One of the best parts about the Holiday Season in Europe is the Christmas Markets, or the Weihnachtsmarkt as they are called in Germany. You may be wondering what exactly a Christmas Market is. Well it is all of the joy of the holiday season, thousands of people, great holiday shopping, delicious food, and historic towns all rolled into one. Since these markets are so irresistible I’ve visited the ones in Koblenz, Strassbourg, Offenburg, Rothenburg od der Tauber, and Nuremberg. Living in Germany for this past semester has obviously made me partial to the authentic German Christmas experience so this past weekend I made my final travel destination the markets of Rothenburg and Nuremberg.
Rothenburg was my favorite town in Germany that I’ve visited so far because of all the great history that comes with it. It’s the best preserved Medieval town in Germany and it certainly looks the part. Wandering through the lanes of houses and around the historic wall that dates back to the town’s founding and is still standing one can forget for a moment what century they are really in. When I visited I even went on a tour of the city with a Nightwatchman who told us all about the city’s long and interesting background. And while their Christmas market certainly isn’t the largest I’ve seen, it’s definitely the most adorable and authentically German.
Nuremberg also had a great market, it’s heralded as one of the most authentically German as the town has very strict rules about stall decorations and merchandise to try and keep the market as traditional as possible. While I was in Nuremberg I also got to participate in a local myth, there’s a fountain in the main square that has a gold ring on the gate. It’s rumored that if you spin the ring twice and make a wish, it will come true!
The Christmas Markets have been a great conclusion to my semester in Germany but they, among a plethora of other factors, are going to make it so hard to leave in just a few short days!