Travel: Arrive in Munich and pick up rental car
Activity Options: Wander through the Marienplatz perusing the colorful and festive stalls selling Chrismas décor of all kind while fueling up on a hearty lunch of sausages, sauerkraut, spaetzle, and of course gluhwein from the many vendors. Post lunch, get your heart rate up by climbing the 299 steps up to the observation deck of St Peter’s Church (10-5:30pm daily, €2 admission) and admire the views down below to the square and Munich’s skyline. For dinner make your way over to the Englisher Garten for more Christmas market cheer as well as to admire the famous Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) before settling down at the Restaurant am Chinesischen Turm for the most amazing roast lamb and duck.
Activity Options: In the morning, head to Viktulienmarkt, the large daily food market and square (open 10-6pm, 3pm close on Saturday, closed Sunday) for a breakfast of fresh fruit, bread, cheese, and coffee. Later, head back towards the Marienplatz and lace up a pair of skates for a few spins around the ice rink set up in the square. Feel like ducking out of the cold and getting a bit cultured? Check out the Nymphenburg Palace (10-4pm daily, €6 admission, free audio guide) or the Munich Royal Palace (10-5pm daily, €7 admission, free audio guide). Afterwards, head towards one of the city’s many beerhofs to throw back a Hefeweizen or two with dinner.
Travel: Drive to Nuremberg
Activity Options: Wander the huge and festive Kristkindlesmarkt in the Aldstadt (Old Town), picking up a new ornament or two and sipping on some more seasonal gluhwein before trekking up hill towards the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg (10-4pm daily, €7) to wander the medieval fortress and admire the storybook village skyline of the city.
Travel: Drive back to Munich
Activity Options: The Munich airport actually boasts a surprisingly sized Christmas market along with a skating rink so while you wait for your flight home you can grab a few last minute ornament souvenirs, take a few laps around the ice, or fill up on one last currywurst.
*Winter admission hours given. Hours of admission and fees are current as of December 2014.