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Christmas Markets - Dresden or Stuttgart and surrounds?

Christmas Markets - Dresden or Stuttgart and surrounds?

Old Dec 17th, 2023, 10:59 PM
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Christmas Markets - Dresden or Stuttgart and surrounds?

My Christmas itinerary will see me visit Paris, Strasbourg (and surrounding areas), Rothenburg ob der Tauber (either overnight or as a day trip from Nuremberg), Nuremberg, Munich and Salzburg.

I have time to fit in either Stuttgart and its surrounds (I would use it as a base for Heidelberg and Esslingen) OR Dresden.

Stuttgart is definitely closer to the balance of the destinations I would be travelling to whereas Dresden seems to regularly be noted as amongst the best of Christmas markets and the original.

For those of you that have been to both cities, which would you suggest? I am somewhat struggling to rationalise Dresden purely because of how far out of the way it would be relative to everything else (it seems a direct flight from Munich there and back would be most plausible).
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Old Dec 17th, 2023, 11:40 PM
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What exactly means "Christmas itinerary" - time wise. Before Christmas? Over the holidays? After Christmas? That makes a big difference as many Christmas markets close on 24th Dec or a couple of days earlier.

Anyway, especially if you say "and surrounds" that calls for Dresden. The Erzgebirge (Ore mountains) is home of the manufacturers of wooden Christmas items like pyramids, nutcrackers, smokers, candle arches, all sorts of figures (angels, miners etc.) From Dresden you can visit Freiberg, Seiffen, Annaberg-Buchholz, Schneeberg and Schwarzenberg e.g. with their charming Christmas markets, related museums, lots of traditions like parades, "Hutzenabenden" and "Mettenschichten" (get-togethers with music, food/mulled wine), kick-off of the local open-air pyramids and much more. A visit of Görlitz is also possible which has a Silesian Christmas market, influenced by nearby Poland and Czech Republic. And Dresden itself has several very beautiful Christmas markets, each themed differently (traditional, anno 1900, medieval, modern-stylish ...) Plus fascinating folk art museum, special Christmas exhibits, an opera house where you can see the Nutcracker ballet, lots of churches with Christmas music.
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Old Dec 17th, 2023, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Ingo
What exactly means "Christmas itinerary" - time wise. Before Christmas? Over the holidays? After Christmas? That makes a big difference as many Christmas markets close on 24th Dec or a couple of days earlier.
I’ll be flying in on 25 November and looking to return home about 2.5 weeks later in mid December
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Old Dec 17th, 2023, 11:49 PM
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My personal opinion on Stuttgart as a city is that it's not terribly interesting. It was badly damaged during the war and rebuilt in pragmatic style. Dresden, on the other hand, delayed much of its rebuilding until after unification in 1990 and the centrepiece of this, the Frauenkirche, is a triumph. There are also a lot of other sights in Dresden that are worth seeing (the Zwinger or the Green Vault, for example). You may find that Stuttgart is in a practical location for your other sights and also the car industry (Porsche, Mercedes-Benz) has museums that you may want to see. But if you are wondering about the markets in Stuttgart, I don't think they are any better than many of the other big cities (Munich, Cologne, Duesseldorf, Hamburg). My choice would be Dresden, and for the sake of the environment I would do it by train from Munich. Munich - Dresden is too close for a plane ride in my opinion.


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Last edited by lavandula; Dec 17th, 2023 at 11:52 PM.
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Old Dec 18th, 2023, 05:00 PM
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lavandula Ingo I think I can make it work... if I can get on a flight directly into Salzburg I can probably do the following:

Salzburg
> train
Munich
> train
Nuremberg
> train or bus
Dresden
> overnight train
Basel
> train
Strasbourg
> train
Paris

Given the distance of Dresden from other locations, the alternative was to fly from Dresden to Frankfurt and then catch the train to Strasbourg but the overnight route via Basel I think makes more sense and won't eat up into the time I'd otherwise want to be out and about.

Hopefully can find a flight into Salzburg to avoid having to go back and forth past Munich!
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Old Dec 18th, 2023, 05:46 PM
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Looks like a plan! You might try Turkish Airlines or Emirates. Emirates in particular is very helpful coming from Australia, it has all sorts of interesting destinations in Europe. Good luck!

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Old Dec 19th, 2023, 12:29 PM
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No idea about flights, sorry. But that itinerary does look really good.
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