Imagine the most picturesque German village you’ve ever seen. I’m talking about medieval architecture houses of various vintage colors, scattered between green hills and a beautiful river running through the whole village to complete the setting. Like taken out of a card postal, right? Well, the good news is that such places do exist in real life and it’s up to you to discover them. One of these places is called Monschau and it’s the very reason why I’m writing this post. So sit back and enjoy the ride!

monschau

Monschau is a traditional German village, or ‘resort town’ as Germans refer to it, situated in western Germany, in the Aachen district of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its preserved half-timbered houses and general traditional beauty that has remained unchanged for 300 years, make it a popular tourist destination all-year round, but let’s face it: there’s no better time of the year to be in Moschau than Christmas. I visited the place a week before Christmas day and I even got lucky to find it all white with snow. The view was breathtaking! It was one of those images you wish you could keep forever in your mind.

christmas in monschau

On your arrival at Monschau, you are greeted by the Rur river and the first traditional houses together with a large sign promoting their ‘Weihnachtsmarkt’ (Christmas market) taking place at the historic town center a few steps away. The walk towards it is like diving into the place’s history as you pass by the most amazing historic buildings some of them remained intact and others transformed into hotels or local shops but all dressed up with Christmas lights and ornaments.

Christmas in monschau

monschau

The historic town center itself is indeed the highlight of the walk, with its center square where the Christmas market takes place every year, its collection of historic buildings that are made into coffee shops and restaurants, the gigantic clock staring at you and a bridge uniting the left part of the town to the right. Over there you can see the Rur running wildly and splitting the town in half which is an image that speaks for itself. While you are there, you won’t be able to not succumb to their famous ‘currywurst’, which is sausage with a curry sauce because the smell coming from all those Christmas kiosks are intoxicating. Don’t forget to try their ‘Gluhwein’ (hot wine) with Amaretto too. It’s the best way to warm yourself up because- in case I forgot to mention it- up there it can be really cold!

monschau

Stroll around to get to know the place and visit one of their coffee stores either overlooking the river or the decorated square. After all, there’s nothing more relaxing after a day’s walk in the cold than a cup of hot chocolate at a cozy place with a killing view! There are also some great restaurants around, serving hot soup which is like medication against the cold!

monschau

monschau

I hope I’ve painted quite a picture for those of you who always dreamt of visiting a place like that during Christmas. Keep in mind that it’s only 1 ½ hours away from Cologne, which is one of the biggest cities in western Germany and also one of the best destinations for this time of the year. You can learn all about it in my blog post about Cologne here. So if you stay there, you may consider Moschau for a day trip. A warning though: It’s best to visit Monschau at least a week before Christmas, because on the actual holidays Germans have their Christmas break, which means that everything is closed, both their commercial stores and their Christmas market. You don’t want to drive all this way and get disappointed instead of getting the full experience out of it!