One of the German's favorite past times during the warm summer months has to be visiting fairs and markets. The medieval markets are particularly popular though.
Many of the old city centers are transformed into something from times far, far away. It's like stepping through a time portal, right into the busy hours of a crowded 12th century market complete with jesters, traders and the many treasures they brought along with them.
Immerse yourself in the sounds and smells of the old times, minus the inconvenience of the old world Donnerbalken - thunder planks, or what toilets used to be called back then. Just like the regular fairs, the markets offer modern conveniences like bathrooms, parking and the bigger ones often have websites set up to study the program and promote special events or guests.
Often the markets charge an admission fee, but most wave that or at least give a discount if you are dressed in appropriate attire, like medieval or fantasy garb.
Vendors set up booths all over the market praising their goods. Marvel blacksmiths working their metals on set up forges, tanners and carpenters, or just your local herbalist offering fresh herbs and cures for small ailments. You may encounter an ale brewer or beekeeper selling local honey or gem cutters and jewelers with precious stones for sale. Tailors often show up with fantasy robes and armor and even weapons and chain or plate armor are available.
May markets have shows for entertainment, like jugglers, or jousting. They also have special kids programs or booths to bring the old times to the children. Things like bow and arrow shooting, gem or treasure digging or wooden sword fighting are popular at the fairs.
Be sure to visit all the yummy food vendors that offer long forgotten recipes, bake fresh breads in stone ovens, grill oxen over a fire or smoke fish and meats. If you prefer the more traditional fest foods, you won't be disappointed either.
My favorite part has to be browsing all the amazing wares. I love watching the craftsmanship that goes into these treasures and haggling for that one find is always fun. Second is definitely the different foods. I am especially fond of the ancient recipes and baked goods with honey and dried fruits. If asked, my husband would probably prefer the ales, liqueurs and spirits that are home brewed and often much more potent then the stuff you can find in your local grocery store. He is also a big fan of the old style grilled or smoked meats and cheeses.