Since we live right outside Regensburg, obviously we couldn’t pass up the local Christmas markets. It was a Saturday though, and traffic was a mess. Until you’ve driven on the tiny winding streets of a German city during Christmas time, you haven’t experienced traffic congestion.
We got lucky enough to snag a spot in the parking garage, which is pretty centrally located. First, we walked toward St. Peter’s Cathedral where the Old Town Christkindlmarkt was in full swing. After grabbing some Glühwein and Brats…
We strolled up and down the warmly-lit, Christmas-riddled streets of what Lee claims is his “favorite city in the world” (and his eyes twinkle when he says that).
It started getting more crowded, and at one point the street was so packed with people that we couldn’t do anything except stand still. Not ideal when you’re holding glühwein or mustard-covered brats. I think the reason it seemed so crowded is because the booths weren’t laid out in a way that facilitated a steady flow of traffic. All the food stands were bunched together, so people would gob up around those drinking glühwein making it impossible for anyone else to pass.
I kept escaping to the less-crowded areas to catch a breather.
After we had enough of the crowds, we walked over to the Thurn and Taxis Palace to check out the Romantische (Romantic) Christkindlmarkt. It cost €8.50 per person, but it was probably the best €17 we ever spent.
This Christmas market was laid out like an actual village, where you could walk along winding gravel paths next to the Palace and feel as if you were walking through a Medieval village of sorts.
It was a very calming (and romantic) atmosphere–a stark contrast to the market in Old Town. The glowing purple lights emanating from various buildings made it feel otherworldly at times.
The air was thick with aromas of burning wood, roasted nuts, warm bread, and steamy bratwurst. We eventually succumbed to the heavenly food smells and purchased a Flammkuchen–a fire-roasted flatbread covered in bacon, cheese, and chives. Oh. My. God.
The thing I just can’t understand about Germany is how the food is always good, and seems to just keep getting better every time we try something new. You’d think that eventually we would reach the apex of the food parabola… but I hope we don’t.
It was extremely cold, but there was an abundance of warming barrels to gather around and get your feet toasty again. The path eventually led to the inner courtyard, where a dozen booths were set up, almost like a “secret” Christmas market.
It’s here that we found the majority of craftsmen and blacksmiths, who were making everything from woven baskets to custom woodburning plaques.
And Andreas Nuslan, Der Hutmacher, was there making hats and engaging with curious customers.
Lee and I both agree that this was our favorite Christmas market by far. Atmosphere has a lot to do with an experience, and this one blew us away with how cozy and romantic it felt. Splurge on the €8.50 admission ticket. Go to the Romantische Christkindlmarkt!