Germany is famous for its Christmas markets, and virtually every town has one. The problem is, they can be a bit ‘samey’ if you know what I mean. But there are plenty with an unusual twist, and I think one of the most notable and romantic has to be the Traben-Trarbach”Mosel-Wein-Nachts-Markt” which literally mean “Wine Nights Market”, a clever play on “Weihnachtsmarkt”, the German word for Christmas Market.
In keeping with the wine heritage of the town, this event offers markets in some enormous old vaulted cellars which are decked out with stalls offering a big variety of traditional crafts, edible treats and of course local plonk. Also on offer is an ice skating rink (outdoor, not in a cellar!) plus an extensive entertainment programme.
The markets are open from Friday through Sunday between 27th November to 20th December, and daily from 21st December to 3rd January, although 24th, 25th and 31st December are closed for obvious reasons. Opening times for the market are 11am to 9pm, and 3pm to 8pm for the skating rink except at weekends when the fun starts at 11am.
Traben-Trabach is very accessible, being located on the Mosel between Koblenz and Trier. A shuttle bus service from some of the other towns along the river is available. For those of you in the UK, Ryanair offers cheap flights from Stansted (and Edinburgh I believe but I need to check) to Frankfurt Hahn regional airport which is only about 40 minutes away from Traben-Trarbach, so there is no reason not to spend a weekend in the region and experience the real German Christmas spirit.
You can find out more by clicking here for the website but you may have to run it through Google Translate as it is only in German. Clicking here will give you the brochure which includes a map of the various attractions, programme for the entertainment and more. Alternatively, the Tourist Information office in the town will be able to help.