The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is the biggest in the country with over 180 stalls located in Victoria Square and running the length of main street. Tom and I spent our day off last week enjoying the biggest German Xmas market outside Germany and Austria and mainly, when it comes to my betrothed and I, eating our way down the high street.
I love Christmas and all things Christmassy, a few years ago my family and visited Prague just a few weeks before the main event and every year I’m desperate to go back. But with Tom and I becoming homeowners hopefully very shortly, more foreign destinations have been but on hold but the Frankfurt Market in Birmingham brings all that Christmas kitsch straight to our front doors.
The streets are lined with wood clad stalls selling a variety of traditional German imports from Bratwurst sausages, Knoblauchbrot and highly decorated Lebkuchen (gingerbread). (Lebkuchen is a particular favourite as it reminds me of trips to Munich in the Autumn when I was a teenager on a German exchange and my host family would send me home laden with Lebkuchen – to the point where Airport Security gave me suspicious looks.)
The market is affiliated with the Frankfurt Christmas Market, which is one of the oldest markets in Germany dating back to 1393. The market has grown staggeringly over the last decade since Kurt Stoscher, Frankfurt City Council’s director of festivals and event, first brought traders over to launch the event.
Personally I was rather underwhelmed by the Christmas Craft Market which rather feels like its been tacked on the end of the main drag and the ice rink and wheel are a nice idea but didn’t really add anything for me.
I’m not going to lie, there is a lot of repetition amongst stallholders…Mulled Wine, Bratwurst, Chocolate, Christmas Decorations, Mulled Wine, Bratwurst, Chocolate, Christmas Decorations…. you get the picture. However, I don’t necessarily think that takes away from the market.
We visited during the afternoon which good time because it’s not too packed – and the market does receive a lot of visitors – over 5.5million in total. But its when the lights go down that Victoria Square really comes alive with the Christmas lights, even in the rain its cheery. Tom and I felt super festive with our gluwhein and with my furry hat, I felt very much the fairytale Bavarian princess!
What you need to know:
- The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market runs until 22nd December, open 10am to 9pm everyday.
- For atmosphere, visit early evening. It’s very conceivable to visit the entire market in 2 or 3 hours.
- Wrap up warm, it’s all outside.