Germany, with its wintry climes and Christmas markets, is a globally popular go-to destination at this time of year. Now, as the festive season approaches, the country is inviting travellers from across the GCC to visit and experience its myriad attractions amid scenes of Saint Nikolaus and snowflakes.
From fairytale castles to charming towns, the country is a haven of everything magical, especially when the temperatures drop, and frost kisses the age-old landmarks. Starting from mid-November until early next year, major cities such as Nuremberg, Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne and beyond, are decked up with twinkling lights, lively music, and more.
This year Germany is quickening its journey towards sustainability and aims to implement sustainable practices as well as to promote locally sourced, organic goods. Visitors can also venture beyond the festive villages to experience a winter wonderland committed to eco-friendly enjoyment, featuring serene snow walks, spirited torchlight hikes, and the warmth of shared Christmas traditions.
Some of the well-known Christmas markets in Germany happen in its most popular cities. The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt (December 1-24) in Nuremberg is known for lebkuchen (gingerbread) and hosts more than 200 local businesses throughout, while Berlin’s WeihnachtsZauber (November 27 to December 31) is held at the picturesque Gendarmenmarkt. Stuttgart’s Wintertraum Markt (November 29 to December 23) is known for its fairytale appeal located on the Schlossplatz, right in front of the palace, while Munich’s Christmas Market (November 27 to December 24) takes place in the scenic Marienplatz with a Christmas tree adorned with 2,500 lights.
In Cologne, Heinzels Wintermärchen (November 27 to December 24) is set right outside the city’s gothic cathedral and has two sections, the old market and new market, the latter’s highlight being a huge outdoor ice rink. Lastly, the International Christmas Market in Essen (November 17 to December 23) is adorned with twinkling fairy lights, fairground rides, and crafty products from lands as far away as Peru and Brazil.
Apart from Christmas markets, Germany also has a tonne of winter festivals such as the Chocolate Festival in Tübingen (December 5-10), the largest of its kind in Germany, and Stollen Festival in Dresden (December 9), which celebrates the traditions of baking that date back centuries. Munich Tollwood Winter Festival (November 23 to December 31) is a stunning celebration that includes circus performances, live music celebrations, and a variety of entertainment, while Circus Krone in Munich (December 25 to April 7) offers amazing entertainment suitable for the whole family. Christmas Garden at the Berlin Botanical Garden (November 17 to January 14) is a charming festive escape with enchanting lights and stalls offering hot chocolate – perfect to enjoy the chilly months.
Yamina Sofo, Director of Marketing & Sales Office Gulf Countries at the GNTO, said: “The festive season is the busiest time of year in Germany in regard to travellers coming from the GCC, especially to experience the fairytale festivities that start mid-November and lead up to the New Year and beyond. GCC travellers are important for us, so we are committed to offering them the best winter and Christmas experiences.”
During the months of festivities, the airwaves resonate with beloved German Christmas music, evoking both nostalgia and a sense of anticipation. Each family cherishes its own unique traditions accompanied by indoor and outdoor pursuits. The enchanting Christmas spirit is embraced across the entire country, spanning north to south, east to west, with distinctive cultural and culinary experiences throughout. – TradeArabia News Service