CONTRIBUTED BY QUENTIN RICHARDSON
Due to some unforeseen events nearby, we ended up heading to Karlsruhe Christmas market as a plan B. But much to our surprise, the heavily industrialized and developing city of Karlsruhe was surprisingly good. Usually, we pass by this town as a “bump” on the autobahn… luckily fate had different plans for us.
Driving through the city center is a nightmare during the day due to a widespread construction project throughout the busiest, congested parts of the city, but we arrived Sunday evening when traffic was minimal.
We were also lucky enough to score underground parking in Friedrichsplatz, the area where the main stalls of the Christmas market and pyramid are located. There is an exit that leads right into the middle of the market as well.
Once inside, you will be amazed with the amount of decorating performed on each stall. By comparison, this market, as well as Stuttgart have the most appealing stalls.
A new treat this was the feuerzangenbowle, which is a gluhwein with melted sugar, which actually didn’t have the high alcoholic content I was expecting. Other mentions include gluhbeer and blueberry gluhwein.
A local favorite at this market was definitely the Langos. The line was long, but the cheerful staff worked hard to roll, cut, fry and serve these delicious treats. We waited about 10 minutes in line drinking gluhwein and were rewarded for our patience. We chose the cheese and garlic sauce version, but there are sweet choices like cinnamon sugar or applesauce available too.
Strolling around, we noticed children baking their own deserts and other activities near the pyramid in the Kinder Backstube. Through the window we saw children who were working very hard to create a snack for their parents, or Santa. The market also has nativity dioramas near the church, as well as other kid friendly shows and activities.
If you are collecting mugs, there are several kinds available. I really liked the tall mug with the blue base, and it was a great vessel for the blueberry gluhwein. Each different stand around area gives you a token since many of them use the same mugs, so it’s easier to drink and stroll.
As with every market, expect a large crowd. At first, the market was somewhat crowded, but as the evening pass into the later hours, more people gathered into the area. We found it difficult to move without the central walkways crisscrossing through the stalls. Getting a bite to eat meant having to wait in line and search for a place to eat, then find a place to return the dishes (usually off to the side).
But as a plan B, this place easily replaced what could have been a long drive to a disappointing experience. Even though the setups and stalls are similar, the atmosphere in each city is very different. The only regret we have for this market is not making an honest attempt at sitting inside the pyramid and enjoying a gluhwein and good company.
Tips For Your Trip:
26 November – 23 December, 2015
Monday – Saturday: 1000 – 2100
Sunday: 1100 – 2100
76133 Karlsruhe, Germany