Erfurt Entdecker Tour

Authored By:

Lauren M.

Grüß dich! It is December and that means it’s Christmas time! There’s no better way to celebrate the holiday season in Germany than with the Christmas markets. 

At the beginning of December I went on a trip with my German organization to Erfurt. Erfurt is home to one of the prettiest Christmas markets in Germany. The market sits in the medieval town center, Domplatz, and gives a fantastic view of the Erfurter Dom, leaving visitors with a dream-like Christmas feeling.

Our trip began Friday, and I had the pleasure of taking the Deutsche Bahn. While the Deutsche Bahn is a fantastic method of travel connecting the entire country, it does have its downfalls. I was lucky enough to experience it twice in one weekend. My first train was delayed and I missed my connection. When I finally got on my second train it was so packed that my friend and I had to sit under the luggage rack! Definitely a memory for the books. 

Finally arriving in Erfurt, we were met by the entire group with a snowball fight! I hadn’t seen a lot of these people since the end of language camp and so we all had big smiles on our faces. We trekked through the snow back to our hostel and settled in for a pizza dinner. Our organization doesn’t just do the CBYX Program, but also hosts students from around the world. I met students from Australia, Italy, Portugal, and Mexico just to name a few. The pizza took awhile, so we passed the time like most people would- karaoke and a dance party. We taught the other students the Cotton Eye Joe… we’re definitely checking the intercultural exchange box haha. 

Erfurt had a snowstorm just before we got there, and although it made everything feel much more magical it was COLD. We got all bundled up and headed out for our full Saturday. The morning started with a city tour. It was in German and I was pretty happy to see that I could understand a good amount of it. We saw some historical sites, like the Erfurter Dom, and learned more about the city’s culture. I split off with some students afterwards for a nice cup of hot chocolate and some hefty waffles. We were able to meet up with other CBYXers that lived in the area, giving us personal tour guides to explore the city more. We went on a tour of Petersburg Citadel, took lots of group photos, and headed back down into the city where we stumbled onto a photobooth. After dinner, we finally got to go to the Christmas market! A huge ferris wheel ride gave us a view of the entire market, the Christmas tree, and the cathedral, all decked in snow. Genuinely the prettiest site I’ve gotten to see so far. 

Sunday was our last day. One of our last visits was to a tropical house, all of us excited to be in a warm place for the morning. The place had multiple animal exhibits and even a butterfly room. We sprinted to the Straßenbahn and had just a bit of time in the Christmas market again. I spent my last hour stuffing my mouth with Nutella churros and going on bumper cars. A nice end to a great weekend.. Thank you Experiment :)