Day one of the week of posts: Christmas markets. I probably should have written about this last month, but oh well, it gives you all ten months or so to book your flights to Germany to come and see them 😉
We visited Bonn at the end of November, so the Christmas market wasn’t fully up and running (but also wasn’t quite as busy as some of the others would turn out to be!) They still had plenty of Glühwein, of course (kind of like mulled wine, served in variations of the cute little mugs you can see above!) and tons of stalls selling Christmas decorations. One of the Glühwein stalls even had a (fake, plush) moose head attached that moved and sang songs! 😀 Although I enjoyed it, it doesn’t stand out as the best Christmas market I went to – though Bonn, in itself, is definitely an interesting city to visit. Maybe one for later in December?
I’m pretty sure Essen is the next Christmas market we went to, possibly the first weekend in December. It looks a little sparse in the picture, but there was a heart of the market that turned out to not be as busy as many of the others I went to. I do remember Essen being particularly pretty as well as fun, though it might be busier later in December.
We went to Münster on a trip with Eurobiz, so we did a tour of the city before we finally got to visit the Christmas market. I bought a few bits and bobs here, but the market was rammed with people, so it was very difficult to get to stalls. Definitely one to visit during the week or earlier in the Christmas season.
Aachen was around the 16th of December and yes, I’m aware that photo is not of the Christmas market itself. The Christmas market is those little red roofs in the left hand corner and stretched all around the cathedral. It was very nice, but much busier than a lot of places we’d been to, plus it was raining, so there was a lot of ducking out of the way to find somewhere dry. The Glühwein mugs we got from here ended up being from 2009 I think and had a witch on, but they were pretty!
Köln we visited for the final time on the 19th of December, mostly to see the chocolate museum again – but also for the Christmas markets. There are two there, the main one next to the cathedral (which has a stall with very nice Glühwein mugs that they give you in a bag when you ask for a change) and one closer to the Rhein that wasn’t overly busy, especially considering how close we visited to Christmas. This is the market I probably spent the most money at – and we spent a lot of time at – because it was so close to Christmas and my coming home and also because there were just so many things to buy! 🙂
I seem to have neglected to take any pictures of Paderborn’s Christmas market – or if I have, I can’t find them – but we visited it a lot in December despite it not being all that large. It sat in front of the city hall and spread out from there, with most of the stalls selling food, drink or sweets. There was also, like in Köln, another market near the cathedral that almost exclusively sold food and was where we all met to have hot chocolate/Glühwein. If you’re in the area at the right time of year, I’d definitely recommend a visit.
So there we go, six whole Christmas markets for you to check out in 2013! 🙂 Be sure to check back tomorrow (or today; this took longer than I expected) for the music of Erasmus post! (A little earlier, I promise ;))