panoramic view of Dresden Christmas Market

Christmas in Germany

Winter in Europe, or better yet, Christmas in Europe, where to go? There are so many countries and things to do, but as I was spending Christmas away from Peru and my family, I wanted to spend it in a country that really celebrated Christmas.

So I started my research looking for my movie-like Christmas. After looking at amazing cities, my hunch and research both indicated that Germany was a great option to spend Christmas. The more I looked up towns and Christmas markets, the more the enthusiasm built up. One of the best perks of an MBA program, is the people you meet and the internationality of your peers, so I asked my German friends for their best recommendations and with all the information at hand, planned my #winterwonderland trip.

Another couple joined Bruce and me for the trip, and we all met in Berlin. This is the first of a series of posts about the trip,  I will start with Christmas overall and then have a post specific to each city.

We arrived to Berlin on December 19, 2015 and the minute we started bicycling around the city, we all knew we were in the right country to spend Christmas, everything was completely decorated!

Branderburg gate christmas berlin

Branderburg Gate @ Christmas

Christmas berlin shopping mall

Shopping Mall Christmas Decoration

As we toured around the city, we bumped into random little Christmas markets for example:

Potsdamer Platz

potsdamer platz christmas

Alexander Platz

alexanderplatz christmas market berlin

alexanderplatz christmas market

Finally, one of my friends had recommended the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market.

After Berlin, we moved on to Dresden, this was on December 22. For the four of us, Dresden’s Christmas market was the most beautiful. It was very big and with lots of different food and ornament stands. All the stands had their own special decoration on the rooftops and we all very nicely illuminated.

View of the market from the town cathedral

View of Dresden Christmas Market

View of Dresden Christmas Market

The last Christmas market we were in (or so we thought) was in Nuremberg. We were there on December 23rd. Usually the last day for the markets is on December 24 around noon or 2pm and then everything completely shuts down.

Nuremberg Christmas Market

Nuremberg Christmas Market

But, our last stop in Germany was the beautiful city of Köln and surprise! Their Christmas market was still open and it was beautiful! It had a skating rink and lots of hot wine stands.

Köln Christmas market

Köln Christmas market

A couple of important tips to keep in mind if you spend Christmas in Germany:

  • Dec 24 after 2pm, Dec 25, 26, 27 are all holidays, literally everything is closed so be sure to be in cities that are nice to walk around where it doesn’t really matter that stores are closed. We were in Nuremberg, Munich and Fussen and it was not really a big issue.
  • Plan your Christmas dinner ahead and make reservations. The very few restaurants that are open, are packed.
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