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South Africans in Germany

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Christmas Markets

Visiting Christmas markets in Germany is a delightful way of celebrating the festive season. The heavy scent of sweets, fried sausage and warm wine welcome you to a variety of Christmas delicacies. 
It is wonderful to meet up with friends over a warm mug of Glühwein. 
You can also shop for gifts, buy Christmas cookies or Stollen and also kit yourself out for the winter with woollen gloves and beanies.

Websites

  • Berlin.  There are more than 80 markets in Berlin. Watch a video here 
  • Bremen
  • Dortmund has the tallest Christmas tree in Germany, a full 45 meters, and it is a fabulous experience to see when the lights are switched on.
  • Dresden – the Striezelmarkt in particular, has the world’s tallest Christmas pyramid. Dresden is also famous for its Stollen. Watch a video here
  • Dusseldorf – several markets around the city that are worth visiting. the huge Christmas tree in the Altstadt is apparently a gift from Norway each year. 
  • Eging am See – Pullman city has a German American Christmas market –deutsch-amerikanischer-weihnachtsmarkt
  • Eisenach – Historischer Weihnachtsmarkt auf der Wartburg
  • Esslingen – Der Esslinger Mittelaltermarkt & Weihnachtsmarkt is a Medieval Christmas market close to Stuttgart. Watch a video here
  • Frankfurt has a 33 meter high Christmas tree. Watch a video here
  • Freiburg
  • Hamburg
  • Hohenzollern Castle – in 2021 they will not have a Christmas market instead a Royal winter magic event
  • Lindau – looking out on the Bodensee
  • Ludwigsburg – Ludwigsburger Barock Weihnachtsmarkt. Watch a video here
  • Lübeck with a maritime Christmas Market
  • Michelstadt (Hesse) – Medieval Christmas Market
  • Munich and in particular the Münchner Christkindlmarkt with the Kripperlmarkt in front of St Michael’s Church.
  • Nürnberg. The biggest and most famous Christmas market in Germany. A girl from Nuremberg is traditionally elected for two years to represent the Christkindlesmarkt. Watch a video here 
  • Neu-Ulm  – Mittelalterlicher Weihnachtsmarkt
  • Regensburg – Romantic Christmas Market at the Thurn und Taxis Castle
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Rothenburg´s Reiterlesmarkt is among the oldest Christmas markets with the tradition dating back over 500 years
  • Ulm is famous for having the church with the highest church tower. They have a lovely Christmas market in front of the church.

Tips from our FB members

  • There’s a lovely medieval Christmas market at Landsberg am LechKemptenFüssen and Bad Tölz also have a great Christmas market
  • Deidesheim in Rheinland-Pfalz has a cute Weihnachtsmarkt 
  • Seligenstadt and Charlottenburg
  • The Christmas market in Aachen was absolutely fantastic. Mülheim an der Ruhr had an awesome medieval market at Schloß Broich and a small “Nikolaus Markt” in their Altstadt
  • I find the Augsburg Christmas market to be very special! On the evening of the opening in November, the Mayor addresses the public from the Rathaus, and ‘angels’ blow trumpets from the Rathaus’ balconies. The music at the opening is spectacular! Also, the food and the vibe are exceptional. Dampfknödel Mohn and with warm Vanillesauce for example. Lots of gorgeous warm spiced drinks. A feast for the eyes too!
  • The one in Sankt Wendel in Saarland is fabulous with a mix of new and Mittelalter Markt. Fire breathing shows and activities for the kids, are definitely a must.
  • There is a lovely medieval market in Siegburg, and Drachenfels castle has a really beautiful one in and around the castle grounds.
  • Bochum has lovely decorations around and downtown there is a children’s area to listen to stories and then the highlight is when Santa flies across between the buildings on a cable – very cool.
  • Schloss Moyland – a beautiful moated castle – had a gorgeous handcrafted-hand made market with a children’s choir and was well lit for those moving around with wheelchairs or prams. worth the few euros to get in.
  • Aachen is also a treat and worth picking up an extra packet of the famous biscuits from the main bakery in the old town.
  • Hohenlimburg in Hagen was a delightful real castle-like market. best to park at the bottom and travel up the hill on the shuttle bus available.
  • In Valkenburg, Netherlands there is Christmas market in a cave
  • Weihnachtszauber Schloss Bückeburg 
  • Ravenna Schlucht Christmas Market in the Hochschwarzwald
  • Tubingen Market is excellent for chocolates
  • Altensteiger Altstadt-Weihnachtsmarkt
  • Calw
  • Zavelsteiner Burgweihnacht
  • Gengenbacher Adventsmarkt – Die Fenster des größten Adventskalenderhauses der Welt
  • Quedlinburg is famous for its Weihnachten in den Höfe. Backyards are opened in the Old City which is also a World heritage city… Great atmosphere
  • Siegburg has a very nice medieval market
  • Kuchlbauer Turm is one of the best I’ve ever been to. An outdoor and indoor market. The indoor one is underground and probably has a lot of SA Market-style goodies. Not often seen at Markets here. Not sure how the indoor one will work this year, but the vibe was magically around the Turm. Only an hour and a bit North of Munich
  • The Christmas market in Münster
  • Kuchlbauers Turmweihnacht in Abensberg

Food to indulge in

  • Gebrannte Mandeln (Candied Almonds). Also try the cashews and other nuts.
  • Dampfnudeln is a steamed dumpling served with vanilla sauce or stewed berries.
  • Schupfnudeln mit Sauerkraut. More popular in the south. It is a type of noodle that is fried and served with sauerkraut.
  • Feuerwurst is a thin and long spicy sausage served in a bun.
  • Rote im Semmel is a grilled sausage in a bun. Mostly found in the South.
  • Flammlachs
  • Pancakes with anything from Nutella to liqueur.
  • Stollen. It is really worth buying the more expensive brands. Look out for those from Dresden.
  • Lebkuchen is a soft gingerbread. The Nuremberg Lebkuchen is also known as Elisen and contains more nuts than other types of Lebkuchen. Some are glazed.  
  • Marzipan Bethmännchen (Frankfurt)
  • Flammlachs – grilled salmon
  • Zimtsterne, Vanilla Kipferl, Baumkuchen, Dominosteine, Magenbrot, a sweet glazed bread-like biscuit.

Drinks to try

  • Glühwein (Mulled wine) is a warm drink from red or white wine. Can contain orange, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel seed (or star anise), cloves, cardamom, and ginger.
  • Glogg. Nordic style Glühwein
  • Grog Rum with hot water
  • Heiße Oma, a drink made with eggnog, milk and vanilla sugar
  • Hot cider (Frankfurt)
  • Feuerzangenbowle is Glühwein.  A rum-soaked sugar cube is placed above the liquid and set alight. It then drips into Glühwein.

Shopping

  • You will find many hand-crafted and unique gifts on the markets. Make sure that they are authentic before buying
  • Christmas Decorations, look for Kathe Wolfahrt among others
  • Christmas Cards
  • Stollen
  • Traditional cookies like Zimtsterne, Vanilla kipferl and Lebkuchen

Videos

Here are some videos I found on the web

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