Thursday, 29 December 2016

Glühwein and good times on a German Christmas market crawl round Bavaria

In my opinion, you can't beat Bavaria at Christmas.

It's my favourite place in the world but Germany's biggest state really comes into its own over the festive season - the castles, cobbled streets and colourful timbered houses make every town look like somewhere out of a fairytale, but when you add in Christmas markets and twinkly lights errywhere, I'm done. It's just too magical. I can barely deal.

It was amazing living in Bavaria in the run up to Christmas three years ago, which I was telling my flatmates all about one Friday evening a couple of months ago.

We'd opened a bottle of prosecco, as girls do, and before we knew it we'd booked flights. Lol.

December soon rolled round and we were off on what was essentially a Christmas market crawl.
I'd planned an itinerary (natch) which would see us spending each night in a different Bavarian town. The plan was to take Maddy and Jess to a few of my favourite places, choosing ones that would give them a rounded image of what Bavaria has to offer.

The train network is great and we kept our costs down by travelling with the Bavaria ticket (which also allowed for spontaneity and flexibility) so it was totally doable to spend each night in a different place.

After our first night in the lovely Park Plaza Nuremberg, we AirBnB'd, which was fab.

The original thinking was that we'd be able to save money by eating breakfast in, but lol German bakeries. Maddy and Jess tried Nussschnecken and pretzels and there was no going back.

What with spending each day somewhere new, there wasn't a load of time for sightseeing. I'm not going to lie to you - we essentially spent five days drinking and eating at Christmas markets. And it was ideal.

For that reason I'm not going to give you a huge spiel about each place (y'all know I did all that on my year abroad - see here), but rather I'm hopefully going to give you a feel for each location through the medium of photo.


First up, we visited the capital of Bavaria, Munich.
We lunched in a cute cafe called Marais before hitting up the main Christmas market.
After a couple of Glühweins we took things up a notch with some Feuerzangenbowle: it's a traditional German drink made by setting rum-soaked sugar lumps on fire and letting it drip down into mulled wine. Yes it's extra strong and yes it's extra tasty.

We had dinner at a totally traditional and untouristy restaurant out of the centre called Alter Wirt Moosach: I obvs had schnitzel.


Regensburg is utterly charming. It's colourful, beautiful and incredibly cute.
We went for a wander and lunched at the oldest sausage kitchen in the world...
...before hitting up the market as the sun went down.
Apple and cherry Glühweins were on the menu here.
It was absolutely FREEZING - I'm talking minus six, people - so we all felt the need for a hearty, warming dinner. Enter, my old fave, Käsespätzle.
It is just the most comforting thing I've ever eaten. I always describe it as the German version of mac 'n' cheese but it's topped with crunchy onions and is just too good for words.


The next stop was Bamberg, a beautiful but increasingly trendy town.
It was charming even on a cloudy, freezing day, but caramelised marshmallow hot chocolates were so necessary.
This was the night we discovered amaretto Glühwein so it's safe to say we had a cracking time. Give it a try, you won't regret it.
Fear not though, we soaked it up with more sausage and carbs in the shape of Bratwurst and Currywurst. We may have also had crêpes afterwards but hey, we were on holiday.


Stop four was the daddy of Christmas markets: Nuremberg.
Picking up another mug to add to my extensive collection, we perused the stalls, sipped drinks and ate yet more sausage whilst listening to a choir singing carols.
With my two wonderful pals, it was just pure happiness.
We even met Father Christmas!


The final stop of the trip was my old home, Bayreuth, to see old friends (and re-visit my favourite restaurants, of course). And then it was time to fly home again!
Not before one final pretzel though, obvs. Bavaria, I miss ya already. Aaaaand I now really want some Glühwein - anyone else?


  1. Ahhh Germany just looks so beautiful! I want to gooo even if I do end up missing the markets :) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy


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