Christmas Markets, Germany
Join Travel Buddies and let's set off to Hamburg, Germany's second largest cities to experience the German markets first hand.... IN GERMANY! We will also create our own chocolate bars and tour the city by bus.
Discover history, tradition and a Hanseatic heritage at one of Hamburg's many wonderful Christmas markets. The prettiest is set just outside Hamburg's most impressive town hall. Hosted by Roncalli's Circus, you can discover lots of lovingly decorated stalls and the punch is even served by clowns and circus artistes.
The Hamburg Town Hall Christmas Market is filled with hand-crafted Christmas decorations from the Erzgebirge region and looked after by woodcarvers from Tyrol, bakers form Aachen (producing their famous “printen” cookies on the scene) or gingerbread makers from Nuremberg and the pottery is made by artists from the Lausitz region. Silversmiths and many other artisans and craftsmen from all over Germany invite you to marvel, join in, taste or simply enjoy this fantastic atmosphere in Hamburg.
Hamburg, a major port city in northern Germany, is connected to the North Sea by the Elbe River. It's crossed by hundreds of canals, and also contains large areas of parkland. Near its core, Inner Alster lake is dotted with boats and surrounded by cafes. The city's central Jungfernstieg boulevard connects the Neustadt (new town) with the Altstadt (old town), home to landmarks like 18th-century St. Michael’s Church.
There is a Christmas parade through the festively decorated city centre every Saturday during Advent. It's a magical time for young and old alike in Hamburg's theatres or on a 'fairytale ship' anchored along the Jungfernstieg promenade.
Our hotel is a a 15 minute metro journey from the city centre and the metro stop is a 5 minute walk.
We will be staying in twin rooms with en-suite bathroom for 2 nights and breakfast is included each morning. There are tea/coffee making facilities in each room and free wifi. You will be paired with a likeminded Travel Buddy unless there is someone that you plan to share with when you join up to the trip, in which case just let me know and I will put you down as roomies. Alternatively, you can choose to have a room to yourself for a supplement of £80 for the 2 nights, you will just need to let me know if you would like this when you RSVP and will need to pay the extra when the balance for the trip is due.
Meet early in the morning at Stanstead airport and catch our flight to Hamburg where we will take our private transfer to our hotel on the outskirts of the city.
After dropping our bags at the hotel we will take the metro in to the city where we will take a private tour around a chocolate museum.
Chocolate makes us happy! Apparently we will discover this phenomenon using all of our senses at the CHOCOVERSUM by HACHEZ. We will be guided through a 90 minute tour of the exhibition by an English speaking expert. Enjoy the journey from cocoa beans to a bar of chocolate in which active participation and tasting is encouraged along each step of the way! enjoy plentiful samples and even create our own bar of chocolate.
After checking in and a bit of time to relax at the hotel we will head out to dinner close by in the city, somewhere that serves Traditional German food for a reasonable price and will not be more than a 25 minute walk from the hotel. I will book the dinner for each evening before we go on the trip as it is a lot easier when there is a large group. I tend to have a good look on trip advisor and find some great local places that are not too expensive but feature traditional food and dining experiences. This said, if there is one evening that you don't fancy joining for dinner and like the thought of going off and having a look around yourself, or with a couple of others, that isn't a problem at all.
After an early breakfast we will head out on the metro ( or if you fancy a bit of a lie in, feel free to catch us up later) and before taking advantage of our hop on hop off day pass pop in to visit one of the top attractions of the city.
St Pauli Fish Market
A legend and a must-see for all visitors to Hamburg: Since 1703, pretty much everything that is not bolted down has been traded here at Hamburg's most traditional market. From dusty porcelain jugs to a chirpy family of ducks, you can find just about anything in the shadow of the 100-year old fish auction hall.
Half the jungle is sold here directly in the pot and from the lorry, bananas fly through the air, plastic bags full of sausage go to the owner for a ridiculously low price, "Aale-Dieter" bellows his from the pit of his stomach, crowds of people in front of the traders' cars - you have to experience it (and it's worth getting out of bed early once to do so)!
After we are finished at the harbour market we can catch the hop on/off bus. It is a fantastic way to see the city and has an informative audio guide in English. Take in the sights along the full route (approximately 1.5 hours long). Sit through the entire loop, or hop off at any of the 28 stops to explore top city landmarks. After we have finished sightseeing there will be another bus along within 30 minutes to pick us up.
The Travel Buddies trips work on the basis that as long as you are having a good time then that is what matters, if you don't feel like coming on one of the excursions or joining the rest of the group for dinner one evening then that is absolutely fine. This is an adventure for everyone and there is nothing worse than having to go somewhere/do something that you don't really fancy!
Some of the places we will get the chance to stop off at around the city are as follows.
Miniatur Wunderland (German for miniature wonderland) is a model railway attraction in Hamburg and the largest of its kind in the world. The railway is located in the historic Speicherstadt district of the city.The railway consists of 15,400 metres (50,525 ft) of track in HO scale, divided into seven sections: Harz, the fictitious city of Knuffingen, the Alps and Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, Switzerland and a replica of the Hamburg Airport. The exhibit includes 930 trains made up of over 14,450 carriages, 335,000 lights, 228,000 trees, and 215,000 human figurines and is a work in progress. The entrance ticket is 13 Euros.
The Speicherstadt 'City of Warehouses', meaning warehouse district) in Hamburg, is the largest warehouse district in the world where the buildings stand on timber-pile foundations oak logs, in this particular case. It is located in the port of Hamburg within the HafenCity quarter and was built from 1883 to 1927.
The district was built as a free zone to transfer goods without paying customs. As of 2009 the district and the surrounding area is under redevelopment. As the first site in Hamburg, it was awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.
International Maritime Museum
The International Maritime Museum is housed in the heritage listed building, Kaispeicher B. Three thousand years worth of maritime history are displayed on nine ‘decks’ with precious exhibits, model ships and paintings. There is an entire deck dedicated to marine research.
At the beginning there was the ocean. Humans stood at the shore, ready to sail unto new horizons. From there the journey through three thousand years of seafaring history begins. Historical documents and sea charts reveal how the modern world-view has developed and include a copy of the „Atlantis Majoris“ from 1657, the first nautical atlas printed in the Netherlands.
Sure there will be time to stop off for a browse of the markets for a little shopping, a German Bratwurst Sausage and a cup of Glühwein to warm the cockles.
Hamburg even has its own "Red Light District", an area called Reeperbahn in the saint Pauli District. This also has its own XXX Christmas market! The perfect place to look for a gift for the person who has everything!
There are many more museums, art galleries and parks to visit, far too much to include here but something for everyone.
In the evening we can head out to dinner together for some hearty German fayre after our day exploring and then perhaps a couple of drinks in one of the many vibrant pubs or bars in the city.
Free to do as we please.
There is so much to do to suit all tastes so you are guaranteed never to be bored on these weekend breaks. They are so much fun and a great way to meet fellow travel Buddies.
We can enjoy breakfast and head out when we fancy. We will be able to leave our cases at the hotel reception to collect later.
If there are things that we didn't manage to see in the city there is more time to explore or we can take a look around the markets and find those last handcrafted or yummy Christmas gifts.
We will meet back at the hotel at around 3pm in order to get our private transfer to the airport.
The total cost of the holiday is £199. A deposit of £50 is needed to RSVP via Paypal. Once deposits are paid, they are strictly NON refundable. A further £150 is due by NO LATER than the 31st of October 2016. Please note this date in your diary.
The last payment needs to be made in to the following bank account
Miss Emma L Hickman
What IS included in the cost:
• Two nights accommodation in a twin room with en-suite bathroom.
• Transfers to and from the hotel in Hamburg.
• Breakfast each morning.
• Chocolate museum tour.
• Hop on/off bus tour on the Sunday.
What is NOT included in the cost:
• Flight ( Currently £53. All details below)
*Lunches and evening meals.
*Any spending monies or personal expenses including tips, and public transport.
Please make sure that you are insured for the trip ad any activities that you plan to take part in whilst we are away.
You need to book your own flights and they are via Ryanair. The price of the flight as of today is £53.
Depart Stanstead 07.50 - Arrive Hamburg 10.20. Flight No FR1518
Depart Hamburg 18.00- Arrive Stanstead 18.35 Flight No FR1519
Really hope that the trip looks appealing to lot's of Travel Buddies and can't wait to explore Hamburg and it's Christmas Market's together during the festive season! Don't forget you're woollies.
Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.