28 OCT 2014 - BY JOSEPH TYSON
You can enjoy one of Germany’s legendary steins, acquaint yourself with some bratwurst and pick up a few niche gifts for friends and family all to the soundtrack of quirky Oom-pah music. Never is the phrase ‘eat, drink and be merry’ more true than when you’re at a German Christmas market.
But while UK cities like Leeds and Manchester offer a great experience in hosting these types of market, there’s nothing quite like the real thing!.
We’ve put together a rundown of some of the best markets that Germany has to offer. Why not go all-out for your Christmas shopping this December?
Head to this picturesque Bavarian city for one of the most authentic of German Christmas market experiences.
Located in the heart of Munich on the Marienplatz, this market has a history that stretches back to the 14th century.
You'll have the chance to pick up some truly unique gifts that hail from this part of the country. Get hold of some ornate wood carvings from Oberammergau, beautiful glassware from the Bavarian Forest and, for those with a sweet tooth, specialist gingerbread (Lebkuchen) from Nuremberg.
And when you’re taking a break from the shopping, there’s still plenty to keep you occupied. With a museum for the kids, arts and craft workshops and a daily music concert. You’ll find it hard to leave the market without a smile on your face!
Germany’s second largest city boasts a number of great Christmas markets, including one that should only be visited by adults in St Pauli! However, the one that you’ll not want to miss is held in front of the Town Hall, marked by the presence of a huge Christmas tree.
Indeed, the buzz of the market will capture your imagination as soon as you get near, what with the smell of roasting meat and festive clamour adding to the excitement in the air.
Last year, it boasted over 80 salesmen, craftspeople and merchants from all over Germany, bringing a real sense of diversity to the gifts and foods on offer.
Each section of the market is arranged into special ‘alleys’ so you know exactly where to find what you are looking for. Looking for sweets? Head to the “Naschgasse” (nibble alley). After some hand crafted gifts? It’s the “Handwerksgasse” (craftsman alley) that you want. Are the kids getting a little restless? Take them down the “Spielzeuggasse” where all the wonderful toys and games are situated.
When the snow falls upon the streets of Bonn, the city is instantly transformed into a winter wonderland. As one of Germany’s oldest settlements, Bonn’s architecture looks even more stunning when lit up by the lights of the Christmas market and the Münsterplatz’s appearance, where it is held, starts to border on magical.
There’s festive cheer aplenty here with a few highlights being the fantastic mulled wine, candles made from beeswax, authentic crafts and specialist ingredients that are just perfect for making delicious German cuisine.
Oh, and there’s also 280-square-meter ice rink in the Friedensplatz, which is a huge hit for holiday makers of all ages!