If your idea of the perfect holiday season escape is like something out of Hansel and Gretel—charming half-timbered cottages and all-you-can eat sweet treats (minus the cannibalistic overtones, obviously)—then buckle up for Bavaria, my friends. Just be prepared to loosen your belt a notch or two, because this trio of festive destinations—Rothenburg, Bayreuth, and Nuremberg—will leave you full to bursting with the Christmas spirit, not to mention gingerbread and glühwein.
Lose the “bah humbug” blues with a walk through these winter wonderlands
An evening spent mingling with the pink-cheeked crowds at festive fairs throughout Europe could transform the most curmudgeonly Scrooge and the greenest of Grinches into stocking-stuffing, carol-crooning converts.
Imagine rustic chalets overflowing with handicrafts that might have been fashioned by elves themselves; historic town squares illuminated by twinkling strands of lights; and local delicacies, from bratwurst to pastries, washed down with mugs of mulled wine.
Here’s a look at five of the best cities to stoke your holiday spirit.
“Berlin is not Germany. It’s a very important sentence. Berlin was always something special.”
Christian Tanzler would know. Although he’s a spokesperson for Visit Berlin, Tanzler isn’t just a media mercenary hired to promote the city, which this year celebrates 30 years since the fall of the infamous Berlin Wall. He’s one of the many whose family was torn apart by those cruel miles of concrete erected in the 60s. But even during those darkest days, Tanzler says, Berlin’s denizens on both sides of the wall harboured a rebellious, irrepressible spark.