Our first Christmas market in Germany was in the university town of Freiburg. On the outskirts of the Black Forest, Freiburg is a medieval town with large squares like Rathausplatz and Munsterplatz that were abuzz with Christmas market stalls. The Christmas markets here were packed with university students socializing with their friends over some glasses of Glühwein. We grabbed some glasses, joined in and made some friends.
Warming up with a glass of Glühwein.
Baden Baden, Germany
Baden Baden, meaning Bath Bath, hosts an adorable Christmas market. This town is known for it's thermal baths, hence the name, and is a popular retreat for Germans. This town sits inside the Black Forest. Visitors can hike through the forest and then soak in one of the famous baths.
Baden Baden has a magnificent downtown with boutique shops, cafes, and chic restaurants. Celebrities have flocked to this town for generations, including Barack Obama and Queen Victoria. It's old time luxurious.
We came here for the Christmas market and found so much more to love about this town.
The Christmas market here was relaxed with live music every night and delicious food.
We happened to be here over Thanksgiving and decided to pamper ourselves in one of Baden Baden's famous thermal spas. Photos weren't allowed but we spent a couple hours soaking in all of the different heated pools. Our favorite pools were outside with the mountains in the backdrop, open year around even when it snows. They also had multiple saunas, some with aromatherapy scents, others were outside in little cabins with crackling fires. We bounced around from place to place and left feeling rejuvenated.
Caracalla Thermal Spa
We got a kick out of our hotel here. When we initially walked up we were blown away by the Christmas decorations. We got upgraded to a suite which had a view of the beer garden below. For the next 3 days we watched as the poor employees keep adding more and more decorations. It was a little over the top, we couldn't believe it. We kept making jokes because every time we would come back to the hotel there would be another truck in front unloading more decorations! On our final day they finally finished. Here are some photos. See for yourself.
Strasbourg hosts the oldest Christmas market in Europe and claims the name, "The Christmas Capital of Europe." We were only here one day but we visited all 5 of it's Christmas markets. If you are planning a trip to Europe to see the Christmas markets this city should not be missed.
The last village in our Christmas market tour was Reims, France. Located in the Champagne region, Reims has a large Christmas market that seems to go on forever. The best part about this market is the champagne available from nearby vineyards.