Christmas Markets At Night Questions

River Cruising
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315 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
We going from Cologne to Nuremberg this December 8 on Viking. While this is our 9th Viking river cruise, it’s first time to do Christmas markets.

1. About when do the markets start closing in the evening? We are in Cologne and Nuremberg for 2 nights, so most want to know about these cities, but curious in general.

2. I love the dinners on the ship. It’s a great time for conversations but I also really want to get the nighttime pictures of the markets. I don’t understand how these mesh. What do most people do about dinner and nighttime markets? Go after dinner (but is that really possible)? Eat dinner out off boat? Or.....? Please don’t answer “all of the above.” I would like guidance about both what generally happens and what is realistically possible. THANKS

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United States
527 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Just google "Cologne Christmas market" to find the official site online. Same for another city . There are markets in more than one place in Cologne.

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315 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
My main question was the second. How do people mesh dinner on the ship with going to Christmas markets after dark. (I’ve found the times now.)

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315 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by pacmom
Can always have a wonderful sausage dinner, especially in Nurnberg.
I love having dinner and conversation with friends but not if no one is there, hence my question of what do people do.
North Carolina
6,153 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
On our Avalon cruise, we weren't in towns late enough to walk into Markets after dinner. We had one or two late nights but those were in industrial ports not walkable to the historic parts of town where the Markets were, and I'm pretty sure no one took cabs to go to those Markets instead of dinner.

(personally, we spent 2 nights in Nuremberg prior and 1 night in Basel after the cruise so we could enjoy the Markets at night ;-)
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Seabourn 11 night Alaska 8/31/2018
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Knoxville, TN
725 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
We were on the Danube in 2015 so it won't be your itinerary but I can tell you our experience. We sailed on Uniworld and we were docked at night or over night for several ports. As others have said it was dark by 4:30. Generally dinner was at 7 on Uniworld. So I remember specifically going to the markets in the dark in Budapest and Passau and think maybe one other. We did have people skip dinner to be out in the markets but we found a couple of hours were more then enough time. We also did a precruise stay for 2 days in Munich which was wonderful for going to numerous different markets at night. I don't know what time they actually closed as we never ventured out after dinner. Have a wonderful trip and your itinerary sounds great.
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Cruises booked:

Norwegian Pride of America: Hawaii- Feb 2019
Oceania Rivera: Colors, Coasts, & Coves(New England/Canada)- Oct 2019

Past Cruises

Carnival Caribbean cruises(3) - 1980's
Uniworld SS Antoinette Castles on the Rhine - July 2014
Uniworld Maria Theresa: Holiday Danube - December 2015
Royal Caribbean Oasis: Western Caribbean - Feb 2017
Uniworld River Countess: Gems of Northern Italy - June 2017
Silversea Whisper: Venice/Croatia/Montenegro - Aug 2018
278 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
We have taken 3 Christmas Market cruises on Uniworld and have enjoyed the markets at night. The market are very busy at night and it is beautiful. I do not think we ever missed dinner, as another poster stated it is dark at 4:30.

Second seating
59 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
I think the best time to experience the markets is actually at night. You can easily make a meal from the various food stalls. We also enjoy eating at the local restaurants near the markets. They will be decorated for the holidays, full of people enjoying the holidays, and very festive. I would encourage you try and spend at least one night at a market, depending on the schedule. One option is to have a quick meal on the boat, skip dessert, then go back to the market for the evening where you can get cookies or other sweets and a mug of gluehwein.

In Cologne, you will probably dock within walking distance of the markets. There are a few different markets, but they are all within walking distance of each other. There are also several restaurants around the markets. We were in Cologne last year, but the boat left around dinner time so spending the evening wasn't an option. Still there were a few that looked promising with reasonably priced menus that we would have considered trying had time permitted. The menus are all posted outside and normally with an English version.

My recollection is that in Nuremburg the docks are about a 30 minute bus ride. We were in Nuremburg on the last night of a cruise, and Amawaterways ran a shuttle back and forth until around midnight. The Nuremburg market is considered by many as the premier market in Europe and you should really plan to be there in the evening. We spent a couple extra days in Nuremburg and found the restaurants near the market, which is located in the historic walled part of the city, a bit pricey. And if you're there on a weekend, you might need reservations. But one of our best evenings was one where we just tried foods from the various stalls.

Have a great time.
14,483 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Most of our Christmas market itineraries included late or overnight stays and the cruise line (AMA) provided transport to and from a meeting point. The CM would take groups into the market and they could stay in the group if they preferred to. We take the transfer and go out on our own. Sometimes we cab or use public transport to get back.
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145 cruises since 1964, 19 on the river.
Looking forward to:

Viking Sky, February, 2019
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016, October 2017
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Amadeus Provence Christening, April, 2017
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017
Amadeus Silver III, May 2018

Recent ocean cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
45 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
If you have a night the evening in Koln then I would recommend the Lowenbrau Koln for dinner or late lunch small tables great Greman food and also Good Pizza we have eaten there many times my husbands favorite when he was in town in on business

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