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Day 1 Blogger Advent Calendar: German Christmas Markets

http://www.mummyalarm.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Wooden-pyramid-German-Christmas-Market

For weeks, the excitement built up: As soon as the first markings appeared on the floors of the City’s squares dictating where the wooden stalls would stand, there was a lot of patient watching and waiting. Gradually more was added in preparation, garlands of lights strung up, and a forest of Christmas trees springing up about the place.  All tell-tale signs that the Christmas Markets of Bavaria were about to begin for the magical period between the 30th November and the 23rd December. And now they are actually in full swing, and I for one can’t quite believe it’s that time again!

German Christmas Markets Munich

When we first moved to Munich, I remember thinking that there was probably just the one Christmas Market in the centre of town, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. There are markets all over the city, and they come in all shapes, sizes and themes. From the very traditional in  Marienplatz, the arty in Schwabing, and the alternative in the form of the Medieval Christmas market at Odeonsplatz.   Then there are those situated by famous landmarks such as the Christmas Market slap bang in the middle of the Englischer Garten under the gorgeous setting of the Chinesischer Turm, and many many more besides.

Chinesischer Turm German Christmas Markets Munich

But there’s one thing all of these markets have in common.  That unique atmosphere that in these parts just spells Christmas.   So if you are heading to one of Germany’s Christmas Markets this season (of which there are many spread throughout the country- they are not just a Munich phenomenon!) here are a few tips and pointers of what to look out for…

raeuchermaennchen German christmas markets

  • Check the Tourism website relevant to the city before you set off, this should detail all of the Christmas Markets in that location;

  • If you want to see a Christmas Market without the hoards, head there shortly after they open during the day.  Yes they are gorgeous at night, but they can be busy, and if you have serious shopping to do, it’s easier without the crowds.  You can always head back later to wander at your leisure!

  • Talking of shopping, there are some lovely handmade creations to be had, from the edible to the not so – just don’t risk the wrath of the stall holder by picking things up and touching them, it’s just not the done thing here. You have been warned!

  • Wrap up properly, and make sure you have warm feet!  There is usually snow on the ground, and you would be surprised as to how chilly you can get at these things.  I do believe they offer gluhwein and hot chestnuts as central heating by the way!

  • Make sure to sample the traditional, from delicious lebkuchen to marzipan ingeniously shaped like potatoes.  Hearty bratwursts, and steaming plates of kaiserschmarrn (fried pancake strips with apple sauce and raisins), … You will never go hungry at a German Christmas Market!

  • Don’t just stick to Gluhwein, I can highly recommend the Feurzangenbowle too, which involves gluhwein with the added extra of a rum soaked sugar cube – set on fire and melted into the drink.   Then there’s my personal favourite Eierpunsch – hot German Egg Nog which tastes a little like a hot pina colada!

  • You haven’t just been charged an extortionate amount for your drink by the way, that amount includes a deposit for your mug, it’s yours to keep as a souvenir if you wish, or take it back and reclaim your deposit!

  • Watch out for St Nicolas himself, he’s often about (as is Krampus in these southern parts – watch out!)

mulled wine german christmas markets

And perhaps the most important tip of all?   Enjoy! There might be replicas of German Christmas Markets across the world, but very few come close to what it’s like to experience the real thing.   Frohe Weihnachten!

gingerbread reindeer german christmas markets

 The first post of my Blogger Advent Calendar was brought to you by Emma from A Bavarian Sojourn. Emma and her family left South West London for Copenhagen in 2009. After a couple of years enjoying Scandinavian life, they moved to Bavaria where they currently live just outside of Munich.

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Freelance writer and translator that blogs about her adventure as a first time mummy and has a passion for pretty stationery, magazines and interior design.

13 Comments

  1. I would really like Santa to bring me some J’Adore perfume this christmas

    Reply

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