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German Christmas Markets

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Two women laughing German Christmas market stool

The one that brings you sparkly lights, Christmas markets and all the festive feels

Travel Style

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  • Duration

    7 days

  • Places

    9 places

  • Meals

    6 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Maximum 53 people

  • Team

    Experienced Trip Manager & Driver and Local Guides

Frankfurt, Cologne, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Munich, Koblenz, Heidelberg, Rothenberg, Dachau

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About this trip

Ready for the most wonderful time of the year? Jump on board for one of Europe’s most festive destinations, Germany, for this Contiki trip that takes in Christmas markets in six different cities. Fill your stocking with traditional and handmade gifts from local market stalls while sipping steaming mulled wine, nibbling on gingerbread and exploring cobbled streets, Bavarian beer halls and gothic architecture, and soak up the nostalgic yuletide atmosphere and old-world charm of dancing lights, Christmas trees and guaranteed good vibes on this 7-day celebration of all things Christmas.

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Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. 1 1 night

    Frankfurt

  2. via via

    Koblenz

  3. 1 1 night

    Cologne

  4. via via

    Heidelberg

  5. 1 1 night

    Stuttgart

  6. via via

    Rothenberg

  7. 1 1 night

    Nuremberg

  8. via via

    Dachau

  9. 2 2 nights

    Munich

+-1 more

DAY 1 - Start Frankfurt

Frankfurt

Wilkommen to Frankfurt, often described as a big city with a friendly village feel. We'll start off with an orientation tour before cutting to the main event, Frankfurt’s Christmas Market. With a glittering 30m tree and a vintage carousel, the town is like a snow-globe come to life. Countless stalls sell grilled sausages, roasted nuts, honey, candles and pretty ornaments as well as local jewellery, art and sculpture. You’ll even find an LGBTQ market with bright pink Christmas trees, glitzy purple lights, a laid back atmosphere and all the usual goodies. Be sure to sample Bethmaennchen, traditional marzipan cookies found only in Frankfurt, and enjoy a glass of glühwein on us.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Explore Frankfurt’s highlights on an orientation tour

  • Drink in the festive atmosphere of Frankfurt’s Christmas market and enjoy a glass of traditional glühwein

DAY 2 - Frankfurt to Cologne via Koblenz

Frankfurt

We can’t visit the Rhine valley without taking to the water, so this morning we’ll relax with a sightseeing cruise, enjoying the pretty skyline vistas before heading to our next destination.

Koblenz

Where the Rhine meets the Moselle, we’ll stop off for some free time in historic Koblenz, a charming city with plenty of quiet squares, quirky fountains and pavement cafes. Wine has been cultivated near Koblenz since Roman times, and we’ll learn all about it as we raise a glass of sparkling Riesling or a hearty Pinot Noir at an included wine tasting at a local vineyard.

Cologne

Our final stop for the day is Cologne, where we’ll explore the breathtakingly huge cathedral, originally built to house the remains of the Three Wise Men! In its shadow we’ll gasp in delight at just one of the city’s celebrated Christmas Markets, with its glittering canopy of lights. A few steps further on we’ll find a spectacular ice skating rink and many, many more market areas promising Christmas paradise on earth. When we’ve shopped for gifts to our heart’s content let’s not forget to get a taste of all the local delicacies – Käsespätxle (tiny egg dumplings tossed in cheese) and Kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancakes with sugar), plus churros, crepes and plenty of German craft beer!

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Enjoy a scenic Rhine River Cruise

  • Browse amid the twinkling lights of Cologne’s Christmas Markets

  • Visit Cologne’s awe-inspiring Cathedral

  • Enjoy a wine tasting in the picturesque village of St.Goar, in the Rhine Valley

DAY 3 - Cologne to Stuttgart via Heidelberg

Cologne

Another day, another bewitching market to visit. We leave Cologne after breakfast and head for Heidelberg.

Heidelberg

Covering seven different locations in the Old Town, Heidelberg’s Christmas Market radiates festive magic – the perfect blend of tradition and winter wonderland. We’ll tear ourselves away to also take in the romantic ruins of Heidelberg castle before making tracks for Stuttgart.

Stuttgart

Later today we’ll reach Stuttgart where, in the Christmas Garden, the magic begins after twilight falls. The Wilhelma (garden) is transformed into a fairy-tale landscape as ten million points of light illuminate a sparkling circular walk. Stuttgart Christmas market, one of Europe’s oldest and liveliest, will give us the chance to shop for wooden toys and antiques and to warm our bellies with mulled wine and fresh gingerbread – all to the festive sounds of local choir music.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Shop for traditional treats at Stuttgart Christmas Market

  • Stroll the illuminated trail around Stuttgart’s Christmas Garden

  • See the decorated stalls of Heidelberg Christmas Markets

  • Explore the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle

DAY 4 - Stuttgart to Nuremberg via Rothenberg

Stuttgart

See you later Stuttgart, after breakfast today we’ll set our sights for Rothenberg.

Rothenberg

Here in Rothenburg, Germany’s best-preserved walled town, we’ll sip some seasonal hot chocolate before continuing on to Nuremberg.

Nuremberg

Here we are in the heart of Bavaria for a walking tour that’ll fill us in on 1000 years of history, from emperors and Renaissance riches, to World Wars and Nazi trials. This evening we’ve another chance to thrill to enticing stalls, tinsel angels, wooden nutcrackers, coloured stars and lots more twinkling lights. Grab dinner on the move with the locals’ favourite grilled sausages, or maybe a crackling pork shoulder served with a dumpling.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Discover Nuremberg’s history, heritage and hard times on a walking tour with a local guide

  • Stop off in Rothenberg for a warming cup of hot chocolate

DAY 5 - Nuremberg to Munich via Dachau

Nuremberg

Nuremberg gingerbread is a centuries-old tradition – a delicious speciality made to carefully guarded family recipes. This morning we’ll get to see up close how the famous treat is made and pick up some tips and treats at an included gingerbread workshop, the perfect farewell before we make our way to Munich this afternoon, via Dachau.

Dachau

Moving on from Nuremburg, we’ll head on to Munich. But first, an important and sobering visit to the Dachau concentration camp memorial, once the original working camp. You’ll be able to spend some time here to learn and reflect on a generation never to be forgotten.

Munich

Munich may be famous for Oktoberfest festivities, but the vibes live here all year round. A tour of the sights will introduce you to the history and sights of this dynamic city including the main square and the famous Glockenspiel with its 32 dancing figurines and 43 chiming bells. This evening you’re free to make the most of your time in the city; with so many bars, clubs and beerhalls you’ll be spoiled for choice.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Learn the secrets of Nuremberg’s local delicacy at an exclusive gingerbread-making class

  • Reflect on the tragedies of the 20th century at Dachau Concentration Camp

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Guided walking tour of Munich seeing the Glockenspiel & Marienplatz (Winter Only)

    EUR 9.00

DAY 6 - Munich

Munich

Today we begin with a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle, straight out of a storybook. Built by ‘mad King Ludwig’ it’s not only one of the most famous castles in Europe but said to be the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle too. Munich’s Christmas Markets are amongst the oldest in Germany. We’ll follow our noses as the tantalising scents of roasted almonds, doughnuts and mulled wine draw us to the old town for a final night of sparkly lights, traditional crafts and holiday cosiness. Dinner is included this evening, then get ready for a whirlwind of lederhosen, dirndls and steins as we continue the night at a traditional beerhall, where the oompah band will play and strangers will become friends. Prost!

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Tour the fairy-tale turrets of Neuschwanstein Castle

  • Make the most of more stalls, snacks and sparkly lights at Munich’s Christmas Markets

  • Dine on regional favourites at a local restaurant in Munich

  • Raise your steins and your spirits at a traditional beer hall

DAY 7 - End Munich

Munich

We don’t want the festivities to end but today’s the day we say “Auf Wiedersehen”. We’ll go our separate ways with Christmas lights sparkling in our eyes and cheer in our hearts, until our next Contiki adventure comes around.

Top Experiences

18 included & 1 free time add-ons available to add later

  • Browse amid the twinkling lights of Cologne’s Christmas Markets

    Included

    Cologne

  • Stroll the illuminated trail around Stuttgart’s Christmas Garden

    Included

    Stuttgart

  • Tour the fairy-tale turrets of Neuschwanstein Castle

    Included

    Munich

German Christmas Markets

18 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Orientation tour of Frankfurt
  • Frankfurt Christmas Market with included Gluhwein
  • Enjoy a scenic Rhine River Cruise
  • Browse amid the twinkling lights of Cologne’s Christmas Markets
  • Visit Cologne’s awe-inspiring Cathedral
  • Enjoy a wine tasting in the picturesque village of St.Goar, in the Rhine Valley
  • Shop for traditional treats at Stuttgart Christmas Market
  • Stroll the illuminated trail around Stuttgart’s Christmas Garden
  • See the decorated stalls of Heidelberg Christmas Markets
  • Explore the romantic ruins of Heidelberg Castle
  • Discover Nuremberg’s history, heritage and hard times on a walking tour with a local guide
  • Stop off in Rothenberg for a warming cup of hot chocolate
  • Learn the secrets of Nuremberg’s local delicacy at an exclusive gingerbread-making class
  • Reflect on the tragedies of the 20th century at Dachau Concentration Camp
  • Tour the fairy-tale turrets of Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Make the most of more stalls, snacks and sparkly lights at Munich’s Christmas Markets
  • Dine on regional favourites at a local restaurant in Munich
  • Raise your steins and your spirits at a traditional beer hall

1 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Winter Walking Tour EUR 9.00

Where You'll Stay

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 6 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    6 nights in Hotel

Frequently Asked Questions

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