One thing that can put even the meanest Grinch in the holiday spirit is the Christmas markets, or Christkindlmarket, in Germany. First held in Dresden in 1434, they have been an annual Advent tradition throughout Germany and Austria since. Many markets are held in the town square and nearby pedestrian zones; which sells food, drink, and seasonal items from open-air stalls. I went for a week and drove all over Germany to experience as many markets as I could. It was quite the adventure.
I left from home and flew into Amsterdam as my starting and ending point into Europe. From Amsterdam, I ended up doing a huge 1,274 mile loop of Germany to see as many markets as I could in a week. Driving down the autobahns were an experience you will never forget. You will learn very quickly that the left hand lane is only for passing and that’s it! The first stop on my trip was Frankfurt, where I found out that would be eating bratwurst on this trip. Lots, more lots, and even more lots of bratwursts. I made stops in Frankfurt, Schlitz, Bad Hersfeld, Erfurt, Weimar, Jena, Coburg, Nuremberg, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Bonn, and Düsseldorf! Small markets were really small, others were crazy busy.
Some of the best markets to go to are the busier ones in Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Munich, Stuttgart, and Cologne if you are looking for a lot of various options for shopping and food. I liked the market in Erfurt because it has a ferris wheel in the town square. My vote for the best stall was in Bonn, because they had deer singing “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” in German. I went in early December, which is a great time to go to avoid most of the bigger crowds of tourists right around Christmas. If you get the chance to go to Germany in December, take it! It’s a wonderful time of year to go!