I did a lot of research before going to any Christmas Markets. Mannheim’s looked very interesting and huge. I am still not sure if it was just my perspective or if the Christmas Market was partially closed the day we went, but it seemed pretty small compared to all the photos I had seen. This market was held around the main water tower.
We stopped to eat near the Christmas Market at Vapiano’s (a chain Italian restaurant) after feeling a little let down by the size and selection of things at the Christmas Market-and freezing from the rain. I know what you are asking right now: “What did you expect? How big did you expect the Christmas Markets to be?” I guess the size of the market was pretty average in comparison to others, but I had seen all of the exact same items at other Christmas Markets. By now, of course, I have realized that Christmas Markets are not about how big they are, but the entire experience and feel of the town. The smells of waffles, crepes, bratwurst, roasted chestnuts, and, most dominate, glühwein (hot spiced wine) fill the air and the twinkling lights throughout the market square helped offset the darkness of the day and gloom of the icy rain.