Hi All! My husband and I are going to visit my sister in Esslingen (outside of Stuttgart) for Christmas. We'll arrive on the 19th and stay until the 27th. Can anyone recommend any day trips in the area (by train)? I have been told that all of Germany shuts down from the 21st to the 27th, is this true? Is there anything else we should know about what to expect that time of year? Thanks for all your help in advance!
I live in Germany, but it is difficult to know if everything shuts down at Christmas, because we shut down ourselves and dont notice.
Be sure to visit the beautiful Christmas markets and drink Gluhwein at the stands there.
I've heard wonderful things about the Christmas Markets. And I wouldn't turn down any Gluhwein either! It's my sister's first xmas in Germany, so she's not really sure what to expect. I'd like to take my husband to maybe Munich or Heidelberg or maybe even Baden Baden for a day. He' never been to Europe before, so anything will be exciting and new for him. Are there any special customs/traditions that you've encountered?
People dont make such a fuss of Christmas here, as people in the US do, or people in Ireland(where I come from) do.
The Germans are very moderate about it.
Drinking gluhwein and having a nice dinner is about as much as people celebrate. The present giving is also a moderate affair.
If u want to eat traditional German food, at Christmas choose lebkuchen, chrismas cookies, duck dinner, marzipan candy, stollen. Those are generally available in bakeries and shops at christmas. Duck is what people eat for Christmas dinner. I dont know if it will be available in the restaruants or not. If u go to somebodies house, for dinner(not just at christmas), bring things like flowers and candy and wine.
thanks for the tips Mel. its nice to hear that the festivities don't go over the top. its a little crazy here in the states. some stores have already been stocking xmas stuff since last month! crazy!