Christmas Markets 2014

Feb 16th, 2014, 05:46 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Christmas Markets 2014

I'm planning a trip this year to the Christmas markets in Germany and Prague. It will be my second trip to Europe, the first one was with a tour company (I was going alone so thought it was safer). This time I'm going with one of my cousins so I feel a little braver about doing the arrangements myself.

That brings me to my first question: when do I start making reservations and buying plane tickets? Is it too soon now?

I have kind of settled on a schedule except for the first city. I'm thinking flying in to Frankfurt to either Rothenburg ob der Tauber or Bamberg (can't decide) then Nuremberg, Prague, Dresden and Berlin. Two nights each because I don't want to rush from place to place. Any opinions on Rothenburg or Bamberg greatly appreciated. I really want to see one of those old towns and they both look beautiful.

So my next question: both Dresden and Berlin have a few markets, which one in each city is a must visit? I ask because although I was inspired to do this trip by the christmas markets that is not all I want to do, I want to take time to visit other places of interest so knowing where to go will be very helpful in planning.

And last (for now), I'm not used to weather under 70 F (Puerto Rico) so I've read about temperatures and what to wear and people always say layers. But how many? All light layers or some heavier ones? This is what I'm thinking, a cami, long sleeve shirt , sweater and coat on top. Tights, leggings and corduroy pants (someone told me jeans are not good). Is that too much?

I know it's a lot so any help on any one topic would be appreciated. Thanks!
wstgo is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 07:13 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I guess it depends on the winter, but I do not suppose you will need 3 layers on your legs. A mid length coat might be nice. I was in Munich and Salzburg December 2012 and it was cold but not bitterly cold. Nothing that a little gluhwein coudn't warm up! I am from NY but live in Florida and I was not too put off by the cold that trip. We traveled from Munich to Salzburg to Berchstegaden and then back to munich passing through ettal and neufschwanstein castle. We also day tripped to Partnach gorge, outside of Munich. It was beautiful and we also saw ski jumpers there. Pretty cool.


I liked the feel of the market in Salzburg and it was sort of nice inside the park in Munich but not that great by the glockenspiel. I cannot speak of the cities you mentioned but I was recently in Frankfurt airport and there is a lot of walking inside that airport. The signs seem to put you in circles. Good luck, you will have a great trip no matter wha you decide.
moonininjuly is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 08:18 PM
  #3  
 
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I would recommend start assessing the accommodation situation right now and continue to monitor at tight market places. Nuremberg is very popular Christmas market destination and I found it harder to find what I wanted. Salzburg was much easier. I should have booked much earlier. Are you starting your trip from Puerto Rico? Would you not be competing for airplane seats with those who want to visit warmer places like Puerto Rico? I would also look at the the flight situation right now.

It can get very cold. You can look up how cold each city got easily on the web like this: http://www.accuweather.com/en/de/fra...nyr=12/01/2013

It can get colder. I was Germany in 2012 and the air temperature on the coldest day was about -7c. With wind, the windchill was about -15c. Since you would be spending a lot of time outdoors, you need to cover your head and ears, wear wind proof clothes, gloves, and coats to keep this bone chilling wind away from your skin. You also need warm boots or shoes to keep your toes warm. You need something more than a fashion statement as a scarf. You need one that blocks wind and retains heat.

Then again, you are dealing with weather. It can get unseasonably warm...
greg is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 09:53 PM
  #4  
 
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DH and I went to the Christmas markets this past year and enjoyed them. temperature was from around 26 F to 38F but can vary a great deal. I chose to go with a knee length coat of quilted down and it was the perfect thing for me. Under was a turtle neck sweater worn over lined wool slacks. Ohers prefer layers. Either will work. don't forget something for your head -- scarf or hat or earmuffs -- and gloves. I also would suggest that you invest in some warm, lined boots to keep your feet warm. Now is the perfect time to buy them since winter sales are going on. We based in Nuremberg for a week and took the train to Regensberg, Bamberg, and Munich. I suggest you plan your itinerary soon and book your accommodations as soon as possible.
crckwc1 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 09:57 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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P.S. We flew into Frankfurt then took the train to Nuremberg for the week. when leaving, we took the train back to Frankfurt for 2 nights, enjoying the market there before flying home.
crckwc1 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 10:03 PM
  #6  
 
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In Dresden definitely see the markets: Striezelmarkt, medieval market in Stallhof, Historic market on Neumarkt square, market in Dresden-Loschwitz.

Any chance you could squeeze in a market in the Erzgebirge mountains? Seiffen, Annaberg or Schwarzenberg? That's where they manufacture the famous Christmas items.
Ingo is offline  
Feb 17th, 2014, 06:55 AM
  #7  
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Thank you for your replies. I know I'll have to watch the weather before leaving, get an idea what is expected for those weeks but personal experiences are always good. I did buy a quilted down coat but went for hip length, thinking it would be more manageable. I'm going to start checking for accommodations this week.

@Ingo I will check how much accommodations are going to be and try to make another stop in one of those markets. I read a trip report from a lady that went to Seiffen from Dresden and she thought it was really beautiful. I appreciate the recommendations for Dresden.
wstgo is offline  

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