Saintly Santas, wild tattoos, Munich ballet dancers, royal Christmas markets and one huge soccer party are on offer this week for those looking for something to do in Germany.
Germany's Santa wears a miter
Get Sa n ta Claus n atio n wide. On Tuesday, Germans celebrate St. Nicholas, who has been making way fo Santa Claus in recent decades. Children still put out their shoes on Dec. 5 to find them filled with candy, nuts and oranges (and maybe the occasional toy) the following morning. Should they go empty-handed, they still stand a good chance to get goodies at kindergarten, where St. Nicholas -- dressed like a bishop -- and his grouchy helper, Ruprecht, is bound to appear. Apart from kindergartens, Germany's malls are probably a good place to catch the two.
Maybe just a bit too extreme
Get a tattoo i n Berli n . Granted, body art might have long gone out of fashion and the masses of tattoo-tainted limbs on display during summer months might not exactly encourage people to go for that Celtic pattern band around their biceps. But anyone desperate to follow the pack should head to Berlin this weekend, where over 100 tattoo artists from 26 countries will meet for a three day convention. The supporting program includes magic and acrobatic shows, fire-eaters and snake charmers. Go figure.
One of the balletttheater's earlier performances
Get da n ce i n Neuss . If you're more in the mood for ballet, head to the city of Neuss, near Düsseldorf, where the balletttheater mü n che n is heading for a guest performance as part of the city's dance weeks on Friday. The troupe's choreographer, Philip Taylor, will show off his "Breath Bandits" hit as well as giving young choreographers a chance.
Get the royal treatme n t i n Rege n sburg .
The Christmas market in Regensburg's palace
If you're not quite sick and tired of Christmas markets yet, you might want to head to the Bavarian town of Regensburg, where the local Princess Gloria of Thurn und Taxis has opened up her home (which, incidentally, is reportedly bigger than Buckingham Palace) for a bit of pre-Christmas frolicking. You can go inside on a tour, but you probably stand a better chance to bump into the princess as she sells hot chestnuts in one of the stalls.
Heidi Klum will be in Leipzig and so could you
Get soccer i n Leipzig. Soccer fans are bound to head to Leipzig this Friday as the World Cup draw will take place there and decide which teams will play against each other next summer. Supermodel Heidi Klum moderates the event, but it might be hard to get in, so why don't you join Leipzigers Thursday night for a huge soccer street party in the city center.