Holiday Cheer at Bavaria’s Kristkindlesmarkets

December 19th-22nd, 2014

What better way to get into the festive Christmas spirit than at Bavaria’s famed Kristkindlesmarkts! As soon as Dan and I knew for certain we would be moving to London, Dan’s parents had expressed the desire to come out for Christmas and revisit the area and the markets that they had enjoyed 45 years ago when they lived in Stuttgart while Donald served in the Army.

After an early morning flight and an even earlier 4am minicab drive to the airport we touched down in Munich, picked up our rental car, and immediately set out for our first proper German meal of beer, sausage, and sauerkraut. After fueling up we made our way to the Kristkindlesmarkt near the Marienplatz to wander the stalls of ornaments and gluhwein for sale. If all the twinkly holiday decor didn’t remind you that it was wintertime then the freezing temps sure did! We quickly got lost in the crowd of the other pretzel, spaetzel, and gluhwein partakers.

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The next morning we walked over to the big outdoor Viktualienmarkt and had fun tasting some local goods and flavored schnapps. A little kick of peppermint schnapps in the morning never hurt anyone right?

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Later in the afternoon, Dan and I climbed the 299 steps up the bell tower to the observation deck of the Church of St Peter to see the Munich skyline. It was a very narrow staircase and the way up was the same as the way down which made for some frustrating traffic jams but the views down on to the Marienplatz was well worth the exertion.

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In the evening, we bundled up against the cold and took the bus to the Christmas market at the Englischer Garten with the famous Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower). For dinner we had the best meal of the trip at Restaurant am Chinesischen Turm, enjoying roast lamb and duck. We left there very fat and happy!

The next day, I unfortunately spent in the hotel nursing a head cold while Dan, Don, and Joan enjoyed a city sight-seeing bus tour and lunch at the revolving restaurant at the Olympic Tower. Tip: Don’t get sick on a Sunday night during the holiday season in a foreign country. You will not be able to just run down to the 24 hour pharmacy for NyQuil. I now pack a mini medicine cabinet kit with me whenever we travel!

The following morning, after a scenic drive north up from Munich, we arrived in the storybook village-esque city of Nuremberg. The location of our hotel was right along the main street of the Old Town and was fantastic for wandering the Christmas market where I scored a few more ornaments and decor for next year’s tree.

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Just before sunset, Dan and I had walked up to the Nuremberg Castle, one of the most important imperial castles of the Holy Roman Empire, and enjoyed a beautiful view of the city.

IMG_1127Bavaria really knows how to do Christmas, making you feel like you’ve been transported to Santa’s Village up at the North Pole. Tell me, what are your favorite places or experiences that get you into the holiday spirit?

*Check out my handy printable travel guide here to plan your own long weekend getaway  to enjoy Bavaria’s kristkindlesmarkts!

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