the 15 of 2015: christmas markets with my parents

My parents came to visit us in the beginning of December, which was the perfect time to explore more of Europe’s Christmas markets. There are so many options within easy striking distance that I did quite a lot of research to figure out where we should go.

We did go to the Brussels markets and were pleasantly surprised at how nice they were, but we took a long day trip over the weekend to a market in the Netherlands — in a cave! — and one in Germany.

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Aachen, Germany 

The coolest thing about the one in the Netherlands was that it was in a large cave system. Many people had said it was overrated and, for the most part, they were right. That being said, if you’re looking for something different, the Valkenburg cave markets might be the answer! I would recommend going in the morning, as close to opening time as possible, in order to avoid crowds. We got a later start than I had wanted but still managed to see it all before lunch, and noted that the line had more than tripled by the time we were done!

Then we drove to Aachen, Germany, to what is now one of my favorite markets. It is spread across the old part of the city and full of cool booths with the usual trinkets, a few more unusual ones, and lots of really good food and drink. We had bratwurst from a stall for dinner and at that moment I couldn’t imagine anything more delicious! Plus there are plenty of non-Christmas  market things to do: get and eat Aachener Printen (delicious gingerbread) and check out Charlemagne’s tomb, for instance!

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