Best City For Real Christmas

Reply

Dec 18th, 2006, 01:32 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 12
Best City For Real Christmas

Hi Everyone,

I am currently in Paris for one month. I go to Paris for one month each year for Dec. 10 to Jan. 10th. I LOVE PARIS.

Question: I am thinking of going to a different European city for a real Christmas (small town feeling). You know, the kind of town that just oozes that postcard xmas feeling?

Strasbourg, Lyon, Budapest, Prague, Cologne, Helsinki????....I don't have any financial limits (don't get me wrong...I am no zillionaire) and my only limit is that I must be back in London on Jan. 10th for my flight back to Los Angeles.

I think I am looking for a small town Christmas. Thank you in advance for your help. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwansa and Happy Holidays to all!
losangeleseurope is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 02:38 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 766
Surely to get a 'small town feeling' you have to be in a small town and I would not describe any of the proposed destinations as small towns. In my experience most places are deserted over the Christmas period itself as many city dwellers leave for the country, to stay with relatives and shops are closed for 2-3 days.
bellini is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 02:59 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 258
it was a long time ago, and I was still in high school, but we spent one Christmas in Innsbruck. It was just lovely, with Christmas Eve on the square, drinking Gluwhein and listening to choirs sing Christmas carols..Christmas day itself was dead, but the time leading up to it was lovely. Right afterwards, though, the skiing hordes came in.

Alternatively, maybe a nice town on the Rhine or the Mosel?

Cologne would be nice but their Christmas markets end on the 23rd Oddly, most of the ones here in Belgium run through Christmas into New Years and are even open on Christmas day.

Ooh, speaking of which, Brugge might be perfect. They have a snow and ice sculpture show that will be open on Christmas day, and the Christmas market/skating rink may be open as well. And it doesn't get any quainter than Brugge! check out http://www.winterinbrugge.be; they have some promotions as well

Good luck! I'd like to find out where you end up; we have one more European Christmas to have and don't know where we'll spend it yet. This year is Naples, which doesn't quite ooze anything Christmasy but i'm looking forward to it anyway.

Carrie
LSUvetgirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 03:07 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
<<< Best City For Real Christmas >>>

Like where they celebrate Christ's birth with religious ceremonies rather than eating, drinking & spending money on stuff people don't really want?

I hear the Vatican City is good for that sort of thing.



alanRow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 03:08 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,567
Since the best Christmas to me are the ones spend with loved ones, any city where your loved ones are was should fit the bill of Real Christmas.

Are you talking decorations? public gatherings? Christmas events? snow? If that is the case, head out to the Bavarian Region in Germany, even ski resorts in the Garmish area or the Alpes Maritimes in France should get close to what you are looking for.

Whatever you do, I hope you get to share it with loved ones. Merry Christmas!!
Viajero2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 03:11 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
Alan, get real. The Vatican has been 'selling' Christmas for eons.
Dukey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 03:14 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
I was commenting on the poster associating Christmas with the picture postcard/commerical side rather than the religious
alanRow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 04:12 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
Haven't been myself, but Colmar gets rave reviews, especially at Christmas time.
Cimbrone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 05:45 AM
  #9
Pausanias
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I was going to say Bruges, but that's taken. How about Bethlehem?

http://www.zajel.org/article_view.asp?newsID=7366&cat=1
 
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 08:31 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,598

I spent a few days in Strasbourg at the Christmas market and I think it could meet your criteria. A city with a small town feel, beautiful decorations, a huge Christmas tree in Place Gutenburg, French and German restaurants, small shops and designer shops with gorgeous windows.

I stayed on the street with the cathedral and could walk everywhere and find my way back by heading toward the spire.

I did not get to Colmar but have heard that it's lovely. I've been to Prague but don't think I'd want to be there Christmas; it doesn't have the small city feel to me. If you're a food lover try Lyon, which would be an easy trip to/from Paris.

A month in Paris every year, envy, envy. Where do you stay every year?

Luisah is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 08:46 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,642
Bruges is very pretty at Christmas and unlike many other small cities, many of the restaurants, etc. will be open around the holidays. Easy to reach from Paris.
Salzburg is another place that comes to mind, however, you would have to go for a long train ride or fly.
We just came back from a holiday in Baden-Baden, Germany. Very elegant, very pretty during the Christmas season. If you went there, you could combine your holiday stay with some spa pampering (stay at the Dorint/Sofitel with its excellent in-house spa...so nice to just throw your bathrobe on over your bathing suit and take the elevator down to the spa). From BB, you could visit Strasbourg (40 minutes away), Freiburg (one hour) or Basel (90 minutes).
Strasbourg is also a good choice.

However, all of these destinations are popular Christmas choices and the most comfortable hotels may already by fully booked, ditto for many restaurants. And with the possible exception of Salzburg, your chances of a white Christmas with any of the places mentioned above are quite slim.
BTilke is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 09:01 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,906
Luisah, the giant Christmas tree (donated by Norway every year) is Place Kléber, not Place Gutenberg.
kerouac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 09:54 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
Wouldn't this be Bethlehem?
FainaAgain is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 11:07 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,228
If you go to a ski resort town you are likely to find many places open even on Christmas Day.... at least places to eat drink and be merry.
amwosu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 01:53 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,598
Thanks Kerouac. I guess I was in both and got confused. At any rate, the tree and the square were quite beautiful.

Losangeles, let us know what you decide.
Luisah is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 01:58 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,003
Regensburg or Passau in Germany--both are of a nice size with a central plaza and Christmas markets for atmosphere.
Underhill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 03:04 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 139
We are leaving for Brugges on Dec 25th arriving Dec 26th and I just looked at the link that LSU vet Girl gave on Winter in Brugges. We are getting really excited about our trip. The ice festival looks great. Thanks for the link!!!
sparks_fly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 03:29 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 266
We enjoyed the Christchild's Market in Nurenberg, Germany. Very beautiful to walk around the many markets in the evening. http://www.christkindlesmarkt.de/english/
On our way back to Heidelberg we stopped in the very small town of Rotenburg Ob d. Tauber that gave me the picture postcard feeling.

The best small ski village we stayed at during another Christmas was Davos, Switzerland.
JayZee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 18th, 2006, 05:35 PM
  #19
kdcwood
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Salzburg or the Bavarian Alps. We've spent two Christmases in this area and wish we were there this year!

See my photo album on Slow Travel: Christmas in a Postcard. http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=3787

Kathy
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 6th, 2008, 12:45 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 355
Brugge. bookmarking!
SUMMAGOLD is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
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


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:08 PM.