One of my favourite things to do is travelling during Christmas time, it is such a magical experience. When other people ask me when to visit Germany, I usually tell them to visit either in summer or better, in December. If you come during Christmas time, you will have a really festive experience, you'll enjoy the best food and Christmas parties and you'll definitely see the best side of Germany. There are a lot of things to do and I have decided to share my favourite ones with you. So if you're visiting Germany this month and are wondering how to make the most of it, this is for you. x
That's what Germany is famous for. If you get the chance to be in Germany in December the first thing you should do is go to a Christmas market. Not that you can avoid going to one anyway as their is one in almost every single town. But the bigger ones are usually the most fun, my favourite ones are in Münster & Dortmund. Münster is a beautiful town with a historic town centre and plenty of independent little shops (that's where I like to do my Christmas shopping). The Christmas market in Dortmund is especially famous for having the biggest Christmas tree in the world and they offer a lot of local dishes (which I'm a big fan of!). Speaking of food...
Street food isn't very common in Germany, the only thing I can think of is Bratwurst & fries. Well around Christmas that completely changes and you can get the most delicious food at Christmas markets - and I don't know what it is but once you start eating, you can't stop, it's addictive (just a warning). My personal favourites are baked potatoes with mushrooms and sour cream or just butter, Dutch fries (very German, I know), sautéed mushrooms with garlic sauce, pretzels and last but not least, roasted almonds. Another thing you have to try is 'Nürnberger Marzipan' and 'Spekulatius', you will definitely not be disappointed - at some Christmas markets you can even watch how these specialities are made. Oh and don't forget to buy a heart made out of gingerbread, it's the perfect Christmas present! (And if you want to be really German, you have to drink at least 3 glasses of mulled wine.)
-taken from leelahloves.de-
3. Special events / markets
One of my favourite things to do is visit Christmas markets that are located in the woods or at castles. These markets make you feel like you are in an alternate world and especially markets in the woods have a really mystic touch to them. I went to one last year and I loved the atmosphere - there even was a bonfire and you could roast marshmallows. Some Christmas markets only take place for two days and they are perfect for people who love handcraft Christmas decoration. If you don't have the time to go to a special Christmas market you can look up events happening at regular Christmas markets - there usually are plenty of concerts and sometimes a storyteller comes and reads a Christmas story (it comes in handy if you speak German, though). Even the malls are hosting special events - the mall in Essen offers the opportunity to bake Christmas biscuits together for example, which I think is the perfect event for people with smaller children.
4. Go iceskating
There are plenty of iceskating rinks all over Germany but my favourite one is in Essen as it's located at Zeche Zollverein, the most popular coal mine in the area. It is a great way of combining a fun day at the ice rink with a cultural experience. If you aren't into iceskating you can go to an area called 'Sauerland', where you can go skiing or in my case (as I have never tried it), sledging. Afterwards you can explore one of the small towns and have a hot chocolate to warm up and some delicious German food.
-photo taken from www.zollverein.de-
I hope this has given you some inspiration! What would you recommend doing in your area around Christmas time? Leave a comment below. x