German Christmas Markets | 2014 + Linkup

Who doesn't dream about European Christmas Markets? The joy, the sparkles, the food, the drinks...

It's a place where all ages can enjoy the holiday spirit and possibly pick up a few gifts while they are soaking in the said Christmas spirit. This year I knew we had to make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Christmas markets (or so they say). Germany. I decided that for this adventure, we would rent a car a take a tour through Germany to get a good feel for the country, not just one city. This was such a great idea (yay me)! We ventured through Dusseldorf, Cologne and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. In our trusty Kia, we hit the Autobahn full speed to experience what the German Christmas Markets had to offer!

Our first stop; Dusseldorf, or as Van likes to call it, Dumbledorf.

Dusseldorf
Dusseldorf was the perfect first stop for our introduction to the Christmas Market scene. We stayed at the Melia, within walking distance to the markets, and it was nice to be away from all of the crowds. After lunch and a nap, we headed into town to see what the fuss was about. As it was a Friday, the markets weren't too terribly crowded. Dusseldorf has 6 markets all within walking distance. The good thing was that the markets were near plenty of restaurants and bars so we were able to stop off and take multiple breaks as it was raining almost all night.





What we ate and drank in Dusseldorf....
Sausages (obviously)
Potato Pancakes w/ garlic sauce (Kartoffelpuffer)....my favorite!!!
Red and White gluwhein
German beers


Van's attempt to take my picture at the end of the night!!


Ok, good enough haha!!

Cologne
Cologne's Christmas markets were fantastic and much bigger than Dusseldorf's. There were actually 8 markets I believe. It was raining fairly hard in the afternoon when we arrived at the Alter Markt, the biggest market next to the Cologne Cathedral. Unfortunately, I only got two pictures of the Cathedral because I was ready to get out of the cold rain. Blogger fail. Oh well, maybe there will be a next time!




We found a place to hide out for awhile until the rain died down and we headed to the Markt der Engel (Angel Market). This was my absolute favorite! The cream stalls with angels adorning them, the white lights, the festive crowd.....it was my market heaven.


Gabriel's stall was our stall of choice to get our gluwhein and beers. We even tried the Eierpunsch, which is a German Eggnog made with white wine. It was good, but we didn't order a second one.














I really enjoyed the Cologne markets, even though they were super crowded. After awhile, you didn't notice them anymore. We chatted with a lot of people throughout the night and we felt there was a very festive and happy mood. And the food, good gracious. We blew it out in Cologne.

What we ate and drank in Cologne
More gluhwein, red only this time
Red gluhwein with Jager
Eierpuncsch
Sausages
Waffles with powdered sugar and berries
Sauteed mushrooms with garlic sauce
More potato pancakes...this time with applesauce

Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Our last stop took us to Rothenburg. Quaint, picturesque, romantic. Yep, all of that. This town should be on your list regardless of what time of year it is! I will be bringing you more on this unbelievable little city later but for now let's talk about the market.

Rothenburg is a small walled city and the markets were also small. There was one market through the city center. I liked how it wound it's way through the smaller streets which made it feel pretty cozy. The setting for this market can't be beat and it was pure magic at night.

Again, much mulled wine, sausages and beers were consumed!








Aren't they just magical? We really enjoyed the markets and I am so so so glad we were able to make it this year. Between bites of sausages and potato pancakes, I kept saying 'this is the best day ever'! It really was a great experience. My three tips for the markets: 

Dress/Be prepared for the weather
Don't eat dinner-you will eat plenty at the markets
Be ready for crowds and embrace them

A few good resources for planning a German Christmas Market holiday:
And a few of my favorite bloggers- both give great personal accounts of the markets!

This is my last 'real' post before the Christmas travel and celebrations begin! I hope you all have a safe and stress free few days before the days spent with family. I know we are looking forward to it!

 And here's a little blog hoppin' for your day

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25 comments

  1. Oh thanks!!!!!! Now you've put pressure on me to get caught up hah! I actually was thinking I should just jump ahead to my Christmas market blogs. At this rate, I will be writing about Christmas markets in July :-/ I'm so glad you had a great time! Germany does them better than anywhere, and it's something I plan to do every year until I'm forced to relocate. It's relaxing and fun and at times stressful and wonderfully festive all at the same time. Best day ever, yes!!!!!

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  2. You always have such great info on all of these places! Yep, just skip to Christmas haha :) We really loved the markets and I am so glad we got to experience them.....it will probably be our last Christmas here :(

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  3. I went to the market by Cologne Cathedral once. It was so crowded we only ended up having time to eat/drink one thing each because it took so long to reach the front of the queue.

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  4. Some of Adam's family went to Cologne christmas market a couple years ago, they got snow instead of rain! They said it was so cold they didn't visit as much as they could. If I was there though I'd totally plow on to see everything. Hope to see some next year!

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  5. Love the pictures! I really feel like I need to attend a German Christmas Market now!

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  6. Okay "Dumbledof" did make me laugh! :D It's so Christmassy!!! x

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  7. It was super crowded when we arrived on a Saturday, but the crowds seemed to thin out a bit at night!

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  8. Oh I would have loved to see snow!! But yeah, it wouldn't be very easy to tour the markets! Although they did have an ice rink at one of the markets and that would be pretty magical in the snow :)

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  9. It was a great experience! Definintely recommend :)

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  10. He's silly!! It was such a lovey trip and definitely got us in the Christmas spirit!

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  11. So wonderful! Germany has truly the best markets. The one in Rothenberg looks a lot like the one in my town :D
    I have noticed a bit of a trend. Back when I spent a ton of time in Germany (late 00's) gluehwein was just EVERYWHERE. I haven't been to a German Christmas market since that time, but these days in Czech Rep and Austria it's all about the Christmas punsch and gluehwein seems to be on the proverbial back-burner. Have you noticed tons of punsch this year or does the gluehwein still hold strong in Germany? (I used to be a die-hard gluehwein drinker 'til I discovered punsch!)

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  12. I think the two pics you got of the Cologne Cathedral are more than enough. That place looks menacing and amazing. And hooray for your hubby's photo attempts getting better at least! Hahaha! I have to visit the German Xmas Markets. Purely for the food, you understand. My stomach is growling angrily right now.

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  13. Looks like Van had a little too much gluhwein before he tried taking those pictures! :) Your weather was very similar to what we just experienced in Copenhagen. It was absolutely freezing and raining most of the time. Good thing both Germany and Copenhagen do a great job filling you with Christmas spirit, otherwise we'd have been hiding out in our hotel the whole time! :)

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  14. Yep, he did!! We stayed in our hotel during the mornings and ventured out in the afternoons....so it worked ouot pretty good...we weren't in the rain too much!! Boo for European weather but yay for the Christmas sprirt!!!

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  15. Rothenburg is too cool.....easy day trip for you!! I'll be posting on it soon enough :) And yes, we collected way too many mugs haha!!

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  16. Oh man, the food was crazy good. I would definitely be quite a bit larger if I stayed in Germany for a few more days. I could not stop eating. It was such good comfort food!! I will dream about it often :)

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  17. We only tried to Eierpunsch and liked it but stuck to the gluhwein! Gluhwein seemed to be the major player in the German markets. What I found odd was the gluhwein and Jager...I thought it would be terrible but it actually was awesome....and very alcohoilc haha!!

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  18. So jealous! Love all your pictures! Would love to make it to a German Christmas Market one day! So magical this time of year! Love reading your blog!

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  19. I have such travel envy right now! I really want to go to Germany one winter to see all the christmas markets, and of course taste all the food! x

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  20. Thanks!! The Christmas Markets should be on your list for sure!! We had such an amazing time :)

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  21. The food was crazy good! So so so delicious!

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  22. Rothenburg is just the cutest, right? I'm bummed we missed out on the market there but it's a must-see during any time of the year :). We are going to Cologne TOMORROW--can't wait!!! I love the picture of you in Dusseldorf--that is always what happens when E tries to take my picture, lol. It takes at least five tries every time until I give up, haha :)

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  23. The market really wasn't a major to-do but it added to the character of Rothenburg....if that's possible! Such a cute place. Maybe our guys need to take some photo lessons??? Urgh. I have to say, I do get a good one out of hime every now and then, but only if I ask him to take the shot!!!

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  24. So this is sort of like a fairytale! I'm learning so much about the holiday markets from all my favorite European bloggers! This looks simply amazing! And I can tell you had a blast! Thanks so much for co-hosting with me!

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  25. Beautiful photos! I loved Rothenburg at Christmastime when I went last year...so much so that I went again this December! And Cologne's Angel Market was my favorite in town too. We ate this delicious grilled salmon sandwich that I'll never forget - so good!

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