Berlin Anyone who wants to experience the incomparable charm of 'WinterMagic' has to go to Berlin! Whether you prefer a contemplative and magical Christmas Market or a lively and urban one, Berlin offers you a choice of sixty Christmas Markets. In keeping with the city?s largely contemporary feel, the largest features jewelry, paintings, textiles and sculptures from cutting-edge designers and artists, as well as more traditional gifts. The market at Charlottenburg Castle and its park are immersed in a special romantic light and a unique ensemble is created with approximately 150 vendors; the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market in one of the most beautiful squares in the city offers insights into old handicrafts such as flax embroidery; wood carvers; stonemasons; jugglers, acrobats, fire artists, dance groups, choirs, Berlin classical, jazz and Gospel ensembles, as well as internationally famous artists, alongside culinary temptations from top cooks also promise 'Christmas spirit'.Lots of lights, handicrafts, music and delicacies ensure a reflective atmosphere at the Christmas Market at Potsdamer Platz. Alongside the handicrafts market the fast fun on the largest mobile toboggan run in Europe and the 500 square meter open air rink. At Spandau Old Town, an unmistakable Advent landscape comes into being with 250 stands during the week and 400 on weekends and a stage program (including a Christmas rock concert on Fridays from 6 pm) ensure multi-facetted entertainment. Highlights are a Christmas crib with living animals on Reformationsplatz, the St. Nikolai Christmas Garden and crafts and design at the historic crafts market on Reformationsplatz ? where a medieval plague procession also takes place every Wednesday. There is a special range for children and families around the St. Nikolai church.
Operates: 22nd November ?31st December 2011
Christmas Eve 11am-6pm
New Years Eve 11am-1am
Dresden Dresden's Christmas Market is traditionally called Striezelmarkt, it is Germany's oldest Christmas Market with a very long history dating back to 1434. The Dresden Christmas Market is located in the historical part of the city centre between the recently rebuilt Frauenkirche and the culinary famous restaurant street of Münzgasse. The traditional Dresden Christmas Market with its romantic and festive charm is an inspiration in itself, a real treasure trove for real traditional handmade crafts: Christmas pyramids, smoking figures and candleholders from Erzgebirge Mountains, indigo-dyed printed textile products and pottery from Lusatia, gingerbread from Pulsnitz, filigree lace products from Plauen, Herrenhut Advent stars, blown glass tree decorations from Lauscha, and of course specialties from Dresden itself, such as the traditional ?Pflaumentoffel?, a chimney-sweep figure made of dried prunes.
Operates: 24th November ? 24th December 2011
Until 2pm on Christmas Eve
Nuremberg On the Friday before Advent, the golden Christmas Angel appears on the high gallery of the medieval Frauenkirche to recite the opening prologue for one of the biggest and most famous Christmas markets of them all. Two million shoppers descend upon the 180 candy cane-striped stalls that fill the main square with crafts, ornaments, and toys. Each stall holder present their traditional wares: Nuremberg spicy gingerbread, fruit loaves, bakery goods, sweets and typical Christmas articles such as Christmas tree angels, cribs, Christmas tree ornaments, candles, toys as well as many arts and craft products. The air is perfumed with gingerbread, glühwein, and smoke swirling from bratwurst grills. The Nuremberg Kinderweihnacht is the children?s market and has an old-fashioned carousel, Ferris wheel and steam train. The Nativity scene trail runs between the two markets. Market officials enforce traditions with typical Teutonic efficiency: no plastic wreaths, recorded Christmas Muzak, or gaudy carousels allowed. Be sure to look for `Nuremberg Plum People,` tiny puppets made of prune limbs, fig torsos, and walnut heads with painted-on faces. Stall owners compete to win the coveted "Gold Plum Person" prize for their displays. Operates: 25th November ? 24th December 2011
Opening ceremony: 5.30pm
24 Dec 2011: 9.30am-2pm
Munich Crafts stalls surround a glittering 100-foot Christmas tree on the oldest of Munich's Christmas markets Marienplatz, which is filled with Muncheners munching on sausages and potato pancakes, gulping glühwein, and crunching gingerbread. In the Town Hall, the Heavenly Workshop keeps children engaged with arts, crafts and baking. Every evening at 5:30, from the Friday before Advent to the night before Christmas, a brass band and Alpine choir peal out carols from the balcony of the neo-Gothic Rathaus (Town Hall).There are also small themed markets sprinkled around the city, including the famed Kripperlmarkt (Crib Market) on Rindermarkt, a dedicated manger market provides all the elements required to create a Nativity scene, and a Medieval Market on Wittelsbacher Platz. Also keep your eyes peeled for the Christmas tram that trundles through the old city serving spiced wine and gingerbread.
In all there are a further 20 Christmas Markets located throughout the city of Munich, including a Medieval Christmas Market with gospel singing at the Wittelsbacher Platz, a gay pink Christmas Market (Stephansplatz) and if you have forgotten anything before leaving for home there is even a Christmas Market with ice skating facilities at Munich?s international airport.
Operates: Late Nov. - Dec. 24
24 Dec 10am-2pm
Visit Berlin with 60 markets ranging from the traditional to the urbane, proceed to Dresden with the oldest market in Germany, running since 1434. Soak up the medieval charm and the aroma of gingerbread, Nuremberg bratwurst and glühwein at Nuremberg. And then finally, Munich with its glittering 100-foot Christmas tree on the oldest of Munich`s Christmas markets Marienplatz. Transportation between cities by train.
Berlin (75)Dresden (19)Germany (187)Munich (112)Nuremberg (26)
8 to 12+ nights.
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