Ok, so it’s currently September… I live in Alabama and no chill has hit the air yet. Still melting in the great outdoors with Hurricane Sally knocking on the door… but I can’t help thinking about Christmas. Is it too early to put up the tree? This time last year I was planning our trip to Germany and studying up on what Christmas markets I wanted to get to. Funny story, this one wasn’t even on my radar. It was just by luck that my brother in law’s co-worker said we should go visit. Thank goodness for that lady! This one went down as the best we visited!
The feel of this market is on a whole different level. There is nothing “modern” here except the bathrooms (there is a donation plate for the cleaning crew and they were the cleanest bathrooms we visited so I tipped well). It feels like stepping back in time. The roofs are thatched with pine branches, the vendor spaces all have matching wood huts with bales of straw for seating benches and periodically a rustic fire pit to warm up by, the paths lit with real flaming torches and candles. There is a children’s area that is absolutely adorable with swinging boats, a carousel and games. This is a MUST visit in the evening hours when the lit paths and glow from the fires make it amazing, just not so good for photos.
Of course, it’s also unique as it is set at a palace, The Thurn & Taxis Palace. This requires a ticket for entry. You are not allowed to bring food and drink into the grounds. We were required to pour out our water bottles and they did check bags. While we were able to purchase tickets at the entry point on our visit, know that for 2020, due to Covid19, you are required to pre-purchase your tickets online. I would recommend saving a screen shot photo of your ticket on your phone to scan in should you not have cell service or have any payment issues. Visit the Thurn and Taxis Christmas Market website for more info: https://www.wm-tut.de/start-page.
The vendors are top notch. Everything is unique and much of it is authentic and handmade. From hand stitched/knitted goods, baskets, blown glass, wood ornaments and magnets, home decor, kids toys and puzzles. My goal for this vacation was to last 4 weeks with only a backpack for luggage and this market so wanted to make me break that goal and load up on amazing souvenirs. I deeply regret not picking up a gorgeous alpaca fur scarf that I fell in love with.
The food options were amazing. Rustic comfort foods like grilled meats and macaroni with cheese. But also all that you would expect from a Christmas market, cookies, roasted nuts, and even churros. And remember, if you get some Glühwein, you can always keep your cup as a souvenir if you don’t want to turn it back in for your deposit/pfand. Though I didn’t buy any souvenirs, I did haul home an assortment of mugs from the markets. Brings back some memories, even if I just use one for a little mug of tea. (If this is your first Christmas Market, know that food items are not typically served on throw away plates/cups. You’ll pay a deposit for your plate, utensils and mugs that you’ll get back if you return them.)
On Saturdays and Sundays you’ll find St. Nick handing out gifts to the kids and in the evenings there are plays performed in the garden. Have to say, it’s pretty magical watching a little girl dressed up as an angel skipping past on a torch lit path on her way to her play… Or funny watching the boys dressed in their roman garb with spears having mock battles on the lawn to pass the time until they are called to order.
Do visit the garden for a stroll around the pond. Maybe with a mug of Feuerzangenbowle and a handful of roasted almonds. It was such a calming experience, not like any of the crowded markets in the town squares. They do have their charms as well, but this one is magnificent and a memory I’ll cherish forever.
Location: This is a fairly easy walk from the train station. Emmeramspl. 5, 93047 Regensburg, Germany. Also an easy trip to add in the Regensburg Christmas Market in their town square by walking down the street a little further.