Experience German Christmas markets
When spending time in Decenber in Germany, you simply cannot miss the numerous, world renowned Christmas markets. Few things will get you in the Christmas mood as well as strolling past all the market stands. You can buy all sorts of sweets, fall in love with new pieces of Christmas decoration or witness the craftmanship of local artisans. If you consider visiting Germany during this unique time of the year, we recommend considering Bavaria or the West-German Rhineland as your no. 1 destination.
Christmas markets in Bavaria
Day 1 - Nuremberg
First order of business will be your personal discovery tour of Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, which ranks among the Christmas markets with the longest tradition in the world. The market comprises aproximately 180 market stands. The stands are arranged along specifically designed routes. Follow the routes to discover their individual highlights.
Route no. 1 puts Nuremberg delicatesses on the centre stage. Following this route will lead you to stands of world-famous Nuremberg saussages, mulled wine or gingerbread. If you prefer traditional craftsmanship, you should definitely take a look at the stands along route no. 2 or 4.
After lunch you will visit Nuremberg Castle. From the castle hill you have an astounding view over the city, which presents itself in full Christmas lights.
Day 2 - Nuremberg
You will start the day with a guided tour at Nuremberg's prime gingerbread manufacturer Schmidt. The local producer of the typical Christmas pastries has been in business for over 80 years now. After a film presentation you are invited to taste the famous delicacy yourselves.
In the afternoon you will face a rather athletic challenge, as you head to a local ice skating rink.
Christmas markets in Rhineland
Day 1 - Aachen
When listing the most beautiful markets in Germany, you have to mention Aachen Christmas market. It is spread around Aachen Cathedral and emits the typical Christmas scent of mulled wine, spices, sweets and the city's own type of gingerbread, Aachener Printen. The Printen mascot „Printenmann“ is 6 meters tall and welcomes all Christmas market guests from city hall square. When you climb the stairs in front of city hall, you have a full view of the hustle and bustle.
If you are a fan of confectionaries, we recommend paying Lindt Factory Outlet a visit. It is a producer of high-quality chocolate bars, truffels and seasonal confectionaries, such as chocolate santas.
Day 2 - Cologne
Today, your themed class trip will lead you to Cologne, where you first pay a visit to one of Germany's most well-known churches: Cologne Cathedral.
For the rest of the morning you will head over to the city's Chocolate Museum. The musem doesn't only present the history of cocoa and chocolate production, you are also invited to sample the contents of the museum's 3 meter chocolate fountain.
In the afternoon we recommend a stop at the Cologne Harbour Christmas market. It is located very scenicly on the shores of river Rhein neighbouring the chocolate museum. If you want to go market-hopping, then Cologne is the ideal destination: whether you're interested in Nicholas Village at Rudolfplatz square or the "Angels' Market", you will find plenty of Christmas opportunities.
Day 3 - Bamberg
It is a German Christmas tradition to place figurines underneath the Christmas tree depicting the Nativity scene. At Manger Museum Bamberg you can learn all about this tradition and its history. All churches in Bamberg, and several other places, present "their" mangers during Christmas seaseon. A guided tour will take you to a number of selected locations so that you can check out this tradition for yourselvs. To round-off your day in Bamberg you will spend a little while at the local Christmas market, as well.
Day 3 - Phantasialand Brühl
You will spend the whole day at Phantasialand, which is decorated especially beautifully for Christmas season.
It boasts its own Christmas market and a sea of little lights which illuminate the park. And don't forget the rollercoasters!
Day 4 - Rothenburg
Among locals, Rothenburg Christmas market is calles "Reiterlesmarkt". It is located between town hall and cathedral and is one of the prettiest Christmas markets in Germany. The market stands can be found all along the alleys of the old town and the smell of roasted almonds and cotton candy fills the air.
During a visit of the German Christmas museum you will find out interesting details about local Christmas customs and discover traditional - as well as rather unusual - Christmas decorations.
Another highlight in Rothenburg is teh Christmas Village, a year-round shop for everything Christmas. Feel free to seize this unique shopping opportunity.
Day 4 - Bonn
Haus der Geschichte, a museum of post-war Germany, is one of the most popular museums. It gives direct and unfiltered impressions of German history. Beside presenting original sound and film recordings, you have the opportunity to see the car of Germany's first chansellor or a remodelled cinema from the 1950s.
You will spend your afternoon at Bonn Christmas market.
A rather new trend, when it comes to Christmas markets, can be experienced in Siegburg, a small town nearby. Every year, a special medieval Christmas market is held here. The market stands offer food and drinks inspired by recepies from the Middle Ages, jugglers and jesters entertain visitors and artisans present their craft.
You want to know more?
If you are interested in an itinerary which is not designed after a specific theme, you can return to the general class trips overview here. Feel free to browse through all activities on offer. They can be combined in many ways to meet your individual expectations.
If you want to find out more about the different ASTUR destinations, head over to the destinations overview for even more ideas about what to do and what to see.