Adventure And Retire

Christmas Markets In Europe


Visiting Christmas Markets in Europe

Driving from the airport to Strasbourg took almost all day. We arrive late at the end of the day, we have only tonight to visit. You have to pass through the security check with your suitcase on your way to the hotel. Thus, if you prefer not to have your suitcase inspected, choose a hotel outside the Grande Île. The best option was to stay right in the historic center and go through the security check only once.

You can see miles of fairy lights illuminating the city along the Rhine River. Strasbourg isn’t just one of the most beautiful cities in France. It’s also home to the “Christkindelsmärik” a spectacular Christmas market and one of the oldest in Europe. You’ll find the highest Christmas tree in Europe. The Christmas market dates back to 1570. This is the biggest market in Strasbourg and it is held in the place of the traditional Christkindelsmärik. 

You can see more than 300 stalls, the majestic Great Christmas Tree, dazzling shows and concerts, and an unforgettable Christmas celebration.

You can shop for wooden toys, blown glass ornaments, candles, candies, gingerbread cookies (they are the best).

The Christmas atmosphere is unique. 

Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer a savory selection, the market sells the best food. The variety is huge, from flaming mulled wine to fluffy fried donuts and smoked cheeses.

I try the mulled wine (hum! Not really for me).

Besides mulled wine, you’ll also find drinks like beer, with Alsace in France even offers a dark ale Christmas beer.

The next day, we took the train to Munich. Sadly, on that night December 11, a terrorist attack occurred in Strasbourg, France, when a man attacked civilians in the city’s busy Christkindelsmärik (Christmas market) with a revolver and a knife, killing five and wounding 11 before fleeing. The shooting was an act of terrorism.

Finally, don’t miss a visit to La Petite France, located on the Grande Île (Main Island). The river splits up into many canals and cascades through a small area of medieval half-timbered houses and baroque sandstone buildings. You’ll find a year-round Christmas decorations shop here too!

Munich Christmas Market

Munich Christmas markets are famous around the world.
And it is hardly surprising that Munich has one of the oldest and most traditional Christmas markets.
The Christkindlmarkt is held in front of the Munich Town Hall the heart of the city.
Although Munich may well be the capital of a conservative state, it is also known for being a rich and trendy cultural hotspot, the mix of tastes in other markets is an interesting one.
The city market overflows from Marienplatz and up the pedestrian shopping street towards the Christmas crib market and over into the Rindermarkt and out of the Cathedral.
I was surprised at how unbelievably crowded and touristy it was.
The merchandise at the stalls is geared towards what tourists buy and there are too many that sell the same things. Munich has lots of other Christmas Markets which are a lot less crowded, a lot less touristy, and a lot more fun. And you’ll get to see some different parts of Munich. Each market has its own “theme”. Most of the other Markets are all within walking distance of Marienplatz and my advice would be to check them out if you want to enjoy a real Christmas Market experience.
We visit the market only at night, during the day we are going to visit other markets.


We left early to take the train to Salzburg, Vienna. The dust of snow on the ground and the weather is not too cold today. 

We walked to the Historic Centre of the city, attended the Christmas Market, and crossed the lover’s bridge with all the padlocks symbolizing thousands of couples. 

It only takes one stroll through the cobblestone streets to the Old Town, to realize Austria’s fourth-largest city is something special, but while its train-accessible location makes it a popular day trip from Munich.

Hiking up the cobblestone street to the Hohensalzburg fortress was a highlight! The panoramic view of the city and the surrounding mountains was breathtaking. We did not stay long due to a snowstorm coming.

In the courtyard you could find local arts and crafts, gifts and Christmas treats.

Some of the shops were close due to a winter storm coming.

This historic market date as far back as the 15th century and the area at the foot of the Hohensalzburg fortress and around the cathedral of Salzburg into a winter wonderland with 95 different exhibitors. Breathe in the smell of hot chestnuts as you learn how to bake gingerbread cookies in this sprawling market.

 There were street violinists, food and craft vendors at the market and in the street.

You can smell the cinnamon-sprinkled mulled wine, the crisp cold air. The taste of apple strudel is served in a warm coffee mug while waiting for sausages hot off the grill.


Getreidegasse is the main pedestrian shopping street in the old town and is notable for the ornate wrought-iron signs above many stores.

The nicest and the most visited street in the city. Especially for the ambiance, the architecture, the unique shop signs pending outside, and all the beautiful shops.

Stroll through this old street, great for window shopping and people watching.

A stroll aligned with modern shops and opened up by narrow passages leading to the neighboring parallel streets and places, and the river Salzach with its views of the near and far mountains gives you a good feeling of the life of times past.

 There is a small shop the Steiff’s Bear, the clerk was not very nice, she told us to go outside look in the window and see which bear we want to look at first and she will bring it to us. Let say I was not impressed with this person and the service.

The massive animals in the window were very impressive!

Don’t lose the opportunity to visit Mozart´s birthplace and some of the nicest corners and corridors of the city

What a beautiful city. I will come back during the warmer season.

Fortress Hohensalzburg

Hohensalzburg Fortress is a large medieval fortress in the city of Salzburg, Austria. It sits atop the Festungsberg at an altitude of 506 m. It was erected at the behest of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg. The fortress is 250 m long and 150 m wide, making it one of the largest medieval castles in Europe

In the year 1077, archbishop Gebhard had the fortress built. In the years which followed, his successors drove ongoing development of the fortress architecture. The original purpose of the fortress was to protect the principality and the archbishops from hostile attacks. In all of these years, it has never been captured by foreign troops.

The Museums of Hohensalzburg Fortress Highlights include the fortress’s many museums: The museum itself shows historical exhibits focused on courtly life led by the prince archbishops; the Marionette Museum  as well as the Museum of the Rainer Regiment likewise invites visitors to embark on a journey into the past. The historic armor houses an interactive exhibition on suits of armor and weapons

The Panorama is a truly special experience the panoramic tour, which leads from the salt magazine via the dungeon to the viewing platform of the Reckturm [tower], where there is probably the most beautiful view on the city. Afterward, the tour leads through the battlements to the famous Salzburg Bull.

The fortress is open year-round. Since 1892, not only can it be reached on foot, but also using the Fortress Funicular.

The little shop was close due to a little snowstorm.


A day in Nuremberg Christkindlesmark.

This morning we took the regional train to Nuremberg from Munich, which was very enjoyable. This Christmas market dates as far back as the 16th century. Feast on mulled wine and bratwurst after indulging in some gingerbread as you walk the rows of stalls.

Nuremberg is also famous for its gingerbread, a sweet and spicy treat that’s been baked in the city for more than 600 years. The ingredients in the gingerbread include almonds, cinnamon, and other spices, while the many forests surrounding Nuremberg provided the natural honey. Today, they are found in everything from giant heart shapes to cookies coated with icing or chocolate. While Nuremberg’s gingerbread must be made within city limits, travelers can find gingerbread varieties across Europe’s markets.

Ever since then traditional wares such as handmade Christmas decorations and culinary treats have been offered by the 180 wooden stalls, decorated with red and white canvas. Take a stroll through the festively lighted lanes between the stalls and discover the enchantment of the unique atmosphere.

Walking around the old town, we saw beautiful architecture. The German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer’s house, the Imperial Castle courtyards, and the Town Hall, gothic St. Lawrence Church, bustling Craftsmen’s Courtyard, and much more.

The city has much to offer for the visitors, including the rebuilt Nuremberg Castle and the world-famous gingerbread at Hauptmarkt. Hansel and Gretel would have loved this place.



Erbach Palace (Schloss Erbach)

One market behind Erbach Palace is very beautiful, all the craft is handmade and so unique. There is an entrance fee, but it is worth it. This place is not very big, but oh! Beautiful.

Erbach Palace is a palace in Erbach im Odenwald and the seat of the Count of Erbach. It was originally built in the Middle Ages, but most of the buildings today date back to the early 18th century. The palace houses the extensive antique collection of Franz, Count of Erbach-Erbach. 

BRING YOUR OWN BAG One of your main motivators for visiting the Nuremberg Christmas Market will no doubt be shopping, SO don’t forget to bring something to carry your goodies in! Most of the stalls will only have small envelopes/bags or will wrap their goods up for you, but not give you an actual big tote to carry them around in.


Our final Christmas Market. We took another train this morning for Regensburg, Germany.
Regensburg is one of Germany’s oldest towns. Today, many flocks to see the wonderful intact old city and its many medieval structures. The Regensburg Cathedral (or Dom St. Peter) is one of southern Germany’s finest examples of Gothic architecture.
Coming out of the train station, we pass an old church. Going through the streets we spent a day in this lovely town. So much to see and to learn about the history of amazing bridges. Beautiful Christmas markets.
In addition, you will find many shops in the city for shopping and strolling. Many cozy cafes and restaurants invite you to linger.
Regensburg has a total of 4 Christmas Markets, all within a 20-minute walk radius.
Each market is different and has something special to offer, so there is no excuse not to visit all of them!

Last Day

After visiting all the Christmas markets the atmosphere, the events, and activities are a completely captivating experience. An experience I will never forget. I was a bit disappointed not everything was handmade, I can find the same glass balls at Michael’s store in Canada.

Pretty much every kiosk has the same, tree decorations, hot wine, gingerbread cookies, etc.… but they all have something different and magical.

The weather was not too bad (-5 or so), but the wind was cold, good thing we came prepared.

One day, I will be back in spring or fall to visit all those beautiful places.

We left for Munich airport, what a nice, modern and huge airport.


Hotel Jedermann

Bayerstrasse 95, Munich, Germany32

Phone 089-543240

Email [email protected]


Exceptionally clean, beautiful traditional atmosphere, charm hotel with comfortable rooms and a very good free breakfast a la carte or buffet. The hotel is convenient for both the train station and the city center. It is not far from the old town. Many attractions can be found within walking distance.

Parking, Free WIFI, Pets allowed, Non-smoking rooms, 24-hour front desk, Bar, and very good service. They told us to call direct, instead of going through, they will give you a discount at the hotel.

Good to know, because I want to see Munich during spring or fall.

Hannong Hotel, Strasbourg,

The Hannong Hotel is located in the heart of Strasbourg, just a 5-minute walk from the TGV train station, Petite France district, and the Cathedral. It offers free Wi-Fi access.

Guest rooms at the Hannong are air-conditioned and soundproofed. They are equipped with hardwood floors, European designed furniture, satellite TV and each has a private bathroom with a bath or shower.

A breakfast buffet is served every morning in Hannong’s breakfast room. It includes hot drinks, handmade bread, and French pastries, local products, jams, and juices. Guests can enjoy a drink at the wine bar in the glass ceiling salon or on the large terrace.

Hotel Hannong is just 100 m from the Tramway Central Station, Place de l’Homme de Fer. Strasbourg Train Station is a 9-minute walk from the property.

They Speak English, French and more.



Things to remember

**Some things to remember: the Markets are not for bargains or low prices, the main purpose for the Munchers is not to shop- it’s to hang out, eat and drink.

**The merchandise at the stalls is geared towards what tourists buy and there are too many that sell the same thing

**The famous Christmas Markets begin at the end of November.

**So much to see not enough time if you are there for one day.

**Dress warm, the wind is pretty cold.


Good To Know

**Language: The official language of Germany is German, though over 50% of Germans speak English.

**Currency: The official currency of Germany is the Euro

**Credit Cards & ATMs: Germany is a predominately cash-focused society, you will have no problem using your credit card when in Germany. It’s recommended that the card be a Visa or Mastercard, American Express cards are not as widely accepted.

*ATMs in Germany are typically located inside or out of bank branches.

**Plugs: In Germany, the power plugs are type F, the standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.  I recommend buying a universal adapter (make sure it has surge protection).

**Safety: Germany is one of the safest countries to visit in Europe. The crime rates are low, and the laws are strictly enforced and respected. I have a Travelon Bag, safety lock, anti-Theft Bag, and RFID. 


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