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a&o: Advent time is travel time - Christmas markets bring atmosphere ...

a&o: Advent time is travel time - Christmas markets bring atmosphere ...
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Advent time is travel time: Christmas markets bring atmosphere ...

- ... and people are in the mood to travel 
- 70 Christmas markets expected in Berlin 
- 6 million visitors anticipated in Cologne and 2 million in Erfurt       

Berlin - Just one tip: If you're planning a trip to a Christmas market with friends, family or colleagues over the coming weeks, it's best to decide exactly which one you have in mind: Berlin alone offers more than 70 markets, Thuringia more than 40, Cologne boasts seven offers in the city centre and these are just a few examples. The number of markets are increasing and the variety is expanding: Historic, nostalgic, vegan, child friendly, LGBT, in castles and parks, in neighbourhoods, woods or indoor, for design and art fans - Christmas markets have long offered more than food and punch.

Christmas markets are an integral part of the event calendar for cities and tourist centres - as well as families. Less than a business travel month, December and the "Christmas Market Season" nevertheless ensure a "good to very good occupancy rate" such as Cologne Tourism.

Advent - from insider tip to top travel season

"The pre-Christmas season has become the best time to travel- for singles, couples, groups and families," confirms Phillip Winter, CMO of the Berlin budget group a&o, "and that means above all visiting Christmas markets at the weekends. In the past, the weeks before the festival were rather an insider tip and one traditionally started off on a winter holiday after Christmas Eve, "today, the city's short trips in the Advent season make up the common winter experience," observes the 34-year-old, looking at the classic Christmas market strongholds such as Cologne or Nuremberg, Munich or Dresden: "In Dresden, December is one of our top three months of capacity utilisation."

The Christmas stall magic may be too colourful for some - the large crowd likes it: There is an expected 6 million day and overnight guests in Cologne ( and Erfurt is anticipating around 2 million visitors ( If you are planning a visit to the Christmas markets with overnight accommodation at short notice, please visit:

The trend: children, organic, sustainability

Regional specialities and traditional crafts are making a comeback to Christmas markets and new offers are expanding: with Fairtrade, organic, sustainable products and free stands for NGOs or special entertainment programmes for children, the Christmas markets are responding to trends and demand - indispensable for survival. After all, Christmas markets have not been invented in recent decades. Dresden and Bautzen are home to the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

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About a&o Hostels

a&o was founded in 2000 by Oliver Winter; 39 stores in 23 cities and eight countries (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Poland and Hungary) can currently be booked; new openings in Budapest, Warsaw and Copenhagen are scheduled for 2019/2020. As the largest hostel provider in Europe, the chain is growing at over 15 percent per year. With around 28,500 beds and around five million overnight stays in 2018, a&o recorded sales of around 152 million euros. The American investor TPG Real Estate has been the owner of a&o since 2017. Even after 18 years, the company is still run by its founders.

Dr. Petra Zahrt
Tel. +49 (0) 221 3018 2363
Mobile +49 (0) 172 94 54 753

a&o Holding Gmbh & Co. KG
Adalbertstr. 50
10179 Berlin Deutschland

Managing Director: Oliver Winter, Stefan Petrikovics, Andreas Bleeker.