Saturday, 9 December 2017

5 tips for making the most of your first Christmas Market trip

At the weekends in December, tourists flock to the Christmas markets held in Germany, Austria and other European countries. The markets are so popular because of the incredibly festive atmosphere and the fact that you can purchase Christmas-themed food, drink and gifts for affordable prices. I've recently come back from a weekend in Munich, which was my first Christmas market trip. Whilst we were away, I started to think of a list of tips that would've been helpful to know ahead of my first trip to a Christmas market. Therefore, today's post is exactly that: advice about how to make the most of your Christmas market trip, if you're visiting one for the first time.

Postcard of the Munich Christmas Markets in front of Marienplatz

1. Research traditional Christmas market food before you go.

Trying currywurst at the Munich Christmas Markets

We found that the majority of market stall menus are written in the local language. It's handy if you know what some of the food offerings are in advance, so that you don't order something that you wouldn't like.

2. Take a camera with you that can capture photos well in the dark.

Marienplatz at night

The markets are extra special in the evenings, but it's harder to take photos then. Phone cameras don't capture the markets well at night, so I highly recommend that you take a digital camera with you!

Munich Christmas Market sign

3. Wrap up warm and wear lots of layers.

Drinking hot chocolate at the Munich Christmas Markets

December is a cold month and the markets are all outside, so scarves, hats and gloves are absolute necessities for a Christmas market trip.

4. Plan some other activities for during the day, as the markets are more of an evening activity.

The Isar River, Munich

During the day is when you should explore more of the particular city that you are visiting. The markets are best in the evening, so I'd recommend doing some sightseeing until it gets dark outside.

5. Take a map with you and mark on it all of the different Christmas markets that are scattered across the city centre.

Munich Christmas Markets at night

The big markets are most popular, but sometime the smaller ones that are in different locations are the most authentic.

Munich Christmas Markets at night

If you've never been to a Christmas market, I'd totally recommend it! The food is delicious, the festive atmosphere is infectious and there are so many unique gifts on the market stalls, if you're looking to purchase some extra special Christmas presents this year. Christmas is a huge deal in Germany, Austria and other central European countries, so you're bound to have a festive experience like no other, if you take a trip to one of the Christmas markets!

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Festive accessories for Munich

On Friday we'll be jetting off to Germany for the Munich Christmas markets. As it's a festive themed trip, I've decided to take some Christmas and Wintery accessories with me. The way I see it is if you can’t be extra festive on a Christmas market trip, when can you? For today’s post I’m going to share with you what Christmassy items I’m taking with me to Munich.

Festive accessories for our Munich Christmas Markets trip

Christmas jumpers - Primark & George at Asda

Munich won’t be the first occasion that I’ve sported a Christmas jumper this year so far, as I wore one of them when we went to see the Canterbury Christmas Light Switch On a couple of weeks ago. I’ll be taking both of my jumpers with me for our Christmas market trip, which include the popular grey Primark x Disney jumper and my Rudolf George at Asda jumper that I purchased last year.

Ear muffs and wooly hat

It’s going to be pretty cold in Munich, so I’ve decided to be prepared and pack my sparkly ear muffs and Winter cat hat. I always feel cold whenever we travel in Winter, so the more Winter accessories, the better.

Christmas pudding earrings

Last but not least is my glittery Christmas pudding earrings. During the month of December, I always like to wear seasonal jewellery, even if I’m wearing ‘everyday outfits’. It’s my way of saying Christmas is here without going overboard and dressing up like a Christmas tree haha!

I’m really excited for our Munich trip. It’s only a few days till we’ll be soaking up the German Christmas Market atmosphere.

Have you ever been to a Christmas market?

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Future travel plans

Munich, Germany

As the end of year approaches and the festive season begins, it's time for our next adventure: a weekend at the Munich Christmas markets. Since we got back from Canada, we've been working hard at our new jobs, saving for an extra special end of year trip. After reading so many guides about which are the best Christmas markets in Europe, we chose Munich - the South German city known for it's bierkellers and Oktoberfest. Munich has a Christmas market, much like Cologne and Dusseldorf, but it's cheaper to fly to during the festive season and it's not quite so busy as some of the bigger markets. We'll be there for the first weekend in December and ready to soak up all of the festive goodness!

We already have trips for 2018 booked and paid for too.

Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria

In February we're heading to Bratislava and Vienna for a long weekend. We'll be staying in Slovakia, but taking the train to Austria on one of the days, seeing as it's only 45 minutes between the two cities. I visited Vienna whilst interrailing in 2016 and I've always said that it's somewhere that I'd like to go back to, so it'll be lovely to stop there on one of the days during our weekend on the Danube.

Riga, Latvia

Over the past couple of years, I've read lots of articles about Riga. It's an up and coming weekend city break destination, known for it's gorgeous old town and gothic architecture. After finding a bargain deal, we decided to book it up for March and I can't wait to see what the Latvian capital has to offer.

Disneyland Paris

Stuart and I have been together for over two years, but in that time we've never been to Disney together. In April that's all going to change, as we're heading to Disneyland Paris for my birthday. Living in Canterbury, we're only 15 minutes from Ashford, and after finding an affordable direct train from Ashford to Marne-La-Vallée (Disneyland), we couldn't say no to a Disneyland trip in Spring 2018.

We have lots of exciting travel plans in the near future and as always, I will be blogging about our adventures and sharing photos across my social media. I can't wait to visit more European cities in 2018!

Have you got any future travel plans? I'd love to hear about them in the comments.

Thanks for reading my blog today.


Sunday, 19 November 2017

Canterbury Christmas Lights 2017

Every year in late November, the Canterbury Christmas lights get switched on. The streets are filled with Christmas music and cheer for a couple of hours and then at the end of the evening, the city streets are lit up with spectacular fairy lights. On Thursday, it was time for this year's lights to get switched on, which to me means that the Christmas season has officially begun.

Costa Christmas drink on Canterbury high street, Canterbury Christmas Lights Switch On 2017

Stuart and I headed into town after work and we went straight to Costa Coffee for Christmas drinks. Nothing says Christmas like a festive drink at Costa, so it was the perfect way to start off a Christmas-themed evening.

As we walked further into town, there was a band playing at the heart of the high street and we joined the crowds for some Christmas songs and pop anthems. The pre-lights show started at 5pm but the lights weren’t getting switched on until after 6:30pm, so we decided to head to a local fish and chip shop for dinner.  Once we’d got our chips, we stood in the street and waited for the lights to be switched on.

Canterbury Christmas Lights Switch On 2017

Christmas lights on Rose Lane, Canterbury

At around 6:45, the Heart Kent radio presenters and the local pantomime cast switched on the lights, illuminating the high street and city side streets. Whitefriars, the city's outside shopping centre,  was lit up with star-themed lights and the high street was filled with all kinds of draped lights. Once the lights were switched on, we walked around the city centre, looking at the festive decor. We took a detour through the Marlowe Arcade and at the end of the walkway, Tiny Tim’s Tearoom looked very festive with it’s wreathes outside.

Marlowe Arcade Christmas Lights, Canterbury

Close up of the Marlowe Arcade Christmas lights, Canterbury

Tiny Tim’s Tearoom, Canterbury

Once we’d seen them all, we left the city centre via Westgate, which too had been decorated in fairy lights.

Westgate Christmas lights, Canterbury

Canterbury really goes to town with it’s Christmas lights and it makes living here so special during the festive season.

If you live anywhere near Canterbury, I highly recommend a visit during December. It’s the perfect place to go for a festive weekend away.

Thanks for reading my blog today.