460 km of Christmas Atmosphere along the Romantic Road:
Germany’s favourite scenic route, the Romantic Road or Romantische Strasse, is one that visitors enjoy most in the summer season – we certainly did! With the end of the Romantic Road coach service in October, we tend to think that this is the end of the Romantic Road season, but not so. The season never finishes on the Romantic Road, as we’ve just been reminded. From the end of November to Christmas Eve, Christmas markets come to live along Germany’s oldest scenic route.
During the Advent period, the Romantic Road transforms itself into a 460 km long trail of atmospheric Christmas markets of all sizes, shapes and kinds. The markets in the larger towns like Augsburg, Würzburg, Dinkelsbühl, Nördlingen and Rothenburg ob der Tauber are semi-permanent fixtures and last right through to the Christmas holiday (November 25 to December 23).
Some of the markets last for two or three weeks while others are held just for a single day at weekends during Advent. All of these enjoy magical settings, such as the Rothenburg ‘Reiterlesmarkt’ in front of the historic town hall. Don’t forget that Rothenburg is also home to Käthe Wohlfahrt, a name synonymous with Christmas toys and decorations.
Christmas market treats
No matter the size or duration of the markets, they all have one common characteristic – the inescapable aroma of mulled wine, gingerbread and spicy biscuits. In all the towns and villages along the Romantic Road, from the Prince Bishop’s Residenz in Würzburg to the romantic castles of the Königswinkel (once the favourite home to the Kings of Bavaria), the wafting aroma of these Christmas specialities permeate the Christmas markets.
Where and When
There are twenty-nine towns and villages dotted along the Romantic Road. The main towns like Augsburg, Würzburg, Dinkelsbühl, Nördlingen and Rothenburg ob der Tauber all have Christmas markets that are quite huge.
Following are a few tips on where and when to enjoy Christmas markets on a more intimate scale.
- Wertheim (December 8 to 18)
- Bad Mergentheim (December 15 to 18) – Bad Mergentheim is famous as one of the ancient centres for the Teutonic Knights
- Creglingen (November 25 to 27) – in front of the town’s romantic castle
- Weikersheim (December 9 to 11) – in the main square of this romantic town
- Schillingsfürst (November 25 to 27) – in the castle courtyard
- Friedberg (November 29 to December 23) – held around the parish church
- Schongau (December 1 to 18) – in the market place
- Peiting (November 25 to 27) – in the main square