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.