Lining up the cobbled narrow streets of the medieval city, these picturesque half-timbered houses from the Middle Ages filled with goodies for young and old were the main attractions in Bernkastel-Kues this December. Not the fortress overlooking majestically over the Mosel valley from the top of the mountain, but little Christmas booths, colored with tradition…
The air is filled with laughter – impatient little children run around from the nativity scene to the next Christmas tree, and then to a little wooden castle, inhabited by nutcrackers and other fantasy characters.
The Bernkastel-Kues Christmas market is open the entire advent season, giving locals and tourists alike the chance to purchase authentic Christmas gifts, carefully handcrafted by local artisans. Unlike the Trier Christmas Market, which is heavily commercialized, the Christmas market in Bernkastel does not strip its authentic flavors, on the contrary. But then again, Bernkastel doesn’t have a huge main market for people to crowd. The mulled wine stands line up the narrow cobbled streets as well, and nothing spoils the picturesque feel of the medieval city.
Mornings at the Christmas Market are, as you see, quiet and serene – as tourists rather gather at dusk, when the colored Christmas lights shine the brightest. But there’s no better time of the day to shop than now, away from the crowds. This is when you find the best gifts, before everybody else rushes in and buys the last scented candle you hoped to give to your sweetheart.
There’s plenty to shop: wines for connoisseurs – remember that Bernkastel-Kues is famed for its vineyards; amber jewelry – another power seller in the region; crafts; toys; sweets and gourmet food for every palate.