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Four Christmases: Berlin. Prague. Budapest. Vienna.

Four Christmases: Berlin. Prague. Budapest. Vienna.

Old Jan 10th, 2020, 09:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 188
Four Christmases: Berlin. Prague. Budapest. Vienna.

Four Christmases: Berlin. Prague. Budapest. Vienna. A travel guide and tips about food, locations, traditions, and features of the Christmas markets in these four cities.
Check out: https://knycxjourneying.com/2019/03/...dapest-vienna/Time really flies. I was a little bit shocked that it was almost April when I started writing this post. A quarter of the year has passed, and it felt like yesterday when I was passing through the markets and historic architecture in the cold in Central Europe.

When I first planned my trip there in December I was not thinking about the Christmas Markets in Central Europe; the magnificent sites, architecture, cathedral, palaces, and museum are fascinating enough – after all, it’s been some time that I am in Europe after my Master degree graduation in the UK (and we explored a little bit of London and Norway with my friends that time).

It was until later that I realized Christmas Markets is not limited to Germany. I heard some of the most famous and popular Christmas markets are in Munich, Nürnberg, Köln, Frankfurt, and Dresden. While these 4 cities are not on my route this time, I discovered the markets in Berlin, Prague, Budapest, and Vienna. I had a great time in these markets among all other places that I visited (which I will share later). It’s like I had celebrated four Christmases!
Christmas Market, also known as Christkindmarkt, is originated in Germany. The word “Christ Child” refers to the angel-like “spirit of Christmas” and it is a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas during the four weeks of Advent. These markets were all over Germany (as mentioned earlier) and were held until Christmas Eve. Today, they are being held until new year’s eve and in many other countries like Austria, Czech, Hungary, Switzerland, Poland and more.

Christmas Market Tips #1 The opening hours change

Christmas markets usually start in late November/early December until New Year’s Eve. Some of them still only open until Christmas Eve though. Hence, make sure you check the opening hours on their website before visiting – especially during Christmas, the opening hours are quite different. The market usually closes early (or even closed) on Christmas Eve. In terms of visiting time, I would say the best time to visit the market are right before Christmas – because the market might not be “fully opened” too early in the month, and you get the best atmosphere and festival vibe as you visit the market closer to the holidays.

Christmas Market Tips #2 What’s with the mugs?

Many Christmas market (mostly in Germany and Austria) has their own mugs. They have nice designs and are nice collection items. These mugs cost £3-4 and you will have to pay in advance when you order your drinks. After that, you can return those mugs to the stall and get them refunded. So, if you plan on keeping the mugs as a souvenir, you may consider choosing a nicer one when you order your drinks.

Christmas Market Tips #3 Do we eat the cookies?

The answer is – depends . Many stalls usually sell festive giant cookies, and they are all hung nicely at the front of the store with words written or drawings on it. They are edible, they are real food, but actually, they are more for a decorative purpose. So if you really want some cookies, buy those small ones in a bottle or a can, and leave the big ones hanging nicely on the wall for the holidays.

Christmas Market Tips #4 It could get cold

While it is not exactly the coldest time in December, the temperature could get pretty low (to a few degree Celsius) during the night time; If you are lucky, you might even catch the December snow (to zero degree Celsius). Dress warmly as the Christmas Market is usually outdoor and you might spend a couple of hours there. Of course, another way to get warm is a glass of hot wine or hot cocoa.

Christmas Market Tips #5 don’t hog the tables.

Even if you are visiting the market by yourself, it is always to meet new friends and the locals. There are high tables or sitting areas in the public area of the markets, don’t hog the tables but share with the others. You will find many people are actually very nice and fun to talk to! After all, it’s all about spreading the holiday joy and you might get some great local tips from the people as well!

Christmas Market Tips #6 The Food!

So… about the food. I was really excited about the wide range of food choices in the Christmas markets; the food offerings across the four countries could be similar, but not necessarily all the same. Here, I am picking out a star dish that I find in each country.

In Germany, while I am not a big fan of sauerkraut, I love Schweinshaxe (the pork knuckle) and oh so many kinds of Wurst (Sausages). Besides, potato pancakes, roasted almonds, pancakes, and currywurst are some of the popular choices among locals.

In Czech, a must-try snack is Trdelník. It is a Transylvanian traditional pastry that could be seen now everywhere in Prague. It is a traditional Slovak rolled pastry and they are served warm topped with a dusting of sugar, nuts, or cinnamon. In terms of flavor, it tastes like a doughnut because of its coating, yet the pastry is chewy on the inside because it was roasted, not fired. In terms of recipes, it sounds like crepe because there is a lot of the menu. You could put ice cream or fruits in the of the cone, topped with chocolate sauce, nuts, syrup, caramel, the list goes on.

The Goulasle soup in Budapest was a surprise. Goulash is a stew of meat and vegetables usually seasoned with paprika and other spices. Originating from medieval Hungary, goulash is a popular meal predominantly eaten in Central Europe but also in other parts of Europe. In the Christmas markets, they serve the soup in a giant bread bowl. it really makes you warm when you are walking in the December cold.

For dessert, I personally love the Kaiserschmarren à la Sacher in Vienna – it is a shredded pancake that takes its name from the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph, and the pancakes are topped with plum sauce (sometimes berries). A simple, homey, and heart-warming food.

For the location and places of Christmas Markets: https://knycxjourneying.com/2019/03/...dapest-vienna/
knycx_journeying is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2020, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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An interesting array of tips about Christmas markets, knycx_journeying!
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Old Jan 13th, 2020, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tomarkot View Post
An interesting array of tips about Christmas markets, knycx_journeying!
Thank you very much ~
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