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Festive Germany

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Germany, home to some of Europe's most enduring Christmas traditions--advent wreaths, Christmas trees, to name just two--has the top Christmas markets as well, with more than 150 listed on the GNTB website! But there is more. Processions honor horses (Bavaria); and funfairs celebrate beer (Munich's Oktoberfest, the world's largest), tall ships (Hanse in Rostock), wine (Wiesbaden), cinema (Berlin), culture (Potsdam) pyrotechnics ("Rhine in Flames”, near Bonn), and more.
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Potsdamer Straße 5, 10785 Berlin, Germany
The annual Berlinale Film Festival is one of the highlights of Berlin's winter. What better way to fight the cold than with a day (or an entire week) in the cinema?! The Film Festival attracts celebrities and stars from around the world, so it's...
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The Rheingauer Weinwoche, commonly known as the Weinfest, is Europe's biggest wine festival, attracting more than ten million visitors per year over a ten-day run. At the annual festival, about 100 stands present the products of local winegrowers,...
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65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany
The Rhine makes a sharp, scenic curve at Rüdesheim am Rhein, in the UNESCO world heritage Middle-Rhine valley. Local transport providers and a castle museum have banded together to provide a four-in-one excursion package that delivers a great...
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Kappellaine 1, 82497 Unterammergau, Germany
As we sauntered closer to the village of Unterammergau, Germany, horses trotted past us, their highly decorated manes and tails blowing in the late autumn breeze. Not to be outdone by the animals’ distinguished appearances, the horse owners also...
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Maulbeerallee, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
Nowhere is Prussia's Baroque heritage more dazzling, lush and romantic than in the park of Sanssouci in Potsdam, Germany. In summer every year, for one glorious evening, the Potsdamer Schlössernacht turns the landscape into a magnificent evocation...
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Referat für Wirtschaft und Arbeit - Servicezentrum Theresienwiese, Matthias-Pschorr-Straße 4, 80339 München, Germany
Each fall, crowds of partygoers at Munich’s Oktoberfest lift steins of golden beer skyward and bellow “Prosit!” The German holiday began more than 200 years ago at the marriage celebration of Bavarian Crown Prince Louis and Princess Therese. Many...
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Referat für Wirtschaft und Arbeit - Servicezentrum Theresienwiese, Matthias-Pschorr-Straße 4, 80339 München, Germany
Tip 1: Arrive Early! If you don't have a table reservation, get there early!!!! I remember my first Oktoberfest when I had no idea how it worked and leisurely showed up at 3pm. Thankfully, we were a party of two so it was easy to cram into the...
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Rosenthaler Str. 40 -41, 10178 Berlin, Germany
This is one of the most hectic and lively courtyards in Berlin. Located in Mitte, it is named after the Hackeschen Market, which is across the street. As in many of Berlin's courtyards, the building complex around it consists of offices,...
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83646 Bad Tölz, Germany
Each year on November 6, the small Bavarian town of Bad Tölz celebrates Leonhardifahrt. The highlight is a grand procession of horse-drawn hand-painted carriages covered in flowers and carrying the town's women and children, who are elaborately...
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Berlin’s Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg is home to one of Berlin's most hip Christmas markets: the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt. Located on the grounds of a former brewery, the Lucia Christmas market is the “Nordic”-themed market in Berlin. You’ll...
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Stadtbrückchen, 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany
For the Advent season, Dusseldorf's Old Town neighborhoods put on a varied show. The Sternchenmarkt (Little Star Market), in the inner courtyard of Wilhelm-Marx-Haus is lined with huts flashing crystal chandeliers and starbursts of blue. It's a...
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Römerberg, 60329 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
There’s no better way to experience the festivities of the holidays than Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Germany, and Frankfurt's is particularly beautiful. The markets take place usually in the center of the town, and you'll find all...
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Marienplatz 1, 80331 München, Germany
I would compare Marienplatz to the Grand Place in Brussels, but with a Bavarian twist. The square in Munich is almost as large, and its town hall just as impressive. A beautiful destination for lovers of architecture. While the square itself is a...
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Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin, Germany
The Christmas Market, or Weihnachtsmarkt, at the Gendarmenmarkt plaza is one of the city's most scenic. Located directly in front of Berlin's concert house and in between French and German Cathedrals, the backdrop at Gendarmenmarkt is majestic....
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Karlspl., München, Germany
Karlsplatz, the city center nicknamed Stachus after a pub Beim Stachus, is home to local life and history, making it the perfect place to start exploring Munich. Around this central hub you'll find that farmers' markets, historical interest...
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St. Paul-Strasse, 80336 München, Germany
Tollwood is a festival taking place at the start of the first Advent continuing until December 23rd (check the website for exact dates). Its focus is on culture and the environment, and there are a wide variety of programs ranging from live...
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80336 Munich, Germany
Sendlingtor is one of three remaining gates standing that were the entrance to medieval Munich. It formed part of the north-south highway. It was first mentioned in 1318 as the starting point to Italy, but it likely existed earlier. Unlike the...
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Spandauer Damm 20-24, 14059 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s showpiece schloss is one of the main sights in the Charlottenburg neighborhood. Initially a country house built for (the future) Queen Sophie Charlotte in 1695, it served as a summer residence for Prussian kings throughout the 18th...
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Heumarkt, Köln, Germany
Every year, hundreds of Heinzelmännchen (elves), bring a fairy-tale atmosphere to Cologne's Heumarkt square and the Heimat der Heinzel, or "Home of the elves" market. It's an over-the-top, outsized salute to winter pursuits, from mulled wine to...
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Hauptallee 10, 01219 Dresden, Germany
Every other year my wife and I travel to Europe for Christmas Markets. Why? To begin with, most of these markets are traditions stretching back hundreds of years, so each market takes on it's own distinct personality. This trip we visited Erfurt...
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Dircksenstraße 89, 10178 Berlin, Germany
If you can find a way past the guard and barbed-wire fence, you can get into this amazing old spy station in West Berlin. The views are fantastic.