The magic of Christmas in Tallinn

I know it. Looking at the cover image of Tallinn and its Christmas market in the Old Town, one would want to run to the airport and leave immediately! At least to enjoy the fresh air, the snow of Estonia and the atmosphere of its capital.

I remember a Christmas in Tallinn a few years ago. A truly special and particular city: The absolute silence of some streets broken only by the “cracking” of the snow under the boots that alternates with the more crowded streets of other areas of the center. Tallinn has a very special charm that will captivate you, especially during the Christmas period, when lights, snow and colors make this already magical place even more enchanted.

The Christmas tree

It is said that the first Tallinn Christmas tree was brought to the city as far back as 1441 by the Brotherhood of the Blackheads. If this were true, the Tallinn Christmas tree would be the first Christmas tree to be placed on the square in a European town. The event became of great interest for business and the nobility, so much so that during the installation of the Christmas tree of 1711, Peter the Great, the Great Emperor of Russia, was attracted.

Every year in Estonia there is a competition to decide the most beautiful fir that will go to Town Hall Square in Tallinn during the Christmas holidays. Here it will be covered with lights and decorations produced by the Adam Decolight factory in Rapla, Estonia, which creates lights for the tree but also for roads, airports and shopping centers all over the world.

The Christmas markets

You can see it from the aerial photo of the cover but, the Tallinn Christmas markets are a real splendor. All around the Christmas tree in the town hall square of the medieval center are the wooden houses with many flavors and aromas of the Estonian capital.
If you happen to run into Santa on his way south, don’t be too surprised. Who knows he doesn’t stop around here to let the reindeer rest!

Source and cover photo: Visit Estonia

The wonderful Christmas market of the Ravennaschlucht: all about the 2021 edition

On 26 November at 3.00 pm the traditional Christmas market in the Ravennaschlucht near Breitnau in the German Upper Black Forest will open to the public. Although the difficult health situation has forced several organizers to cancel the markets in some cities of Germany, here, thanks to the location of the market and the two controlled accesses, it will be possible to guarantee an optimal level of security. With the 2G plus rule it will be possible to enter the markets only if recovered from the covid or vaccinated but with the addition of a negative anticovid test.

As per tradition, about forty houses will be housed under the viaduct of the Höllentalbahn, among woods and endless Christmas lights. The stand managers and the Hochschwarzwald Tourismus GmbH organized the event in such a way as to ensure the greatest possible safety for anyone visiting the markets, without denying the opportunity to enjoy Christmas and the beautiful things of this holiday.
The maximum capacity of the markets has been reduced by 50% and a shuttle service with fixed times will ensure regular departures without anyone being forced to wait long.

The rules for visiting the markets

  • 2G plus rule (vaccinated or cured from covid plus rapid test or negative PCR)
  • Obligation to wear a mask on the entire event site (exception: consumption of food and drinks)
  • Entrance tickets are available only in advance and by online booking:
  • When purchasing the entrance ticket, visitors to the market are offered a time slot of approximately 2 hours.
  • In order to offer the best quality experience and the highest possible safety, the visitor capacity in the market area is limited to 2,500 people per time slot – this corresponds to 50% of the normal capacity.
  • The shuttle buses from Titisee, Hinterzarten, Himmelreich and the VIP bus from Freiburg go to the markets and return according to set departure times. This should avoid waiting times for visitors as much as possible. Guests can reserve their seat on the bus for the round trip along with the entrance ticket.
  • Visitors to the Christmas market on foot will receive an entrance ticket labeled “I arrive alone”. This means that it is not possible to return by shuttle bus.

Visitors are strongly advised to undergo a corona test before arriving at the Christmas market and to submit the negative test , which must not be older than 24 hours (PCR test: 48 hours), upon boarding the shuttle bus remembering that at the entrance to the Christmas market area it must be ready. If you do not have the opportunity to be tested in advance, you can do the tests spontaneously on the opening days of the Christmas market in the test stations in the Kurhaus Hinterzarten, in the Action Forest Hotel in Titisee and in the Hofgut Sternen directly on the Ravennaschlucht.
But always calculate a bit of a queue…

When and how to go

All four weekends of Advent, Friday from 3pm to 9pm, Saturday from 2pm to 9pm and Sunday from 1pm to 8pm.

It is recommend to reach the railway stations Himmelreich (from Freiburg), Hinterzarten and Titisee (from Donaueschingen) by train. From there, shuttle buses run regularly and free of charge to the Christmas market. The shuttle bus from Titisee is new, the departure is here in the bus park. In addition, a VIP bus passes three times a day from the Freiburg concert hall to the Christmas market and back – for 17 euros per person, including the entrance ticket. Alternatively, there is a hike from Hinterzarten via the Löffeltal (approx. 45-60 minutes).nutes).

For everything else:

Christmas in Odense

Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense in 1805 in modest conditions as the son of a shoemaker. What better time, if not Christmas, is there to dream of becoming a famous person despite the fact that life has not been favorable to us from the beginning? In 1867 HC Andersen was made an honorary citizen and Odense welcomed the news by organizing a torchlight procession in his honor.

In the magical atmosphere of Christmas, thinking of starting your visit to the city right from the yellow house of one of the most famous writers in the world, can be an idea to fully enjoy the period and the Nordic feeling that this special place can give you.

While Odense is well suited to families, it is also true that children will go crazy with joy when they can admire rare pieces of Danish railways in the Odense Railway Museum, which is located near the center (look for Danmarks Jernbanemuseum on google maps).

During the dark season and the winter period, being able to enjoy the Christmas lights and fresh northern air is essential for strolling along the streets of Odense in December. On the last Saturday of November, the Flakhaven Christmas tree, the town hall square, lights up and there will be music, events and the presence of a very important character: Santa Claus.

The hot chocolate

If you think Northern Europe is just cold and ice, then you are missing out on a lot. I remember wonderful journeys with breathtaking views, but the pleasure of walking into a bar for a hot drink after spending a few hours out walking is priceless!
In Odense you will find a hot chocolate for every taste: walking around the city there are cafes that make many types of hot chocolate: if you are undecided between cocoa and hot chocolate, entering the FredosCoffeeright you will not know what to choose, as here they serve an infinite variety of chocolates, coffees and capuccinos. The Papas Papbar will drive you crazy! Here you can choose your chocolate and then you can decide which of the 600 board games to choose as you spend your time warming up with your hot drink in hand. If you are in company and fear the cold, perhaps this is the bar for you!
Is the chocolate plus alcohol option your favorite? The Receteria offers chocolates with Baileys or Cacao with Cointreau Rum and orange.
If all this is not enough to pamper you…

The Christmas markets

The first two weekends of December (4-5 and 11-12 December), Odense hosts the Christmas markets right in the historic center, the ideal setting for organizing a Christmas party with a unique atmosphere. Odense’s markets attract around 60,000 people and give the opportunity to find delicious food stands, small events but above all, that unique feeling of being in the heart of a colorful and fairytale city, as was its most famous inhabitant.

Source and photo: Visit Odense and visit Denmark