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Christmas markets river cruises 2023 infos and tips


notamermaid
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We are going on the AmaLea leaving Nuremberg November 26th and ending in Budapest.  We are also doing the pre cruise in Prague. We have been trying to do this bucket list trip since 2019! This will be our second river cruise with AMA and we are beyond excited!  We are from the southern US and are not used to cold weather. We have purchased heavy coats and are ready to go! 

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12 hours ago, momto3sons said:

We are going on the AmaLea leaving Nuremberg November 26th and ending in Budapest.  We are also doing the pre cruise in Prague. We have been trying to do this bucket list trip since 2019! This will be our second river cruise with AMA and we are beyond excited!  We are from the southern US and are not used to cold weather. We have purchased heavy coats and are ready to go! 

Heavy coats are nice, but think layers.  Windproof outer, then a sweater or fleece, a long sleeve shirt, maybe something light weight and wickable to wear against your skin.  Some kind of wool cap/knit cap, gloves, and scarf (huge, keep your neck warm, put your hand there and notice all the veins?, gotta keep the blood warm).  I also like a light weight vest to help keep core warm.  The humidity along the river makes it feel colder, along with the wind.  Wool socks and good grippy soled shoes or light boots for wet cobblestones.  Cheap socks and non breathing rubber boots, your feet will get damp and you'll have a bad day.

 

Point being, you're on a bus, off a bus, walking tour, into a museum or shop.  You want to be able to adjust to conditions.  Carry a bag so you can remove a layer as it warms up during the day.

 

I live up by Canada, I don't own a heavy coat, except for my motorcycle jacket. And I have a heated liner for that!

 

Enjoy your cruise, we board Viking in Amsterdam on 23 December, so a Christmas cruise.

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I have found it better to wear lighter weight Thermoball type jackets under a Gore-Tex jacket.  Layers are a lot more comfortable than a heavy coat!  If down coats get wet it is not pleasant if you do not have a dryer and tennis balls handy! On the rivers it is a damp cold so think hats, gloves and scarves!

 

Second seating

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Thanks for the advice. I have been trying to plan clothing that I can layer and also in the same color family. Merino wool, cashmere, flannel, but nothing heavy except the coat. Which may not be that heavy by everyone’s standards. I did spray the coat with scotch guard which is supposed to make it more water repellent. 

so tell me….what are some gifts I should look for at the markets? 
What foods are not to be missed? 
we visit Prague, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Salzburg, Linz, Melk, Vienna, and Budapest. 
The Nuremberg markets will not be open when we are there. 😞

 

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5 hours ago, momto3sons said:

The Nuremberg markets will not be open when we are there. 😞

That is a pity but you may get some regional goodies in gift shops and the bakeries will most likely have the famous gingerbread. "Nürnberger Lebkuchen" is a "g.g.A.", that means by law only those made in Nuremberg can be called that. But they are sold all over Germany, you can find them when you shop around a bit.

 

Check labels for origin of goods, if in doubt ask. Rule of thumb, the cheaper it seems the more likely they have been manufactured in Asia.

 

notamermaid

 

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On 10/17/2023 at 5:34 PM, Canal archive said:

If anyone’s interested I have two recipes from a cooking session in Nuremberg Scenic Jewel 2017 Elise’s Lebkuchen recipes 1& 2. There were eight of us in a superb professional kitchen great fun, completely the wrong time of year for anything Christmasy but well worth it.

 I would love those recipes!!

 

I love the Nuremberg Lebkuchen... 

 

Fran

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As I was walking through the shop aisles with the towering chocolates and gingerbread I saw the goodies by two companies from Aachen, called Lambertz and Kinkartz. As they are in Aachen the products they bake are called Aachener Printen when made with moulds and the typical ingredients and they can only make them in Aachen or nearby! It is the protected geographical origin. Print (English) and prent (Dutch) are the origins for the name Printen. The two I have mentioned are not the only manufacturers or bakeries. Here is one with some nice info on the history: https://printen.de/en/printen-tales/

 

You can best get to Aachen to see their Christmas market from Cologne, just a good half hour by fast train. https://www.aachen-tourismus.de/en/discover/events/aachen-christmas-market/

 

Printen you can buy in many shops in the Rhineland, just like at my local supermarket. Those are the big companies, others will only be available in and around Aachen.

 

notamermaid

 

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Today I have seen the typical tourism stuff online articles of Christmas markets, cosy, charming, etc. again. And what do they suggest? Going to Cologne, Dresden and Rüdesheim. "Oh my goodness" I think to myself. I stay well clear of Cologne and have not got myself to join the crowds at Rüdesheim yet although in global terms it is just down the road for me. Dresden I do not know but I have seen the photos...

 

I will be going to the small places again but I have not figured out where yet. Traben-Trabach on the Moselle is out, too busy and popular these days. Been to Andernach last year and enjoyed it, that one was indeed small and charming, with live animals and real local voices. Linz on the Rhine was also pleasant and small but a bit lacking somewhat. So perhaps a weekend one in a castle? Or a charity event? Will see how it goes.

 

If I had time I would go to the North of my country. Lübeck where the marzipan comes from would be great and quite different from my area: https://www.visit-luebeck.com/culture/christmas-city-of-the-north/christmas-markets/traditional-christmas-market

Yup, looks busy as well.

 

I would like to see Metz Christmas market again (although it is a bit crowded) and the celebrations around Saint Nicolas day, the Patron saint of the Lorraine region. This is something special: https://www.epinal-touristoffice.com/discover/culture-heritage/saint-nicolas-in-epinal/the-tradition-of-saint-nicolas-in-epinal/the-true-story-of-saint-nicolas-de-myre

And I recommend exploring Metz and Nancy which you could do from a Moselle river cruise.

 

notamermaid

 

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On 10/17/2023 at 2:34 PM, Canal archive said:

If anyone’s interested I have two recipes from a cooking session in Nuremberg Scenic Jewel 2017 Elise’s Lebkuchen recipes 1& 2. There were eight of us in a superb professional kitchen great fun, completely the wrong time of year for anything Christmasy but well worth it.

I would love the recipe. Elisen Lebkuchen in Nuremburg was the BEST!!

 

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The first two markets in Munich opened up this week...

 

The Glühwein Festival opened up on Thursday. O.k., that might be a bit off the beaten track (but walkable from my home).

 

A bit easier to reach for most of you is the Christmas and Winter Market at Munich Airport which opened on Friday. They even have an ice skating rink.

 

Next week we have:

 

Tollwood Winterfestival opens  Nov 23rd on Theresienwiese (Oktoberfest grounds).

 

The Weihnachtsdorf in der Residenz (small, but one of my favorites - best egg nog, but first have a big bite at Mittelalter Markt as there´s a lot of rum involved!) also Nov 23rd.

 

Weihnachtsmarkt am Chinesischen Turm also opens Nov 23rd (for the first time after the pandemic,last year there were construction works going on - also a must for me because of the nice surroundings). 

 

The main market - Münchner Christkindlmarkt opens Nov 27th.

 

Also the Mittelalter Markt München opens Nov 27th (another of my favorites regarding food).

 

The Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt still sticks with the traditional opening day (Friday before the first of Advent) and opens Dec 1st (my favorite for more than 40 years now).

 

I think there are approximately 30 markets all over the city - way too many to list them all up on here. These are my favorites and the ones I usually visit (time depending).

 

I hopefully will try out the Regensburger Christkindlmarkt (depending on Deutsche Bahn and whether they go on strike or not) which opens Nov 27th.

 

@Canal archive your recipe reminded me to give my collegue a note to get me some hand made Elisenlebkuchen from Nuremberg.

 

steamboats

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Plus your above reminded me about a completely lost afternoon, on the outskirts of Vienna due to some excellent gluhwein some years ago. I still have an excellent recipe from a German customer when I was in a part time job in my youth. It’s a pretty basic recipe and although it includes water but does say replace with more red wine if required, what!

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@Canal archive actually Glühwein is pretty simple. A good red wine and spices. Usually orange peel, gloves and cinnamon. That´s it. The most popular spice mix for Glühwein in Germany was "Glühfix" by Teekanne - those three spices in a teabag. Easy... Lot´s of recipes to make your own... other spices that can be added: cardamom, nutmeg, star anise, allspice, aniseed. Of couse you can add some rum to the wine or use white wine (White Bishop - weißer Bischoff). You can add a little orange juice as well.

 

Or you can buy a ready made bottle and just heat it up 🤣.

 

My favorite Christmas drink (2 glasses):

 

200 ml orange juice

200 ml apple juice

1 cinnamon piece

1 cm fresh ginger

3 pieces allspice

1 star anise

5 pieces gloves

 

Gently heat it up (not boiling, just 80-90°C) for about 30 min.

 

Add 5 cl Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla (or any other gin).

 

steamboats

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