European Christmas Market Hop
Travel to Europe for Christmas
The Worldwide Navigators Difference
Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?1 of 1
Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.1 of 1
Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.1 of 1
A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?1 of 1
Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!1 of 1
Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.1 of 1
Descend into the business epicenter of Germany and get into the holiday spirit with a glass of gluhwein! Your local guides will warmly welcome you with some upon your arrival at the hotel.
Spend the day relaxing at your hotel and wandering around the cozy neighborhood. Get to know your guides and listen to the stories of their favorite childhood Christmas memories. We’ll enjoy our first of many tasty local meals. Let the adventure begin!
Don’t be fooled into thinking Frankfurt is only known for its tall skyscrapers and giant Euro statue— there is so much more depth than that. Today you will be entering the old charm world of Altstadt, where the last remaining remnants of “old Frankfurt” remain post World War II. It’s no wonder, then, that this is also the location of the city’s Christmas Market!
Feel like a kid again as you ride the stationed Merry Go Round while munching on a bag of nuts, or grab your first wurst and the city’s beloved specialty apfelwein (essentially a cider) as you wander through the stalls of homemade goods. Many of these vendors are very friendly, so strike up a conversation as you browse through their Christmas creations.
Later, you’ll have the option to venture to playwright Goethe’s childhood home: a towering mansion that’ll give you a bit of insight on how the brilliant mind grew up in the mid-1750’s.
This morning we’ll prepare to leave the city of Frankfurt by train… Enjoy the views on this quick trip!
When you arrive at Strasbourg, France, you may notice that much of the architecture is classical German, and many of the residents speak both languages. The region of Alsace is on the very border of France and Germany and was an area often fought over between the two. With its cobble stone charm and beautiful river winding its way through the city, it’s easy to see why it’s a UNESCO world heritage site.
Today we’ll venture into the town’s Christmas market, which is said to be the oldest one in France, dating back to 1570. Much of the market spreads far throughout the old town, there’s always a new direction to take with more unique vendors! For snacks, we highly recommend grabbing a flammekeuche- a delicious wood-fired pizza.
To dive into the rich history of this town we’ll venture to the Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg, which is the sixth tallest church in the world. Marvel at the Gothic architecture, high raised ceilings, and stained glass windows. Be sure to notice the memorial inscription on one of the pillars dedicated to American soldiers that protected the city in World War II.
Tonight, enjoy your first evening in France with some delicious cheese fondue.
Today you have a world of options! Spend the day exploring Strasbourg’s charming Petit France. Or, if you prefer, take a day tour of the Alsace wine country and do some tastings of dry rieslings or Crement d’Alsace— Alsace’s adored sparkling wine.
We will depart Strasbourg first thing in the morning for a train ride to Munich. Time flies by as you admire the beautiful transition from French to Bavarian country. Arrive at your hotel and get acquainted with your new environment. This afternoon we’re onto our next adventure to another Christmas market!
Centered in Marienplatz against the backdrop of the gorgeous Neues Rathus (New City Hall), this market embodies old fashioned, German Christmas cheer! Grab a pint and savor a hot pretzel. They’re known here for a reason!
Did you know Santa has an evil twin? In German holiday folklore, children who were naughty were visited by the horrifying Krampus, who would whip their legs with his wooden broom or worse, kidnap them.
This may sound creepy, but today the legend is treated with much fun. For two Saturdays of December only, Marienplatz is host to the world famous Krampus Run. Held around midday, dozens of costumed Krampuses run amuck in a parade, swatting children (lightly) with their brooms and spooking adult onlookers. You’ll have a blast!
After the parade and a quick lunch, enjoy free time to explore the city on your own. Just make sure you meet back with your group in the evening, as there will be a traditional pretzel making class awaiting you. Have fun and enjoy the wonders of Munich!
After experiencing the hustle and bustle of populated towns, we figure it might be time for some nature… Specifically: nature therapy! On this very special tour — a certified Forest Therapy Guide— we’ll whisk you away to the heart of Bavaria’s forests.
A hot meal will be provided before you set off through a stunning forest trail by the Mangfall River. Pack warmly and breathe in the fresh air as you experience the importance of maintaining these ancient forests.
Today we say goodbye to Munich and journey on to our next destination. You will arrive in the city of Prague in the morning, and by noon you’ll be settled into your hotel right around the corner from the famous Prague Astronomical Clock.
In mid-afternoon, you’ll take a tour of the city with Tour 4 Charity. 100% of the ticket funds for this touring group go to Chance 4 Children, an organization dedicated to “improving the lives… of the neediest children in the Czech Republic.” With this spectacular walking tour, you’ll learn the ins and outs of Prague history while visiting Old Town, New Town, and the Jewish Quarter.
If you’re up and awake and ready for some nightlife, there’s no better place to take you than Vzorkovna— an underground social club full of international life, great music and fantastic beer.
In the morning, you’ll walk over the famed Charles Bridge with your guides to see and tour Prague Castle. The castle itself dates back to the 9th century and has seen the city through kings, emperors, communism and democracy alike. It is also the largest ancient castle in the world! Marvel at the complex and many churches, palaces, halls, and gardens that belongs to it.
Next up, we’ll go across the river to the Mucha Museum. Alphonse Mucha was a famous Czech artist who you may recognize by his posters of famed actor Sarah Bernhardt. He was also incredibly unique for his time in that he photographed many Roma women and children as his subjects–people who were normally outcast by the rest of their society. Be inspired not only by his beautiful art, but by his innovation & boldness.
After this… You’ve arrived at the last Christmas market of your journey! You probably have seen the market near your hotel (as it is situated right in Old Town Square) — but why not save the best for last? Drink up some Medovina (honey wine) and munch on the mouthwatering sugar-coated pastry trdelník. For souvenirs, purchase Prague-famous embroidered lace and wood carved puppets from the vendors. These crafts are their life’s work… Not only are you buying a unique souvenir, but you’re also supporting them as artists!
Wake up to a delicious, traditional Czech breakfast in the dining hall of your hotel. As you depart Prague that afternoon, remember that Christmas spirit is not just about the hot wine or yummy treats, but also about the people you help during the cold season. Remember to take a moment to speak a kind word, give a beggar on the street some quarters, support your local art collective or maybe volunteer for an urban garden.
Trust me: It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Oh, What Fun It Is To See Some Christmas Markets!
In Europe, Christmas isn’t just for a day: it’s for nearly a whole month. Many towns have their own advent Christmas markets to celebrate the jolliest season— some even date back hundreds of years! With the opportunity to buy handcrafted goods from local business makers, it’s impossible not to shop ‘til you drop… And feel good doing it. On this tour, we’ll take you through the winding stalls serving hot wine, hand blown ornaments and roasted nuts galore, along with other popular destinations in the cities.
If you’re looking for a trip in the off traveling season, this is the perfect getaway to experience local events you wouldn’t in the summer…. Trust us. You won’t miss the weather.
Interested in adding or modifying activities? No problem! All Worldwide Navigator itineraries can be customized to your liking!
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