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Christmas in Europe

chicago, il
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37 posts
11 reviews
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Christmas in Europe

We're thinking of taking a Christmas trip to Germany or Vienna. Any suggestions on what country would be better for celebrating Christmas? Any ideas on destinations?

Thank you!

Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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17,629 posts
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1. Re: Christmas in Europe

apples & oranges ...but just remember that for German families the main Christmas celebration is on Xmas eve and EVERYTHING closes about 2pm on 24th.

Chula Vista...
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2. Re: Christmas in Europe

Hi Skater22,

Last December, I made my first winter trip to Germany and Austria, and I visited Christmas markets in:

Schwäbisch-Hall, Germany

Würzburg, Germany

Munich, Germany

Vienna, Austria

Vienna was by far the most magical at Christmastime with its streets beautifully decorated in lights.

In terms of Christmas markets, I really enjoyed the one in Schwäbisch-Hall. It was a small town and had very much a community feel to it as school children performed a concert and Santa Claus wandered through the crowd handing out gifts to children.

In the larger cities, the markets were much larger and a bit more commercial. But of the three, I enjoyed the ones in Vienna the most (and Munich's the least).

If you want a sneak peak of what you might see, here are the photos from my trip:


Plus, if you stay in the Inner City of Vienna, it's very easy to get around. It's only a mile and a half or so in diameter, so you can pretty much walk anywhere. But they also have excellent public transportation, too.

I was there the first week of December, and I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the Vienna Boys Choir Advent Concert in the Musikverein. Amazing.

I was only there for 9 days and spent two days in the Würzburg area (relatives nearby); two nights in Munich (a friend); and 4 nights in Vienna. I flew into and out of Frankfurt and took the train between each (the 7.5 hour train ride between Vienna and Frankfurt was a bit long, but I saw some amazing winter scenery along the way).

The weather is akin to that of Chicago in winter. I had a little rain, a little snow, and a little sunshine, with temps hovering around freezing or a bit above most of the time.

Enjoy your trip.


Edited: 09 June 2013, 16:39
Karlsruhe, Germany
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for Baden-Wurttemberg
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3. Re: Christmas in Europe

Take into consideration for your timing that Christmas markets do NOT take place during the actual Christmas holidays. Most of them terminate on December 23 or 24 in the afternoon. Very few cities have sacrificed tradition for the sake of commerce and reopen them after the holidays. Germany is magical during Advent, the four weeks before Christmas. During the holidays, though,m the country more or less closes down. Christmas is a quiet family holiday here, no time for parties and such.

Come in time for the markets, i.e. at least three or four days before Christmas Eve. For the actual holidays, find a hotel with a restaurant and some programme for their guests, otherwise you'll be stuck in a hotel room having to organize your own Christmas celebrations.

4. Re: Christmas in Europe

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