In the heart of Bavaria and the beautiful city of Regensburg is the ancestral seat of the world famous princely house of Thurn und Taxis. During Advent, the impressive estate opens its doors and offers visitors the chance to wander around one of the country’s most eye-catching Christmas markets. The romantic atmosphere of St. Emmeram's Abbey with its stunning parkland, imposing architecture and picturesque courtyard is hard to beat. The horse-drawn carriages, gentlemen and ladies who populate the estate give this market a truly unique flair. In addition, the inner courtyard is illuminated by thousands of lights, candles, lanterns and torches to create an unforgettable festive feel. A mighty Christmas tree stands in the middle of the lovingly decorated village of wooden stands.
Hustle and bustle of the market
The Christmas market is always alive with Yuletide hustle and bustle. Traditional craftspeople produce their goods in the fascinating “Handwerkerdorf” in front of the picturesque Abbey façade, making the market a great place to find unique gifts. From turners and metal smiths to candle-makers, nativity scene creators, felt-makers, basket weavers, potters, brush-makers and the famous local miller – there are traditional handcrafts wherever you look. Goldsmiths, pelt-mongers and soap-makers also offer up one-of-a-kind products for visitors. If you want to get away from it all, head for the idyllic Davidhof, a park-like abbey garden, where you can take a walk and admire the skills of the craftspeople.
In the evening, visitors to the romantic Christmas market can enjoy the festive cultural programme on offer. Singers and musicians from the region provide the festive soundtrack, belting out Christmas favourites, both new and traditional. Internationally-renowned orchestras, choirs and ensembles are also booked to appear throughout Advent. In addition, there are special themed evenings like “Original Old Bavarian Christmas”, “The Christmas Story” and “Christmas in Upper Palatinate” during the market. The crowning glory of every day at the market is the live trumpet solo of “Silent Night” and the subsequent fanfare.
Attractions for youngsters
Christmas time is the most exciting and magical time of the year for many kids. There is so much to see and discover at the Christmas market. Kids’ eyes light up at the sight of the vintage children’s carousel, and they can ride the lovingly-painted animals free-of-charge and enjoy the hypnotic ride. Kids also love the comical puppet theatre performances, as well as the nearby Alpaca enclosure. These proud Andes-natives are fascinating mammals for young and old alike. At the weekend and on the 6th of December, holy St. Nicolas even comes to the market with a bag of presents for youngsters. Indeed, Baby Jesus is present at the market every evening, reading a reflective festive poem and spreading stardust among the visitors.
Hot punch and regional delights
In the small lanes of the market, open fires offer plenty of warmth and cosiness. Many of the embers are also used to prepare various mulled wine specialities and drinks to warm the cockles. There is all manner of festive drinks to try here, including the delicious sloe mulled wine produced by a local juice-maker. And if you should get hungry, there are myriad original Bavarian specialities on offer. Wild boar kebabs, festive onion, sausage rolls, traditional potato soup served in a bread bowl, smoky flamed salmon and warm apple strudel – nobody goes home hungry from this market! The game specialities from animals hunted in the Thurn und Taxis estate forests are an absolute must. If you need a break from it all, there is a top-notch café in the courtyard in the historical east wing of the abbey. It’s the perfect place to enjoy coffee, cake or an exclusive “Thurn und Taxis Pils”. The bar in the historical “Malturm” has a jovial atmosphere after sundown, and it’s a popular choice with young adults.
The Princess reads the Christmas Story
Princess Gloria Mariae of Thurn and Taxis traditionally reads the biblical Christmas story by Luke on two days during Advent at the Christmas Market, and then joins with guests to sing well-known German Christmas songs afterwards – a great experience for everyone in attendance.
Visitors to the Christmas Market can also take part in one of the regular tours through the world-famous St. Emmeram Abbey and soak up the history of the place.
Night of Lights
On two evenings during Advent, the market is lit up by the “Night of Lights” featuring impressive music, fire, pyrotechnics and lighting combined with elements of choreographed theatre. Guests can also take part in this spectacle with their own sparklers, lanterns and storm lamps.
And if you so wish, you can reserve one of the beautifully decorated lodges and their nostalgic wood-burning stoves, and while away some unforgettable hours with family, friends or colleagues.
The newly established ticket shop allows visitors to order admission tickets from the comfort of their own home from 1 November onwards and in doing so save on queueing at the event.
How to get there
The romantic Christmas market is held at Schloss Thurn und Taxis in the heart of Regensburg.
If you want to travel to the city by car, take motorway A93 and A3 to Regensburg. The B15 and B8 also lead to the city. We would suggest using the parking guidance system to find a parking space in the city centre. The following car parks are close to the market or suitable for park and ride: Dultplatz, Parkhaus bei den Regensburg Arcaden, Parkhaus am Dachauplatz, Tiefgarage beim Theater/Bismarckplatz, Parkplatz am Donaumarkt, Parkgarage am Arnulfsplatz and the Parkplatz am alten Eisstadion.
Regensburg is also well connected by rail. The main station is just a stone’s throw from the abbey, and various national bus lines also link with Regensburg. In the city itself, the Stadtbus services stop directly next to the romantic Christmas market.