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Deciding between 3 Christmas markets in Germany?

Deciding between 3 Christmas markets in Germany?

Oct 5th, 2010, 07:16 PM
  #1  
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Deciding between 3 Christmas markets in Germany?

Hi,

We are a family of 4 (2 children ages 5 and 3) planning a day trip to a Christmas Market in Germany. We live in Brussels, Belgium - so with the kids, we are looking for a closer market (max 2 hours drive) that will be the best combination for adults as well as children. This will be our first Christmas Market experience. We are looking to decide between Aachen, Cologne and Dusseldorf. What would you pick for us? Or do you have another city suggestion? THANKS!
winealot is offline  
Oct 5th, 2010, 07:57 PM
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It's easy to get to Aachen from Brussels - good, quick connections by rail, and Aachen is a compact town with a good atmosphere. That would be my vote with 2 little one in tow - I can't compare markets in those three cities, but Cologne is obviously a bigger city and would have a bigger market (or indeed markets). I don't think little ones would appreciate the difference between markets of different sizes but might be sensitive to the length of time it takes to get there.

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Oct 6th, 2010, 01:24 AM
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Cologne has several markets spread over the city centre, which means a lot of walking, and be prepared for crowds in narrow streets.

Aachen is probably the most atmospheric of these three and the most pleasant for a family. There are lots of artisans selling their products, and there is Aachen's local gingerbread variety called "Printen". I'd pick Aachen.
quokka is offline  
Oct 6th, 2010, 09:45 AM
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This website has descriptions of markets by city:

http://www.germany-christmas-market.org.uk/
Paul1950 is offline  
Oct 6th, 2010, 09:56 AM
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Aachen has the plus of wonderful gingerbread, in all shapes and sizes. The city is famous for that delicacy.
Underhill is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 12:59 PM
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winealot, i know this is totally off subject but I saw you live in Belgium. My husband and I are considering visiting in November. We have about 10 days, what itinerary would you suggest? How is the weather in Nov? If you ever need help with Florida let me know.
islandgirl355 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 01:20 PM
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I had the same choice to make last holiday season. Check out my trip report if you want some ideas:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm

I liked Cologne better than Aachen but for your needs, Aachen is closer and smaller, so it might be better since you have kids with you.
globetrotterxyz is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 02:58 PM
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Aachen also has a fine town hall to visit, and of course the cathedral of Charlemagne.
Underhill is offline  
Nov 12th, 2010, 03:08 PM
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I would vote for Cologne, having visited most all German cities with Christmas markets, Cologne remains our favorite there are 4 markets, including a midievil themed market near the chocolate factory at the down town river front. The market at The Dom Cathedral is amazing, busy but worth the visit. Leaving in two weeks for our 3rd trip from California.
Don_Anderson is offline  
Nov 12th, 2010, 09:28 PM
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"I would vote for Cologne, having visited most all German cities with Christmas markets"
"Leaving in two weeks for our 3rd trip from California."

You visited more than 1.000 Christmas markets on just two trips? Respect!

Topic: I prefer Aachen too. More atmospheric, it's home of the Printen, and you can visit the cathedral.
Karasek is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 12:26 AM
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Sigh. I guess I'll cast a minority vote. We never liked the Aachen Christmas market. Way too crowded (on week-ends, anyway), parking is a nightmare, lots of junk made in China.

Which isn't to say that we don't like Aachen's old town. We do. The old town is much more interesting than the Christmas market. And I love the cathedral - how can I not like a church whose very existence depended on the belief that animals have souls? http://www.travelgermanyinenglish.co...cathedral.html

If you can make it to Dusseldorf in two hours from Brussels, more power to you. We never did.

Another option within your parameters could be the Christmas market in Monschau. http://www.germany-christmas-market....mas_market.htm

Monschau is a popular day trip from Brussels.

If you're willing to go farther afield and stay overnight, then I'd say skip all your choices and head up to Muenster. A very nice market and old town. Plus the nearby Muensterland is very pretty with its water castles and both the city and Muensterland are off the beaten tourist track.

This December, we're going to Baden-Baden for about week - we like their Christmas market, the town is beautiful during Advent, a great place to relax and wé're day tripping to Gengenbach, Strasbourg and Bad Wimpfen (we have relatives in BB and BW).
FoFoBT is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 05:50 AM
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First of all: whatever you decide, you can't be wrong.

Secondly: Although Münster is a fine city with a good Weihnachtsmarkt, I doubt if it is worth the long trip from Brussel.

Thirly: I would eliminate Düsseldorf, mostly because of distance.

Fourthly: Aachen or Köln is a tough decision. Köln has in fact no less than six Christmas markets in the city center, one of them (near the Chocolate Museum) is a medieval market, another is on a boat. If that matters to you, go there. Besides, there is much more to see in Köln: the cathedral, the Roman-Germanic Museum, the art museums...

http://www.weihnachtsmarkt.weihnacht...eln/index.html

Aachen is closest to Brussel. The Weihnachtsmarkt in Aachen is more compact. The setting in front to the City Hall is very atmospheric. And Aachen has also lots of other attractions, as mentioned.

http://www.aachen.de/de/tourismus_st...rkt/index.html
Echnaton is offline  
Nov 13th, 2010, 06:54 AM
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"Secondly: Although Münster is a fine city with a good Weihnachtsmarkt, I doubt if it is worth the long trip from Brussel."

Well, we think it is and have done it several times - staying overnight, of course, and splitting the time between between the city and Muensterland.

But to stay within two hours drive on a week-end, I still think Monschau is a more family friendly Christmas market bet.
FoFoBT is offline  

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