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Advice on early December Bavarian trip

I am planning a trip to see what these Christmas markets are all about. I also don't mind moving around alot but was wondering what you think about this plan and I am totally open to suggestions on editing it.

arrive Sat in Vienna
Sunday Vienna
Monay Prague
Tuesday Prague
Wednesday Nuremberg
Thursday Nuremberg
Friday Munich
Saturday Munich
Sunday lv Munich

Too Much?

Posted by
754 posts

too many days in Munich as the Xmas Market there is one of our least favorite in all of Europe. I do think you are traveling too much. It will take LOTS of time to travel between cities and you will not see much of the markets. For only a week, I'd keep it to 2-3 towns only. We go over every year. We LOVE the one in Nuremberg and recommended Hotel Victoria if you need a recommendation.

Vienna also has a great Market, as does Salzburg, Passau and Regensburg. Are you flying into Vienna and out of Munich? If you stay at Hotel Victoria in Nuremberg, it is right across the street from the Train Station - you can even walk underground from the hotel. The hotel is also within the old town wall and very walkable to the market, both cathedrals and the Handiwork Craft area is right next door. Munich is about an hour train ride from Nuremberg (again, you won't need that much time in Munich as it's our least favorite on your list). Are your flights booked? Let me know how you are flying and I'll give you better recommendations, but just looking at it, it's too many changes and not enough time in towns.

Posted by
1091 posts

Well, I am a fan of Munich though I do not really like its main Christmas market. There are several markets and lots of town to traverse on foot. I like to visit the Alte Pinokothek museum and take a look at Dürer's self portrait - not too onerous a walk from the Alt Stadt. I did the walk on a Sunday morning and was able to stop in the Theatinekirche enroute just as a service was starting - Munich dressed to the nines on a Sunday morning - the church was heated which was a welcome relief. Lots of Christmas tree markets along the way. After the museum, I visited the medieval Christmas market which often has live performances of one sort or another. And the Feuerzangenbowle is top notch there. Oh, and then there is the Creche Museum - kinda different

I was staying in Munich on a Saturday (yes, early December) and took a day trip to Garmisch where they had a really local Christmas market going on. Made for a change. I actually enjoyed pretending I was a local (again) and shopped in their H&M. When I got back to Munich, the main market was roaring with crowds and drink - too much for me. But, right next door, Der Alter Peter church held a Saturday evening service called Night Music with a small guitar group and singers - church lit only by candles. The church was packed! And what a difference from what was going on immediately outside.

My first stop in Munich is usually the Viktualienmarkt for some Nürnberger bratwurst and then to stroll around and pretend I am a local looking to buy some Christmas greens. Also, Dalmayer delicatessen across from the Rathaus has fantastic special Christmas chocolate bars that make great gifts. And for the best view of the famous tree, visit the bookstore opposite the Rathaus, Hugenduble - 2nd floor. And, IMO, the best local gift shopping at the markets is to be found inside the Rathaus courtyard where local artisans exhibit. I could go on and on, obviously!

But, if you are in a location that celebrates the Krampuslauf (google it}, do not miss it. Munich has at least one if not more dates. I caught it once going through Marienplatz. I was also fortunate enough to be in Hallstatt on Dec 5 which is the date of the Lauf each year, without fail. I believe Salzburg also celebrates the Krampus.

I have not been to Prague so cannot comment. I have visited Vienna twice during Advent and found it overwhelming - there are many market options which really should be enjoyed with friends at the end of a work day or on a weekend to unwind. I found the Spittelberg market much more cozy and interesting than some of the larger ones.

Nurnberg is massive, not my cup of tea. Salzburg has numerous smaller markets in fairytale settings. In sum, I think a pure diet of Christmas markets can get pretty tiring. Research what else you might like to do in the cities on your list. I was fortunate to be in Vienna a few years ago and caught the Dürer exhibit with lots of his watercolors - just what I needed to balance the Christmas decorations! Enjoy, and try to build in some relief from the markets in case you need a break. Oh - Vienna - Third Man Museum - a must. I will stop now....

Posted by
754 posts

Let me re-clarify my post- I like Munich- but he said this is for the Xmas markets and I don’t like Munich’s Xmas markets compared to others across Germany, Austria, France, and Switzerland

Posted by
3795 posts

Another vote for the Salzburg markets. You might want to take a day/night away from Munich for this. And if it should coincide with one of the Krampus runs, it will be memorable.

Posted by
1010 posts

I would extend your stay if possible. You could add a few other cities and markets with only a half an hour to one hour train trip one-way from a base. Some smaller markets are only open on weekends and only several weekends during the four Adent weekends. At least in Germany, draft plans for a Covid resurgence are being made. Definitely have FFP2 masks on hand (easy to purchase here). The last school summer vacations end the weekend of 10-11 September (Bayern and Baden-Württemberg), so by mid October the Covid situation and impacts to markets will be better known. As I understand, it lockdowns and school closures are being ruled out.

Posted by
1405 posts

You are concentrating on short stays in big cities. That may work best for you. We find short days do not allow us to get a good feel for a major city. Of your list, we have visited Vienna, Nuremberg & Munich for Christmas Markets (actually Wien, Nürnberg & München), and enjoyed them all but not as much as some smaller towns. The Christmas Market atmosphere can be overwhelmed in larger cities.

We prefer short stays in smaller towns with short travel times between them. We are going with my wife's sisters to visit the markets in Aschaffenburg, Rothenburg, Würzburg, Regensburg and Freising/Landshut this year. You could make a similar list for many parts of Germany.

Posted by
10 posts

So many possibilities, so little time. My plan as it stands now is to fly into Vienna and work my way west and fly out of Munich or Frankfurt. I will think about incorporating some more smaller towns. Always open to suggestions. Thanks for all your thoughts thus far. And yes, although my main goal is to see Christmas markets I also plan to spend the mornings exploring the town/city/area.