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The Christmas spirit has already conquered the world, facebook, instagram and everything else you can imagine. In we entirely surrender ourselves to the temptation and gladly dive into the magic.

Such a magical fairytale happened to me last weekend when I indulged for three days in the pleasures of the German Christmas markets. So far I had only heard about the market in Vienna while this year I made a tour to remember in Nuremberg, Düsseldorf and Cologne. I strongly recommend this winter magnificence to all of you who love to spoil themselves.Фотокредит: Дилян Георгиев

How to get there

You can reach Nuremberg and Cologne on outrageously low prices if you plan your trip in advance. In our case the meeting point was in Nuremberg, then we moved to Düsseldorf by train and if you buy the ticket 2-3 months earlier, it could costs around € 20 (note that the actual distance is quite long, but the train is high-speed and it takes approximately 3-4 hours). Nice hotels in Nuremberg and Düsseldorf can be found for about 30 euros per night, again with early planning.

In vino veritas

Now, let’s start talking about the important things … get ready for a real winter wonderland, served with spiced, flavorful mulled wine and local specialties. The markets in Nuremberg and Cologne are situated in the central area of the town, near the cathedrals. In Düsseldorf there are several smaller markets, each one with its own identity. The atmosphere everywhere is so festive and despite the many people who are walking around, somehow there is no tension.

How you can proceed with drinks in these places – the glasses for mulled wine or beer are specially made for the city, for the respective year and are a great souvenir that you can take home. Now, just a bit of a simple math: A glass of mulled wine = 5.5 euros. Each refill = 2 euros. If you finally decide to bring back your glass, you will get € 3.5 back.
When it comes to all the delicious things I tried … I really don’t know where to start from. Whatever kind of wurst (the local sausages) you decide to take – it is worth trying. It is usually served with cabbage, which can be prepared with wine (of course!) оr by another local recipe, but in both cases it is definitely very good. The curry wurst in Cologne was something pretty good although more typical for Berlin than Cologne. There are thousands kinds of sausages, burgers, grilled types of meat you can chose from. If you eventually decide to try something different than the meat you can go for Kasspatzle – version of pasta with local cheese, pickled onion and parsley. Another typical salty dish was something like potato schnitzel, called Reibekuchen, which is also one of the Christmas markets specialties. Of course I can’t skip the giant portion pork shank with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, which can be yours only for € 14 (the city’s Düsseldorf site – Hausbrauerei Zum Schlussel).

Other temptations waiting cruelly on every corner are brezels, stollen and lebkuchens. The sweets are also everywhere – fruits coated with chocolate, caramelized nuts cooked in front of you, while the scent of caramel was floating around and fruit breads that I wanted to buy wholesale.
Among all the food and drinks, the markets overflow of small miracles – Christmas decorations, souvenirs, jewelry, accessories. Many things are handmade and some of the jewelry are made on-site to the visitors, the stands with Christmas toys seem to be almost surreal and those with the candles – much more than romantic.
Long story short – it is worth going. Since the last weekend I’m a big fan of Germany and I am looking forward to explore even more after the promising start.