Schlagwort-Archive: Hechingen

Christmas Markets

Sooner or later – despite the 16,5 degrees we had today here on the Alb – Santa Claus will be coming to town. I guess Christmas markets are the favorite place to go for people visiting Germany. And I would agree: they are a wonderful component of „German Gemutlichkeit“. Apart from the all-time favorite „Gluhwein“ (I am giving up on putting Umlauts in the words: Glühwein, Gemütlichkeit.. ;-)), hand-made products are offered, festive decoration of the stands and … well you have to go see it.

While visitors typically go to the most famous markets in Nuremberg (Nürnberg.. another one 😉 ) or even to Strassburg right behind the border of France, the Swabian Alb and surroundings have some pretty markets to offer too.

Exceptionally pretty is the yearly Royal Christmas Market on the Hohenzollern Castle (Burg Hohenzollern). It takes place on meanwhile two (guess why!) weekends  in early advent and is an absolute must-see when in the area.

Another option – little of topic, because it is more in the Black Forest – is the Christmas Market on the Neuenbürg Castle. Again setting is a castle, which offers a great frame in itself. Even prettier, when there is snow.

And of course, don’t miss out on the Stuttgart Christmas Market, which I personally think is one of the prettiest „town Christmas markets“ in Germany.

The latter two websites do not have information in English language. So if you need more information, please comment this post, and I will be happy to assist.

In closing, some German lessons you need to learn before going to the Christmas market:

  • Christmast market = Weihnachtsmarkt
  • Hot spiced wine = Glühwein
  • A hot spiced wine please = Ein Glühwein bitte
  • Christmas carol = Weihnachtslied
  • Christmas tree = Weihnachtsbaum
  • Merry Christmas! = Frohe Weihnachten!

Must see on the Swabian Alb: Hohenzollern Castle (Burg Hohenzollern)

If people do not know the Swabian Alb, at least most of the time they know the Hohenzollern Castle. It can be reached easily using the route B27, especially coming from the Stuttgart region or from Lake Constance in the south. Not only does it offer a lot of „old stones“ to admire, it also provides spectactular views over the lovely surrounding countryside of the Swabian Alb.

The castle offers a homepage in English language which can be found here and offers all important information: Hohenzollern Castle.

Some interesting hints for your day trip to Hohenzollern Castle:

On the bottom of the hill, you’ll find the Hofgut Domäne. This precious manor was reconstructed over the last couple of years and now offers different kinds of restaurants, a beer garden in summer, miniature golf, playground, and a children’s zoo. Perfect addition to the „cultural“ input in Hohenzollern Castle in case visiting with the entire family.

By the way: guided tours are available in the castle, highly recommendable to do one, as most of the castle is closed for visitors outside of these castle tours. If you are lucky, and it is a Saturday, you might find a wedding in the castle’s court. The little chapel is often used for veeeery romantic weddings…

Insider tip: come visit the Hohenzollern castle for one of its events: the Christmas market in winter, or mediaval markets in summer time. Especially the Christmas market surely is an event you will never forget. Make sure to come early, since a lot of fellow travellers also love these events.

An then of course the visit to the castle can be combined with so many other interesting things: a hike with spectacular views back to the castle, some outlet shopping in one of the many factory outlets on the Swabian Alb.