One of my favorite things to go to when traveling is a Christmas Market in Germany. Of course that is not a reason to travel to Germany, so I just have to luck out and have an event to travel to in December. That actually happens more often that you would think and I always make a point of finding time in my schedule to go check out the local Christmas Market as pretty much every town and city has one. One of the best German traditions in my view.
I was staying in Frankfurt, near the airport, and decided to see what the big city had to offer. It wasn’t hard to find the city center and the start of the Christmas Market. I say start because, unlike many city where the market is out in the town square, Frankfurt’s was spread over a series of small platz, but all close enough that you could see one from the other. This gave a very nice feel for integrating the market with all the many historical buildings throughout the city.
If you don’t know where a Christmas Market is, just go to the city center and follow the crowd. The place was packed and we went on a Monday night!
The first stop should always be a Gluhwein vendor to get a little anti-freeze in you and put you in a Christmas spirit. For those who are not familiar, Gluhwein is a spiced wine served hot which you can find only at Christmas time in Germany (although they sell bottles of it here in the States in wine stores if you look carefully). I was amused by the guy preparing a huge vat of it as shown in the second photo below.
One thing that is popular is collecting the coffee cups that gluhwein is served in. Some vendors will include the cost in the price you pay (6 Euros most places) while others will give you a token and if you return the cup, you’ll get a Euro back.
The Christmas market is a string of little booths set up by families to sell alcohol, food, gifts, and trinkets. It is great just to wander around, fill your belly and see some interesting stuff. I always like to get at least one ornament to take home although I am too afraid of getting the most delicate items.
This barbecue rig was fascinating and the guy who I was with was freaking out and vowed that he would make one for his home when he returned.
The sausage they served was outstanding, I could have eaten one of each variety. They were all served with a small roll and mustard or other condiments.
They even had a double decker merry-go-round which seemed to have more adults than kids riding it.
If you ever find yourself in Germany between 23 Nov and 23 Dec, you’ll have to make a point of visiting a Christmas Market. Trust me you’ll have a great time.