The Magic and Romance of Germany During the Christmas Season
A Christmas Adventure Like No Other…Including the Toy Route, the UNESCO World Heritage cities Bamberg and Quedlinburg, the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountain region), Dresden Striezelmarkt and Much More.
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Can you imagine a better way to get in the Christmas Spirit? We can’t. Experience the splendor of traditional Christmas markets in Dresden, Nürnberg and the UNESCO world heritage city Bamberg, in northern Bavaria… Trace the history of the blown-glass Christmas tree ornament and meet glassblowers in Lauscha, a remote hill town in Thuringia… Get a behind-the-scenes look at cottage workshops in Seiffen, and visit a small factory on Germany’s fabled Toy Route. Do your shopping on the Christmas Trail and be back home in time for the holidays!
We “have skin in the game” so we’re invested in offering you the best Christmas tour we possibly can. We’ve imported antiques and traditional Christmas decorations from Germany for many years, so you’ll be benefiting from our insight and experience. Ours is not the only Christmas tour on the market, but we are the only travel company with the expertise and personal connections that come from years of doing business in this field.
We know the terrain. We know the artisans and family workshops. We’ll include the hidden hot-spots and delightful moments most tourists miss. We’ll make your experience of Germany during Christmastime unique and unforgettable.
- 8 nights/9 days
- Airport transfers
- Orientation materials
- Comfortable regional hotels and inns with private bath
- Ten meals (hotel breakfast)
- Ground travel by coach throughout the trip
- Full itinerary, including visits, workshops, Christmas markets and guided tours
- Delectable Christmas decorations, collectibles, crafts, toys, folk items, art and other treasures
- Services of your tour guide, help with translations and technical support during the tour, local taxes, parking, road-use fees, national taxes
Price: $3400.00 BOOK NOW AND SAVE! You pay only $3195.00.
The tour starts and ends in Frankfurt. Hotel accommodations are based on double occupancy; single rooms are available for a surcharge of $375. Would you like to share a double room with another traveler? Let us know if you’re interested and we’ll look for a simpatico tour participant who would like to share. Your hotel for the last night before you return and trip to the airport are included, so you won’t have to scramble to find a place to stay or worry about dealing with taxis or shuttles in the morning before your flight.
You’ll see blown-glass ornaments, linens, textiles and lace, antiques, hand-carved wooden toys and Christmas figures, Belsnickels and Santa figures, paper mache figures, hand-made Christmas trees, feather trees, Christmas pyramids, smokers, nutcrackers, prune figures, Noah’s arks, putz figures, ephemera, crèche scenes, tree ornaments and candy containers.
Also: Quality glassware, crystal, straw ornaments, pottery, Moravian Christmas stars, Schwibbögen, incense, traditional candles, Christmas tree candle holders, Meissen and Dresden figures, pewter, dishware, traditional Bunzlau/Silesian pottery, special Plauen lace, textiles, housewares, wind-up toys, toy soldiers, tree toppers and much, much more.
Stocking up on Christmas presents or looking for Christmas collectibles or antiques? You’ll love what you see. Interested in sourcing one-of-a-kind ornaments and decor for your shop or resale business? This is the trip for you. We’ll introduce you to the artisans!
We bring a fresh approach and just the right seasoning to our tour planning.
Continuity and Confidence Our Christmas tour is fully guided. Having one experienced guide rather than a succession of individual stringers enables us to to provide quality and excellent service throughout the trip
Authentic Personal Encounters Workshop visits, meetings with artisan families, chance encounters, excursions to local markets and an opportunity to explore the nooks and crannies of places you would never find on your own.
Wonderful Learning Opportunities On-the-spot presentations by skilled guides and local specialists. You’ll enjoy hearing them talk about their area of specialty and have a chance to ask questions…
Great Opportunities for Collectors and History Buffs Food, toys, crafts, ornaments and historic collectibles are part of the material culture of Christmas and they reflect the folk traditions of the region. You’ll learn about these traditions and the social and religious context of Christmas.
Excellent Christmas Shopping and Great Bargains One-stop shopping for Christmas gifts and new items as well as antiques, vintage items and Christmas collectibles.
Distinctive Accommodations Comfortable inns and hotels that reflect the region and make the trip fun and memorable…
Flexible Itinerary and Individual Choices An optimal mix of group activities and “me-time.” Flexibility to explore on your on, rest, people-watch, or take in other cultural or historical attractions.
The Small-Group Difference There’s no comparison between traveling with a group of 50 people and a small group that feels like “family.” With only 10-20 travelers, we can include the kinds of encounters, extras and special touches that will make your vacation truly memorable.
Traveling and Saving
Early December is a great time to travel in Europe – your dollar will go further than in the summer. You’ll also enjoy lower shoulder-season airfares. It’s worth comparing fares this time of year.
The tour features distinctive, comfortable, hand-picked hotels and family-owned inns. We aim for the best combination of service, value, atmosphere and quality. All rooms include private bath and most have internet access. Examples include Hotel Altringlein, Hotel Brüdermühle and Villa Geyerswörth in Bamberg, the Hexenhaus in Dresden and Hotel Saigerhütte in the Erzgebirge.
Balance, Pace and Flexibility
We aim for an optimal blend of activity and down-time, focus and relaxation. We’ll help you keep a pace that works best for you.
Do you want to cut your visit to the Christmas market short and adjourn to a café to people-watch? That’s fine. Would you prefer to skip the morning tour and linger over breakfast? Want to take a pass on the evening concert? That’s OK. We’ll do our best to accommodate you whenever possible.
Regional Food and Gourmet Delights
Savoring the pleasures of the table is one of the best ways to experience local culture. At the markets, you’ll enjoy hot mulled wine, spiced cider, Christmas cookies, cakes and chestnuts.
Regional specialties include game, trout and carp. Soljanka is a favorite soup in eastern Germany. Germany has hundreds of kinds of bread, so try as many as you can and wait until you get home to diet. Franconian and Thuringian Bratwurst (fried sausage) is a special treat. Schnitzel and chanterelles are other favorites. Light fare, including cheese, salads, light soups and egg dishes abound. Enjoy Franconian wines and beer. Christmas specialties include Stollen, goose, Baumkuchen, Springerle cookies, Eierschecke, gingerbread and other Christmas pastries.
Day 1 Frankfurt, Bamberg
We will pick you up at the airport and start the tour, driving eastward through northern Bavaria to Bamberg, one of Germany’s great Medieval jewels. Along the way you’ll hear about the history of the region we’ll be traveling in and learn about the culture of Christmas in Germany. After checking in at our hotel,we will start exploring this beautiful town.
Day 2 Bamberg
Prepare to fall in love with Bamberg. It’s a real charmer! First off, we’ve planned a private tour of folk crèche scenes in the old town, which will be led by a local specialist. It includes a visit the imperial Cathedral, final resting place of Kaiser Heinrich II and Queen Kunigunde, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire in the Middle Ages and were later declared saints. You’ll also have an option to visit one of the numerous local breweries, which have made Bamberg a mecca for beer-lovers. And, of course, we’ll be visiting the Bamberg Christmas market, which sprawls across the main square.
Day 3 On the Toy and Christmas Trail in Franconia and Thuringia
We’ll veer off the beaten track into northern Franconia and the tip of Thuringia to travel along Germany’s Toy Route and visit family-owned companies that produce composition crèche figures Christmas and Halloween decorations, Time permitting, we’ll visit an antiques toy dealer in Sonneberg and make stops in Steinach and Neustadt bei Coburg. Later in the day, we will wend our way to the remote village of Lauscha, home of the traditional blown glass Christmas tree ornaments and visit a local glassblowing family, the Hähnels. You’ll have ample opportunities to stock up on Christmas presents and decorations. Interested in purchasing for your collection or sourcing items for a shop or business? We’ll help you with that as well! Our final destination: the dreamy medieval city of Quedlinburg, with over 1200 half-timbered houses and an unforgettable Christmas market
Shhhh! Quedlinburg is an undiscovered jewel hidden in the former East Germany, overlooked by many international visitors — and we want to keep it that way. We’ll start with a guided tour of the old town. Then you’ll be able to free-style in the afternoon — explore one of the city’s museums or historical churches, camp out in a cafe and people-watch or shop. On tap for the late afternoon and evening is an exceptional once-a-year event, Advent in the Courtyards, where artisans pull back the curtains and welcome visitors into a warren of hidden courtyards, walled spaces and backroom workshops brimming with Christmas treasures, art, handcrafted treasures and local food. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world!
Day 5 On to Dresden!
From the Harz region, we’ll travel eastward through the state of Saxony to Dresden, which boasts Germany’s best Stollen (Christmas cake) and a charming, ancient Christmas market, the Striezelmarkt, which we’ll explore after checking in at our hotel. Options for the evening include the traditional Auerbachs Keller restaurant and a brass ensemble at the Frauenkirche (Our Lady’s Church).
We’ll start the day with a private tour of a traditional, old-time bakery and will sample their Stollen. Then will experience a marvelous historical Christmas market in the castle mews. For the balance of the day you’ll be able to shop and explore Dresden on your own. There will be optional visits to the spectacular Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) Art Museum in Dresden Castle, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Crafts (Christmas antiques, folk art and native treasures). For those who are interested, we can also arrange an option visit to the nearby Meissen Porcelain Works.
Do you like Christmas choral music? Do you love Bach? At 8:00 PM, we’ll have an opportunity to hear Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at the Church of the Cross (Kreuzkirche). This is optional, but if you are fond of choral music, don’t miss it! We must order these tickets in advance, so please let us know if you would like to attend the concert at the time you reserve the tour.
Day 7 Seiffen and the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains)
Pray for snow! Seiffen is the home of handcrafted wooden toys and Christmas folk ornaments — and it’s overpoweringly beautiful in the snow. Actually, it’s unforgettable any time, even without snow. You’ll have a chance to visit the Seiffen toy museum early on, if you would like. Seiffen attracts many visitors but few of them get past the showrooms in the center of the village. We will have an insider’s look at the workshops of families in the area who have been manufacturing Christmas decorations, traditional ornaments and toys for decades. We do business with them and they’re usually happy to give our group a look behind the scenes. There will be free time to shop, explore on your own and enjoy Kaffee und Kuchen at a local café.
Day 8 Nooks and Crannies of Saxony
We’ll wend our way deep into the Saxon hill country for a visit with a dealer who specializes in Christmas items, folk carvings and toys. His shop is located in a spectacular historic mill tucked in a valley that you would never be able to find on your own. Following this, we’ll meet Eckhard Holler, one of Germany’s leading authorities on Christmas antiques, wooden toys and folk art, and will have an exclusive look at his workshop. Our final stop will be at the home of a private dealer in vintage and antique linens with a remarkable collection of homespun, kitchen textiles, table and bed linens, vintage items, samplers and much more. Buy a little or a lot — it’s up to you. You’ll love seeing her collection!
Day 9 Nürnberg — Franconia’s “Capitol of Christmas”
With it’s medieval city wall, old town and stately Renaissance buildings, Nürnberg is the stuff of fairy tales! The focus of our visit will be the Nürnberg Christmas market — the city fathers claim it’s Germany’s oldest, but Dresden insists that its market is older. We’ll spend the day, sampling Nürnberg’s Christmas delicacies and prowling the market. You’ll also have the chance to explore the Nürnberg Toy Museum, one of Germany’s best. You’ll have a chance to finish up your last-minute shopping and then we’ll say farewell to Nürnberg and wend our way westward and spend the evening in a small village within striking distance of Frankfurt airport.
On the last day we’ll enjoy a final breakfast together and make our way to the airport for the return flight home.
ENJOY A FULLY-GUIDED, INSIGHTFUL TOUR WITH AN UNBEATABLE ITINERARY, UNFORGETTABLE CHRISTMAS ATTRACTIONS, MEMORABLE ENCOUNTERS AND AN OPTIMAL MIX OF GROUP AND PERSONAL TIME.
HOW TO RESERVE YOUR TOUR Group size is limited and this is a popular tour. Reserve now. Click on the button below, fill out your reservation online and click “Send.”