Germany's Christmas Markets

Although Germany's frigid winter weather isn't appealing to many travellers, the festive Christmas markets rope in holiday-loving tourists every December. Called ‘Weihnachtsmarkt’ in the country’s native tongue, these special bazaars range from spectacular productions in big cities to folksy and intimate occasions in the smaller towns and villages. Regardless of location and size, the markets promise an entertaining time as visitors explore the extent of the grounds.

Mingling aromas of hearty German delicacies, roasting chestnuts, and spiced glühwein fill the chilly air as the streets stay crammed with shoppers looking for the perfect gift. A visit during day lit hours is best for serious shopping but the dark evenings bring out the charm as the markets glow with the warmth of the colorful lights. Vendors offer an array of beautiful gifts for sale which plays in with the market’s theme. For example, many of the older towns can be dated back as far as the Middle Ages and the markets uphold their aged customs. Local craftsman bring their handmade goods of wood, metal, cloth, or glass. Larger cities wanting to please a wide spectrum of the population will offer both the old and more modern wares. In either case, traditional folk songs provide the perfect backdrop to this atmosphere seeping with holiday spirit.

Visiting is easy - simply check your desired destination’s website for dates, times, and venue. Most cities have one hosted at www.(city name).de and information can either be translated directly on the site by clicking ‘English’ or a flag or through the use of an online translation web page. Other information such as parking, public transportation schedules, or special events can also be obtained and planned around for the optimal market experience.

Vicki Landes has been soaking up Europe for almost seven years. Although educated in music and holding a day job in the humanitarian assistance field, her free time is spent supporting her travel and photography addictions. With a current list of 45 countries under her belt, Landes strives to find the overlooked details that make each place distinctive and unique. “Europe for the Senses – A Photographic Journal” is her first book. She currently lives in Stuttgart, Germany with her military husband and their son.

Visit her website: http://www.EuropeForTheSenses.com – access information on the book, Landes’ blog, book reviews, press spots, links to purchasing options, and her new online photography galleries!

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