December 29, 2022

Germany - Three days, three Christmas Markets

I was a bit hesitant when my husband proposed a quick getaway three days before Christmas, but I was also the one complaining about not going to the Christmas Markets in Luxembourg and not drinking enough mulled wine. I've imagined that the prices would be astronomical, similar to the ones in Colmar or Strasbourg, this time of year, but it was very affordable, so everything fit into place and on December 20th we arrived in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

If you search Christmas in Germany or German Christmas Markets it is bound to appear in the first ten results if not the first one, so I was a bit surprised of how easy it was to get a room and to make the 5-ish hour drive. The bad part was that it rained a lot, but not a drizzle, rain that would get you wet within the first 5 minutes. So although our plan was to stay in Rothenburg and visit its museum and walk on its walls, we had to plan according to the rain. 

In Rothenburg there were Christmas trees everywhere and the town looked right out of a Victorian Christmas Card

I've tried to take artistic photos, but that is simply a pointless endeavour with a kid or a dog hanging from you, with mittens because it is Winter and with occasional rain. So this is what you get. 

I am a tourist, a traveller if you want. This picture best describes my joy of finding new places and absorbing it all, forgetting to take pictures sometimes, but having my phone in my hand.

Our first option was Nuremberg, a big city with a lot of museums and shops where one could ditch the rain. It was at about 45 minutes to an hour drive from Rothenburg, we checked the Railway Museum, it is nice and at the end the children area is to dream for, but by the end we were all tired and even Ilinca wanted to eat something and not play. So we went to the Christmas Market, as the sun made a brief appearance.

At the Railway museum in Nuremberg. I was hoping they had more than just one or two trains you could go inside, but it is a museum I would recommend. 

If you are wondering who is listening to all those recordings in German, well Ilinca was. That is what I would tell the people at the museum, to at least add some English explanations. 

At the children area they could go on a miniature train, they could ride those things shaped as a train, they had train sets to play with, they had a clues solving circuit where they would learn things about trains, I assume. It was all in German. Next time I would come only for the children area.

In Nuremberg we went to the castle, but managed to visit only its cafe. The panorama was nice with the sunset.

The third day was again raining a lot and I wanted to do some last minute Christmas shopping and where better if not at TK Maxx. Turns out that there is one in most of the towns close to Rothenburg, so we chose Wurzburg. The store was disappointing, but we still found what we needed and then we headed out to the Christmas Market.
I've seen those instagramable wings everywhere, so I couldn't resist a photo

The markets

In Rothenburg ob der Tauber, the Market closes precisely at 7 p.m., but there are some restaurants in the area good and affordable and also the whole city is decorated so nicely that walking is an experience in itself. The mulled wine was good and they had some nice sausages. The atmosphere is so nice and cosy, everyone seems to know everyone and the sellers and locals are very friendly.

The market in Rothenburg was, to me, very local with stalls selling cheese and ham and even yarns for knitting.

The market in Nuremberg is worth a whole day. It is huge and with a lot of stalls. It is wonderfully decorated, but it is crowded. Navigating it with a dog and a toddler in a buggy was difficult. But again the atmosphere was nice and the mulled wine was good. 

In Wurzurg was raining cats and dogs and Ilinca fell asleep so we had to take shelter and we did on the terrace of a lovely coffee/restaurant. The market had a lot of stalls selling almost the same stuff as the ones in Nuremberg, the mulled wine was only white, but because of the rain we did not have that many options, they could very well have red wine, we just did not find it.

The first day in Rothenburg

Seeing the iconic place for the first time. As it was the gate we would use to go into town, I've almost missed it the first time, but tourists with cameras gave it away.

It was difficult to take a good picture, so this all I've got.

Ilinca inside the German Christmas Museum in Rothenburg

At the end of the visit we were asked to make Christmas decorations. I haven't spotted any in Romanian so I've made one.

Was it worth it?

YES. YES. YES. Any trip out of your home is worth for the child, for you and even for the dog. You see new people, interact with new cultures and customs and learn a thing or two in the process. I would go back to the area in the summer, to see the coloured houses of Rothenburg decorated with flowers, to check other museums in Nuremberg and maybe go back to Wurzburg as well. 

Although very similar in style to the Strasbourg Colmar area, the prices are normal, the food is similar, but they have schnitzels which for me is always a plus.

The drive wasn't that bad, we stopped once or twice, but we are accustomed to long drives, so five hours wasn't even that long. There isn't any speed limit on some parts of the motorway in Germany, so my husband was happy to test his German car. I wasn't looking :)

Next time I would book a hotel in Rothenburg old town, we chose one next to the walls, it was nice, it was in a house made to look like the old ones, it was close to the centre, but next time, if I find one with parking and allowing dogs, I would like to wake up looking at the coloured houses.

As you know, Germany is very dog friendly. I had no problem finding a hotel that allowed dogs, she came with us in all the restaurants and all the shops. She wasn't allowed inside the museum in Nuremberg, but she was allowed inside the Christmas Museum in Rothenburg. 

That's about it from me. I hope you find this article informing, and I hope you will add Rothenburg ob der Tauber on your travelling list. You will find me on Instagram @raluca.caranfil 

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