By ANASTASIA KOULOURI
Christmas In Germany
Christmas season in Europe is a celebration that lasts for a whole month. The most beautiful period of the year in our opinion, which celebrates the birth of Jesus, but also symbolises the birth of a new year. The first country that comes to mind when we think about Christmas is of course, Germany! Those who have visited Germany at least once in their lifetime during December, have realized how special this festive is. In fact, Christmas is celebrated for about a month, from November 25th to December 25th, where the famous Christmas markets open. In our four day trip that took place on December 6-10, we tried to visit as many places as possible, famous for their Christmas markets and more. Through our pictures and descriptions we will try to bring you a little bit into this fairy tale that we had the chance to live!
First of all, let us mention the cost of such a trip, starting with airfares. From the end of November until the first ten days of December, usually prices are very low, so you can experience the spirit of Christmas along with all the celebrations at reasonable prices. We booked our tickets through Kiwi.com with a direct flight from Athens to Frankfurt for just 32 euros per person roundtrip. We flew with Ryanair without any problem only with a small handbag of 5kg (backpack), but if you want to take a cabin bag of about 10kg, then you will have to pay plus 10 euros per person per route for the Priority ticket. Read carefully the terms because the company’s policy is very strict on this issue, yet it is 100% clear. Read more here.
If you want to visit more than one place, which is the best choice in our opinion, you should rent a car like we did from Hertz at very low prices. Our car rental costed just 58 euros for 4 days from Frankfurt Airport. Accommodation during this period is considered as expensive for Germany and especially for the big cities. Our suggestion is to prefer smaller villages that are much cheaper and also help you to enjoy your much better than in a huge city like Frankfurt, for example. Now let’s see which places we visited and how it was this unique experience we lived during the Christmas season in Germany.
Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber
Our desire to visit this city during the Christmas season was huge! As soon as we arrived, we parked the car and headed for the central square, where the town hall is located. Whenever you visit Rothenburg it is sure that will impress you. It is a city unchanged in time! Beautiful medieval buildings and paved streets combined with Christmas decoration convince you that this city is truly a magical fairytale. In the central square as well as at the back of the Town Hall, there is always the famous Christmas market that has been aged for half a century! Pleasant smells forced us to taste the local sweets and food before we see the city! For a welcome drink, we got a Gluhwein and we looked around for a while on the market to see the beautiful handmade ornaments and wooden toys.
After the Christmas Market, followed a long stroll through the alleys of the city. Our camera was on fire! Every corner of Rothenburg is enchanting. Especially when we arrived at the place where the famous Plönlein is located, we could not get enough of it. There was a very beautiful Christmas tree and next to it a musician who played romantic classic songs on the violin. Moments like this can not be captured in a photo or video, you live it intensely and enjoy it as it is uniquely beautiful. After several strolls until late at night and enough food we returned to our hotel for some rest. The next morning we decided to return to Rothenburg very early in the morning, where the crowd was gone and so we lived another amazing experience of walking alone in such a magical city!
The next day of our trip included a visit to Nuremberg. This city is way bigger than Rothenburg and we discovered it when we met thousands of people in the central market. Nuremberg is one of our favorite cities in Germany. The purpose of our visit, apart from the Christmas market, was to visit some sights that we had not been able to see on a previous trip. Some of these are the Medieval village, which houses shops with craftsmen presenting the crafting process of materials such as metal, glass, wood and leather. Our walk continued with a visit to some of the bridges that are located in the city center across the Pegnitz River. The city was beautifully decorated, and as the night fell, the atmosphere became even more festive. Distinctive projectors illuminated the Gothic temples and the medieval buildings.
The Christmas market was filled with so many people that we could barely walk. There was a huge variety of delicious goodies! Most of all, we loved the traditional sweet cookies ”Lebkuchen”. These cookies have intense aromas of spices, mainly cinnamon and ginger! We did not resist the temptation and of course we bought some to enjoy from the highest point of the city, the Kaiserburg castle. The walk to the castle though uphill was so enjoyable! The outer area of the castle was decorated with a huge tree with thousands of lamps! Everyone stood next to it for a commemorative photo. Although it was dark, the view of the city was wonderful! We took several photos, enjoyed our biscuits and slowly returned to the central square to see some other parts of the enormous Christmas market. The weather got worse and the cold was pretty dense! It was the best time to drink a cup of Gluhwein! Keeping our cups tight, we stayed in the central square to watch a local orchestra playing Christmas music! After several hours in the city and so much cold we had unfortunately to go back to the small village we overnighted just outside Nuremberg. The images will definitely remain unforgettable to us in an already beloved city.
Marburg is about an hour drive from Frankfurt and is an incredible city! After we left our luggage at the hotel, we immediately went out to the city center. As we walked, we were enchanted more and more. All the streets and houses were extremely decorated, transforming every corner of the city. As we approached the central square, the atmosphere was getting warmer. Walking up the paved and picturesque alleys we finally reached the Christmas market. A beautiful bright calligraphic label welcomed us and wishing to all the people ” Merry Christmas ”. Everywhere there were wooden kiosks selling Christmas decorations, or various delicacies such as Bratwurst (roasted sausage in bread), caramelized nuts, various traditional desserts, and of course, sweet hot wine, the famous Glühwein. Large groups of people were enjoying this wonderful feast. We stood in the center of the square but the wonderful smells reminded us that we should soon eat something! We went to our favorite traditional restaurant Weinlädele, which is located a few meters from the market! The food there is unique and every time we visit Marburg we will definitely eat there!
After eating we relaxed and returned to the Christmas Market to enjoy Glühwein once again! Served hot, with pieces of fruit, in a beautiful souvenir cup, it was the perfect drink to relax in the most central spot of the city! The time had passed and it was all quieter and magical. After taking some evening photos of the city and the castle, we returned to our room for some rest. The next day, we woke up very early and after breakfast, we went for a walk in the city. We decided to climb to the castle and then downhill to see all the other interesting places of the city. The path to the castle looks like a backdrop from a book by Charles Dickens. You suddenly travel back in the late 18th century… The distance is small and lasts about 10 minutes. After several stops for photos, we arrived at the castle from where we saw the magnificent view of the city. After we enjoyed the setting for a while, we went back to see also some other beautiful neighborhoods, and somehow we said goodbye to beautiful Marburg until next time.
The days passed by very fast and we decided for the last day to see as many things as we could. The next morning we left too early before dawn. At 07:30 we had already reached the lovely Schwäbisch Hall. After enjoyed a delicious breakfast, we began our wandering. It was still too early and the weather was extremely cold. In the streets there were nobody except from the two Greek mad travelers. This is the phtographer’s joy! This city surprised us at a positive way! Everywhere there were cobbled streets, colorful houses and bridges crossing the Kocher River. The view along the river was a journey back in time! We walked a little to the beautiful central square where the Christmas market is located, as well as the imposing church of St. Michael’s, where you can visit after climbing several steps. The view is very beautiful and is really worth the climb for some photos. After a few hours of exploring the city’s main sights, unfortunately we had to leave, as our final destination was Frankfurt.
Our next stop was in the beautiful picturesque town of Miltenberg. This city is built on the banks of the Main River. After we arrived in the city we were immediately impressed by the beautiful pictures, but also from the castle of the city. We did not waste time and we immediately started our tour. We started from the central square where a very small Christmas market was set up. From the center of the square we looked at the beautiful traditional houses that were built amphitheatrically. Then we climbed the castle and admired the wonderful panoramic view! We continued our walk in the picturesque cobblestone streets of the old town! After made a short break for a coffee and dessert and after taking our commemorative photos, we departed for our final destination.
Frankfurt is the fifth largest city in Germany. To be honest, if it was not our flight from there, we might not have put this city on our schedule, as we have already visited it many times. We arrived in the city center by train from our hotel to avoid the expected high traffic on the streets. We walked a bit to the old town where the Christmas Market and Römer square are located. The cold was really heavy and the crowd gathered around the warm wooden canteens which selling hot wine and tasteful delicacies. We arrived at the central square of the old town, where there was a large Christmas tree with hundreds of lights and below the crowd that celebrated with friends and family. After the necessary tasting of various goodies, which we enjoyed in front of the spectacular carousel, that was turning around like crazy all night, we sat for a few more hours before we returned back to Athens very early in the next morning.
This trip and every trip we do, will remain unforgettable. Every trip is unique with beautiful and not so beautiful adventures that they are the experiences of our lives. You don’t need a lot of money to live an experience like this, the only things you need are, good mood, schedule and longing for life. If you are looking for the ideal country to spend the Christmas season, then we are sure that Germany is one of the 3 best countries to do it.