Frankfurt’s Christmas Festivities

In Christmas, En-Route, Europe, Germany, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

A visit to Frankfurt’s Christmas Markets

A delight in the Hesse region of Germany

Frankfurt was the 3rd stop on our 2017 Christmas Market road trip after we had enjoyed a couple of days in Strasbourg and three in Munich.
The never ending market, Frankfurt, Germany

The never ending Christmas market

People milling about in front of a couple of the food & drink huts in the Christmas market in Plaza Hauptwache.  Bright neon lights decorate the ornate stalls.

The never ending Christmas market

After Frankfurt, we were then heading north to Cologne.

Frankfurt can trace its Christmas market history back 1393. However, it wasn’t until the early 19th century that the Christmas tree was introduced.

Quick Links

The tree in Römerberg, Frankfurt, Germany

The Christmas tree in Römerberg

Now the huge tree takes pride of place in front of the Rathaus (town hall). The tree for 2017 came from a mountain range in Schmallenberg Sauerland.
A selection of meats, Frankfurt, Germany

A selection of meats on the Christmas market

A reference guide

I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books.  I find them  extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Germany road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.

Unexpected Treat

When I did my initial research on the festive season in Frankfurt, I thought the market was going to be reasonably small.

A food stall at night at the Christmas market in front of St. Catherine's Church.  The food is cooked over an open wood-fired grill and you can see the sacks of logs stacked at the end of the cabin.

The Drexel grill

When I did my initial research on the festive season in Frankfurt,

I thought the market was going to be reasonably small.

A group of people queuing at a Glühwein hut at the Hauptwach Christmas Market.

Glühwein at Hauptwache

A group of people gathered around a glühwein stall on the Christmas market at night.  The streel lamp has an additional advent candlelight attached, and the top of the booth has two illuminated reindeer either side of Santa and a glühwein sign.

All gather for Glühwein

A stall on the Christmas markets selling roasted nuts that you literally can smell before you see.  The wooden hut has a jolly Santa and his reindeer perched on the tiled roof.

The roasted nut stall

A brightly lit, candied fruit stall, on Frankfurt’s Christmas market. People gather to look at the selection of wares.

Sweet fruits

Don’t forget

Your comfy shoes and warm clothing

When the sun goes down

We were staying at the west of the city near the Main River, so after our arrival, we strolled along the river bank to Mainkai, where the market starts from the south.
A brightly lit Glühwein hut in Frankfurt's quayside Christmas market at night.  People are coming and going, others are perched around wooden tables, shaped like Christmas trees enjoying their drinks.

The Glühweinhutte

We had arrived at our favourite time when the sun starts setting, and the stalls are awash with twinkling lights.

So, no time like the present and it was time for a Frankfurter & glühwein.

A stall in the based of an illuminated Christmas Pyramid

The Christmas Pyramid

A grill stall on the quayside Christmas market at dusk, selling a variety of grilled sausages.

The Grill

Go with the flow

You don’t need a map here, as the markets flow along, immediately you are heading up to Römerberg.

This is a delightful square with half-timbered buildings encircling it and where the tree stands high above.

Looking down one of the rows, across the cobbles, of the Römerberg Christmas market at night to the vast, brightly lit, Christmas tee that dominates the view.

The main Christmas tree

The brightly lit carousel in Frankfurt's Römerberg Christmas market

One of the carousels

Adding to the joyful atmosphere is a carousel for all ages and plenty of festive stalls, with different varieties of food and a fantastic selection of glühweins.

Here a local specialty here is apfelwein (apple glühwein) and also brombeerwein (blackberry glühwein), I got Gary an extra topping of cream.

Two drinks from the Frankfurt's Christmas markets.  The first is a mug of Frankfurt's speciality apple gluhwein; the other is a glass Irish-Coffee style glass with a cherry gluhwein, topped with cream.

Local tipples

The ornate roof of a Christmas market stall in Römerberg in front of a half-timber building.

Merry Christmas from Römerberg

Now, I know we are in Germany, but we couldn’t resist trying a fondue, Gary just loves them.

Two mugs of gluhwein in front of a fondue served with two rustic bread rolls served up on a Christmas market stall in Römerberg.

The Cheese fondue

Similar to Munich

We were given tokens again when we bought a glühwein, so when you returned your mug for a refund,  you also needed the token.

Singing Moose

As we jostled with the revellers, we head onto St Paul's Square. This is quite a large market and once again full of a wide range of gifts.

What we did notice about Frankfurt in comparison to other markets, was that there was quite a lot of seating. So, you could take the weight off your feet and sit and hug your hot chocolate

The singing moose head on top of a stall in the Christmas market in front of St. Paul's Church.

That Singing Moose

It was in this square that we also enjoyed the dulcet tones of a carol singing moose, what could be better?
The top of a food stall on one of the Christmas markets with an animated Moose head that performs by singing classic Christmas songs like you've never heard before.

The singing Moose

For the sweet tooth

As we wander up towards Hauptwache passing through Liebfrauenberg, there are even more stalls; it was along here that we couldn’t resist a Schokoküsse (chocolate kiss).

A selection of chocolate kisses on a Christmas market stall.  These little marshmallow chocolate domes come in a variety of different flavours, and we have selected two different ones to try.

Chocolate Kisses

This is a marshmallow, covered in chocolate with a thin biscuit base; the marshmallow filling is available in so many different flavours it’s difficult to choose. They can be a bit messy, but they are adorable.

Local Delicacies

There are great things to eat on the markets, and you are spoilt for choice. I know the obvious is often a wurst, and there is such a wide variety of these.

Gary even sampled the Käsekrainer a cheese sausage, that had a really strange texture.

Gary holding a bread roll containing a German cheese sausage.  The cheese sausage is the normal pork variety blended with cheese, so it oozes from the sausage.

A Cheese Sausage

One of my favourite dishes that you can get in restaurants and on the markets is gulaschsuppe, such a hearty dish for the cold winter days.

A bowl of steaming goulash soup and a crusty bread roll from Frankfurt’s Christmas markets


Have You

Visited any German Christmas markets, we’d love you to share them with us?

Frankfurt - Old & New

Frankfurt has quite an eclectic mix of architecture as you may expect

It is great to see around Altstadt that new buildings which are being erected, are being sympathetically built in line with the past.

The Gutenberg Memorial in Frankfurt in front of a skyscraper.  The memorial is to Johannes Gutenberg, credited as the inventor of the modern printing press.

The centrepiece of Roßmarkt

Frankfurt's old opera house from behind the Lucae-Brunnen fountain in Opernplatz.    The sandstone coloured neoclassical styled building was destroyed during the Second World War and completely rebuilt, reopening in 1981.

The Old Opera House

Equally it is always good to see the modern blend in any city.

A  yellow stone neoclassical building with a leaded roof in front of the glass skyscrapers of the modern Frankfurt.

Old and New

Why not?

Start creating your own German Christmas Market adventure. Search for your flights in one easy place with Over 400 airlines are scanned for your favoured routes and chosen dates.
Or alternatively, like us discover a few of Germany’s Christmas markets on a road trip. If you’re venturing from the UK, jump on Le Shuttle.
Although, if you’re unable to bring your own car or you are flying into this lovely country give Rental Cars a go. They search multiple well-known car hire brands for the best deals.

Inspired to visit Frankfurt at Christmas?

Does the hot apple wine tempt you? Or the thought of an almost seamless wander from the river, through the Old Town to the top of the market appeal to you?

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