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Christmas in Austria

We just got back from the "Munich, Salzburg & Vienna tour and the experience was wonderful. We were lucky because or tour guide was Matthias Gunger and he was just plain awesome! The Christmas Markets were fun to just walk around and enjoy seeing people sharing with their neighbors and relatives. As expected the group meals where excellent and the cooking class on making applestudel was a lot of fun.

Our group bonded very early and that made the activities even more enjoyable. Probably one of the highlights of the trip was visiting "King Ludwigs" castle, although we all enjoyed Halstatt so much that we wished we could have stayed another day..

This was our 7th Rick Steves tour and we are already planning our 8th for next summer.

Posted by
1261 posts

I did that tour 2 years ago in December. A perfect way to combine Christmas Markets with the usual sites in Austria!

Posted by
2055 posts

Hi Donald,
I just finished this tour as well, 12/01-12/08. Our guide was Rolinka. I agree, our group gelled very quickly. We were in Hallstatt for the Krampus event, very exciting, scary and creepy (to me). It was a little toned down because of the fire that had occurred a week earlier. There are usually a lot more fires but not this year. I think many of our group especially loved Salzburg and the Mozart dinner concert - I'm writing up a trip report.
This was also my 7th and I'm planning my 8th for 2020!
Happy travels!

Posted by
958 posts

Hi, Donald.

I was on Judy's tour. It was really fun, and I love our guide, Rolinka. I am glad to hear you and your group had such a great time. I learn so much on these tours, my self-imposed "home-work" keeps me going through the dark months. I just bought a cookbook called Alpine Cooking - that should keep me going for awhile, too. I also just got a book out of the library on Sisi and am planning on learning more re WWII and the immediate aftermath.

I think one of my best experiences happened the day before the tour when I attended a special "Night Fever" event at the Alter Peter church in Munich. I will look for more like this when I return.


Posted by
369 posts

Hey Donald,
I’m so glad you had a fun trip to see the Christmas markets. Was there one town you liked better than others? We loved Hallstatt on the GAS tour. It is beautiful. How was the weather? Our daughter visited Christmas markets in Prague, Vienna and Budapest the first week of December. David and I were stuck in North Dallas taking care of grand-kids. They had a great time. I’m jealous. Tell Bonnie hello and we hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Posted by
7416 posts

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. It’s been a while since I traveled to any of those places, and Christmastime would certainly be a perfect time (I’ve been to Vienna at Christmas time but not the others ).

I have always thought that it would be most charming to spend Christmas itself in Salzburg. Maybe some day.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi Don. It was great being on this tour with you. I loved all the “unexpected” stops we made like the Christmas Market in Bad Tölz and the visit to the Stille Nacht Chapel in Oberndorf. You are right when you say that Matthias Unger, our guide was awesome. This was my 3rd Rick Steves Tour and I’m planning my 4th for sometime in 2021.

Happy New Year and Happy Travels!


Posted by
78 posts

I was just there too with Judy and Debbie. Hi ladies. It was fabulous. How cool to see Krampus in Hallstatt! We loved the Christmas Markets and want to go back!