Christmas Markets Germany and France

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by AnEnglishmanAbroad, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. AnEnglishmanAbroad

    AnEnglishmanAbroad Funster

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    We are thinking of driving into Germany to sample the Christmas markets, but have never done this before. Can anyone offer advice please about a good market and a place where we could stop over for a few days. We have a small dog so we need to be close into places if possible to walk him. I not at all familiar with German buses and trains. Are pets allowed on public transport?
     
  2. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    We are currently in Aachen at the camperplatz and about to catch the bus into town. The site cost is 15 euro a night including electric. I didn't see any dogs on the bus or at the Christmas market yesterday and can't say what is allowed. It's a good two miles to walk into the centre.

    You could email the tourist office and ask about dogs. info@aachen-tourist.de
     
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  3. AnEnglishmanAbroad

    AnEnglishmanAbroad Funster

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    Hi, thank you for the tip. I have taken your advice and emailed the tourist board to see what the policy is with dogs. How are you finding the campsite? What is it called please? And is the Christmas Market a good one.
    I do appreciate your help. Many thanks.
     
  4. Daedalus

    Daedalus Funster

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    The Stellplatz at Aachen (on Branderhofer Weg - N50.761242 E6.102837) is ideal for visiting not only the Christmas Market in Aachen itself, but a short train ride will take you to either Koln or Bonn (or both on separate days).

    The Market in Aachen is down by and around the Cathedral. The easiest place to get a bus direct to the town is from the Marienhospital (turn right out of the Stellplatz gate and walk up to the top of the road).

    The train fares are very reasonable and I'm sure you would enjoy visiting other towns - Koln (or Cologne if you wish) has about 5 different markets from memory.

    No matter where you end up - enjoy.
     
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  5. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    Just returned from the Christmas market, it's big and has all thhe usual stalls to take your money. Open 11am to 9pm daily. On our way back the woman sat in front of us had her poddle with her so you could be OK with the dog.

    We are at http://www.aachen-camping.de/index-gb.html and I agree the best place to catch the bus is Marienhospital bus stop. Sign post at site entrance.
    Set out from opposite the hospital, next to the petrol station for the direction into town. Use buses 1, 11, 21, 46 or SB63. The driver sells tickets. We bought a "Minigruppen Ticket (Stadt Aachen)" it covers upto 5people for all day travel within the city, after 9am. It costs 8.90 euros, a single fare is 2.65. Public transport is always good value in Germany, the only problem is that the buses are packed. If you have seen film of the pushers employed at Japanesse railway stations you will know what I mean. The pushers could easily find employment in Aachen.
    Back to Gravelines tomorrow.
     
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  6. AnEnglishmanAbroad

    AnEnglishmanAbroad Funster

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    Thanks very much . Your advice is really helpful. I got a reply from the Tourist Board and dogs can travel on trains and buses which is a great relief for us having spent 2 months in Spain where dos are banned in many provinces from public transport.. May I ask one more question please?
    I saw a few references to some German cities that require motorhomes to have a certificate that confirms low/acceptable emissions levels. Can you help me with this issue?
     
  7. SomeoneElse

    SomeoneElse Funster

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    Apparently so, all the German HM have them, a couple of the Belgium MH have them, the rest like me just ignores the regulations.
    Ain't been stopped yet. At home I have a link bookmarked and I might get around to buying one sometime, but it won't be soon.
     
  8. Daedalus

    Daedalus Funster

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    To enter a lot of German cities you need an "umweltplakette" or as you rightly say, a certificate of emissions - you can obtain one of these on-line from the following site - https://www.berlin.de/labo/mobilitaet/kfz-zulassung/feinstaubplakette/shop.85047.php - cost is about €6 including postage - it does however depend on what vehicle you have (Euro 3, Euro 4 etc) as to what class of disc you receive - ideally the green "umweltplakette", but as I don't know what MH you have, it's engine type/size or it's emission category I can't give any other information. You need to scan and send a copy of your V5 details page (page 2) with your application.
    This link is for Berlin, but the disc issued is valid in all German towns and cities.
    Or, you can wait until you get there and go to a TUV station (German MOT station) or almost any MH dealer to get said disc.
    As @SomeoneElse said - you can take a chance and go without, lots do, but for the price, why take the risk - it's a one off purchase and lasts for the vehicle's life.
    HTH

    Apologies I hit the wrong url for the "umweltplakette" link has now been corrected.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
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  9. Vick

    Vick Read Only Funster

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    We have been to Aachen for the Christmas markets and stayed on the camperplatz mentioned. As well as the train to visit other markets there is a bus to Monschau if you would like a market with a Christmas card setting (it was snowing when we were there). However if you were just staying put in Aachen you won't go far wrong. The market was certainly better than Bruges which we found very disappointing (market not Bruges itself).

    Chris
     
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  10. AnEnglishmanAbroad

    AnEnglishmanAbroad Funster

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    Some really excellent advice. Many thanks to everyone for all the cracking tips.
     
  11. sylvester1954

    sylvester1954 Funster

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    My only concern after a week of visiting the markets myself is they are so so crowded I would feel sorry for the dog in such a restricted claustrophobic area around the stalls ?
     
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