Today I am sharing with you my photos from Germany’s Christmas markets. Be ready for an explosion of colour!
First let us talk about some terminology:
Gluhwein – the hot mulled wine all German Christmas markets (that I have been to) have
Lebuchen – gingerbread
Christstollen – yummy fruit cake. Each town has their own version
Most everything else that you might see at a German Christmas market it pretty self-explanatory.
Germany knows how to do Christmas Markets
Each town is known for something special. You will find loads of wooden items. Maybe this is from Germany’s fine tradition of having some of the best carpenters in the world. We visited a few smaller towns, and they all had a Christmas market.
Most of Germany’s Christmas markets which we attended were very crowded. Check each market’s hours but rest assured, when the evening arrived and the lights came on, you will be in for a treat. Also in the evenings and on the weekends, more and more people arrived. But the spirit is festive and light and fun. So make sure that you check for opening times, dates and whether you have to buy tickets. We did not come across any Christmas markets in Germany where tickets were required, but in Denmark, the one at Tivoli Gardens we had to have tickets.
What to expect when you attend Germany’s Christmas markets
I was especially drawn to the beautiful traditional Christmas tree ornaments. There were a lot of jokers dressed up in sparkling outfits to disguise their mischievous natures. All were smiling. Each of Germany’s Christmas markets has a tree which plays centre stage. And each Christmas market also has its own flavour. Some of the markets have characters on the roofs of the stalls, some have local bands playing Christmas music, but all have excited children which makes the excitement contagious. The markets will remind you of all the good in this world and all the fun and joy of being a child.
Take lots of photos
Take lots of pictures! And just as an aside, try to download your pictures off your camera daily, and label where you took them. One little trick that I found is that while I use a Sony camera full time, I do try to take a selfie with my iPhone. The reason is that both the Sony camera and the selfie will be loaded on to the same date on my iPad when I download the photos, but only the selfie will be given an automatic location. So in case you forget or your other camera photos are not labelled, the photos will all be housed together on the same date so when you look at the selfie, it will tell you the location where you were. I upload all of these photos on to my computer when I get home and put them into folders which make sense to me. I say it that way because it seems that I am forever trying to figure out the best method to organize my photos. If you have any tricks of the trade, I would love to hear about them!
Make sure you dress warmly. A good pair or sturdy shoes is very important. Also make sure your feet are warm! Most of the markets are in the centre of town and on cobbly streets so the pavers are very uneven. Take care that you don’t misstep.
Take care of those feet!
As an aside, I recently got two pairs of sturdy walking shoes from one of my favourite stores, Campers Village, in Edmonton, Alberta, and they know their shoes! I told them what I wanted and what I was using the shoes for (an upcoming Christmas European trip), as well as the ‘problems’ with my particular feet, and they found shoes which were both attractive as well as the best for my feet as well as the best for the kind of walking I told them I would be doing. I highly recommend going there if you are in Edmonton or Calgary, Alberta! The staff are all very knowledgeable, and be assured that if you don’t have the right shoes, your trip may be unpleasant at best, ruined at worst!
Copenhagen’s Christmas Market
One of the other overseas Christmas markets I attended was in Copenhagen at the Tivoli Gardens. The Tivoli Gardens have been open for 175 years and so it is quite amazing! This is one Christmas market that requires a ticket to attend. But you will see that it is worth it!
Wondering what to pack?
If you are wondering what to pack for your trip, check out this post: