Review: Frankfurt Christmas Markets

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My family is from Germany and I’ve spent many Christmases there, so this wasn’t my first Christmas Market. And for that matter there are better Christmas Markets than the ones in Frankfurt, in my opinion, though the Frankfurt Christmas Market is one of the largest. That being said, there’s just generally something damn awesome about the way Germany “does” the holidays.

Christmas is so commercialized here in the US that I’m not convinced people actually spend more time with their families around the holidays, as everyone is busy and seems to be spending their time shopping for gifts, going to parties, etc. And while that’s largely also the case in Germany, there’s something beautiful about seeing families spend time outside at the Christmas Markets actually taking in the holiday “spirit.”

It certainly helped that this was probably the most pleasant December ever to be outside, as it was ~50 degrees for the entire time I was there. I don’t remember ever being in Frankfurt in December with such pleasant weather. At the same time I was almost sad that it wasn’t colder and snowing, as that adds even further to the atmosphere.

Here’s a video about Frankfurt’s Christmas Markets (though I can’t help but feel like it’s narrated similarly to one of those sex ed videos they play in 9th grade):

The Christmas Markets are “open” almost all day, though are busiest in the evenings. Typically each “stand” has one specialty, so you’d get glühwein from one stand, crepes from another, cookies from another, pretzels from another, sausages from another, etc.

Being the introvert that I am, I quite enjoyed walking around the markets during the day when they were still fairly empty. And since it meant I could drink glühwein and eat pretzels without being social, I found it even more enjoyable. 😉

Here are some pictures from the markets:

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by day

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by day

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by day

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by day

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by day

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by day

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by day

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by night

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by night

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by night

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by night

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by night

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by night

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by night

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by night

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Frankfurt Christmas Market by night

Anyway, if you haven’t yet experienced Christmas Markets in Europe, add it to your bucket list!

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Comments

  1. Thanks to “Mr. Widerøe’s” mistake fare, I walked through the area when it was under construction on my layover coming back from Dubai.

  2. Oh Ben, this WAS on my list for earlier this month, but my Europe trip was cut short and unfortunately, it was the Christmas Markets in Frankfurt that I had to cancel. Your report reminds me that there will be a next time and that I will make it there the next time.

  3. We just returned from our 1st Christmas markets run on miles, hotel points and train rides: Milan-Zurich-Innsbruck-Munich all in 5 days. Definitely Munich has more extensive markets, Innsbruck is very cozy, Zurich has huge tree decorated entirely with Swarovski crystals. There is no glühwein in Milan, but it has a good selection of truffles products.
    Lucky, which one is your favorite.

  4. I love Nürnberg. It is such a beautiful one. In the 70s, I used to hit markets every weekend.

    Sincerely I can recommend: Nürnberg, Rothernburg, Cologne and Munich

    But pretty much every town, like Karlsruhe, Mainz has one. The smell of anise and glühwein is unbelievable. And the craftmanship in some of the christmas original decorations are to die for.

    Outside of Germany I can highly recommend Strassbourg and Stockholm. The latter is in Gamla Stan (old town) and they offer their version of glühwein, called glögg. Very festive and friendly folks.

  5. I agree the German Christmas markets are the best but there’s something unique about being at the Roppongi Hills Market on Christmas Eve!

    In Tokyo!

  6. Should’ve popped into the galeria kaufhof- lots of awesome Christmas stuff to be had in there!

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