Discover two Christmas markets in Bavaria
Two Christmas markets in BavariaWe have visited in the past few weeks how they can hardly be more different. Both are worth seeing. The Christmas market in Altötting and the Passau Christmas market are just over an hour away by car. Between them are worlds, in the truest sense of the word. We will show you how they differ here.
Two Christmas markets in Bavaria - romantic or international
Both Christmas markets are held year after year in these two cities on the Inn during the Advent season. The one in the pilgrimage Altötting in Upper Bavaria. The other in the city of Passau in Lower Bavaria. While the Altöttinger Christkindlmarkt takes place on the Kapellplatz in the city center, the Passauer Weihnachtsmarkt is located on the square in front of the cathedral. Both are places that attract many visitors due to their location in the city center. The churches determine the picture of the two venues. In Altötting, the market stalls are grouped around the Gnadenkapelle in the center of the Kapellplatz. In Passau they stand in front of the cathedral. But the similarities are already ending. While the Christmas market in Altötting is one of the most romantic we have met in recent years, the one in Passau is certainly one of the most international.
The romantic Christmas market in Altötting
The Christmas market on Kapellplatz in Altötting is cozy. Perhaps it is because the square is surrounded by well-tended hotels and buildings decorated for Christmas. They protect the market from car noise and other disruptive influences. Here one hears children's laughter or the “Ho, Ho, Ho” of Nikolaus. In any case, the market is very idyllic. The market stalls are grouped along several paths around the Christmas tree, which stands in front of the Chapel of Mercy in the center of the square. You have the feeling that you are entering a village where the illuminated stands welcome you.
From the first level incense perfume flows towards us. A few steps further, it smells seductive for spicy sausage specialties, including the Bosnia sausage, which is very popular in Salzburg, But I'm more attracted to the center of the market. There is Sternthaler. This is yeast pastry. This is baked in star shape and filled with delicious ingredients. The choice is not easy, because each of them sounds tempting and seductive. I finally decide to fill with cherries and liqueur. Warm the Sternthaler tastes delicious.
A few steps further a glassblower sits at his stand and is making glass balls. "They are still being painted," he explains to us. He makes all the figures and glass shapes in his stand himself as a hobby. In any case, his imagination is inexhaustible, as the glass figures on his stand prove.
The children's eyes shine at the Altötting Christmas market. They do that even more when Nicholas welcomes them from the stage. Next door they stand in line and wait for the glittering carousel to stop again to take the next passengers on board. We go a few steps further and warm ourselves up by open fires in metal cauldrons in the park in front of the city administration. So you can really enjoy the Christmas season. Here you can feel the spirit of Christmas.
The international Christmas market in Passau
The Christmas market in is completely different Passau. Here, too, the cathedral square is surrounded by well-kept houses in the old town of the three-river city. With its impressive facade, the cathedral rises above the market stalls. Anyone who comes here should definitely visit the cathedral. Inside it houses the largest organ in the world. However, I like the wonderful baroque ceiling over the nave and the magnificent entrance portals even better.
What we notice immediately in Passau is the confusion of languages that prevails in the city and on the cathedral square. Here the whole world seems to be a guest. Next to us a couple speaks in English together. There we meet another, obviously talking in Russian. These international guests owed Passau to the Danube. In this city, the Inn and the Ilz lead into the Danube. This is also where the river cruise liners, which are located on the Danube continue driving to Vienna, Bratislava or to the mouth of the river in the Black Sea. Especially at Christmas time, the river cruises to the Christmas markets along the river are very popular. You can hear that in the tangle of languages in the city of Passau.
But it's not just the visitors who make Passau's Christmas market so international. The market stalls and their offers also come from different countries. A South Tyrolean offers delicious ham and sausage specialties from his homeland right at the entrance. Next to it there is a huge selection of Tyrolean cheeses. A few steps further, one of the stand owners of a customer is currently declaring: "Yes, I come from Salzburg". He sells traditional hats that people like to wear in the Alps. Finally Petar talks to a man who looks like Santa Claus personally with his white beard and well-rounded stomach. As it turns out, he comes from Hungary and is a tanner. He brought fluffy sheepskin and goat skins, which he offers to his Passau customers.
Arrival by plane, train and bus
Lufthansa and other airlines fly to Munich. It is possible to arrive by train ( Timetable and booking*) to Altötting or Passau. Also drive Long-distance buses * to Mühldorf. From there you continue with the train to Altötting.
Cheap car hire - book quickly and easily!
Here you can find Christmas tips for other regions
- Christmas romance in Gengenbach in the Black Forest
- Discover old Erzgebirge folk art
- Bamberg and the Bamberg Christmas market
- Christmas market Bavaria insider tip
- Salzburger Christkindlmarkt on the cathedral square
- German Christmas markets in Canada
- When the Krampus bypass in Salzburg
- Gifts for travelers
Source for the article "Two Christmas markets in Bavaria": own research on site.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline