Innsbruck

So last weekend we spent in Innsbruck, a beautiful lesser regional capital with a very cool club if you enjoy live music (the pmk). Apparently I’m the mayor of it on foursquare at the moment.  So anyways…

Last year we were there a few times…twice for sight-seeing and once for a concert. Although it is possible to do Innsbruck (sight-seeing) in a day from Munich…either you won’t see much at all or you’ll be completely exhausted from running around all day…leave EARLY and come back late (early is more important as museums, castles, palaces, and churches close by sun down or earlier).
I recommend 2-3 days, quite similar to Salzburg…though Salzburg is much prettier…

Innsbruck Christmas market

 

I enjoy being in Innsbruck…but I certainly wouldn’t want to work there as a tour guide…

So yeah…things you should not miss:

The cenotaph of Max I (it’s in a church, across from the palace, gotta pay to enter, but it’s well worth it)….castle Ambras….and the museum of the golden roof…the imperial palace is nice as well, but we’ve got much better in Munich 🙂

Want a more impressive run-down on what is in Innsbruck and my opinions of each?  ask in the comments or e-mail me!  (I just don’t want to write a novel if no one cares 🙂 )

 

Top 10 Christmas Markets near Munich

In about a week, Germany is going to be completely covered in middle aged tourists seeking the best of the Christmas markets.  I have been to a couple dozen throughout the region many, many times…and here are my top choices for Christmas markets within three hours of Munich:

 

  1. Augsburg  – This is my favorite Christmas market not because of the city itself being the most historically interesting city in Southern Germany, but because it is a beautiful Christmas market, has its own unique “Christmas show” at the Rathaus (daily I believe?), is one of the larger markets, and does not have the crushing crowds of Munich, Salzburg, and Nuremberg.
  2. Nuremberg – The largest and most famous of the bunch, it can be ridiculously busy in the evening.  Then again, to truly see it…you HAVE to be there in the evening…during the day just will not do.  So…good luck.
  3. Landshut – Landshut is a beautiful town closer to Munich’s airport than Munich itself.  The Christmas market there is on the main pedestrian only street which is lined with historic houses and a charming atmosphere that the big cities just cannot attain.
  4. Munich’s main market (at Marienplatz) – It’s busy, it’s not centralized, but it does have everything that all the others have…and the New Town Hall works really wonderfully for Christmas photo backgrounds…
  5. WĂĽrzburg – With it’s large market square, this medium sized city has  what makes for a much nicer market than most larger towns in the region.  (the problem with WĂĽrzburg is it’s location, see #7)
  6. Innsbruck – Innsbruck has several Christmas markets thoughout its historic old town.  Certainly not the largest nor most beautiful Christmas market; it is quite charming.
  7. Rothenburg – Cutey-small Christmas market in a beautifully well preserved walled city.  What more do you want?  (the problem is that it’s 3+ hours from Munich each way…so I’d recommend an overnight stay, possibly in nearby WĂĽrzburg)
  8. Munich’s Tollwood Festival (at the Oktoberfest grounds) – It’s more of a high-end hippie fest than a Christmas market, but it still has its charms…and much of it is in door, which is quite welcome if you’re touring Christmas markets!
  9. Regensburg – A smaller Christmas market in this ancient river town, in my opinion vastly over-rated.  Skip-able…
  10. Salzburg -  If you could delete 75% of the people, this would be a wonderful Christmas market…but be warned:  I refuse to do tours to Salzburg during the Christmas market for a reason.  The crushing crowds, even at noon, are too much for all but the most hardcore of angry people.

Augsburg

Augsburg’s Christmas Market

IMG_8888

Munich’s main Christmas market (taken just a 1 min walk south of Marienplatz)