Holiday traditions, beautiful markets and old-world charm - Christmastime in Frankfurt

When the Römerberg with its elegant Christmas tree illuminates the night sky with thousands of fairy lights, when Frankfurt’s traditional apple wine is served piping hot, when the bells of ten downtown churches ring harmoniously, then you know it’s Christmastime in Frankfurt!

Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt
Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt - © #visitfrankfurt, Foto: Holger Ullmann

When the Römerberg with its elegant Christmas tree illuminates the night sky with thousands of fairy lights, when Frankfurt’s traditional apple wine is served piping hot, when the bells of ten downtown churches ring harmoniously, then you know it’s Christmastime in Frankfurt! The yuletide season is a particularly festive time in the metropolis on the River Main, with many holiday highlights attracting visitors from near and far. Frankfurt’s magnificent Christmas market is without a doubt the most splendid of these attractions, and there’s no better way to discover the market than with our guided theme tour. Come with friends and family, stroll past the countless stalls offering traditional gifts and handcraft, sample some of the local specialities and bring back childhood memories with a ride on a historical merry-go-round.

The Frankfurt Christmas Market, one of the oldest and most beautiful in all of Germany, stretches from the Hauptwache across St Paul’s Square and the Römerberg all the way down to the banks of the River Main. It is here that one finds Germany’s largest Christmas tree, set scenically in front of the Römer, Frankfurt’s time-honoured town hall. Frankfurt’s Christmas market is in fact famous for many things. Regional Christmas specialities like “Bethmännchen”, a delicate almond and marzipan biscuit, hot apple wine and “Quetschemännchen”, small figurines made of dried plums, allhave a long tradition in Frankfurt and also make for a tasty souvenir for friends and loved ones back home. Modern interpretations of old classics, like “Green Sauce” crêpes served with brisket of beef or delicious “Handkäs” fondue, have also become very popular in recent years. The best place to enjoy these local culinary delights is in one of the warm and cosy taverns situated all around the market.

To become better acquainted with Frankfurt’s yuletide traditions and holiday specialities, simply take part in the guided Christmas market tour, “Stories, Sweets& Savouries”. One particular highlight of this tour is the visit of the rooftop gallery of St Nicholas Church, from where participants are afforded unique views of the Christmas market, set festively before the imposing backdrop of the Frankfurt skyline. The Frankfurt Tourist+Congress Board (TCF) offers these guided tours on all four Advent weekends. An additional Christmas market tour specially conceived for the blind and vision-impaired will be held on Sunday, the 17th of December. Please note that the basic tours are also bookable for groups in a variety of different languages.

Another jewel of the Frankfurt Christmas Market is the 300-year-old timber-frame “honey house”, which is erected on St Paul’s Square every year for the duration of the market. Here, market visitors will find a wide variety of gift ideas made of natural honey and beeswax. Many of the products on sale are available for sampling on the first floor of this time-honoured venue.

If you want to hear the traditional trumpet sounds of Christmas rising above the Römerberg, then make sure you visit the market on a Wednesday or Saturday evening. It is on these days at precisely 6:00 pm that the tower horns sound from the balcony of St Nicholas Church. On weekends, international Christmas carols are performed on the Römerberg stage. A life-size nativity scene, an essential component of every Christmas market, completes the stage set-up.

The Frankfurt Christmas Market is well known for its colourful assortment of wares. Traditional articles like Christmas ornaments, folk art from the Ore Mountains and handmade candles are as much part of the offer range as modern arts and crafts, the very typical “Dippe” pottery and homemade earthenware products. Local Frankfurt artists annually come together at an arts and crafts market held at the Römerhallen (“Roman Halls”) and St Paul’s Church to sell their latest creations. Here, visitors have the opportunity of securing a truly one-of-a-kind Christmas present. Those looking for a typical Frankfurt-style gift, meanwhile, are urged to drop by the TCF’s very own sales booth, situated directly beneath the Christmas tree on the Römerberg. Apple wine mustard, Frankfurt Crown Cake liqueur and this year’s version of the popular Christmas market mug are just some of the excellent gift ideas on sale here. Even those who have Christmas cards or other holiday mail to send will find a little bit of Frankfurt tradition to meet their needs with the special Christmas market stamp.

A more recent addition to the traditional Frankfurt Christmas Market is the so-called “Pink Christmas”, held on Friedrich-Stoltze Square. A popular meeting place of the city’s LGBT community and friends, this offshoot market’s rustic wooden stalls sell old favourites as well as more modern concoctions, including hot cocktails, homemade soup and freshly made gingerbread. The entire market is lovingly decorated with much attention to detail yet with a certain “pink” touch.

 

This year’s Frankfurt Christmas Market will be taking place from 27th November to 22nd December 2017.

Official opening hours are Mondays to Saturdays from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sundays from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.

 

The Christmas market held in the historical Frankfurt district of Höchst provides a similarly memorable experience. Höchst Castle with its Gothic-style keep is in fact well worth a visit on its own. It is in front of this picturesque setting that the Höchst Christmas Market will be taking place on 02nd and 03rd December. Here, local clubs, businesses and associations will be offering their wares at some 50 ornately decorated booths. A number of regional artists will also be on hand to present an array of beautifully handcrafted items.

 

Further information here.

 PI_Chrismas market 2017  (pdf - 72.31 kB)