Freiburg Christmas market

Wares at a stall on the Kartoffelmarkt
Wares at a stall on the Kartoffelmarkt

Last Saturday we went to Freiburg Christmas market. (Yes, a week ago. Despite blogging pretty much every day, I’m totally behind. *sigh*). I had been to Freiburg once before, during my year abroad. Jan and I went to visit another girl from my uni who was doing her year abroad in Freiburg. However, as our visit basically consisted of going for pizza with her friends then heading to the Messe (fun fair) which was in town at the time, I took zero photos and saw just about enough of the town to decide I had to come back some day.

Jan and I had been planning to go to a Christmas market in a nearby town one weekend, and when I spotted a giant poster at the train station informing me that Freiburg Weihnachtsmarkt is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year, it was settled. So off to Freiburg we went (Jan, myself and my Scottish friend K, that is).

Freiburg im Breisgau, to give it it’s full name, is known for being the warmest place in Germany. Not that that means anything at this time of year – it was still -2°C when we were there! It is also actually in the Black Forest (whereas Karlsruhe only almost is).

Freiburg’s town centre is full of pretty little streets and, being December, naturally they were all decorated with Christmas lights.

Freiburg Christmas lights

Freiburg lights

I’m sure they would be much more impressive at night 😉 As for the Christmas market (our reason for being there!), you could certainly tell that Freiburg attracts a lot more tourists than Karlsruhe. Our first stop was for food, which just had to be Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes). I chose to have mine with garlic sauce (I love potatoes and garlic, remember). Along with German, the stall we went to listed its wares in French and English as well. Yep, touristy! After my potatoes, I was still hungry so I decided to be a traditionalist and go for a Bratwurst in a bun. Yum! After food, it was time for Glühwein! 🙂 But first Jan had to find a bank and I had to take this photo:

Freiburg Martinstor

The tall tower thing you can see is the Martinstor (Martin’s Gate). Note the Macdonalds as well. Although the cuty council couldn’t prevent them from putting up their sign, they were able to stop them from using their usual horrible yellow logo, which I think is excellent! (The only thing better would have been no Macdonalds at all in such a lovely old building.)

After a few Glühweins, the natural response to lots of liquid kicked in 😉 so we headed off in the direction that the sign for “WC” was pointing. After using the facilties, we spotted some stalls that I don’t think had anything to do with the actual Christmas market, but were selling some pretty things so of course I had to have a look. I wanted to buy this hat, but decided not to in the end.

It's a lion!
It’s a lion!

Since we had a while to wait before we could get a train home, we decided to go and check out the Christmas goings on at the Kartoffelmarkt (literally: Potato Market). It’s basically a pretty little square which, as the name suggests, was once used for the selling of potatoes. It has its own little Christmas market offshoot, which is smaller and slightly less crowded. Here’s a photo:

Kartoffelmarkt Weihnachtsmarkt

After a quick browse of the stands, we finished our trip with more Glühwein – blueberry for me and cherry for K (I’m not sure what Jan had). Very tasty 🙂

The market was pretty crowded, but not nearly as bad as we were expecting (or as bad as Heidelberg for that matter!). I would say it’s worth a visit if only to get yourself a cup with 40 Jahre Freiburger Wiehnachtsmarkt on it (ok, that will only work for another week ;-)). Freiburg itself is pretty, too and certainly worth a visit even when the Christmas market isn’t in town.

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