My favourite snack… A Bratwurstkipferl, as offered by Historische Wurstküche, consists of a roll made from rye dough, filled with two of their famous little grilled sausages, their special sweet mustard, and a bit of sauerkraut. The combination may sound weird but it is really really tasty. I more or less lived on them during my visit...
Bratwurstkipferl are on sale at Wurstküche restaurant (next to the stone bridge) and from their stall in the Christmas market in Neupfarrplatz. Cost was (2012) 2.20 € per piece.
My favourite among Regensburg’s four Christmas markets! Lucreziamarkt is an artisans’ market, and the products on offer have a high level of quality. Prices are what these items are worth, so mentally prepare to pay more, respective be selective and pick just one piece. The stalls are really pretty to look at. Merchants take turns, the assortment changes weekly, so this market is worth visiting more than once.
The food on offer is also beyond the usual. Try, for example, Sengzelten (flat bread with cheese or sour cream topping baked under the flames of a wood fire) or Baumstriezel ( = the Czech trdelnik, sweet dough wrapped around a wooden stick and baked, then turned in sugar or almonds or…).
The market has two parts on both sides of the old city hall. The bigger part is in Haidplatz, the smaller one with half a dozen stalls in Kohlenmarkt. Each of them has a small stage where musicians perform in the later afternoon and evening.
Regensburg’s speciality “with everything” seems to be a must on the Christmas market and similar festivals. It is a white roll (Semmel) filled with a grilled short sausage of the Wiener type but thicker (Knackwurst), cut in halves, plus slices of pickled cucumber, mustard and horseradish. This sounds weird and tastes weird. Fans of horseradish will like it. In my humble opinion, trying it once was enough. In the future I’ll rather stick with Bratwurstkipferl.
The Regensburgers are very fond and very proud of this, though. I read press reports during my stay that this year for the first time some stall on the Christmas market in Munich offers Regensburger Knackwurstsemmeln and makes good business. This caused an uproar in Regensburg, “they are stealing our Knackwurstsemmeln…”
The “romantic” Christmas market takes place in the park and courtyard of Thurn und Taxis Palace, grounds that usually are not accessible because the palace is private property. In Advent, though, Princess Gloria opens her gardens to visitors. Not for free, of course – the entrance fee is rather steep, 5.50 € for adults. Since this is a market where you are expected to buy things and spend even more money, I consider that a rip-off. After 8 p.m. (this is the only one of the markets that stays open until 10 p.m.) there is an evening ticket for 2 €.
The setting is pretty, though. Small wooden huts are lined up along the gravel walks in the park and round the courtyards. This is a really nice market and worth visiting. It is never as crowded as the other ones (because of the entrance fee, obviously).
The market in Stadtamhof has probably the most spectacular setting, right on the Northern bank of the Danube in front of the panorama of the old town. Access is from the end of Steinerne Brücke, or through the courtyard of the Spital complex. Katharinenspital was established in the middle ages as a hospital and is now an old people’s home.
I was a bit disappointed about the market, though. It is not too big and half of it are food and drink stalls. The alleys are narrow, so it feels very crowded. Products on offer include some artisans but weren’t too special, with few exceptions.
The most interesting stall was one of a sheep farmer who sold products made from wool, sheep milk, sheepskin etcetera. On their farm they breed Waldschafe, a very old local race of domestic sheep which is on the brink of extinction, and they have a small paddock with some live sheep by their stall so you can watch the woolly cuties.
This market is open from Wednesday to Sunday, closed on Monday and Tuesday (unlike the others which are open 7 days a week).
Neupfarrplatz is the “standard” market. Items on offer are the same style as everywhere else. Food stalls have some local specialities, though. Here is where to go for the famous Knackwurstsemmel mit allem (see separate tip). Historische Wurstküche is also having a stall in a corner where they sell their Bratwurstkipferl (also see separate tip). For the sweet teeth, try Quarkbällchen.
This market is popular and crowded during peak hours, like the evenings. It isn’t as “squeezy” as many other markets, though, because there is enough space. Even with large crowds assembling round the Glühwein stalls there is still room to move.
We arrived by ship and of course the first thing which comes in sight is the Old Stone Bridge, constructed in the 12th century.
Dominating the area near the bridge is the Historiche Wurstküche and the excursion-boat landing. The Historic Sausage Kitchen has been serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a tube for at least 500 years.
Tables outside on a sunny day with tourists passing by and in winter, you can squeeze into the cozy building for your order of 4, 6, 8, or 10 sausages on a bed of sauerkraut. (The sausages are small,)
Regensburger are much smaller than average German sausages and resemble an American breakfast sausage. They have a bit of a similar flavor profile with lots of marjoram for good measure. Though Germans tend to be quite defensive about their region's superiorty when it comes to sausages (and beer), most do love these little tasty morsels.