travelling in germany this christmas?
December 19, 2010 3:05 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to travel around Germany for a few days before ending up in Berlin on 28th December for New Year's. Assuming I can actually leave the UK and get to Germany does anyone have suggestions for places to go, things to see; someone recommended Christmas markets to me?
posted by asymptotic to Travel & Transportation around Germany (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've been looking at Christmas markets too and have found this list of German ones which is in Dutch and possibly incomplete, but looks pretty comprehensive at least for a list of towns and dates. Click the right-pointing triangles for more information on each town's line. I've heard good things about Dusseldorf's, Aachen's, and I think also Koln's (Keulen, on this page).
posted by knile at 3:26 AM on December 19, 2010

Most of the markets end a day or two before Christmas, though, so make sure you check the specific city first. Hamburg, if I'm not mistaken, has one that goes longer. Plus, hamburg is an awesome city. What kinds of things are you interested in? "something in Germany" is a little vague.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 4:57 AM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: mostly interested in walking around, taking photographs, and meeting people. museums and galleries are fun, i don't know anything about architecture, historical landmarks don't interest me too much.
posted by asymptotic at 5:45 AM on December 19, 2010

Just go to Berlin and spend several days exploring that - that way you won't get stranded far from where you want to be and can do all the things you enjoy - there's enough stuff to take pictures of, enough museums and galleries in Berling to keep you going for a month.
posted by koahiatamadl at 6:32 AM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Hamburg - originally my hometown - is a very good place to include. It does have an excellent Christmas market in the atmospheric Town Hall Square, and several other interesting attractions, incl. the Hafencity (several square miles of port warehouses currently being converted into a new city quarter with a fascinating mix of 19th and 21st century architecture. Hamburg is a city on water: It has three times as many bridges as Venice, and they run harbour and river cruises almost round the clock. Fascinating award-winning museums include the Emigration Museum ( which traces the emigration of millions of continental Europeans to the Americas, and "Dialog im Dunkeln" where you are given an hour-long first-hand experience of what it feels like to be blind ( As you may know, in WWII Hamburg was one of the most heavily bombed German cities; if you are interested in this rather grim topic you may want to visit the only preserved air raid shelter ( and have a look at the imposing and apparently indestructible AA tower on the fringes of the Heiligengeistfeld in the city centre (not open to the public). On the latter open-air site there is a large Fair held over the Christmas holidays which offers plenty of rides and sweets. If temperatures fall substantially below zero and remain there for a length of time, the Innenalster lake freezes over and may be opened to public access ...
posted by kairab at 6:42 AM on December 19, 2010

Check out Museum Island, if they're open at that time of year. The frieze in the Pergamon is astonishing.

I've also heard the Museum of Technology is pretty awesome.

Hang out in Kreuzberg cafes and the little bars in Kreuzkölln (between Kreuzberg and Neukölln) if you're interested in meeting people. They're nice. For example, the upside-down bar.
posted by Beardman at 8:12 AM on December 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you are going to Hamburg, you might want to check out the christmas market in Lübeck, about a 45 minute train ride from Hamburg. Lübeck is a very pretty, old city. There is not enough to do ther for a full day, but it makes a great day trip. The christmas market there is also famous, and it extends past December 25th. If you are going and want the company, Mefimail me; I probably will be taking a friend from the States there after Christmas sometime.
posted by Peter Petridish at 9:10 AM on December 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would seriously reconsider travelling at the moment. Assuming you would be relying on rail, Deutsche Bahn have actually warned passengers (link in German) not to travel unless absolutely necessary, mainly because trains will be massively overcrowded due to cancelled flights (also, they've reduced their max speed so will be slower).

NB the above warning is mainly for today, but the weather situation is not expected to improve. And from what I've heard from most German friends, the snow is CRAZY over there, way worse than in the South of England (30-40cm in Frankfurt, for instance).
posted by ClarissaWAM at 11:38 AM on December 19, 2010

Response by poster: 30-40cm? Crap. I was hoping this weather would clear up; as it stands I can't fly out of London but I can take the Eurostar to Paris and figure it out from there...but if Germany is even worse than the UK that's depressing.
posted by asymptotic at 11:55 AM on December 19, 2010

...but if Germany is even worse than the UK that's depressing.

They do tend to cope better than the UK though and they only get the actual xmas day, boxing day and new year's day off work. As these fall on weekends this year people will continue to go to work throughout the next couple of weeks and things are much more likely to keep moving than in the UK.

To avoid unnecessary travel misery I would not plan on doing much 'travelling around' - I'd pick a city and stay there. I'd also secure accommodation before leaving to ensure you have somewhere to stay if the place gets snowed in after all and lots of stranded people are scrambling for hotels. And bring some weather appropriate clothing - warm and waterproof.
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:23 PM on December 19, 2010

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