Christmas German Style!
It's November already and December is fast approaching. Everywhere you can see the signs, preparing us for the most enchanting time of the year – Christmas! Decorations are starting to glitter and glisten in the shops, and slowly but surely we are starting to feel the festive swing.
Germany is a particularly enjoyable destination at this time of year, not least because of its famous Christmas markets, where people gather among the festive food and traditional trinket stands, and hot mulled wine warms the body and soul. It is a wonderful opportunity to embrace the social side of the season - meeting people, enjoying hot drinks, sampling gingerbread and roasted almonds, and of course getting in some Christmas shopping while there. Local handmade gifts and specialty foods make perfect gifts for friends and family back home.
To give you a little taste, we’d like to take you on a tour to some of the most delightful Christmas markets in Germany, near to which we have friendly Freebird hosts who are just waiting to welcome you.
The Christmas Market „Weißer Zauber“ at Jungfernstieg in Hamburg should be on every festive to-do list. It stretches directly along the Binnenalster river, where fairytale ships swing on the water and reflective lights shimmer on the ripples. From November 25th to 30th of December everyone has the possibility to enjoy and savour the amazing atmosphere and the delicious specialities on offer (trust me you should try everything!). Admire the gorgeous handicrafts, and take a ride on the famous Ferris wheel for a fabulous view of the city under the Christmas lights. After the market, you should take the opportunity to visit the concert house "Elbphilharmonie" (also known as "Elphi") on the river Elbe – there’s no finer place to catch a live music concert. Then of course you might want to do the Beatles tour – Hamburg is afterall where the Fab Four honed their craft before conquering the world. For further information you can send a message to our Freebird host Antje, who will warmly welcome you in Hamburg.
Onwards we go to the capital, where our host Stella is looking forward to welcoming you in Berlin. The capital city of Germany offers lots of interesting sights (for example the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and Checkpoint Charlie), but especially at Christmas time there is a lot to discover. Behind all the lights the Berlin Christmas Market at the Gendarmenmarkt displays all its charms, aromas and delights. It is open from 25th November to 31st of December. Apart from the usual food, drink and craft huts, you will witness acrobats, dance groups, choirs, jugglers, fire artists and other exotic artists who will be part of a colourful show program guaranteed to keep all comers entertained. It is also worth mentioning that part of the entrance fees are donated for a social purpose - and who doesn't like doing good things at this time of the year? Everyone should visit Berlin at least once in their life, and there is no better time than Christmas time!
The surrounding state of Brandenburg boasts many other great Christmas markets. There are loads of things to see and do in this part of Germany - especially for those who are interested in history and culture - you will never get bored. If you like castles a visit to “Castle Ziesar” is a must. Nearby in Buckautal, Freebird members Thomas and his wife would be happy to host you and give you more information about the area. Buckau is famous for its old towns. Everywhere there are historical buildings and places of historical significance. You can learn about the grand churches and the Middle Ages, while also indulging in nature with walks along the many beautiful streams. But now that Christmas is coming, all roads lead to the Christmas market in the beautiful town of "Brandenburg an der Havel". From the end of November this charming local market welcomes visitors to enjoy all its festive food, drinks and treats in the cosy Christmassy atmosphere unique to this region.
Yes, Christmas in Germany is calling Freebirds!