Christmas Markets help

Oct 14th, 2010, 05:45 PM
  #1  
SHL
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Christmas Markets help

Dear all travel lovers,

I've always wanted to visit Christmas Markets in Europe and I've also read a lot threads on this topic, but I think my question is a bit different from others...

Why do I want to go to Christmas Markets...I've seen so many postcard perfect pictures at Christmas Markets and would like to see/experience one for myself. I don't have a particular country in mind, I don't have to go to the biggest/oldest/most popular ones, and I don't really need to purchse anything, and I am perfecly fine with visiting just one or two.

I know Germany is the origin of the Christmas Markets, but if you tell me there is a market in UK that is beautiful, have postcard perfect sights, have wonderful Christmas atmosphere and is a great place to be during daytime, I will be prefectly fine with that.

Thank you in advance for all of your help!
SHL is offline  
Oct 14th, 2010, 06:25 PM
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Since you don't have a particular city or country in mind, have you considered Prague? I haven't been to the Christmas markets there, but I was there during the Easter markets and I enjoyed them. (It was March, unseasonably cold and snowy, so it felt like Christmas!)

My hotel was about a 2-minute walk from Old Town Square, which was decorated and bustling with lots of vendors, food, Easter eggs, beer and hot wine, music, etc. Wenceslas Square also has a market.

As I was walking through the streets of Prague on Easter Monday, I was a approached and "spanked" with a tree branch by a random stranger, but that's another story!(Apparently an Easter tradition)

See below for more information:

http://www.pragueexperience.com/even...as_markets.asp

http://www.prague.net/gallery/christmas-markets/
walkabout is offline  
Oct 14th, 2010, 06:55 PM
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A couple years ago I visited some lovely markets in Munich and Strasbourg. This year we will visit Salzburg, Innsbruck, Vienna and Zurich. Austria.info and myswitzerland.com have some general information about their markets and has links to some of the individual markets' sites. Some are only in German, though.
ButterflyGirl06 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2010, 07:08 PM
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we loved our visits to some of the markets....salzberg was one of the nicest.....so was nuremburg and of course rothenburg is the best.....but in the ore mountains it is still a bit old fashioned and really wonderful....

dresden is also wonderful as is munich.....go on your own, not on a tour and you will love it....

in the UK i love stow at christmas time, but it is not a market really...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 14th, 2010, 07:19 PM
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Another possibility: Strasbourg, which has a fine German-style market rather than a typical French one.
Underhill is offline  
Oct 14th, 2010, 10:25 PM
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Go for the food,drink and atmosphere as most of the things that are for sale are very expensive or really tacky.They are fun and great people watching/interaction.As to purchasing things- I find that I can find the nutcrackers and ornaments cheaper here in the states at TJ MAXX or Tuesday Morning stores.
dutyfree is offline  
Oct 14th, 2010, 10:58 PM
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If there is any region in Germany that deserves being called "Christmas Country" it is, to me, Saxony. Dresden itself of course, but if you want postcard views with markets in historical surroundings, check the small towns around Dresden: Meißen, Freiberg, Bautzen. My own plans for this year include Görlitz, Zittau and Pirna and probably some other places in the Ore Mountains. All these are worth visiting not only for the markets but also for their history and architecture, and are not as overrun as the big city markets.
quokka is online now  
Oct 14th, 2010, 11:20 PM
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A few years ago, reading on Christmas markets on Prague Forum on TA.com, « DE » (destination exeperts / locals) said often thoses of Dresden, Germany (about 2 - 3 hours train from Prague) are much better than Prague. Prague markets are, tackier due to the things they sell. That was the opinions by them. Maybe not all DE said that nobody really denied it. I visited prague markets anyway because my trip was already planned. I went there twice in Christmas time and I liked the general festive atomosphere, a large market at the Old Town (and night service at Tyn church on 24th at 21h00), also a small one at Miru Squqare where I got more local feel. I liked the least that of Wenceslas Squqre perhaps because it could be the one of the tackienst area of Prague (with adult industy, etc). I cannot compare with Dresden as I have never been to that German town. This year again I’m visitng Prague in Christmas time, not because of the markets (that I will enjoy anyway) but I like the city. Dresden’s must be good though from what I hear. Nürenburg too.
kappa1 is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 08:38 PM
  #9  
SHL
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Thank you for all of your contributions! I will definitley do some more investigation based on the advices and let you know my decision.

Meanwhile, please feel free to add to this topic.

Thank you!
SHL is offline  
Oct 15th, 2010, 10:37 PM
  #10  
DAX
 
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Like Walkabout, i've been to the two Easter markets in Prague, the better one for me was in the old Town Square because they had two cultural/ethnic food booths. As nice as it was, they were really small, I think the Christmas market in Germany/Austria are much more festive, my favorites being in Salzburg, Vienna and Berlin, Nurnberg and my least would be in Munich.
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Oct 16th, 2010, 12:23 AM
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I visited the Christmas Markets in Prague last year and was very disappointed. The food was mediocre, the things they sold were tacky, the ambience not very christmassy at all, at least compared to the German markets. Ok, I am spoiled since I am used to those markets in Dresden and surroundings.

Totally agree with quokka. Go to the Ore Mountains, see a parade and attend an Advent concert. Seiffen, Schwarzenberg, Annaberg-Buchholz are my favourite places.
Ingo is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 03:18 AM
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I have only limited experience of Christmas Markets outside the UK, this was Cologne (Koln) which I adored, but I understand there are better German Markets.

As far as the UK (the one's Ive been to); York, Lincoln, and Chester have atmospheric markets - they all have different things to offer. Edinburgh has a Christmas market of sorts, they give up one side of Prices Street to a German market with the backdrop of an ice rink - very pretty. I'm most familiar with the Manchester Continental Christmas Market but I would be stretching quite a bit to describe it as atmospheric, but I know people who would contradict me.
stevelyon is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 03:27 AM
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I'm not pushing the Christmas markets in Prague. The OP asked for a suggestion and I gave it. She specifically said she didn't want the biggest, oldest, or most popular and didn't want to purchase anything.

If the ones in Germany and Austria are much better, so be it. No need to keep bashing Prague. The point has been made--the Christmas markets in Prague aren't great.
walkabout is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 07:45 AM
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As you (walkabout) have no personal experience with the Christmas markets in Prague and recommended the city anyway I thought I add my opinion from personal experience. Kappa did the same. That's no bashing.
Ingo is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 08:06 AM
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When I was on a Danube Christmas cruise in 2005, we stopped at a number of markets. My favorite was the small one in Passau, as it featured locally made products--mostly wood carvings.
Underhill is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 08:19 AM
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I admittedly had no experience. Just made a suggestion. I don't really care what Christmas markets you (Ingo) or anybody else attend.
walkabout is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 09:06 AM
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Feel free to make suggestions. Maybe the OP cares about recommendations that come with personal experiences.
Ingo is offline  
Oct 16th, 2010, 09:42 AM
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> I don't have to go to the biggest/oldest/most popular ones

Prague is none of above. So maybe the perfect choice for OP in a sense ? ;-) So many choices anyway.
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