Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

2 extra days, where to allocate them? Christmas markets in Austria / Germany / France

2 extra days, where to allocate them? Christmas markets in Austria / Germany / France

Old May 26th, 2024, 08:25 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2 extra days, where to allocate them? Christmas markets in Austria / Germany / France

TL;DR I'm thinking to cut Dresden out (due to its distance from other places visiting) and would love suggestions as to where to add that extra time to of my existing stops. I've already got some day trips planned but am open to suggestions as I don't have any attachment and am not too fussed where the time goes so would love your suggestions!

I planned a very busy trip for the Christmas Markets in Austria, Germany and France for this year, in part to keep my anxiety in check (being busy reduces the likelihood of me having time to get anxious) and am now thinking I may try take it upon myself to slow things down a bit to enjoy myself a bit more.
The original plan looked as follows:
  • Salzburg
    • Hallstatt (day trip)
  • Munich
    • ​​​​​​​Regensburg (day trip - from Munich rather than Nuremberg due to timing of markets)
  • Dresden
  • Nuremberg
    • Rothenburg (day trip)
  • Stuttgart
    • Esslingen (day trip)
    • Heidelberg (day trip)
  • Strasbourg
    • Colmar (day trip)
    • Ravenna Gorge (day trip)
  • Paris
As much as I would love to go to Dresden, it is dawning on me that it is the outlier and may not be worth the detour for the short 2 day stay I had planned.

Instead, I'm thinking to add those days elsewhere to existing stops on my itinerary.

Any suggestions? From what I've researched so far, I don't have any attachment as to where that extra time goes but was thinking to add the time to (or divide it between) either Salzburg, Nuremberg or Strasbourg. There is also the option to potentially add that time to Vienna to do a day trip to Bratislava (I fly into Vienna and continue to Salzburg having been to Vienna before).
victoriainwanderland is offline  
Old May 27th, 2024, 01:00 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 9,776
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How long a trip is this and how many days have you allotted for each location? What are your interests besides the Christmas markets or are you only planning on shopping? Have you visited these places before?
KTtravel is online now  
Old May 27th, 2024, 04:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,001
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
Yes, how many days in each location?
Melnq8 is offline  
Old May 29th, 2024, 05:31 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,329
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Before making any final decisions, you might want to do a self-check and consider how well you tolerate crowds. On week-ends, several of these markets will be mobbed. I tend to go to the markets on weekdays and keep the week-ends for something else that's less crowded. The markets in Salzburg and Nuremberg can be particularly crowded (ditto for Hallstatt). Or check if there are some holiday events you would enjoy outside the markets. Zurich, for example, has a live singing Christmas tree during market season that is really a pleasure to watch and listen to. Some luxury hotels offer wonderful holiday-themed teas but reservations usually need to be made well in advance (we've already made our reservations for the Christmas tea at Les Trois Rois hotel here in Basel)
WeisserTee is online now  
Old May 29th, 2024, 06:38 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,847
Received 26 Likes on 5 Posts
Chirstmas markets are like Sturm (IYKYK): they can be too much of a good thing when overindulged in. A little bit of research will go a long way. Commercial versus Quaint? Day time versus Night Time? What are your Christmas market goals? Are you shopping for holiday tchotchke or truly artisanal gifts, or are you in it for ambience?

We lived in Vienna for many years, so I'll use our experiences as an example. Obviously the Wiener Christkindlmarkt is the headliner. We endured the crowds on the tree-lighting night; jostled our way into the Glühwein queue, and called it good for the season. Lots of mass produced gifts. The Spittelberg market is no longer a "hidden gem;" the market is so commodified that visiting on our last Christmas in Europe had us wishing we hadn't. Ditto for Karlsplatz and Am Hof.

Quaint would describe the markets tucked into old palaces and castles, which require leaving the city; or the tiny, local holiday markets like the one in the park across the street from our flat: there were perhaps a dozen stalls, but gathering with friends around mugs of Glühwein and with the lights twinkling made it magical.

During the day, at least in Vienna, many markets are closed. Those open are often filled with school children on field trips. At night, and especially on weekends, the Christmas markets at Belvedere and Schönbrunn were unbearable. Too many people all seeking "the Christmas Market experience."

Really, I would suggest doing considerable research; heaven knows there are no shortage of bloggers out there writing about their Christmas market experience. You may want to rearrange your itinerary afterwards.

fourfortravel is offline  
Old May 30th, 2024, 03:58 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,043
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You might see if the Ra enna Gorge market will work for you
bigtyke is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2024, 04:41 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 179
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We don't have anything like this in Australia so my goals are really simple and to simply experience them and enjoy myself. I'll be sightseeing in the day and attending the markets at night.

I ultimately decided I will keep Dresden in as it would be unfortunate to miss it.
victoriainwanderland is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2024, 01:15 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,329
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by victoriainwanderland
We don't have anything like this in Australia so my goals are really simple and to simply experience them and enjoy myself. I'll be sightseeing in the day and attending the markets at night.

I ultimately decided I will keep Dresden in as it would be unfortunate to miss it.
That's great. Dresden has more than one market and the city is one of our favorite places in Europe.
WeisserTee is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Manisha
Europe
15
Nov 16th, 2023 03:27 PM
PalenQ
Europe
9
Feb 20th, 2015 09:42 AM
PJTravels
Europe
9
Mar 12th, 2012 09:39 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -