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More 2022 German Christmas markets!

We have been dreaming about going back to Germany for the Christmas markets for decades…literally. (Long story short, I got engaged to my DH in the Black Forest in Dec 86, but we’ve never gone back in December.) We took the kids to France and Germany in May, and decided then that it was time for a kid-free return trip, and some serious market time.

We had 9 nights “on the ground” from Dec 3-12. We spent 3 nights in Munich (coming and going, plus a “bonus” night), 2 nights in Colmar France, a night in Esslingen, 2 nights in Rothenburg, and one night in Dinkelsbühl. We flew from Halifax Nova Scotia to Munich via Boston on the way out and Montreal on the way home. (Air Canada and Lufthansa)

Getting there was pretty uneventful. I was worried about the connection in Boston, because we had to change terminals. All the forums and webpages said you had to leave terminal B, get a bus to terminal E, then go through security again. A nice security guard said we could walk without leaving the secured area. It took 20-30 m, and we had manageable wheeled luggage, but SO much better than putting ourselves at the mercy of the shuttle and the unpredictable security lines. Also gotta say we had the best lounge experience there—I happened to have a Dragon Pass to the Lufthansa lounge and it had a gate direct to the flight! Now all other airport experiences will be compared to that, lol.


Munich airport was pretty easy, especially customs and immigration. We dithered over getting to the train, mostly the post-red-eye brain fog. We had to change our plans on the fly because we just weren’t feeling well. We dropped our plan to head to Salzburg and found a last-minute hotel in Munich. (Surprisingly good experience, considering I booked everything else in June!) We stayed at the Maier Hotel Metropol, which was surprisingly good value and more than comfortable. Staff was super, and got us into our room right away. Fortunately after a short nap, we were ready to take on Munich. We already had transit passes from our trip from the airport, so we used the s-bahn to get where we were going.

We headed for the Marienplatz and got our first taste of the markets. It was so lovely just to be back in Germany! The lights, the smells, the “buzz” was lovely. (And THEN we had some glühwein, so…) The square was lovely. The Neues Rathaus was lovely. We ducked into the Ratskeller under the Rathaus. It was busy but we got seated efficiently. I was pleased that it had a good mixed crowd of tourists and locals. We had a very professional waiter at a pretty table, and kicked off the trip with my first (but not my last!) schnitzel.

When we emerged from the Rathaus, we wandered a bit more. The various market locales around Marienplatz really do run into each other, though we could see some changes to the style of the huts. It was an endless sea of twinkling lights and good smells. We also enjoyed a little window shopping. Then headed back to the hotel to catch up on our sleep.

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Munich con't

Because of our last minute deviation from plan, we had to change hotels for our second day in Munich, so on Sunday morning we packed up and headed to our reserved hotel, the Hotel Isartor (I believe we got this from Rick’s Germany book). We bought another day of transit to get around Munich.

Favourite story time: We were in the transit station (don’t remember which) trying to figure out how to get to the Isartor station. We clearly looked like confused tourists. An older couple spotted us and came to our aid. Unlike most of the people we met, they really didn’t speak English, but that didn’t stop them. There was much gesturing and pointing at signs and tickets. Eventually we thought we understood, and started to head off. Our saviours clearly weren’t willing to let us risk it on our sketchy conversation, so the gentleman waved us to the escalator, came down a level with us, walked us to the next set of escalators, more pointing and THEN went back to his wife. It was so kind and charming! And we got there!

After we checked into the hotel we went back to Marienplatz and from there headed to the Medieval Market at Wittelsbacherplatz. This was our 2nd most favourite market of the whole trip. It is small and contained in one square, and sells a different range of goods than the other markets. Lots of medievally-themed goods, from gorgeous dresses for fashionable 14th C ladies, to weapons, to wrought-metal jewelry. The workers are costumed, and there are entertainers wandering…we saw a stately gent on horseback and a couple of stiltwalkers. And the food and drink—well, the BEST drink, this one gets #1 not specifically for the glühwein, but for the “fortified” drinks. I had a Feuerzangenbowle, with wine and flaming rum. DH had a mead wine with whiskey. We have tried mead before and it always tasted like socks to me, but this was really good. After that I tried a mulled white wine with Cointreau, and dh had another spiked mead. Here the drinks are served in wonderful clay goblets of various configurations, and the pfand (cup deposit) is a high €10. But, worth it!! (We brought home 4 from this market. We were smitten.) We also had some treats there that were hard to find otherwise. I had a good, fresh, traditional chimney cake, and when we came back another day, I got some delicious gingerbread (big square chunk of cake, not the dried up cookie kind). And wurst of course.

Favourite story time: As we were hanging out drinking our fancy drinks at a table, we struck up a conversation with a German extended family group. The daughter and her father spoke the best English but everyone was listening and interjecting a word here or there. We took each others’ photos (I think that’s how we struck up the convo, actually) and chatted and laughed til we ran out of drink. After they left and dh wandered off for another mead, I asked the lady next to me if her kids were enjoying the flammekuchen—and discovered she was a fellow Canadian, who had married a German and was raising her family there. So then we chatted with them for a while!

Warm and glowy from the booze and general gemütlichkeit, we headed back to our hotel. On the way we stumbled across a busking quintet playing classical music. 3 cellos, a clarinet, and – a grand piano. On the street. How does one get a grand piano to a street gig, I wonder? They were very good, and we even purchased one of their cd’s to bring home.

We considered going to the Hofbrauhaus for dinner but online said there were no tables available. We talked to the front desk and they warned us away from it as a place to eat anyway! We ended up walking back to the Marienplatz and getting dinner in an Augustiner place. And then to bed.

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Monday we woke up in Munich and had a lovely breakfast at the Isartor hotel. I dream of European hotel breakfasts, with the cold meats and cheeses and great bread. Isartor lived up to my dreams. From there we went to the Avis office, which was literally just around the corner from the hotel. We picked up our Fiat 500 (Cameron Hewitt’s favourite rental!) and made our way out of Munich. The little car (which I named “Vita” because it said “Dolce Vita” on the side) was perfect for our needs, once we figured out how to fit our 2 carry-on-sized bags in the boot.


Boring day follows as we drove to Colmar. We really wanted to visit Alsace on this trip, as it had been dropped from our summer itinerary. It took us about 6 hrs and it was dark by the time we got there. We had booked at the Hotel Turenne in the old town, and I was delighted by the location. I was worried that we would get caught in market traffic and have difficulty getting to our hotel/its parking, but the hotel is just on the edge of the busy part, and we got in smoothly. Even though I booked in June, it was hard to get accommodations in Alsace, which is why we went there on Monday, which was probably about as quiet as it got.

Colmar is gorgeous. Easily the prettiest town we visited on this trip, and maybe ever, honestly. Everywhere you look there’s a reason to take out your camera. The medieval architecture. The canals. The Christmas lights. Gorgeous. We left our bags in the room and went walking. We were a little late and the market was nearly closed, but we managed to bag dinner in the gourmet tent (because, France), and walked around as the town closed up. It was probably even prettier as the crowds dispersed and the streets emptied. By 8 pm we were back in our room and the town had pretty much rolled up the sidewalks.

The next morning I left dh snoozing late, and walked around a bit before it got crowded. Yup, still gorgeous. Found the House of the Heads, which is unique and worth seeking out. I went into the 13th C Dominican church off the market and enjoyed some lovely art and architecture in a surprisingly serene setting. (The market streets were heaving with people by then.) Dh appeared and we wandered a bit more, enjoying the town, then we got into Vita and drove to Eguisheim to check out their market.

Eguisheim is a pretty little town, also medieval but in a different way…not that I can explain that! Their market was quite small, but we stopped at a very efficient restaurant nearby and had flammekuchen/tarte flambee and local wine for a very fair price. Then a bit more wandering. The first vintner’s shop we found appeared unstaffed, but we kept going and found another place that had tastings. We came away with 2 bottles of crémant d'Alsace and a nice Riesling, which fit handily in Vita’s boot.

We then attempted to go to the little town of Riquewihr for their market. Remember, it was Monday. We COULD NOT find parking. We spent 20-30 mins snaking through the lots and streets as people hovered, waiting for someone to leave. We gave up and continued out of town, driving by the bus lot to see at LEAST a dozen full-sized tour buses parked. This was the scene I had feared with markets, and thankfully it was the only time we encountered that much congestion.

Back to Colmar and our little reserved parking space, dinner, a wander after dark, and another relatively early night. Honestly, the early nights totally agreed with us. The markets shut down early (usually 7 or maybe 8 pm during the week, 8 or 9 Fri-Sun), and we found this gave us a cosy evening to relax in our hotel rooms, and be ready to take on the world at a reasonable hour the next day.

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The hotel breakfast in Colmar was also really good. Lots of local specialties, and I got to try some cheeses and seasonal baking there! Also I thought it was very sweet that at checkout, they gave us a little cello bag of locally-produced pain d'épice or liebkuchen (little puffy glazed hearts and stars, nicely spicy and not too sweet). They have been a great souvenir. Hmm, I think I have a couple left…


Onward! Back to Germany and we were at Esslingen, south of Stuttgart, by about 2 or 3 pm on Wednesday afternoon. Our hotel, Hotel am Schelztor, was small and old, very traditional, lots of dark wood. The room was basic but comfortable, and the location was unbeatable. Again, we were right at the edge of the busy part of town, but with good access and perfect parking. Out the front door, we walked right by the Shelztor, or town gate, onto a pedestrian shopping street and the market. The market has a traditional section, and a medieval section. The traditional section was so nice, with a big Christmas pyramid in the middle, and lots of interesting vendors and eateries. We had chocolate covered fruit for the first time, and dh found his halb-meter wurst. I got maultaschen, which I had been hoping to find—big rolled pasta filled with a sausage mixture, and swimming in a yummy onion gravy. We shared a table with some locals and struck up a conversation. Another beautiful old town enfolding the market. And if you walk a little deeper into the traditional market, it becomes a medieval market. The BEST. Esslingen is my #1 pick for best market of the trip. The traditional part was great, and the medieval part put the Wittelsbachplatz in Munich to shame in variety and fun. Favourite part was the Medieval games! Dh started with some archery, then we waited for the kids to clear out so we could play a little catapult game (not unlike cornhole in principle, but you get to use a tiny catapult to storm a tiny castle). Then we did some axe throwing! They also had a stage set up and we saw a comedian and a musical group of some sort, though it was all in German so…I don’t know what we were laughing at!

As it got dark, in the medieval section, they lit bonfires in wrought iron stands. There was a little discreet electrification, but mostly it was lit by firelight. It was truly magical. I had a wonderful sense that people had been here, doing these things, with the same spirit, for centuries.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped at a café/konditorei for coffee and cake. Such beautiful cake! Perfect end of the evening.

Another early night to rest and relax in our hotel.

Another great hotel breakfast in the morning! This one came with a visit at the front desk with a staff member’s little dog. By this point I was missing my pups at home, and I relished a snuggle with this sweet little one! Hotels should have well-behaved dogs.

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So—Rothenburg had a lot to live up to. I have been dreaming about visiting for more than 20 years. Everyone says “it’s touristy, but you have to go anyway”, so I was prepared to be disappointed and ripped off. (Looking at you, Paris.) I am delighted to have been so, so wrong about that!

Navigating through the medieval gates to get into town was a little hairy, even with our tiny little Fiat. But we managed to park in front of our hotel to drop the bags and then get to their nearby parking courtyard. Historik Hotel Goldener Hirsch, another old-style hotel, sort of small-to-medium sized I’d say. Our room was really spacious, and frankly a little weird-but-wonderful. It had two big pedestal sinks in the room, backed by the most colourful LOUD shiny red tile that looked like it belonged around a ceremonial fireplace. Small, old bathroom, but a nice deep tub, which we enjoyed after all the walking we’d been doing. Prinz Georg slept here! (In 1888, I’m sure it was fancier then.) And, here’s the best part: open the windows and look to the left and you’ve got a perfect view of the Plonlein, about 50 meters away. I could not believe our luck! Including parking and breakfast, we paid about €135 per night. I think we got this one from Rick’s book also.

Rothenburg was everything I’d hoped. It is beautifully picturesque. The Plonlein, the walkable walls, the rooftops, the silly little drinking game glockenspiel on the side of the Councilor's Tavern. SO much Christmas. We came across a costumed local choir singing Christmas carols outside the market. Oh my gosh, St Jacob’s Church. We had the Riemenschneider Holy Blood Altar TO OURSELVES. Having seen it several times on Rick’s show, we understood what we were seeing. It was incredible. The market is perfect. It’s mostly in the one square by the Rathaus, beautifully bordered, feels very organic and not tarted up for the tourists. We got to play a little raffle game for a local animal rescue, which was quite charming.

As other have said, the Kathe Wohlfahrt store is a ZOO. It felt like an attraction at Disneyworld, where you are shepherded through in one direction, with velvet ropes keeping you in line. It DOES have some lovely, unique things, but I couldn’t face the crowds there, and bought a few things I really liked at a different, smaller KW store (there are 4 or 5 different ones around town!). We also went through the Christmas Museum upstairs at the main shop, and I really liked it. It was basically a chronology of Christmas decorations (I mean, what did I expect…) but it was definitely interesting. Some of the pyramids at the end—wow!

On our first night we took in the Night Watchman’s Tour. We didn’t get the “original” guy you see in the videos, but he was good, and knowledgeable, and we enjoyed it and learned something to boot. He was so cute with the little kids, several of whom were thrilled to take a turn carrying his lantern. As someone else mentioned, I think I also saw people sneaking off near the end, which seemed kinda despicable.

The next morning I got up early and left dh to snooze again, and walked around the town before the hordes arrived. Again, great advice from Rick and others to stay overnight in this town so you get to see it away from the crowds. (Even at that, Thurs-Sat in RodT was waaay less crowded than Mon-Wed in Alsace.) I got the coveted “Plonlein without tourists” shot, and some early misty pics over the Tauber Valley from the wall. Once dh got up, we had a great breakfast in the hotel’s beautiful dining room (also overlooking the Tauber Valley), and walked around town, doing the walls, getting away from crowds easily.

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Rothenburg Con't

In addition to munching our way through the market, we ate at 2 gasthauses, a bakery/sandwich spot and a café/konditerei during our 2 days there. In all cases we got really good food with good to great service at a fair price. I really was NOT expecting that in such a touristy town. It feels like the owners and staff take pride in providing a good product. We also had fun shopping there, and came home with fun stuff from the Waffenkammer shop near our hotel. Lots of armour and medieval clothing and tchotchkes. We got some Christmas things at the market, and at KW, and they will be part of our Christmases for years to come.

People also seemed friendly and genuine. We had another great conversation over glühwein. (Nothing like sanctioned day-drinking to make new friends!) We spotted a couple with a beautiful dog, a Weimaraner, and used that to start a conversation. Before long we discovered we both owned Bichons, and I was pulling up pics of my dogs on my phone to show them.

And no schneeballen! It was hard to avoid, but we did it!

I would definitely return to Rothenburg. And get room 206, overlooking the Plonlein.


Saturday we had picked Dinkelsbühl, a very small town between RodT and Munich. We arrived in town (after a very odd laundromat experience along the way) to a tiny gasthaus with a few rooms over the dining room (Hotel-Restaurant Goldenes Lamm). We had room 1, right over the dining room, and it was lovely—a family room, very spacious with three beds, a seating area, a dressing area and a huge modern bath with a tub to die for. Our room must have been their showpiece, recently renovated. Little Vita even had a “private room”, her own little garage with doors we locked and opened manually. Another very traditional looking place (except our room!), lots of dark wood. We had dinner in their dining room, and it was good, but wouldn’t make my top 5 list.

The town is small and lovely. We walked from the gasthaus to the main shopping area, and from there to the Christmas Market, in the town park along a river. The goods here weren’t awesome, but the food was memorable. We had a “spiral potato” which was like the best fresh potato chips ever. Can’t remember what else, I think the chips just blew my mind!

Favourite story time: Day-drinking with the locals again, we spotted a couple of cute dogs and sidled up to their owners. May we pet your dog/do you speak English opened things up. Yes, we speak English. You’re Canadian? We have a home in Canada! Where, well you’ve probably never heard of it…Lunenburg NS. Ummm…Lunenburg is about 90 minutes drive from where we live, in Halifax. So in this tiny town in Germany, we met people who spend half the year down the road from us! We had a great conversation, and exchanged email addresses. We hope to see them (and their dogs!) next summer.

After the market we walked back to our gasthaus and stopped at another café/konditerei and had more lovely cake. When we had our European trip in May, desserts fell by the board, so I vowed that wasn’t going to happen this time!

As it was getting dark we got in the car and drove to Nordlingen, which was close. We spent some time wandering around their market and admiring the town. We finally got some langos there and bought some tree baubles to bring home. I feel like we didn’t do Nordlingen justice, as it was too dark to appreciate the wall and the whole meteor-crater thing.

Dinner in the gasthaus, relaxing quiet evening in the room.

In the morning we took Vita from her fancy digs and drove back to Munich.

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MUNICH (again)

We had booked Sunday, our final night back at Hotel Isartor, and turned Vita in around the corner. We wanted to go back to Wittelsbacherplatz, so we headed out on foot. We also found the Residenzplatz market, which seemed nice enough but was absolutely at capacity. Insanely crowded. We didn’t stay long and hit the Medieval market again for more special drinks (and we picked up the mugs we wanted to take home). Marienplatz was also so incredibly crowded that we didn’t have the patience for it. We had also reserved a table at the Augustiner main brauhaus. We made our way there, had a largely disappointing meal, and went back to the hotel to pack. To be fair, we were pretty tired by this point, and we had a big day ahead.

On Monday we didn’t have to be at the airport til about 2 pm, and we had some shopping to do. Our eldest was hoping for some specific toys/collectibles, so we found a department store near the Marienplatz and we found some things to delight them. We also wandered around and got to see a bit of a Krampus run (unexpected and fun) and the Asam church that is mentioned in Rick’s walking tour of Munich. On Monday morning before lunch, the crowds were thinner and I could appreciate the Marienplatz, and we made some final purchases. And I finally found some kartoffelpuffer, and they were as good as I’d hoped! It was a really nice end to the trip, much better than the distracted, crowded night before.

Trip home was uneventful, which is what one hopes for! We were a few hours delayed getting our final connection in Montreal, and arrived home after midnight, but we had packed a lot in, and we have no regrets!

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We LOVED how much more environmentally responsible Germany and France are than North America. We ate and drank our way through every Christmas market with NO disposable plastic! Paper plates, wooden cutlery, lots of on-deposit real dishes, cups plates AND cutlery. Compostable (technically edible) dishes, made from what appears to be the same stuff as ice cream cones, for lots of things. Also in our hotels, the same, no plastic waste. We just stayed at a Canadian hotel to visit family over Christmas and, you know, the single-use plastic cups were…wrapped in plastic.

The gemütlichkeit was amazing. We had so many conversations with locals, who were all in a good mood and delighted to chat with visitors. We did see an occasional tour, but compared to all the ads I’ve seen for “Christmas market tours!” it seemed we were with mostly Germans at home or near home, enjoying the season, with a few more independent travellers sprinkled in. I wonder if this is the same everywhere in Germany and in Europe at Christmas? We are seriously considering going back next year to see Austria and Hungary, but mostly I want to recreate the warmth that we met with in Germany. We have friends who will arrive in a new country and be invited to a wedding before they fall asleep the first night. We are NOT those people, generally we are rather introverted. So we were extra delighted to connect with people so freely on this trip.

Honestly, Alsace was slightly disappointing. Colmar was very busy and not very personal, though it was undoubtedly beautiful. I don’t know how to explain it, but it feels like Germany tries harder…France knows the tourists will come anyway, and they’re right. It was so crowded, even on Monday/Tuesday. Germany is happy to see you. I’m glad we’ve been to Alsace, but it’s not high on my list for a return visit.

Dogs are awesome. German and French people have nice dogs, and they enrich my time away from home! They also make great conversation starters.

We really enjoyed smaller independent hotels. Not always fancy, but with so much character. Related, if I want good choices at a reasonable price point, it’s worth it to do the legwork and book really early.
Early to bed, early to rise was awesome. I always want to travel in May when the days are long—but December was so cosy, and we didn’t feel exhausted.

This is an epic. Thanks for following along if you got this far. Would love to chat more about our travels and yours. Especially curious about my thought above—have you found Christmas time and the markets to be a back door to connecting with locals?

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This is a great trip report. I share your love of Esslingen and Rothenburg , and encourage you to visit the larger markets in Stuttgart the next time, because I'm pretty sure you're going back to Esslingen again. On our 2019 trip, we did Switzerland, Strasbourg-Colmar , and Germany. I hope return soon. I did notice a difference with the French, as far as less warmth and helpfulness. But you do need to see Strasbourg at Xmas- so beautiful and magical.
Thanks for sharing and helping me remember our trip - I'm definitely bookmarking this report.
Safe travels!

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I have not been to any Christmas markets in France or Germany, but have been to Munich, Colmar and Eguishiem in the springtime. Thoroughly enjoyed your trip report descriptions, boy does it makes me want to go back in the month of December sometime. Thanks so much!

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Thanks for this extensive report. I am saving it for a nice long read later this evening.

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8061 posts

Stellar report. Thank you for sharing.

Ages ago ( 1974 ) was with the then boyfriend in Munich and wanted to visit the Hofbrau House. This was a few months before the Olympics. We got on a tram and had our map out ( true 1st time Euro tourists) trying to decipher how to get there. An older woman approached us and in very broken English said she would take us there. 1 stop later she gestured and off we went. A complete twit at trusting anyone I was certain we were going to get robbed.

Nope. She took us there, shook our hands, nodded and left. We had asked her to join us but she declined. Her gesture of kindness has remained engrained in how one treats a stranger.

Oh, after 2 many liters of beer I decided to keep the HB stein. Still have it. Heavy thing to lug around but a treasured travel memory.

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1491 posts

Wow, what a great trip! We arrived to Munich the same day as you and did a lot of the same things on the same days! We too wondered how the grand piano was there on the street, and wondered what they did with it regarding weather. We surely crossed paths with you on those first 3 days!

We did not make it to Rothenburg on this trip, but visited it 5 years ago. Loved it!!! Hated the schneaballs though;) I would love to go back during the Christmas markets.

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Lovely trip report. Wonderful details about everything.
You did not miss anything with the schneeballs. They are dry and disgusting. Germany has so many delicious desserts, but this is not one of them. You don't ever see Germans buying them.
Perhaps a visit to the Alsace area when it isn't Christmas might be more fun?
Glad you enjoyed Esslingen. It is one of my favorite markets too.

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Thanks a lot for this great trip report.

Who knows maybe we stood next to each other at one of Munich's Christmas markets. Well maybe not because usually I'm the kind of person who would have talked to you :-) I looove talking to people I don't know.

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The German Christmas markets are definitely the best. Austria also does a great job and I have enjoyed the French ones you visited. I returned yesterday from a Tauck river cruise through Belgium and the Netherlands. The cruise itself was wonderful but I was disappointed in the Christmas markets. Mostly food and wine/alcohol vendors. Not the unique ornaments and Christmas decorative items that Germany has. The lights were pretty, however.

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Aww, thanks for the love, folks! Wasn't sure anyone would read my novel, but once I started, I wrote it for myself so I won't lose the details.

Pat, I do agree we owe Esslingen a return visit. I had heard Stuttgart was worth the time but just didn't have it this trip...will consider changing that next time!

Luv2Travel, do it! Go back in December! I keep saying, the Germans invented Christmas as we know it, and at this point it is so different from the frantic "getting-and-spending" Christmas we focus on in NA. This is Christmas as you hope it will be!

Claudia, I loved your story of your own "transit angel"! What a great memory.

Mignon, now I'm curious, did you also get a chance to chat up locals??

Mikliz97, what a great coincidence! I wonder if you show up in my pics of the musicians! It was such an unexpected and special thing to stumble upon. I'm glad to meet someone else who remembers it as fondly as we do.

You see, Mikliz and Ms Jo, I was well-advised before we went by people here to avoid the schneeballen! I admit to feeling some peer pressure to buy them, though, those things were EVERYWHERE. We went into a lovely kondeterei on a side street (Walter Freidel, I still have the receipt) and had a sublime apple cake...but even at this place with bakery magic, they had a HUGE display of the schneeballen! Glad I stuck to the apple cake! Maybe next time I can buy some as a prank and give them to the kids with great ceremony--then give them something good instead. ;-)

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:-) I am a Munich local.
I like to visit the Christmas markets as well and it is always nice to talk to the other visitors.

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9782 posts

Thank you for the wonderful trip report. After this one and others I’ve been reading I definitely see a Christmas market trip in my future.

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What a wonderful trip report! I am glad to hear that you had a wonderful time and that people were so welcoming. We also rented a Fiat 500 in Germany--back when we traveled without smartphones. We joked that the Michelin map was the size of the car. Were there many families with kids at the markets? We'd like to take our kids someday, and do some markets in Poland and Germany.

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Andrea, again I say: DO IT! I am so glad we did!

Meg LOTS of families with kids. Not sure how old yours are, but it looked like a great opportunity to give the "pre-tweens" (say, 10 and up) a little controlled freedom to explore. E.g. At the Middles Ages Market in Munich and the main square in Rothenburg, there is a very well defined area where you could let them explore a little but still be in hailing distance. I saw lots of kids running around (slightly) detached from immediate supervision. Note at a big spread out market like Marienplatz, I just wouldn't separate...I was worried about keeping track of my husband in that crowd, lol! And for the littles, there are lights and pretty things and good things to eat, so a nice outing for them too.

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Revelssn thanks for the comparitive perspective. I think when we use it at an opportunity to visit beyond Germany we will plan for non-market activities as well, like we did by venturing beyond the market in Colmar and Eguisheim.

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JoAnne, this was fun to read! Thanks for posting. I was in Rothenburg/Salzburg/Munich this year, and have been to all the other markets you mentioned, and every time I think this will be the last visit. Then I read an account like yours and think, well maybe one more take my grandsons!

I did the Stuttgart/Esslingen, Colmar, Paris, London trip one year by train with girlfriends, and it was a memorable one. Don't remember Colmar being terribly crowded, but there seem to be more people everywhere. Hope you can get to Salzburg. It really is the most beautiful, and if you avoid weekends, not too crowded at all.

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Ah, Ruth I loved your TR! Yes we definitely need to try Salzburg next time! Reading these posts is going to get expensive I think--my wish list is growing !

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Unfortunately last year the Christmas market in the English Garden was not open. This year should be open because renovation of the Chinese Tower is done. This is according to what I have heard the most kid friendly market in Munich. Lots of activities for kids as well.

The magic of a Christmas market starts for many people when it is dark. However daytime might be best with kids. Might be too crowded later.

I've visited the one in Haidhausen day and night last year and during day I saw many people with kids running arround as well.

And if one is looking for a differnt market not selling the usual products just go to Winter Tollwood at Theresienwiese. Or the one in Schwabing at the subway station Münchner Freiheit is different as well.

Only 11 months and the party will start again. But all of Munich now waiting for beer garden season :-)

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I am actually sitting here drinking my coffee out of my mug from the Chinese Tower Market. The market was closed this year, but there was still a Gluhwein stand, so I had to keep the mug as a souvenir;)

We loved the Haidhausen market and went twice. It feels small the way it is laid out, but there are plenty of stalls with some great things!

Nighttime of course the markets were so pretty with all the lights etc, but they also were sooo crowded. We did most of our shopping during the day so that we were not shoulder to shoulder with other people and could actually talk to the vendors. The evenings though were fun for just wandering and taking it all i.

Posted by
184 posts

I had heard of the Chinese Tower/English Garden but forgot to look for it--just as well! Sounds like there are still places to explore if we land in Munich again!