Help with planning Bavaria/Christmas Markets in Germany trip

Hi We'll be going to Bavaria for one week Dec 16-Dec23, open jaw into Munich and out of Frankfurt. I would like to see the Christmas Markets of course but would rather have them interspersed with sightseeing. Please could you make some itinerary suggestions: Day 1 (after a redeye flight, arrive Munich 8am) - Munich sightseeing (marienplatz,hofbrauhaus, Xmas market at night?) Day 2- Munich (take train to see Neuschwanstein?) Day 3- leave a.m. for Nuremberg Day 4 Nuremberg Day 5- leave for _______ (need suggestions - Wurtzberg? Rothenberg?) Day 6 - ?
Day 7 - return to US via Frankfurt airport do you think we should fit Regensberg into this itinerary since it's someewhat geographically close? Is it worth it? are there any 'must see' Christmas Markets other than Nuremberg? WE've read about Selignstadt (high quality crafts) and Rothenberg, but after markets in Munich and Nuremberg, will this be overkill? finally, is the Rothenberg Xmas market Rothenberg, or "Rothenberg ob der Tauber" - I want to make sure we take the train to the correct location Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4758 posts

The Seligenstadt Christmas market does have an artisan section, but just on two weekends and it is in the Abbey, but the whole market ends on the 16th. If you want a market closer to Frankfurt, I would suggest Michelstadt. Wuerzburg is one of my favorites, but do go on a tour of the Residenz while you are there. You might want to leave some time for Frankfurt too, since it is one of Germanys' oldest and very historic cities. Lots to see there and the Christmas market there is also one of the oldest, dating back to 1393. Several, gorgeous medieval churches to see, with the oldest one being in the neighborhood of Höchst, the Justinus church, consecrated in 850 and used as a church ever since. Mainz is also well worth a visit, especially to the Dom.

Posted by Gary Mc
Salt Lake City
716 posts

Regensburg and Würzburg are two of my favorite towns in Germany. I have visited their Christmas Markets twice. Regensburg has a "Romantic" Christmas Market at the Thurn and Taxis Schloss, right at the edge of town. Regensburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its medieval buildings. It might be the best combination of town and Christmas Market. In Würzburg, my wife likes the Residenz best, as Jo mentioned. I prefer the fortress across the river. Christmas Market is modest sized. I was stationed there and in Nuremberg (Nürnberg) during my army career. You could slip Regensburg in for a day before Nuremberg and Würzburg after. BTW Rothenberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber are different places. Rothenburg ob der Tauber has been another good stop for us. Very small market but scenic town. Several tourist shops sell Christmas goods.

Posted by Brenda
Philadelphia, PA, USA
69 posts

Thanks to both of you, this is really helpful. We'll cross Seligenstadt off the list and Regensburg and/or Wurzburg. If we had to pick only one, which would you choose? We may have time for both. I just read last night that Neuschwanstein is covered in scaffolding (says they are taking it down but I don't know by when). MOreover, apparently buses do not run in the ice/snow so we don't know if we could even get up to the castle. I hope that's not the case but we'll see. Thanks again
Brenda PS also good info about Frankfurt. I was under the impressoin that it was Germany's equivalent to Manhattan and I am not a fan of big big cities.

Posted by Brenda
Philadelphia, PA, USA
69 posts

I meant add Regensberg and/or Wurzburg note, we've read good things about Augsburg too

Posted by Brenda
Philadelphia, PA, USA
69 posts

Oh! thanks for letting me know. I did not want to take a 2 hour train ride + bus ride only to find out that there was no transportation up to the castle. Since you seem knowledgeable about this - will we need hiking shoes?

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9097 posts

"will we need hiking shoes?" Not unless you want to continue hiking on some of the trails above the castle, which will most likely be inaccessible anyway due to snow. The path up to the castle is paved.

Posted by Brenda
Philadelphia, PA, USA
69 posts

Thank you. I assumed as much, but thought it best to ask. Do you know if the castle is still covered in scaffolding? (I actually just posted that as a separate question). WE've just read that it's undergoing repairs.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9097 posts

Last time I was there (over a year ago), only the north face of the castle had scaffolding. However, you could still generally appreciate the facade of the castle. The postcard view from the bridge was unaffected, although access to the bridge will likely be closed off at the time of your visit.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11264 posts

If you want to "take the train to the correct location", try spelling it Rothenburg - red town, not Rothenberg, red mountain. If you are using the German Rail (Bahn) website, just putting in Rothenburg will give you a list of options, one of which will be Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Choose it.