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

Bavaria, Switzerland, Austria for Christmas...?

Bavaria, Switzerland, Austria for Christmas...?

Old Jul 22nd, 2016, 03:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bavaria, Switzerland, Austria for Christmas...?

Hello all! My husband and I are looking into flying into Zurich for the holidays with our two kids. We are thinking of going from Zurich to Munich/Bavaria to somewhere in Austria and back. Does any one have a good itinerary to follow? We would be arriving on 12/22/16 and flying back to Seattle on 1/4/17, so just shy of 2 weeks. I'm not sure the length of time needed for each area or what there is to do besides Christmas Markets during the holidays. I'm in the beginning phase of researching and I embarrassingly don't know a lot about that area of Europe. Do we skip Germany in light of recent events in Munich? Any help would be much appreciated!
agriewe is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2016, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,296
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
We've spent the past few Christmases in Germany and Switzerland.

Skip Munich because of recent events? I certainly wouldn't skip it.

Do be aware that because you're arriving so close to Christmas that many of the markets may be closed, or near closing. Christmas markets in Munich usually shut down around 2 pm on Christmas Eve - and the city pretty much stays closed until after Christmas, so you may want to do some research on what you'll do and where you will eat Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

I have a few Christmas trip reports here that might give you a few ideas, sadly, I have yet to finish a couple of them:



Melnq8 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2016, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,065
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
We've done a couple of Christmas Market trips, early Dec. 2010 and 2013. Austria and Bavaria. Many markets will close for good on the 24th. Innsbruck has one that is open until early January, as does the very charming old towns of Sterzing/Vipiteno and Brixen/Bressanone, both of which are less than an hour from Innsbruck, over the border in Italy.

If flying into Zurich, try flying out of Munich. That, or I'd probably skip Switzerland all together and do a Bavaria, Austrian alps and northern Italy (Sud Tirol) trip. Just a suggestion.
pja1 is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2016, 07:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 24,145
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Both Vienna and Salzburg have good Christmas markets, as does Nuremberg and some smaller towns along the Danube.
Underhill is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2016, 04:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,065
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Salzburg has a market open until 12/26:

Nuremberg market ends on 12/24:

Innsbruck's markets end on 12/23, except for the one on Maria-Theresien-Straße:

Need to check where you're going and then the market schedules.

The ones I mentioned by Innsbruck in Italy:


Besides the markets, which you'll miss most of, there's tobogganing, cable car rides, palaces, castles, and so on.

Within 2 hours of Munich you have:
Herrenchiemsee Palace
Salt Mines

Mittenwald and Garmisch
Zugspitze trip
Ettal Monastery
Linderhof palace

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castle's

Schloss Ambras
Nordkettenbahn funicular/cable car trip

Less than an hour from Innsbruck:
(These towns all have German name/Italian name)
Ice Man Exhibit


pja1 is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2016, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,807
Received 26 Likes on 5 Posts
As a previous poster noted, traveling around the winter holidays will mean shorter retail hours for 24 December and 31 December and all day closures for 25-26 December and 1 January. That's a lot of time to fill aimless wandering about, as well as finding meals. Add inclement weather and suddenly the holiday is no fun.

Consider splitting the two weeks with two apartment/apart-hotel stays with day trips. That way everyone has space; no one has to get dressed to eat yet another hotel breakfast; dinner can be enjoyed in the comfort of your "home;" and, if it's your holiday to celebrate, you can even decorate a tiny Christmas tree for the apartment. We did that last year for our Christmas holiday in a Krakow apartment, tasking each of our teens with collecting a half-dozen ornaments each from the markets, and we now have a dozen glass "memories" of a wonderful holiday.
fourfortravel is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2016, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 163
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why not Strasbourg? It's the capital of Christmas. German markets are overrun with cheap toys that are made in China and bad wine.
KodakMoment is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2016, 07:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,296
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
Wow, not my experience at all with German Christmas markets.

KodakMoment obviously hasn't been to the Ergzebirge, home to hand crafted wooden Christmas ornaments, German folk art nirvana.

Melnq8 is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2016, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6,065
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Not our experiences either. We have a few nice local wood carved items we bought.
pja1 is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2016, 07:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 625
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, If you can get over to Wurtzburg and then 45 min to Rothenburg, it is a magical town, esp at Xmas. If you get there be sure to go to the Kathi Wolfhart Xmas store in the middle of this old/medieval town that was not damaged in WW II as I recall. Bavaria is a lovely part of Germany, there are Xmas markets in Wurtzburg, but you need to check on when they close down. Sue
Sue81 is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2016, 07:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 625
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OK one more thing, Innsbruck in Austria is an interesting town, one church is filled with medieval armor....up the mtn from Innsbruck just about 20 min by tram is a town called Igls (eagle) and it is a lovely small village (ski village) that would be peaceful and lovely in winter, I recommend it. Sue
Sue81 is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jun 20th, 2008 01:03 PM
Feb 6th, 2008 10:48 PM
Sep 28th, 2006 01:22 AM
Oct 16th, 2005 04:30 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 - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -