German Christmas Market in Augsburg Old Town [360-Degree Panorama]

We edged toward the end of our road trip visit to friends and Christmas markets in the southern German regions of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Our stomachs were full from days of Christmas market comfort foods, “fest” foods like spätzle, bratwurst, schupfnudeln and maultaschen.

We’d performed our research to determine which Christmas market served up the best experience, glühwein and all. But — if such a thing exists — had we reached Christmas market saturation point?

Then on our way to Munich I looked down at my trusty old road atlas of Europe that I purchased in Finland fifteen years before. Sure, I had Google maps running on our iPhone, but I’m still a sucker for physical maps and atlases. I looked at the paper and I paused on two stars. Now this road atlas is pretty special. It not only shows the way, but it also suggests places that are either “worth a journey” (two stars) or “worth a detour” (one star). Augsburg, the city just coming up on the autobahn from Stuttgart to Munich, earned two stars.

This must be the place,” we figured as we vested our faith in the map and turned off the highway.

Once we arrived on the Augsburg old town square we realized that, in fact, we had not yet reached Christmas market saturation.

Twilight fell on the square and its rich, colorful bits of Baroque and hints of Bavaria. The atmosphere was neighborly, as if locals had rolled out of their offices to take stock of almonds turning, chestnuts roasting. Kids waited anxiously at their parents’ side as “Joy to the World” hummed over the airwaves. The scene was one of seasonal elegance as 5PM approached at the town hall where the unveiling of yet another window in the town’s shared advent calendar would leave the air pleasantly filled with the ooh and aah innocent joy of small things.

Friends moved closer over mugs of steaming glühwein; the conversation volume grew as late afternoon turned to evening. Handshakes were exchanged. “Servus,” they said in a Bavarian greeting for all time.

This was a town together at Christmas. This was Augsburg.

If you open the panorama up to full screen, perhaps you’ll get a glimpse of why the Augsburg Christmas market turned out to be one of our surprise favorites.

If you’ve visited Christmas markets in Germany, which ones were your favorites?

Panorama: Twilight at the Augsburg Christmas Market -Bavaria, Germany

panorama directions

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  1. says

    Hi Audrey,

    I am currently in Berlin and enjoying the comfort food with Glühwein on some of the countless local Christmas markets here. My favorites were probably the big one in Spandau, the classical one on the Gendarmenmarkt and the atmospheric one in the Kulturbrauerei…

    The Christmas market in Augsburg I have unfortunately not been to yet, but it looks like an excellent choice as well. By the way, did you try some Grünkohl, Quarkbällchen and Lebkuchen? Those are definitely my favorites…

    But there are two other things I have to agree with you, physical maps are irreplaceable and there clearly is a point of Christmas market saturation. So let’s enjoy it while it lasts… : )

  2. says

    @Dennis: It’s pretty amazing how many Christmas markets Berlin has – something like 60 spread across the city during advent. You listed some of our favorites as well. If you’re still in Berlin this weekend (20-22 December) check out the market at Schloss Britz in Neukölln. It’s a medieval market in a beautiful setting.

    We have tried Grünkohl and Lebkuchen, but haven’t yet tried Quarkbällchen. Will seek it out next market we visit! Enjoy!

    @Bethany: I have to admit that I was looking up and around so much that I didn’t notice the stonework until stitching together this panorama. It is beautiful. And, Merry Christmas to you as well!!

  3. says

    Looks amazing! We haven’t experienced the German Christmas markets yet – it’s something we certainly have to do at some point though. We have been to the Christmas markets in London which seem to take on a German theme – and those are a lot of fun!

  4. says

    @Carmen: A British friend of ours who used to live in Berlin told us that London is full of German-style Christmas markets these days. He even said that it’s full of Germans who come over to work the holidays. Had no idea!

    If you do have a chance to travel around Germany during Advent, the markets are a lot of fun. Smaller towns and neighborhoods within big cities usually only hold their market during one weekend, so it’s worth doing a little research to hit some of the smaller, local markets as well as the big ones.

  5. says

    Thank you Audrey for the recommendation. Unfortunately I have left Berlin already, but I will keep Schloss Britz in mind for next time. It sounds definitely like a great Christmas market…

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