Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt – Our Frankfurt Christmas Market Visit:
The Frankfurt Christmas Market is the first of our series of German Christmas Market visits this year. Naturally we’re excited to be in Frankfurt again to see what Germany’s financial powerhouse has in store for Christmas this year. The extensive Frankfurt Christmas Market (Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt) stretches from the city centre at Hauptwache to Paulsplatz, Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz, Römerberg and then to Mainkai.
Frankfurt Christmas Market
At the Frankfurt Christmas market are the familiar raft of stalls selling Christmas crafts, decorations and gifts for Christmas.
A big part of Christmas markets are the Christmas treats and regional specialities. Popular at the Frankfurt’s Weihnachtsmarkt are Bethmänchen, a delicate almond and marzipan biscuit, and Quetschemännchen, small figurines whose limbs are made of dried plums.
There are also plenty of stalls selling all kinds of chocolates, biscuits, cakes and the traditional heart-shaped chocolate lebkuchen. Just walking past these sweet stalls we can feel a diabetes attack coming on.
Eating and drinking
A very common sight at the markets is the large circular grills with a few types of sausages and meat being grilled. Bratwurst is the quintessential German fast food and at the Christmas market there were plenty being consumed. Although we don’t eat meat, we quite enjoy watching the vendors grilling the sausages. With great skill, the guy manages to turn six sausages at a time.
For non-meat eaters like us, there are fish rolls and raclette. Handkäs fondue has become very popular as well. And of course at Christmas time, glühwein takes over as the drink of choice.
One of the attractions of the Christmas market stalls is the decoration of the roofs. Very often the decorations give an idea of what the stall is about. Our favourite this year is the singing moose. The moose is pretty cute but moose meat? I don’t think so!
There are hundreds of stalls at the market. In order to cover as much of the market as possible, we have a quick snack of raclette and glühwein.
Römerberg Christmas Tree
At the Frankfurt historic centre, a giant Christmas tree, covered with thousands of fairy lights, towers over the square. The square, with its charming historical buildings make for an atmospheric location for a Christmas market. Near the tree, is a stand by the Frankfurt Tourist information. You can have your mail and Christmas cards specially postmarked with the Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt stamp. They don’t sell stamps here. All they do is take your mail and deliver it to the post office for the special stamps. We sent a few cards from here and hope that they will arrive on time.
Pink Christmas Market
Frankfurt now has a Pink Christmas Market at Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz. This is a popular meeting place for the LGBT community.
On our first venture to the markets, we arrived after 8 pm and not long after we were surprised that some stalls had started to shut down. At 9 pm the whole market was shut. Yes, we had forgotten that in Frankfurt, the Christmas markets close early.
The next evening we arrive a bit earlier to see the market in full swing, with crowds of people enjoying their food and drinks. At 8.30 pm we thought that there was no way the market would close seeing it was still bustling with action. But sure enough, by 9 pm, the stalls began shutting down. We asked the people at the hotel reception and they confirmed that the markets in Frankfurt do close at 9 pm. The young reception staff said that Frankfurt is a business centre and the focus of the town is business! The city centre seems pretty shut as well in the evenings.
Easy to get to
From The Frankfurt Hotel where we are staying, it is a 15 minute walk to the Hauptwache. However to save time, we also have the option of catching the S-bahn. Hauptwache is just two stops away.
Frankfurt Christmas Market Dates:
November 26 – December 22, 2018
Romerberg, Paulsplatz, Mainkai, Hauptwache, Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz