Christmas is a time for magic, love, warmth and hot wine, which tastes the best in… German Weihnachtsmarkt – Christmas market. A home country of the famous Nutcracker, Germany is the place to be for the pre-Christmas fever even if the chances of seeing any snow are pretty low. It’s the spirit which matters after all!
Baden-Baden – the Most Original
Because Baden-Baden looks like everything but German town. Actually it is a resort city based on the thermal springs and for decades had been a compulsory holiday destination for the aristocrats from various parts of Europe. That’s why its architecture was more as a tribute to the trends of 19th century rather that authentic German style. Still the Christmas Market was as good as in any other place. With the biggest food selection and friendly atmosphere.
A real Baden-Baden experience is going to the Friedrichbad and relaxing in mineral waters in a gorgeous building… being dressed in nothing. :D Absolutely! But don’t worry, there are separate days as well as mixed. As an alternative – going to Casino and losing a fortune like Dostoyevsky.
Strasbourg – the Most Beautiful
Self-declared Christmas Capital on the French side keeps the tradition of Christmas Markets after long common history with Germany. And it’s a real fairy-tale. BUT. Apparently it is also a huge pilgrimage spot for the half of the world, which is a bit too much for Strasbourg city centre. It’s sooo crowded that you have to move with tiny steps in an endless flow of people being unable to turn in any direction. The food is expensive and plain, and the tower of Strasbourg Cathedral is closed for the visitors as a safety measure. Disappointing. It was our fourth time in Strasbourg and… well, keep it for the summer.
Once you get out of the Christmas markets, have a walk in the Petite France area, check the Barage Vaubond and stroll along the amazing canals.
Gengenbach – the Most Authentic
Probably you have never heard about this town, but if it’s on your way – would be a shame to miss. It’s a tiny fairy tale place with paved streets, typical houses and absolutely charming old town. And the most important – no foreign tourists spotted! Only Germans who travel here to enjoy the spirit and admire the biggest Advent Calendar on the town hall. :)
Explore every passway of Gengenbach – it won’t take long.
You can also pass by Offenburg on the way back – another cozy German town.
Freiburg – the Loudest
Cozy Christmas market full of multilingual crowds of children on the school excursion. Lively and happy place.
Explore the city center and then climb the hill Schlossberg for a stunning view of the Freiburg with a wall of Schwarzwald (Black Forest) surrounding it. Breathtaking – nothing more to add.
Heidelberg – the Most Christmassy…and Delicious!
Probably due to the famous Christmas store opened a whole year round (which must be damn ridiculous in summer), but Heidelberg looks indeed like the most Christmassy place and looks like one big Weihnachtsmarkt with tones of treats to try!
Heidelberg also happens to be a town quite popular with tourists, but good news! In winter the streets are much less crowded, than what it is in summer. Definitely go to see the Old Bridge (Alte Brucke) and take the Philosopher’s Walk (Philosophenweg) following the steps of hundreds of students graduated Heidelberg universities which brought to the world the biggest number of Nobel laureates.
Personal archive touch: Memmingen – the first one for us.
A nostalgic memory from the far 2012, before the blog, before even being married. We spent 4 amazing day in a little town of Bavaria under a thin layer of snow drinking hot wine in the Christmas Market with a strong smell of the wood.
A gorgeous though a bit cold trip to the Neuschwanstein Schloss. A winter fairy tale.