Koblenz/ Weinheim, 26 September 2006 – Romantic Cities: Sparkling Moments. This is promised by the Christmas markets of the six historical cities in the region of Rhine of Moselle. They belong to the most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany; with picturesque old towns, bright lights, flavour of mulled wine, arts and crafts, Christmas decoration as well as modern shopping facilities. The favourable location of the airport Frankfurt-Hahn makes the cities easy to reach by Ryanair.

Romantic Cities, Sparkling Moments … enjoy the magic of Christmas in one of south-west Germany’s six Romantic Cities. Trier, Koblenz, Mainz, Worms, Speyer and Kaiserslautern are set amidst the beautiful scenery and fabled castles of the Rhine and Moselle. As well as being superb for shopping, they captivate visitors with their rich history, labyrinthine old quarters and striking cathedrals and churches.

Magical surroundings
Although the Romantic Cities make fairy-tale destinations at any time of year, they are even more delightful in the run-up to Christmas. Buildings steeped in history are illuminated by thousands upon thousands of fairy lights, while the aroma of gingerbread wafts through the air. And when the snow falls gently from the heavens, the whole scene is draped in a dazzling white coat.

Atmospheric Christmas markets
The Christmas markets have been part and parcel of the festive season in Rhineland-Palatinate for centuries. They offer a kaleidoscopic range of decorations, spices and seasonal cuisine, not to mention traditional arts and crafts such as wooden toys and candles. The painstakingly decorated Nativity scenes meanwhile, are a joy to behold. Keep your eyes peeled for St. Nicholas handing gifts to the little ones, and listen out for carol-singing choirs and live music on stage. Each market develops a distinct character of its own, influenced by its setting, regional traditions and particular specialities, and is centred around a towering Christmas tree adorned with fairy-lights and glittering baubles.

With so many people enjoying the magic of Christmas together in one place, food and drink is understandably high on the agenda. There’s no better way to warm your benumbed hands than wrapping them round a piping hot mug of spicy glühwein – the perfect foil for a fried potato cake, hearty bratwurst or freshly baked waffle topped with sugar and cinnamon.

Shopping heaven
There’s also plenty to discover away from the Christmas markets – just take one look at the festively decorated city centres and exquisite yuletide window displays. If you opt to do your seasonal shopping in Koblenz for example, you’ll find the Christmas market is just a short walk from the quaint old quarter, the main shops and the popular Löhr Centre, which boasts over 130 stores and boutiques. The shops and markets in Kaiserslautern are also found within easy reach of each other, and the city boasts a surprisingly large number of independent specialist stores. The charming medieval town of Speyer meanwhile, provides the perfect setting for browsing, splashing out and enjoying a well-deserved break in a café or bistro. The people of Worms have transformed their grand old imperial boulevard into a shopping paradise. Shopaholics will also love delightful Obermarkt square, which is surrounded by smaller specialist stores. Complete with big-name department stores and exclusive boutiques, the huge shopping area in Trier begins against the backdrop of the famous Porta Nigra gate. It’s then just a short stroll via the main square to the Forum Baths. The shops in Mainz are ringed around the Christmas market by the cathedral. Smaller boutiques are found in the old quarter, big department stores in the Brand Centre shopping mall, and fashion stores in Schillerstrasse and Ludwigstrasse.

Visit the city of your choice with a “Romantic Package”
If you’d like to experience the magic of Christmas in Germany, why not treat yourself to one of our “Romantic Package” mini-breaks? It’s so easy to make a booking and all destinations are within easy reach of Hahn airport. Each city has a special package themed around its highlights and attractions.

The “Romance & History” package for Trier focuses on the 2,000 years of history that make it the oldest city in Germany.
Koblenz – home of the famous Deutsches Eck where the Rhine and Moselle converge – provides the setting for the “Romance & Culture” package. With an itinerary based around the city’s fascinating museums, the Christmas version of the package is ideal for culture vultures.

To sample the finest wines the region has to offer, head to Mainz on the “Romance & Wine” package. While you’re there, don’t miss out on St. Stephen’s Church with its fabulous stained glass windows by Marc Chagall.
Kaiserslautern is renowned for the friendliness of its locals, and has a surprisingly relaxing atmosphere for its size. It’s best explored with the “Romance & Gardens” package, which includes the enchanting Japanese Garden and Kaiserslautern Garden Show.
The awe-inspiring cathedral in Speyer is the last resting place of no less than eight German emperors and kings. Explore its imperial heritage in the “Romance & Emperors” package.

Worms, with its wealth of cultural history including Siegfried the dragon-slayer and the Nibelungs, is covered by the “Romance & Treasures” package.

All packages include two nights in a three, four or five-star hotel and offer a varied itinerary. With prices starting from €49, the one day shopping package is an ideal alternative if you’ve only time for a flying visit. Also available are romantic three-day sightseeing tours themed around UNESCO, Religion, Nature and of course the Christmas Markets. To make a booking or to get more details on the packages, visit www.romantic-cities.com

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