3 Best Christmas Markets in Germany and How to Visit them in Your Motorhome
This year, why not travel in style to enjoy the very best of European Christmas cheer? Rent a motorhome from us and travel to the home of the Christmas market.
German Christmas markets are much-imitated. The German-style market right here in Manchester is a fantastic example of continental Christmas cheer. But this year, why not visit the original?
Make the most of the EU’s freedom of movement while you still can – who knows how easy travel will be to travel in Europe after March next year. Hire a motorhome from our expert team and make the trip to the home of the Christmas market for a truly special festive experience.
The Frankfurt Christmas Market has a history that has been traced back to 1393. Visit today and you can enjoy festive carols, and enormous Christmas tree and many traditional crafts and delicacies at the numerous stalls around the city centre. Stalls stretch along Römerberg, St Paul’s Square, Mainkai (Main Quay), Hauptwache and Friedrich-Stoltze-Square so you are guaranteed an atmospheric back drop to your meanderings.
Where to stay?
Campingplatz Mainkur is close to the city centre, but you will need to ensure you have the completed the necessary emissions testing and paperwork to drive through the city.
Another option is to stay a little further out and use public transport to get into the city. To do this, you could use the campsite at Campingplatz Niederwaldsee.
Nurnberg’s Christmas market is another special and atmospheric delight. Carollers, horse-drawn carriages and stall upon stall of handicrafts, sausages sizzling on the grill, oodles of gingerbread and warming glasses of gluhwein await.
Where to stay?
The local tourist office can direct you to a couple of carparks a short distance from the town centre where there are designated motorhome bays. However, we found these bays, while extremely convenient, to be in fairly short supply.
If you prefer more reliable arrangements, you could book into a nearby campsite and use public transport to get into the city. In the main, German public transport is very good. Try the Knaus Campingpark just 5km from the city.
If you are after a more local vibe, you might prefer the chistkindlemarkt in the historic city of Mainz. Around the square in front of the city’s St Martin’s Cathedral you’ll find dozens of pretty stalls with all the usual treats of lebkuchen, sizzling wursts and warming gluhwein. Listen to the carols in the Cathedral and, just behind it, visit the museum dedicated to the inventor of the printing press. You can even print your own Christmas cards in the print shop of the Gutenberg Museum.
Where to stay?
Mainz is relatively close to Frankfurt, between the Mosel and Rhine rivers. Note that the cities of Mainz and Wiesbaden have established “green zones” and you’ll need a sticker in order to drive in these zones. Unfortunately, the most convenient campsite isn’t open between October and May, but there is dedicated motorhome camping within the eco-zone.
Top Tips for a Great Trip
If you’re going to make the trip, you’re going to need to ensure your motorhome is fully kitted out with the right equipment – from heating and pipe insulation to the right gas for your heating and cooking. You’ll also need to ensure you have snow chains for driving and, of course, the appropriate paperwork. Take copies of your driving license and insurance details and get breakdown cover before you go – it always pays to be prepared.
Most of all, make sure you have completed the necessary documentation and gained your green emissions window sticker.
Although you are not required to carry compulsory items in your vehicle such as a warning triangles and reflective jackets, it is probably advisable to do so. Also, remember drink-driving is illegal in Germany so however tempting it might be to get behind the wheel after a meander around the markets, if you’ve been sipping gluhwein don’t do it.
Finally, explore! Many German towns have wonderful Christmas markets and, if you’re going to make the trip, do make the most of it. Ideally, plan your route so you can stop off at other markets along the way – and perhaps even visit a few wineries en route too, so you can pick up an extra special bottle for your Christmas table.