December is a magical time to visit the medieval city of Regensburg, Germany. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2006, this location was a great trading metropolis built up in the middle ages and was not destroyed during any of the wars. The people are friendly, the shops along the cobblestone streets of Old Town are charming and the regional foods are especially tasty.
 

Gluhwein, Regensburg, Christmas Market

Glühwein is served at the Regensburg Christmas Market. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 

I was fortunate to visit several Christmas Markets of Europe, including Nuremberg, Passau, Vienna and Budapest, during a trip on the Romantic Danube with Viking River Cruises. The Christmas market located around Neupfarrplatz has been an annual tradition for over 400 years.
 


 
 

Regensburg, Germany, Christmas Market

Seeing stars in Regensburg. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 
Regensburg at night

When the sunsets, Regensburg comes alive at night. The streets are lite up with twinkling lights and luminated decorations hang suspended between narrow streets. A huge Christmas tree dazzles with white lights by the main square and the smell of gluhwein fills the air. Like munchkins from the Wizard of Oz, locals and visitors are beckoned to come out and meet one another in this festive winter atmosphere. Parents bundle up their children in brightly colored clothing and place them on carousel horses as they dance round and round to the beat of the holiday music.
 

Regensburg Christmas Market, carousel horse

Carousel horse. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 
Regional German food

One of my favorite discoveries at the European Christmas Markets was the regional foods; specifically the sausages. Nurembergers are very proud of their pork sausages – the size of a “pinkie finger” the smallest finger on the human hand. In Regensburg, it’s all about the 1/2 meter Bratwurst. Have you tried these sausages or the pork sausages served at the Sausage Tavern?
 

1/2 meter bratwurst, Regensburg, Germany, Christmas Market

1/2 meter Bratwurst. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 

Regensburg, Germany, sausage

Regional sausages at the Christmas Market. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 

Historische Wurstküche, sausage kitchen, regensburg, germany

Historische Wurstküche. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 
Regensburg, Germany, Christmas Market

Regensburg at night. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

Insider Tip
Make sure to stop for a pork sausage at the Historic Sausage Kitchen not far from the Cathedral of St. Peter. Sit outside the 900-year-old building and take in the views of the Stone Bridge over the Danube River.
 
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow Regensburg Tourism @Regensburg_trip on Twitter.

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Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Disclosure: thanks to the folks at Viking River Cruises for making this trip a reality. All opinions are my own.