Explore Classic Christmas Markets with NCSML

For the past 10 years, the NCSML has put on our own version of a classic European Christmas Market. The decade has seen many changes for Old World Christmas Market, but one thing remains the same: the joy and magic of the holiday season! It has become a tradition for people all over the Corridor and beyond. After 10 years of inspiration, we decided we wanted to share in the experience of these Christmas Markets by travelling to Europe. In 2020, the NCSML will be visiting some of the oldest and most famous Christmas markets in Germany, Austria and France.

You might be asking why the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library would be planning a trip to Germany, Austria and France, and I would say that’s a great question – and I do have an answer. At the NCSML, we pride ourselves on creating connections between different cultures and countries. The deep history between the countries in Europe is shown in how they influence one another and share similar traditions. While they share similarities, we celebrate the unique nature of individual cultures and highlight their connections to one another. Just as our own Christmas market has changed and been influenced by our own Midwest culture, we hope this trip shows the influences of many cultures on the 600-year-old tradition of “Christkindlesmarkts” in Germany, Austria and France. Luckily at each site we will be joined by local expert guides who each have wealth of information on the history and culture and will provide us with a one of kind experience.

We hope you’ll join us and embark on a delightful holiday adventure December 12th through the 20th. Our travels will take us to traditional Christmas markets and historic towns of Central Europe, where you can relax, unwind, and take splendor in their history and culture. The trip begins in the peaceful mountains of Black Forest, Germany, before we will take the scenic route to the Strasbourg, France, where centuries of Roman, French, German and Alsatian influences blend together to lend this city its unique character. Here, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of Petite France and discover Strasbourg’s Christmas market. Next we will venture to Würzburg, the quaint Franconia region of Germany, where we will discover the city’s rich history with an expert local guide and take part in their lively Christmas Market.

Strasbourg’s Christmas Market

Munich Christmas Market

After Würzburg, we will travel to Nuremberg, Germany, and learn about their deep history, including visiting the site of the Nuremberg trials in 1946. End the day at one of the oldest Christmas Markets, dating back to 1628. Then we will visit Rothenburg and Oberammergau, Germany taking in medieval and Bavarian alpine history. Next we will visit Innsbruck, Austria, nestled in the mountains where you can take a guided tour or visit the Museum of Tyrolean Regional Heritage. Guests will have the option to travel to the Seefeld Alpine Village which has breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and countryside before shopping at the Christmas market. Finally, we will travel to Munich, Germany where we will enjoy a panoramic tour of the city before exploring the historic area and Christmas Market. Our final evening will be spent in Oberammergau where we will have time to stroll through the village before toasting to a memorable trip during a farewell dinner featuring Bavarian cuisine.

Past guests have described this trip as “a fabulous experience” with delightful, comfortable and historic accommodations. As with everything we do here, we aim to provide a unique experience that is informative, entertaining and thoughtful. I have no doubt that our first European Christmas market trip will fulfill this promise. For more information or if you have any questions, please contact me at tstenstrup@ncsml.org or 319-362-8500 ext. 204. I’m so excited to be offering this opportunity and can’t wait to share it with you.

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