Guest Blog: My Visit to the German Christmas Markets
Our Guest Blogger Grant has just returned from a trip to explore the traditional German Christmas Markets, we thought we’d find out a little more about the experience.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to a traditional Christmas Market… so why not head to the home of Christmas markets I thought? Germany! I had been to various markets across the continent; Bath, London, Paris, Arras & Prague to name a few but never Germany.
Having won a prize of a 2 night stay at the Lindenwirt in Rüdesheim and having heard only good things about the town I decided the markets would be the best time to take advantage of the stay, and believe me we were not disappointed!!
Flying into Frankfurt (the nearest airport to Rüdesheim) took just over an hour from Heathrow, and from there we hired our car for our onward journey. Having flown into Frankfurt it seemed only right to make a short stop in the city, especially having been advised about a “must see” restaurant in the main square! Being early it hasn’t got too busy and it was lovely walking around the various stalls selling everything from baubles and lights to chocolate and Glühwein. Come 1pm it had started to get slightly busier so we decided to get on the road to Rüdesheim, which is about a 60 minute drive from central Frankfurt.
Rüdesheim I could only describe as “postcard” Germany…think wooden chalets, twinkling lights and Glühwein. The Lindenwirt is located in the heart of the action and is a perfect base for exploring; it even has its own “Mini Lapland” where you can relax around a fire pit with a hot chocolate.
Spread out along the Rheinstraße, Oberstraße and Marktstraße the market has something for everyone. Not only are there stalls selling traditional Christmas decorations, linen ware, foods, the town also boasts a wide variety of shops and restaurants… even a Käthe Wohlfahrt ( a famous German Christmas shop chain, attracting tourists from all over the globe). Despite having cobbled streets access would not be a challenge and it was easy to navigate around the market, and everything is fairly centralised.
A trip to Rüdesheim would not of course be complete without a “Rüdes heimer Kaffee”, and I can admit that I had more than one of these during the trip. Rüdesheim produces “Asbach” brandy which is then set on fire and mixed with coffee to produce the unique and very warming beverage… perfect for the icy winter nights.
I would also highly recommend a trip on the Rudesheim Seilbahn (local cable car) up to the Niederwald Memorial. It’s a very peaceful (and quiet) 10 minute trip over the vineyards to the memorial and offers fantastic views of Rüdesheim and the Rhein. My tip? Go at sunset for the best sights and to avoid the early morning queues!
3 days quickly flew by and before long I was back in Frankfurt for the flight home. I would recommend anyone to visit a traditional German market… they are much better than those in the UK… if only for the much better atmosphere!