Christmas Markets France/Germany

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Aug 26th, 2017, 11:37 AM
  #1
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Christmas Markets France/Germany

Four determined women are hitting the Christmas Markets this year; staying 3 nights in Strasbourg, 3 nights Nuremburg, and 3 nights Munich. From Strasbourg, will take the train to Colmar. I am looking for the shuttle information to take us from Colmar to some of the smaller villages. From Nuremburg, we will be doing Rothenberg and Regensburg then Munich. Are there other "must see" markets from these destinations? Any other tips that will make this adventure even better?
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Aug 26th, 2017, 12:41 PM
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I think you will probably have filled most of your time admirably with the itinerary you put forward.

I don't know your French side of this trip but I did find you this for bus information. If you have a look at the bus pages (TRACE), you can translate the pages with Google Translate.

https://www.tourisme-colmar.com/en/p...blic-transport

As for the German side, I know the cities and the Nuremberg market. You have picked a good base in Nuremberg but it is a very popular market so book those hotel rooms quickly (booking.com allows you to book with free cancellation in many cases). Nuremberg is the biggest market and it has a special tradition in that it is opened by the Christkind (the Christ Child, usually an adult woman with blonde curly hair wearing a golden dress) on the Friday before the first Sunday in Advent. You might think of timing your visit to coincide with that if your timing is flexible.

In Munich I would be happy with the flexibility - you may well want to see the city aside from the markets (there will be several).

Almost every city of any size has a market and they are all pretty good. One of the more famous ones is Dresden (the oldest) but it is a bit out of your way. Concentrating on Bavaria is quite a good plan.

Lavandula
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Aug 26th, 2017, 12:43 PM
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Passau is another good one, not far from Regensburg.
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Aug 26th, 2017, 12:50 PM
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Wow!!! 6 markets in nine days. . .and transport too. That's a pretty ambitious schedule and certainly doesn't give you much time to sample the Guemutlichkeit of each area. The sausages, the mulled wine, the brass choruses, the ginger snaps, potato pancakes . . .all things wonderful. With persistence, I'm sure you can accomplish your goals. However, over the past few years many Christmas markets have become homogenized like shopping centers. The handcrafted items have been replaced by cheap stuff. Guemutlichkeit makes each market special and unless you're in one long enough you'll miss that.
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Aug 26th, 2017, 01:46 PM
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Going by train I assume -book tickets ASAP at www.bahn.de/en - German Railways site where yous can book your own tickets at huge discounts over walk-up fares. Other sites for German train info -www.seat61.com - great advice on discounted ticketing on your own; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Salzburg is but a little over an hour from Munich and neat neat town not blitzed to bits in WW2 and is said to have its own really neat Christmas Market.

And yes that Gluhwein - piping hot so so nice!
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Aug 26th, 2017, 03:46 PM
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Christmas markets can be a lot of fun, but that many in so short a time would be way overkill for me, as they are all so similar and all have such schlocky offerings. They have, indeed, become mini-malls in many towns.I hope you take time out from the markets to enjoy other attractions in these areas.

You can visit the official website of Colmar (or any other place) to get information on transportation, events...anything.
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Aug 26th, 2017, 06:06 PM
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If you cut any, I would cut either Rothenburg or Regensburg. Probably Rothenburg if the market is your main interest. Rothenburg Market didn't impress me, but the town is unique although touristy. The Christmas stores are fantastic but you can buy pretty much anything traditional at Nuremberg market. Regensburg is a beautiful town and less crowded than Rothenburg.

My favorite markets after Nuremberg were Erfurt and Dresden- dresden has a great market. But may be too far out of the way. Munich has several markets, so I would want more than one night for that.

Nuremberg Market is so massive that given the crowds, you may actually want two nights just for that. And Nuremberg is a traditional craft market- if your goal is shopping, almost all of the other markets pale in comparison.

But these are just thoughts. You have a lot on your plate, and if you're energetic and not serious shoppers, your itinerary works and would be fun as is.
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Aug 26th, 2017, 08:18 PM
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Hi dkbyr,

If you're thinking of cutting out one or two destinations, I recommend you do NOT cut out Regensburg, as marvelousmouse notes. Regensburg is an amazingly well preserved medieval town, gorgeous, and I think you'll enjoy at least a few hours there.

In Munich, my favorite market is the Medieval market at Wittelsbacherplatz -- at least it will be a bit different than many other markets you've seen. Folks will be dressed in medieval costumes, and medieval drinks and food will be offered.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Aug 26th, 2017, 10:23 PM
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Once I have visited two Christmas markets in a row, I have had my fill.
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Aug 27th, 2017, 01:03 AM
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"I am looking for the shuttle information to take us from Colmar to some of the smaller villages."

We've done that for a few years. The shuttle (actually a large bus) is parked near the Colmar station, although not always exactly where it's supposed to be -- the first year we took the shuttle, it was parked in a different place, lots of confused visitors like us, but it got sorted pretty easily. It costs less than 10 euros and you pay the driver as you board. Some shuttles run only on week-ends, some on other days. It's a good way to visit the villages without a car.

More info from 2016 here -- I don't think the 2017 schedule is ready yet: http://colmar.ingenie.fr/documents/d...ETOIL16-UK.pdf (note, you have to scroll down quite a bit to get to the shuttle info)
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Aug 27th, 2017, 02:51 AM
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It's a magical time of year in these parts of Europe, and so many of the cities, towns and villages have markets.

You asked for tips to make the adventure better. In addition to the markets, I would focus on other special activities in each area. At some point, all these markets are going to run together. There are some differences, but the merchandise is often very similar... and how many Christsmas decorations or gifts do you really need? And how many can you realistically haul with you (by train) to the next destination? And how much time do you want to spend on trains and at train stations, getting to another village to see another similar market?

Munich, for example, has wonderful museums and beautiful churches. Perhaps you could organize a walking tour? Maybe a visit to Dachau? Or Schloss Nymphemburg. At this time of year there might also be a concert you could attend? If the weather is cold, you might especially enjoy some inside activities!

Enjoy your trip!
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Aug 28th, 2017, 03:48 PM
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Thanks for all the great comments. We purchased a rail pass and hotels early in the year. Our focus are the markets-and food. Of course, there are reasons I want to return to these areas. Regensburg has Wurstkuchl-who can forgot the brats, sauerkraut and potato salad. Nuremburg has the most awesome Lubkuchen and love that place. Alsace is a very unique area and it will be great to return there for the lights and markets. Lots of Christmas gifts-my friends and family love my travel surprises. We are packing light. I am taking old clothes and will trash them when we leave each destination. That leaves room to bring "finds" home.
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Aug 28th, 2017, 04:15 PM
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https://www.bavaria.by/german-sausag...tbratwurst%20-

Nurnburg also is sure to have at Xmarkets their Uber famous little sausages.

And be sure during your Nurnberg sojourn take the S-Bahn a few kms south of town to the greatest collection of intact relics of the Third Reich - includng the vast parade ground - rehabbed to mint condition - and the stadium with balcony where Hitler famously reviewed thousands of goose-stepping Nazi troops - a museum puts all this in context and shows the Nazi's grim side too.

https://www.google.com/search?q=nurn...w=1745&bih=864
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Sep 10th, 2017, 09:05 PM
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I loved Strasbourg and its Christmas markets and went there in 2015 & 16. The cathedral is beautiful so don't miss that. On the second visit we toured WWII sites around Colmar but did not visit Colmar itself--I'd like to go back for that. Riquewihr was a lovely town not far from Colmar. Be aware that the train from Strasbourg to Nuremburg could take more than 4 hours (I think you have to transfer which adds time). Staying 3 nights will give you only 2 full days in Strasbourg which is a lovely city with more to see than the Christmas markets--and I really liked the markets there.

Do I understand you want to visit Rothenburg as a day trip from Nurnburg? Getting to Rothenburg from Nurnberg isn't the easiest trip as it requires 3 trains. I did this journey 30 years ago and hope it had improved but it appears to require the same. Just something to keep in mind as you are planning.

Best wishes for a great trip.
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Sep 11th, 2017, 05:33 AM
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Nurnberg-Rothenberg takes 1 h 10 minutes with two changes of train- quicker than 30 years ago maybe.
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Sep 11th, 2017, 08:50 AM
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Oh check Nurnberg-Rothenburg (be sure to get Rothenburg ob der Tober and not Rothenberg - a different town!) schedules at www.bahn.de/en - Bavarian Pass valid on regional trains which may require more changes and take longer - not sure but bahn.de/en will tell type of train - Bavarian Pass only valid of course on regional trains - some links may be by bus the last portion - makes no difference- considered like a train.
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Sep 11th, 2017, 09:02 AM
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Regensburg also has a justly famous boychoir, the Sparrows, at the cathedral. Take in a performance if you can, and dress VERY warmly.
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Sep 11th, 2017, 09:24 AM
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Thanks PalenQ, looks like the 3 trains must be faster now.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 06:12 AM
  #19
 
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I want to go to a nice christmas market in decemeber. Confused whether to go to cologone or Brussels christmas market. Which one would you suggest. Please advice.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 06:48 AM
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Please take me with you! on my bucket list!
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