Discover Germany, Issue 32, November 2015

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Tübingen Cosmopolitan yet regional The Advent season is on our doorstep. It’s time for shopping and enjoying seasonal goodies to the fullest. In Tübingen, there is a great deal to discover, not only during Christmas time. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: BARBARA HONNER,VERKEHRSVEREIN TÜBINGEN/ALEXANDER GONSCHIOR, SCHWARZ & GEHILFEN

The third Advent weekend is something really special in the Swabian town of Tübingen. When the Christmas market is back in the old town and the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread drifts around the timbered houses, residents and visitors alike will surely get into the Christmas spirit. Over 400 market stalls are beautifully decorated offering amazing arts and crafts.Tübingen's Christmas market is famous for hand-made crafts and regional delicacies such as boar bratwurst or mulled wine made of the local vineyards. A highlight not to be missed is the open air cinema, traditionally on Friday, where people meet up to watch the classic Die Feuerzangenbowle (The Punch Bowl) while enjoying a drink themselves under the stars. From 1 to 6 December, the town is dedicated to chocolate, as Germany's biggest

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chocolate festival, the chocolART, takes place. Whether it is painting with cocoa, courses on how to make chocolate candy or massages with chocolate, there is much on offer. No need to have a sweet tooth, as there are alternatives of course. “In the flavour and delight alley, one can find many products beyond chocolate, like high-quality oils, for instance,”Manuela Feiler, project manager at Tübingen’s city marketing, reveals. Thanks to Tübingen's town twinning with Aix-en-Provence and Perugia, Provençal and Umbrian products are available as well and enjoy great popularity. From the end of November, one can shop to the top of one's bent at Stilwild.This lifestyle and design fair is a showcase for smaller labels and young designers who, in times of internet shopping, often do not have their own retail shops. At the Christmas street

food market, one can find something for every taste, from Swabian dishes like Maultaschen (German ravioli filled with meat or spinach) to international treats, from ecologically sustainable to vegan. Yet, Tübingen is worth visiting all year round, but at Christmas it shines in full splendour. Small, mainly owner-managed shops offer exceptional goods and personal advice. “Tübingen’s particular flair can be experienced also in those little shops,”Feiler resumes.