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Christmas markets and winter sports!

I'm in the brainstorming stages for a possible December trip to Austria, Germany, and/or Switzerland. Two non-sporty travel-loving adults for probably 8-9 days. While one of our main goals is to see Christmas markets, I'm also interested in seeing some of the sports I've loved watching on the winter Olympics all these years--downhill skiing, ski jumping, bobsled, speed skating, etc. Does anyone know of a good resource for finding out when and where competitions will occur? Also, in terms of home bases, I'm currently thinking a few days in Munich (with side trips) and then I'm not sure. Would you recommend we go north to the Berlin area or take the train through the Alps and see Zurich and such (maybe base in Basel to save money). Like I said, definitely in the brainstorming stage! Thanks for your input!!

Posted by
5306 posts

If you are looking at elite level competitions, you are probably a bit early. The World cup schedules have for many (all?) sports not been set yet. But based on previous years we can make a few guesses.

  • Hochfilzen usually hosts the Biathlon World cup in December.
  • The Cross country world cup sometimes stays in northern Europe in December, but sometimes has events in central Europe in December. Then in late December and early January there is the Tour de Ski in and around the Alps.
  • The Alpine skiing and Ski jumping world cups usually has a couple of events in the Alps in December.
Posted by
6091 posts

Great info from Badger above; I'll just add that December snow conditions vary from year to year and the earliest ski races in the season do get cancelled from time to time.
Even later ones are never guaranteed: for example the Kandahar did not take place in Garmisch in January this year.

Posted by
3679 posts

Perhaps our Xmas markets Trip Report will have some helpful suggestions.

You could fly into Munich, go to Salzburg markets, and depart from Zurich- or reverse. Lots of recent threads here on the Forum regarding Xmas markets. Either do a Search or read the recent posts under Germany. I'll see if I can find any of them for you.

Hint- book hotels asap. When I was booking my trip in June, some of my choices were already full, especially on the weekends- and- stay in the city centers.

Have a magical time!