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For all Christkindlesmarkt veterans, a n opinion please

Two years ago I visited the Vienna Christkindlesmarkt with one of my older daughters and my 10 year old grandson. It was wonderful!! We only had four days, but all four days were superb. On this forum, Emily was kind enough to make suggestions, all of which were spot on.

Well my wife and two youngest college aged daughter and son want to go to Christkindlesmarkt. Therein lies a problem: While Vienna is just excellent at Christmas, what more am I missing?

We will take a ten day holiday to visit the markets. I was thinking perhaps fly to Munich and visit the markets in Munich, rent a car and drive to the markets in Nuremberg and Rothenburg. Then take a train to Vienna for five days. and fly home from there.

But is the best itinerary, or am I missing something? Vienna is a must, but would Prague be better than Munich? I really do not want to travel for five of the ten days, so two day trips from Munich sound doable. Five days in Vienna would be no travel.

Come on, all you Christkindlesmarkt experts, jump in with your experiences please.

Posted by
605 posts

I enjoyed the Salzburg Christmas market much more than that of Nuremburg and that of Munich. The Nuremberg market gets very crowded. You might consider Salzburg. It would be on your route from Munich to Vienna. Its Christmas market Is often mentioned favorably on this forum and the whole historic core of the city is so pretty at Christmas. Take a look at the Augsburg Christkindlmarkt, also easily reached from Munich.

Posted by
2424 posts

I agree with Pat, Salzburg has a fantastic Christkindlemarkt with lots of artisan works artistically displayed. I also liked Munich’s markets, festive and lively. There was a booth with salmon roasting on wooden planks, so delicious, don’t pass it up. Vienna was wonderful but my tour mates made it to a market I missed because I had a ticket to an exhibition at the
Kunst. And they raved about that market. Maybe someone will post here. I took the RS Munich Salzburg Vienna tour this past December. Little did I realize that might be my last trip to Europe. Sigh.
You will love it! By the way I think trains would be a good option of traveling instead of car.

Posted by
784 posts

I like the Nuremberg Market - although because of all of its popularity it is too crowded most of the time. Rothenburg ob der Tauber, while a cute city with a fabulous church and a nice wall, did nothing for me with respect to its small Christmas market. Augsburg is very nice, as is Bamberg. Since Nuremberg is only an hour away by train from Munich a car may be unnecessary if you want to go there (and it cuts down on changing hotels).

Munich to Salzburg is a very easy train journey, as is the one from Salzburg to Vienna.... Sit back and enjoy the scenery.

If you want a non-tourist Christkindlmarkt - just north of Nuremberg is the town of Furth - which has an excellent smaller "Medieval" style Market that is always filled with --- Germans. Excellent local food stalls and all the Gluhwein required of several strengths. It can be reached on the Nuremberg U-bahn from the Nuremberg main station - just go to the Furth main station stop.

Posted by
5262 posts

Hello Joseph - My first thought is that you should be prepared for differences this year with the markets. Given the pandemic, some might not operate. Best to be flexible. My second thought is that you should combine a large city destination, such as Vienna which have dozens of markets, with a more rural location with countryside markets, such as Wolfgangee and Mariazell. A Salzburg/Wolfgangsee visit combined with your Vienna favorites would be a great balance between large, middle and small. Did you see my write up this year of the markets in Vienna?

Posted by
850 posts

I'm not sure what changes there will be in the Post-Covid era, but Nuremberg, Salzburg, and Prague all have good Christmas Markets. If you like Vienna, I'd fly in there, train to Salzburg, then to Nuremberg, then to Prague, and back to Vienna. There are some who will recommend buses, but I vastly prefer trains in the winter. Also, especially with Nuremberg, plan to stay overnight, because the markets are best once the sun goes down and the majority of the tourists leave. These are easy 1-2 hours train trips that could be made before noon, giving you the afternoon to walk the town and evenings for the markets, a night in a nice hotel, and on to the next. And if you plan it right you get a hotel between the market and the train station you can easy drop your luggage before you go exploring. Even better, if you return to the same Vienna hotel you can leave extra luggage there for your return, so you're not hauling everything with you.

You could do the same with Munich, but I never thought their Christmas markets were "that" special. Augsburg and Regensburg were better in my opinion. Likewise Rothenburg odT; the town is the base for Kathy Wolfhart's Christmas stores and while I love the town, not at Christmas. Bad Windsheim, or Ansbach just 20km away were always more local and interesting.

Posted by
3702 posts

Regarding hotels, book them soon, [refundable, of course.] I was planning our 2019 xmas markets trip this time last year, and some of my first choices were already completely booked by June. I do prefer hotels right in the center of the old town areas, many of which are smaller. I chose to spend more on hotels, and less on food, as we ate at the markets, where the food -and gluwein- are SO cheap, very interesting- and good. It was nice to easily return to the hotel , especially if it was raining, or REALLY cold, to take a short break.
PS - We also brought a bag of hand warmers, which we used every day!
Safe travels!

Posted by
1148 posts

If you are thinking Nürnberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, then my alternatives would be Erfurt and Regensburg Germany. I would visit both and overnight if possible. Nice sized cities (150-200k) with Universities, atmosphere, history, plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants that young adults might enjoy beyond the Weihnachtsmarkt. Old cities are intact. Multiple markets in different locations. Great public transportation. Erfurt still has an old East flair in Thüringen. Regensburg is Bavarian, but Oberpfalzer. There will still be bus loads of tourists for the main markets, but most will be German. Parking in the old city areas could be a problem.

Posted by
1172 posts

This past December, I did Prague, Vienna and Salzburg and really enjoyed all 3. I also har great things about Budapest.

Posted by
268 posts

Munich is great for Christmas markets--there are many in the town and each unique. Marionplatz of course, is most crowded, but you have the Chinese Tower and many others that pop up around town. I hear Rothenburg and Nuremberg markets are wonderful. I would like to see them, too. Consider the Romantic Road along the Rhine. I would love to go to Rudesheim for their Christmas Market. Salzburg had some cool markets on the side streets as well as by the Cathedral.

Maybe consider renting a car the entire time to be able to see what adventures could be experienced along the way? Plus you can store your loot in the car and pack it up at the end of the trip!

We found some off the beaten path Christmas markets in Vienna. As much as I like Vienna, 5 days there would be a bit much. We did a day trip to Bratislava where we went to a cool Christmas market. The Christmas market by the Vienna City Center was full of junk. It was the worse. We found some wonderful markets by the Four Seasons neighborhood, though.

It is easy to get burnt out on the Christmas markets--make sure you are in a place where you would like to be to hang out.

My advice for any market-- Dress warmly. If you see something you like, buy it. Bring bubble wrap and tape. If you know you will be in town on a certain day, make dinner reservations ASAP. Restaurants sell out fast.

This is such a magical time to visit Europe--have fun!!!

Posted by
5262 posts

We found some wonderful markets by the Four Seasons neighborhood,

What area is this your refer to? There is no Four Seasons neighborhood I am aware of in Vienna. I'd also add that the OP has already been to Vienna's markets and liked it so much, plans to return.