Discover two Christmas markets in Bavaria
Two Christmas markets in BayernWe 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
These two Christmas markets in Bavaria are held year after year in these two cities on the Inn during the Advent season. One in the place of 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 Passau Christmas market is on the square in front of the cathedral. Both are places that attract numerous visitors due to their location in the city center. The churches determine the image of the two venues. In Altötting, the market stalls are grouped around the Chapel of Grace in the center of Kapellplatz. In Passau they are standing in front of the cathedral. But that's where the similarities end. While the Christmas market in Altötting is one of the most romantic we have seen in recent years, the one in Passau is certainly one of the most international.
The romantic Christmas market in Altötting
Friday 25 November to Sunday 18 December 2022
Opening times: Monday to Thursday 14 p.m. to 20 p.m., Friday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 20 p.m.
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
23. November to 23. December 2022
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 20 p.m., Friday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 21 p.m., Sunday 11.30 a.m. to 20.00 p.m
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.
Two Christmas markets in Bavaria are so different
While the Altötting Christmas market traditionally offers regional specialties, the Passau Christmas market is more international. Both appeal to different target groups, to which one has adjusted on site. Therefore, these two Christmas markets in Bavaria are definitely worth a visit.
Travel organization for two Christmas markets in Bavaria:
Arrival by plane, train and long-distance bus to two Christmas markets in Bavaria
Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Lufthansa and other airlines fly to Munich. It is also possible to travel by train to Altötting or Passau. Also drive Long-distance buses * to Mühldorf. From there you continue with the train to Altötting.
Rental car for two Christmas markets in Bavaria:
Accommodation for two Christmas markets in Bavaria
Here you can find Christmas tips for other regions
- Christmas romance in Gengenbach in the Black Forest
- Christmas markets in Germany
- 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
- Most beautiful cities in Bavaria away from the hustle and bustles
- Comfort food recipes from all over the world
Source for the article "Two Christmas markets in Bavaria": own research on site.
Text Two Christmas markets in Bavaria: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline