A popular event that begins in late November and ends at Christmas week, the Christmas markets in Europe draw large crowds. Christmas markets are famous for German Bratwurst (sausages), hot Bavarian beverages and fresh breads.

[Photos by Nigel Bailey]

Where are some of the best markets? Germany hosts some of the best Christmas markets in Europe. When we were planning the trip, we wanted to visit the oldest traditional markets and so found DRESDEN and NUREMBERG to be interesting…

 MUNICH

STARTING POINT: MUNICH is a great place to begin the trip as it is visitor friendly with lots of shopping, great gastronomy and attractions.

FOOD: Pretzels, Schnitzel, bratwurst – sausages…hot chocolate, ice cream,

 

 

Christmas markets around Munich

Munich 2bo

The English Garden is a large public park in the city offers beautiful walks, has a Japanese Teahouse and a Chinese Tower as 2 of the several attractions. Little Christmas markets are set up in this beautiful setting.

You can even surf on one of the park’s streams.

 

Marienplatz is the city’s very popular square that has the Glockenspiel in the tower of the new city hall and draws millions of tourists a year. Markets and Tournaments were held in the Middle Ages at the Marienplatz. The busiest Christmas markets in this space are packed to capacity but so much fun.Munich 2o

Shops and restaurants as well as art galleries surround the square making it a busy and fun space.

Places to eat

Recommended family restaurants: RESTAURANT Wirtshaus in Der Au offers a great kids menu of dumplings, sausages and other local delicacies including fantastic ice cream and desserts.

Recommended hotels: Staying near the city center is always a great idea as everything is then within walking distance such as the Le Meridien, Hilton and the Sofitel.

Places to eat

Recommended family restaurants: RESTAURANT Wirtshaus in Der Au offers a great kids menu of dumplings, sausages and other local delicacies including fantastic ice cream and desserts.

Recommended hotels: Staying near the city center is always a great idea as everything is then within walking distance such as the Le Meridien, Hilton and the Sofitel.

 NUREMBERG: 

With half a million people, Nuremberg is Bavaria’s second largest city.Nuremberg 1o

A HISTORIC CITY: While its history dates to the 11th century, Nuremberg is most often linked to World War II. It first served as the site of many pre-war Nazi rallies, then was nearly levelled by Allied bombing and then became synonymous with the famous post-war Nuremberg Trials.

The city has much to offer visitors including the rebuilt Nuremberg Castle and the world-famous gingerbread at Hauptmarkt.

The Medieval Old Town was later painstakingly rebuilt exactly according to the plan of the original town. Come winter, the legendary seven hundred year old Christmas Market draws shoppers and lovers of its robust German gastronomy. They organise a special children’s Christmas corner with rides, food stalls and activities for children of all ages.

The markets are inaugurated with a special ceremony of Nuremberg’s traditional Angel of Christmas. (STORY)

The old town of Nuremberg with its high stone walls is surrounded by modern suburbs on the outside. At the heart of old town is its landmark castle, Kaiserburg consisting of three parts: the Kaiserburg (Emperor’s Palace), Stadtburg (City Fortress) and the Burggrafenburg (Count’Nuremberg 2os Residence). Construction began in the 12th century and continued on for four hundred years.

Beautiful gothic churches, their towering spires piercing the skyline and horse drawn carriages cantering down cobblestoned pathways add to the charm of this city.

Recommended restaurant: Restaurant Schaufelewartschaft for typical Bavarian fare. Another great family restaurant is the Albrecht-Duerer-Stube Restaurant, a smallish place with superb food and a lovely patio.

Recommended hotels: Le Meridian and Sheraton Carlton Hotel from approx.. AED 800 per night.

DRESDEN

On the banks of the lovely Elbe River, the German city of Dresden is lush and green, filled with forests and gardens and parks.

The city is rich with cultural and artistic history; the great operatic composer Wilhelm Wagner debuted a number of works here in the 1800s and, today, an independent light opera company keeps the classical art form modern and fresh.

Dresden is also known for its traditional Christmas Markets from November to December.

 

Step out of your hotel and into the buzz of little streets laden with handmade trinkets, glittering lights and lots of delicious, steaming drinks to keep you warm.

Recommended restaurants: Restaurant Daniel is located in a cellar is a tiny place that serves up some amazing local food.

Restaurant Stresa is a short taxi ride away from the city center and located in a quiet residential area. The food is prepared using very fresh ingredients and you can even get a glimpse of the chefs cooking in the kitchen.

Best places to stay: Hilton Dresden is smack bang in the middle of the market action. Step out of your hotel and into the buzz of little streets laden with handmade trinkets, glittering lights and lots of delicious, steaming drinks to keep you warm.

Wyndham Garden and Clarion Congress Hotel offer great stays.

Getting there:

Flights to Munich: Turkish Airlines fly from the UAE..approx. AED 2000.

Qatar Airways AED 2100, Emirates AED 3500

Trains connect Munich to Dresden and Nuremberg.

Special Christmas Markets packages starting from AED 2,500 per person (for National Day). More info on Beyondavisit.com and on DubaiEye1038FM blog posts.

Andrea Bailey

Andrea Bailey

Andrea Bailey is a Dubai based travel writer. She is also a travel consultant with Travel Counsellors and specializes in cruises, family holidays and honey moons. When she’s not out and about discovering destinations and different cuisines of the world, you would probably find her busy with her 3 daughters and her other passions involving art and music.

As a mosaic artist, she has travelled to Italy and studied ancient Roman techniques of the art form and as a jazz flautist she has had the opportunity of performing across various Dubai venues.