Expand Your School’s Christmas Market Experience In Germany

We love Australians. In fact, we have a few natives from Down Under in the Travelbound team. So, when a conversation was struck up over Christmas on the beach we got to thinking. While we can’t deliver Christmas on the beach in the UK, we can get you thinking about Christmas while sitting on the beach this summer!

Star on the Cologne Christmas tree

Heading into the summer holidays, your thoughts may be more Borneo than Berlin but as educationalists we all know that preparation is key. Tying together your long- and medium-term planning for the next academic year may present opportunities to expand the experiences for your students. Providing your students with a school trip to Germany’s Christmas markets is just one way you can extend learning outside the classroom while offering the chance to travel and experience cultures. Here we take a closer look at how a combination of visits to Germany’s most famous cities and landmarks can help engage students in a cross-curricular experience.

Aachen Christmas Market

When? (22nd November – 23rd December 2019)

The Aachen Christmas market easily makes it into Europe’s top 10 Christmas markets. Why? Aachen becomes a Christmas city covered with festive lights and songs welcoming around 1.5 million visitors for the warming atmosphere.

Aachen Christmas market

Aachen has history and it’s not only embedded in the stories of Romans and Charlemagne putting the city on the map. The Aachen Christmas market has grown from its humble beginnings at the Elisa Fountain located 5 minutes on foot from Aachen Cathedral.

Aachen Cathedral itself stands as a dominating symbol of the city. The oldest cathedral in northern Europe, the Aachen Dom rightfully claims its place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provides students with a collection of medieval artistic objects to explore.

Exploring the ever-growing Aachen Christmas market allows students to engage with exhibitors to develop their language skills and improve comprehension and pronunciation in relevant situations. Diving into the culture of the region over the course of the school trip will allow students to explore traditional foods, including Aachener Printen (similar to gingerbread), “Domino Stones”, marzipan bread and “Spekulatius” (a type of spiced shortcrust biscuit).

School groups may also wish to explore:
Rathaus (point of interest)
Centre Charlemagne (history)
Ludwig Forum Aachen (art)

Berlin Christmas Market

Berlin at Christmas

When? (25th November – 31st December 2019)

Berlin is not just the capital city of Germany but of German Christmas markets. With a choice of sixty magical venues to choose from, students will be transported to a winter wonderland filled with transformed squares, ornate gifts and, not forgetting, Currywurst.

The popular Gendarmenmarkt has a history of its own where soldiers once marched but come Christmas it’s not just Berliners who descend on what is seen to be the most beautiful public square in Berlin. Its central location makes it a popular choice for school groups looking to minimise time transferring between locations.

Charlottenburg Palace is also a popular visit for schools seeking the quaint wooden huts and festive atmosphere. In addition to the delicious culinary choices on offer, Charlottenburg Palace works to create a truly magical experience for visitors with a carousel, Märchenzelt (fairy tale tent) and craft areas. It gives students the chance to immerse themselves in the German Christmas market experience, while also combining a tour of the palace and garden.

Berlin is known for numerous landmarks associated with his tumultuous past through war and rebuilding. Extending your school’s stay in Berlin will allow time to explore more of Berlin’s hub of culture, including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Museum Island made up of the Pergamon Museum, Bode Museum, Neues Museum, Altes Museum and Alte National Gallery.

School groups may also wish to explore:
DDR Museum (history)
East Side Gallery (art)
Olympic Stadium (point of interest)

Bremen Christmas Market

When? (25th November – 23rd December 2019)

Surrounded by the Town Hall and
Roland statue
(UNESCO World Heritage Site), Bremen’s Christmas market presents all the hallmarks of the quintessential festive bonanza.

Student standing outside Bremen Town Hall

School groups can expect to see beautifully decorated market stalls and nods to the maritime history of the city through illuminations and themes stretching out to the Weser river. The Schlachte-Zauber offers school groups a medieval Christmas market set along the quayside of the Weser river with boats embracing the candlelit ambience of the festivities.

Students will be bowled over by the scents of traditional foods, including roasted almonds and gingerbread, that flow throughout the market.

The Roland Statue on the marketplace dates back to 1404 and, standing at just over 18 feet, acts like a gatekeeper to the city’s civic autonomy and sovereignty. Inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2004, the Roland Statue together with the Town Hall stand as Bremen’s most iconic sites. Under the lights of the Christmas market, the Town Hall’s Weser Renaissance style looks all the more impressive and adds to the festive spirit of Bremen’s Christmas market.

School groups may also wish to explore:
Universum Bremen Science Centre (science)
Übersee Museum Bremen (history)
Zoo at the Sea, Bremerhaven (point of interest)

Cologne Christmas Market

Cologne Christmas Market

When? (26th November – 23rd December 2019)

Build it and they will come.
The Cologne Cathedral dominates the centre of the city and is the number one attraction in Germany. 

With six million visitors per year heading to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, it seems only fitting Cologne’s Christmas market takes its place at the foot of the Dom with its towers reaching 157m.

Cologne presents school groups with options as the city features no less than seven Christmas markets of all sizes. Students will think all the strassen have been taken over with the aroma of baked apples and cinnamon biscuits. Festively designed pavilions provide students with the opportunity to practice speaking German with native speakers and develop their confidence in unscripted conversations.

Fun fact: Cologne’s Christmas market Am Dom features the largest Christmas tree in the Rhineland.

School groups may also wish to explore:
Chocolate Museum (point of interest)
Romano-Germanic Museum (history)
Phantasialand (leisure) – Winter Season runs from 22nd November 2019 – 19th January 2020


When? (25th November – 22nd December 2019)

Like Cologne’s most popular market, the Trier Christmas market is set against a backdrop of its city’s cathedral. Situated on the medieval market square ‘Hauptmarkt’, the Trier Christmas market is overlooked by the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the
Cathedral of St Peter.

Trier Christmas Market

Known as the ‘Rome of the North’, Trier was one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire and is said by UNESCO to have one of the largest concentration of traces of Roman settlements to have been preserved. The Cathedral of St Peter sits as one of the collection of buildings that meets UNESCO’s certification as a heritage site and is itself one of the oldest church buildings in the Western world.

The Christmas market not only offers approximately 95 booths offering festive gifts and crafts but a program of activities throughout the period. Look out for everything from historical puppet theatres to songsmiths as students experience one of Germany’s finest Christmas markets.

School groups may also wish to explore:
Porta Nigra Roman city gate (history)
Cochem (point of interest)
Koblenz (point of interest)

To find out more about Christmas market experiences to Germany or to start planning your next school trip, speak to the Travelbound team on 01273 244 572 or contact us online.

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