The Blissful Christmas Markets of Germany and Austria
I was extremely excited to experience the culture of Europe during the festive season when I set out on the German and Austrian Christmas Markets Tour. European culture is famous for embracing Christmas wholeheartedly with various markets, customs and traditions, so I was very keen to immerse myself in this culture and the tour allowed me to do this completely. From mingling with locals at the markets to seeing some stunning scenery, my time in Germany and Austria met (and exceeded) all my expectations.
My Favourite Moments
Salzburg was absolutely beautiful and was my favourite part of the tour. The locals were all so friendly and there was a very positive atmosphere throughout the whole city. I loved how vast yet unique the different Christmas markets were. The guided walking tour was exceptional too – standing in Mirabelle gardens with music from an accordion player drifting through is an experience I’ll always cherish. I also got to indulge in Austrian cakes in a traditional teahouse!
I was regularly impressed with the local knowledge of our tour manager. He was constantly providing us with fascinating information about the history of different towns, cities and even past royalty. Having such a passionate and insightful guide really made a world of difference.
If I had to choose a favourite photo from my tour, it would probably be one of the snaps I took from up on the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. The summit offered spectacular views across the alps. It also helped that conditions were picture perfect – clear day, blue sky and snow-capped mountains!
Fabulous Food and Drinks
Eating and drinking was always a delight during the tour, especially in Salzburg and Munich. German and Austrian food is so warm and hearty – perfect for the cool weather. Potato soup, beef goulash, apple strudel… all of it was excellent!
Of course, while wandering the markets, I took the opportunity to enjoy a German sausage fresh from the grill and a warm mug of gluwein. I also discovered a new favourite treat in the ‘snowballs’ of Rothenburg’s bakeries. They are basically balls of fried pastry covered in icing sugar. They came in a variety of flavours and were delicious!
Even though I was travelling alone, I always felt like I was part of the group during this tour – and what a fun group it was! Everyone was super friendly and easy going. I was surprised by how many mother-daughter pairs there were, which I think is a brilliant way to travel.
A Bit of Advice for Future Travellers
Firstly, if you’re considering a Christmas tour in Europe, I can’t recommend the German and Austrian Christmas Markets Tour strongly enough. With 8 markets to visit, this was truly a shopper’s (and Christmas lover’s) heaven.
I would definitely suggest wearing warm clothes, though the weather wasn’t quite as cold as I expected. For those really chilly days, buying some silk liners for your gloves is a great way to keep your fingers nice and toasty.
The only other piece of advice I’d give is to have plenty of free space in your luggage before the tour (or even bring an extra carry-on bag just for your shopping). You’re sure to come across countless items you’ll want to make your own, and there’s nothing worse than leaving something behind because you don’t have room for it!