People always ask me where to travel in Europe in winter. There are so many options for different tastes and preferences, but Germany is a good one for a lot of reasons. If you’re curious, today I bring you an advertising feature in partnership with the German National Tourist Office to share 3 places to visit in Germany in winter.
Places to Visit in Germany in Winter
While there are a lot of great places to visit in Germany in winter, the tourist office has chosen to send me to Stuttgart, Freiburg, and Baden-Baden.
Each has special things to do in the colder months, and the combination of them makes for a good four-day getaway.
Part of the reason for my trip is to experience the German Christmas markets. I’ve written about previous trips to the ones in Cologne, Dusseldorf, and Bochum. But there are more to see, and today I want to share others with you.
First on my list of places to visit in Germany in winter is Stuttgart. Not only does this city have one of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe, but it’s also a good place for a cooking class.
As such, I head to the top floor of the Tritschler home goods store for a workshop with a view over Stuttgart’s Christmas market. I’m here for a private lesson with Jorg Ilzhofer, the chef who runs Ilzhofer’s Event Kochschule cooking school.
We’re going to make Maultaschen, ravioli-like dumplings that are local to the region. We make a traditional batch with meat, then a second vegetarian one with with ricotta cheese.
Jorg is a patient teacher and the Maultaschen come out looking (and tasting) delicious. They go down a treat with views over the market square below.
Afterwards I take a tour of the shop, which has floor after floor of kitchen goods. It’s a culinary lover’s dream, and I want to kit out my flat with it all.
In the evening I take a Christmas bus tour of Stuttgart. The bus stop is blocked off for the market, so it’s difficult to find where to pick up the tour.
But by sheer coincidence it stops in front of me on a side street and I get on board (even the guide admits I’m lucky since they didn’t know where to pick people up with the stop being roped off).
The tour is a traditional bus tour with a Christmas twist. I wish I’d had time to do it while it was still light outside, as going into the hills in the dark means I can’t see much.
It’s still nice to get an overview of the city and listen to Christmas music, though.
The following day I take the train to Freiburg, where more winter wonder awaits. This is one of the great places to visit in Germany in winter for its Christmas markets and decorations.
I explore the markets, but I also get a chance to take a tour of the city. The cathedral is a highlight, not least for its stunning stained-glass windows and beautiful spire.
There’s a market outside with all kinds of winter produce, cookies, and other seasonal goods, too.
I also explore the side streets, which are bright with Christmas lights. Konviktstrasse is a particular favorite with its colorful facades and design-led shops.
Afterwards I walk along the Gewerbekanal and take in the contemporary architecture around the university.
When I get hungry, the Markthalle is a highlight. This covered market has stalls selling cuisines from around the world. It’s a good place to cozy up indoors for lunch.
The final stop on my itinerary is Baden-Baden. This town is one of the best places to visit in Germany in winter. Not only does it have a festive Christmas market and streets decorated with lights and trees, but also pretty streets and spas.
Given its history as a spa town, Baden-Baden is known for being a place to indulge in a swim and a sauna. I head to the Caracalla Therme baths one day to take a dip.
It’s extremely crowded and loud, but I manage to find some space in the pool and steam room for a few minutes before escaping back into the tranquil streets outside.
Less hectic is the spa at my hotel, the Maison Messmer. This place has a pool, shower areas with blue mosaic walls, saunas, and relaxation areas.
It’s a bit loud due to children playing in the pool, but I don’t feel nearly as overwhelmed as I did at Caracalla Therme.
The spa also has treatment rooms, and in one of them I relax for a 30-minute massage. It’s a nice way to indulge and stay warm on a cold day.
But the sun is shining and I like being outdoors, so I head to the Merkur Funicular Railway. The Merkur Mountain has amazing views of Baden-Baden and beyond, and it’s a great place to go on a clear day.
Back in the city, I explore the historic streets and squares before heading to the casino at night. I’m not usually one for casinos, but the one in Baden-Baden has historic interiors that provide a nice backdrop for the gambling tables.
The next morning it’s time to head home, so I hop on the bus from Baden-Baden to the train station. I catch the bus driver giving me the wrong change for my ticket, so I bring it up with him when we get to the station and after a while he gives me the rest.
It’s sad to end the trip feeling like someone has apparently tried to take advantage of me, but at least the rest of the journey goes smoothly.
From Baden-Baden I take three trains to Stuttgart Airport, then fly home to London.
Places to Visit in Germany in Winter
I hope this blog post has inspired you to explore Germany in the colder months. These three places to visit in Germany in winter are just the beginning, and there are more Christmas markets, cooking classes, spas, and views to enjoy elsewhere as well.
One of the links in this blog post is an affiliate link. At no cost to you, I earn a small commission when you click on it and make a purchase. It doesn’t affect the way you shop, and it’s a great way to support the A Lady in London blog.
This is an advertising feature with the German National Tourist Office.