Christmas Markets in Europe...where?

Aug 9th, 2001, 04:32 PM
  #1  
Carol
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Christmas Markets in Europe...where?

I'm trying to find out what countries in Europe have Christmas Markets. On this website I've seen lots of information on Germany. It seems that there are many towns in Germany that have Christmas Markets but what other countries have them? This may sound silly but is everything outside? Is it like a flea market but instead it's Christmas related?

I'd like to go this year so I'm trying to gather as much information about them as I can.

Thank you.
 
Aug 9th, 2001, 05:02 PM
  #2  
Bob
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The German Markets are great. We are heading back this year. They begin on November 30.

They are mostly outside with booths selling toys, food and ornaments. Towns are usually decorated also. Hot Gluwein is served. Nice atmosphere and fun to attend. Nuremburg is the big one but all small towns, or most, have something set up. I believe you can find some in Austria also.

Do Germany first. Fun thing to try at that time of year.
 
Aug 9th, 2001, 05:14 PM
  #3  
StCirq
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France has some wonderful Christmas markets, most notably (and for obvious reasons) in the Alsace region. The one in Strasbourg is every bit as good as the one in Heidelberg, IMO.
 
Aug 9th, 2001, 05:20 PM
  #4  
Carol
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Forgive my ignorance, why is Alsace a wonderful place for a Christmas market?
 
Aug 9th, 2001, 10:43 PM
  #5  
Chris
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Vienna -- has several. They open in late November. They do get crowded though!

Alsace because the area was French, then German, then French, then German, then French....Strasbourg is only a few miles from Germany.
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 05:30 AM
  #6  
Clare
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I've actually been in Germany for a few months over the christmas period the last couple of years, and the Xmas markets are everywhere! Nuernberg is rumoured to be the largest one in Germany but they are all around the German towns, Berlin, Frankfurt, Koeln etc. They all start on different dates (I would consult the various web pages before I booked to go there). The markets themselves are based in little huts or booth's and as previously mentioned sell food, wooden toys, clothes etc. The markets are mainly situated in the main squares of each town and are generally open during the day and close late at night. It's not really what I would classify as a flea market, but rather most of the locals and visitors to the city go there to browse around, spend money, eat, drink, discuss xmas plans and go home. It's just another social event I guess but one everyone looks forward to. I've been to a few and really look forward to attending more on my next visit. When it snows it's really something.
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 06:05 AM
  #7  
Carol
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It appears that I'm too late to get accommodations in most areas of Germany. Does anyone know how far in advance I need to book? Is there usually snow on the ground during December in Germany? I'm just curious about that for driving purposes.

I don't know what it is but I'm hooked on this Christmas stuff. I had to book 2 years in advance so I could attend the Nantucket Stroll in Nantucket Massachusetts. Maybe I'll try for Germany and Austria around Christmas in 2002?
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 06:30 AM
  #8  
Dawn
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Carol, you're not the only one, Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I look forward to it, and I try and do something different every year. This is a tradition that I started with my Mom. I do plan on going at some point to the Christmas Markets too. My husband and I visited Germany last year for the first time, and fell in love with the country. And we can't wait to go back. Planning another big trip for 2003. I'm not sure my husband would like the markets as much as I would, but I would love to go. Please, tell me about the Nantucket Christmas festivities.
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 06:32 AM
  #9  
Clare
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Regarding snow - it will snow on and off in the winter months in Germany. It's usually patchy though and you'd have to be unlucky to come across more than an inch unless you are planning to drive around in Bavaria (south & mountainous). Regarding hotels, I find it very difficult to fathom that you can't find accommodations unless there are fair's on in the cities you want to go to (when a fair is on in a German city then it is impossible to find a hotel). I'm not sure what your budget is but you could try a few hotel chains i.e. novotel, golden tulip, intercontinental, sheraton, top hotel, etc. If you're willing to do a bit of web surfing then I'm sure you'll find some hotels that are available and will suit your budget for 2001.
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 07:25 AM
  #10  
Carol
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I logged onto a website last night called german-christmas.com. You know I like to think of myself as a LITTLE computer savey. I worked in the industry for 18 years but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to navigate that site!

The reason I said that we'll put off going to Germany, Austria and France is due in part to the fact that one of the hotels where we want to stay is not available and we are limited to a particular week off. I know it's only August but I like to be well prepared for my trips. As bizarre as it sounds to many, 3 months is simply not enough time to prepare and gather information.

Dawn, the Nantucket Stroll was wonderful and it's a great way to get you into the Christmas spirit. Like I said, we had to book our Inn 2 years in advance. The one thing I remember most about the day was that it snowed! Talk about a picture postcard. Nantucket is a beautiful town. One warning, it's VERY crowded and the shops are all extrememly small so if you don't like crowds, it's not the place to be!
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 07:50 AM
  #11  
Dawn
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Carol, I used to live in Boston and have been to Nantucket, but in the summer. We're going to the Cape over Labor Day weekend and I'm excited. My husband has never been so we may get to Nantucket. How close to Christmas is the stroll? I was also going to mention that, I know several really nice B&B style palces in and around the Garmisch area, which were very reasonable and fantastic palces to stay. I've also heard that towns around Strasbourg and bordering on germany have the Christmas Markets, but I'm not sure which ones they are.
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 08:13 AM
  #12  
Carol
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Okay here's my question, is it pretty safe to assume that Germany is the place to go for Christmas Markets? I know other countries may have "some" but it sounds like they're really widespread in Germany. Has anyone actually been? Based on this thread it sounds like we should hit

Nuremburg & Strasbourg....

I have only been to Germany once. We spent 4 days on the Rhine and we also went to Rothenberg (sp?) for the day. Loved Rothenberg!!! Do they have these markets everyday throughout December or is it one week or weekend in one city and another week or weekend in another city? Any good websites or books that you might recommend?

Off topic.. Dawn, the Nantucket Christmas Stroll is the first Sunday in December.
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 08:18 AM
  #13  
StCirq
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Carol:

Strasbourg is in France, so if you want to see markets in Germany alone, cross it off your list. Christmas markets are ubiquitous in Germany. I've been to the ones in Heidelberg, Nuremberg, and many small ones in towns and villages. They are all pretty much the same, though - personally I wouldn't really plan a trip around visiting a bunch of them, maybe one or two.
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 08:24 AM
  #14  
Miriam
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Hello Carol,

try this link:
http://www.reise.creative.de/weihnac...nachtsmaerkte/

Regards

Miriam
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 08:28 AM
  #15  
Miriam
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Carol,

sorry, I just saw that the site is in German only. But you get the idea when you look at the list of towns where the good ones are. Those listed are among the best, so you can`t go wrong here.

Miriam
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 08:40 AM
  #16  
Heather
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I've only been to the market in Vienna, which was very nice. A friend and I were there in 1999 and found quite a few nice gifts, and the food/drink was delicious (and hot).

Once upon a time, someone posted a URL for the market/Christmas festivities in Strasbourg for 1999 [http://www.strasbourg.com/noel99/] and I've wanted to go ever since.

Another site said that the market there has been held for 500 years. And, one site noted: "The first known Christmas tree lot was a street corner in a town called Strasbourg, in 1531. Then a part of Germany, this town is now in France. It proudly calls itself the 'Home of the Christmas Tree.' Back then, the tradition was to show the trees unadorned in their homes."
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 08:42 AM
  #17  
Carol
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Yes, I did realize that Strasbourg is in France. The reason I highlighted it was because it has come up numerous times here as a good place to go for a Christmas Market AND it's close to the German border.

St Cirq..is the reason you wouldn't plan a trip around going to various markets because you don't enjoy shopping? This is a serious question because I know shopping is not for everyone. Personally I love it which is why I was considering doing this. Are all markets the same?

 
Aug 10th, 2001, 08:54 AM
  #18  
ALW
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If you want a beautiful little city with a pretty market, I remember Luxembourg having a remarkable and delicious fair in December. Otherwise, Nuremberg has a great market -- and I stayed at the hostel, which is the old castle at the top of the hill. I think they might have "fancier" rooms for those who don't feel like hostelling.

Vienna's market was huge and colorful -- and the garlic thing I ate (don't know the name -- looked like a large savoury elephant ear) knocked my socks off!
 
Aug 10th, 2001, 08:59 AM
  #19  
StCirq
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Carol:

No, I love shopping. In fact, the reason I know about Christmas markets is I used to frequent them buying Christmas ornaments for an import-export business. Having seen so many Christmas markets over a number of years, I came to be of the opinion that if you've seen one, you've seen them all. They are almost universally selling the same items - Christmas ornaments, candy, glög, apple fritters, Christmas trees, candy, caramel corn, crafts (usually not well-made ones), and other "carnival-like" items and foods. The cold air, smell of pine, and wafts of Christmas carols over the PA system lend a festive air, but in reality the merchandise is not generally all that special. If this will be your first time going to one, I'm sure you'll enjoy the experience; all I'm suggesting is that I think it might be excessive to travel around going to many because they really are similar.
 
Aug 11th, 2001, 08:42 AM
  #20  
Carol
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ALW...where in Luxembourg was that market you were referring to?
 

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