A few years ago now I had the pleasure of visiting my first ever German Christmas market. We traveled by bus to Cologne which wasn’t as bad as I initially thought it would be.
Traveling down from the North East to the Channel Tunnel didn’t seem to take too long what with regular pit stops and food breaks. Then once we had crossed to France it was night time anyway so I think I slept most of the journey! Of course this was without the children so I would hate to think how they could cope on the bus for that length of time and I don’t think I would dare go to sleep for fear of one of them wandering!
It was just mum and myself that went for a weekend break, one of those you read about in the newspaper or see on a leaflet posted in the newsagent window, we paid around £120 each and it was well worth it as that covered the tunnel cost, coach and accommodation overnight too.
We spent a whole day looking around the different regional markets and sampling lots of traditional German foods and drink. I keep saying I am going to try and recreate the mushrooms in sauce that they seemed to sell everywhere but I haven’t gotten round to it yet – something else on the to do list this year!
I think I was in a bubble all weekend though as I had broken my little toe 4 days before going so having that strapped up and popping painkillers meant that I probably wasn’t of sound mind for most of it – which could explain buying a geode that was the size of a football and having to beg the coach driver to let me bring it home! It weighed a ton! I was a little worried I would drop it on my other foot to have a matching pair of broken toes but thankfully I was a little more careful.
Some things I would suggest having or taking with you if you plan on heading away this Christmas are:
Thick socks and decent walking boots/shoes – You may think its only a market but they are HUGE! So many stalls to wander around and people pushing etc too so you will get stepped on if its really busy.
Plenty of money – You might not need any new Christmas decorations but when you see the hand blown glass ornaments and little drummer boy decs sitting there you just know you have to have one of each!
Travel insurance – As we were only there for 2 days I would hate to think I had broken my toe while away, the thought of a foreign hospital fills me with dread and the bills that come with it are more than enough to make sure you have adequate medical travel insurance
An empty stomach – You might think I’m joking here but there are so many delicious smells as you walk around you literally don’t know what to try first! Whether it be the wiener schnitzel, the giant pretzels or the mushrooms it is all washed down with copious amounts of mulled wine so make sure you know your way back to the coach too!
Camera – The sites are amazing and so pretty that they just scream photograph me!
Its not just me who loves the Christmas Markets – here is what some of my blogging friends said too:
We go every year – we love them. However, many have become quite ‘samey’ and mass-produced (especially the larger markets). So now we head for small towns and cities – those off the tourist route – as their markets are more local goods, which we prefer. Tracey from Pack The PJs
I went to Munich Christmas Markets and it was absolutely incredible. The grounds were covered in thick “wool like” snow, the mulled wine was delicious and the sausage… oh man – don’t get me started on the sausage. Carla from My Bump 2 Baby
I’ve been to Amsterdam and Prague and they are great for getting into the Christmas spirit. Debbie from My Boys Club
We love a good Christmas market- plenty of layers, sipping at cups of mulled wine or hot chocolate, soaking up all the joyful atmosphere! We’ve travelled for a few – our favourites were in Glasgow and Prague (where it snowed adding to the Christmas spirit!) Alex from Better Together Home
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