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category:Germany tours

Christmas Carols & Markets

Have you considered travelling in December? Perfect for either a short or a longer stay to experience the joy of Europe's best Christmas Markets and perform to the crowds whilst you're there. But which destination should you choose? Travel at the end of the winter term is becoming more and more popular with school groups as to avoid clashing with other tours planned in the summer term.

Large Christmas tree viewed through smartphone screen

Poland

Our no.1 destination for a winter tour. Not only does Poland present great value, it's also one of the most religious countries in Europe, meaning great organs and mass participations, filled to capacity. Cities we reccomend include: Kraków, Warsaw, Wrocław and Lublin. 

German Christmas Market viewed from above

Germany

The classic choice when thinking about a Christmas markets trip. While you can find a magical Christmas market in each German city, we reccomend heading east to Leipzig or Berlin where hotel rates stay low over the festive period meaning you can enjoy a good value tour whilst still experiencing everything Christmas in Germany has to offer. 

Christmas Market in Riga, Latvia

Latvia

An 'off the beaten track' option for many, why not head to the largest of the Baltic states for your dose of festivities? Latvia has an outstanding choral tradition and this is evident with the wide number of venues available to you here. Just a 2.5hr flight from London will land you in Riga, Latvia's capital where you'll find the city's medieval old town, brimming with Christmas market stalls and music. If you're really lucky, you might be treated to a dusting of snow for that authetic winter experience! 

Contact us today to discuss your winter touring ideas!

Published: 7 December 2020

East Germany with Sue

Sue Peter in Germany

Say Hallo to Sue! Sue is part of our world wide network of concert representatives and arranges all of our performance opportunities in Germany.

What have you been up to this summer?

Like most people, I have been rediscovering old skills and developing new ones, especially baking, tending my garden, painting with acrylics & a spatula and learning to make sourdough pizza. But of course, I have been visiting different parts of Germany to prepare for the Really Big Chorus’ arrival in December, to Landshut, the former capital of Bavaria, and soon to revisit Dresden and Meissen.

Are you a member of a choir?

I sing in two choirs, like most choirs we tried to continue rehearsals over zoom but without any proper singing. In recent months, we’ve been rehearsing in an underground car park, socially distanced, with miners’ lamps on our heads to read the music. We’re rehearsing for two concerts this Christmas, Gluhwine in the gardens and a ‘bring your own chair’ courtyard concert.

What do you do when you’re not organising concerts for your next group to Germany?

I’m always thinking about concerts in new venues, in new places! In the moments that I’m not, I love reading poetry and visiting historic graveyards. At the moment I’m rereading the poems and ballads of Algernon Charles Swinburne. I also love languages and I’m currently learning Catalan as my son lives in Barcelona. It’s a lovely language, a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese and French which I’m enjoying very much.

What is your favourite region of Germany? 

Well, I love East Germany and I was the first to pioneer this region for concert tours when the wall came down 30 years ago. My especial favourites are Leipzig and Erfurt.

What is your favourite venue?

My favourite venue in Germany has to be the classic Thomaskirche in Leipzig where JS Bach himself was the Music Director between 1723-1750. Outside you’ll find a statue dedicated to the maestro himself and inside you’ll find his gravestone.

What’s your best travel advice?

Thorough preparation! To quote Benjamin Franklin: ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’

What is the one thing you never travel without?

You may find this odd, but nearly all of our inspection tours are carried out in the deepest of German winters, so I never go anywhere without a bobble hat! Spending the entire day in freezing cold churches and organ lofts makes a bobble hat absolutely essential!

What’s your favourite thing about working for ACFEA?

I’ve worked continuously for the company for around 27 years and it’s been lovely! It doesn’t feel like working for a company, it’s like working with a family of friends.

Published: 31 August 2020