedral, gets visited by ~2 mio people (compared to ~180 stalls and 2 mio visitors in Nuremberg). From Erfurt youc an do day trips to Weimar, Leipzig and Wartburg castle.

Edited: 11:59 am, May 22, 2013
Wigan, United...
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2. Re: Christmas markets?


Thanks for the detailed information, it's looking like Berlin is the best option. I've never actually heard of Erfurt before but had a quick look on line and it does look like a beautiful place, definitely one to consider and only a few hours drive from either Berlin or Frankfurt.

Thanks again,


Chula Vista...
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3. Re: Christmas markets?

Hi Danielle,

I went to Germany and Austria last December for my first Christmas market experience. I went to markets in Würzburg, Munich, and Vienna, and of those I probably enjoyed Vienna's and Würzburg's the most.

However, my relatives took me to a small Christmas market in Schwäbisch-Hall and it was perhaps the most memorable. It was a very small market, but the intimacy of being there with the town's people (and very few tourists), seeing the children's concert, and Weihnachtsmann wander through the small crowd handing out gifts to the children made for the most memorable experience.

If you can, I'd encourage you to find a small town with a Christmas market near wherever you stay and check it out for a completely different experience. I think you'll be surprised.



Fröhliche Weihnachten! :-)

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4. Re: Christmas markets?

My husband and I went to Nurmenberg Christmas Markets and actually liked it and had some of the best gingerbread and there was a booth that was selling a 10 nut bread which was absoutley delicious that I brought home 2. We liked the city Nurmenberg and would like to go back again if but for a couple of days. We also stayed at Rothenburg and did day trips, tho Rothenburg appears to be the Christmasy town with Kathy Wolfart shop but the Christmas Market was not as great as I had hoped tho the town is quaint.. When we were in Heidelberg we ran into an older American couple who said the Christmas Markets in and near Dresden was really wonderful and of course near Meissen which I love the china and also around Strasboug were really nice too.

Edited: 4:44 pm, June 11, 2013
Munich, Germany
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5. Re: Christmas markets?

I haven't been to the Christmas Markets in Berlin, but I have been to the one in Nuremberg twice and would recommend the ones in Berlin because there are so many of them. You will be able to find the touristy ones and the smaller ones that many locals prefer. I didn't enjoy the Nuremberg one the first time I went, but liked it much better the second time. If you do decide to go, here are some tips that you might find useful: monkeysandmountains.com/nuremberg-christmas-…

6. Re: Christmas markets?

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