Living in Germany: Chocolate kebabs, travel restrictions and will we have Christmas markets this year?

Living in Germany: Chocolate kebabs, travel restrictions and will we have Christmas markets this year?
Photo: Rachel Stern
From chocolate kebabs to Christmas markets and travel restrictions, here's the latest Living in Germany members newsletter from the team at The Local Germany.

Each week the team at The Local Germany sends out a weekly members' newsletter looking at some of the quirks, perks and big issues for people living in the country. Here's the latest round-up and remember to get in touch if you spot anything that we should write about.

Tweet of the week

Some cities might be renowned for their fine cuisine. And while Berlin also counts a number of fancy restaurants where guests can wine and dine amid repetitive jazz music, it’s arguably best known for its street food, as this tweet from Slow Berlin points out.

The culinary collection includes Currywurst, Döner Kebab and let’s not forget Choco Kebab. 


Will Germany’s Christmas markets still take place?

Every year we look forward to Germany’s many Weihnachtsmärkte, where cosy stalls sell Glühwein, sweets and a variety of nicknacks. They’re the classic highlight of the holidays, but this year it’s up in the air if they will take place due to coronavirus worries.

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The famous Cologne market, normally set at the foot of the city’s stunning Dom (cathedral) was already cancelled due to worries over how to enforce social distancing rules. In Berlin, where outdoor events of up to 5,000 people are allowed, the markets are still planned, but could be cancelled at any time, the city has warned.

Some other big cities are still planning some markets, but cancelling ones known to be particularly crowded. In Dresden, the Striezelmarkt, the country’s oldest Christmas market, will take place, yet its famous market at the foot of the Frauenkirche has been cancelled.

Did you know that?

The first printed book was written in German – thanks to the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440. In fact, to this day, Germany remains one of the largest publishers of books in the world.

In September I (Rachel Stern) paid a visit to the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, which displayed two rare editions of the Gutenberg Bible, and included other one-of-a-kind first printed works from all around the globe. The very first German newspapers – and their intriguing history – were also part of the permanent collection.

After seeing a demonstration of how each printed character was meticulously stamped on one page, we can especially appreciate the ease of the written word today.  

Where is this?

Speaking of the state of Saxony, I spent the last weekend (perhaps the last in a while free of domestic travel restrictions) hiking in the beautiful Saxon Switzerland. At the start of October, vivid autumn colours illuminated the rocky (but luckily still dry!) paths.

Saxony’s only national park, the region is known for its spectacular Elbe Sandstone Mountains. The Malerweg (Painters’ Way) leads hikers through sweeping vistas which have not surprisingly inspired artists from all over the world. 

They were the backdrop of Germany’s most famous painting, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (1818) by German Romantic artist Casper David Friedrich.

Have your say

One of our readers from Berlin wrote to us to explain how he’s already been affected by the Germany-wide hospitality ban on overnight guests from the capital. He found out, unfortunately, when he’d already made it to the check-in desk, as he told us in this story.

Have any of your travel plans also changed due to travel restrictions – both within Germany or outside of it? Or are you feeling determined to find a way to take a trip as safely as possible?

Thanks for reading,

The team at The Local Germany

Rachel Loxton & Rachel Stern

[email protected]




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