The Frankfurt Christmas Market

Romantic setting and traditional specialities

Booth at the Christmas market, in the background the Old Nikolai Church (Alte Nikolaikirche)
Booth at the Christmas market, in the background the Old Nikolai Church (Alte Nikolaikirche) - © Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main

The Frankfurt Christmas Market

Held annually in Frankfurt's old town, this festive end-of-year celebration attracts locals and visitors with a romantic setting and traditional specialities.

Frankfurt/Main, 17th November 2015 (tcf):Frankfurt’s most popular wintertime attraction is its Christmas market, known to be one of the oldest and most beautiful in all of Germany. The focal point of the market is the Römerberg old town, which provides a scenic backdrop with its historical timber-frame buildings. Here, one also finds Germany’s tallest Christmas tree. Those who prefer a little less hustle and bustle will find plenty of similarly romantic Christmas markets in the towns and villages of the surrounding region.

Every Advent season, locals and visitors follow the scent of roasted almonds, mulled wine, gingerbread and baked apples to the Römerberg for a yuletide celebration quite unlike any other. The Frankfurt Christmas Market’s culinary delicacies are particularly famous; they include time-honoured specialities like Bethmännchen (small marzipan and almond biscuits named after the famous Frankfurt banker), hot apple wine (prepared with cinnamon and cloves) and Quetschemännchen (edible figurines made of dried plums). The honey house at St Paul’s Square is equally unique. This 300-year-old timber-frame structure is the traditional point of sale for honey, mead, candles and other products made of beeswax. Many of the goods on sale are available for tasting in the building’s cosy lounge.

Fans of handcraft, meanwhile, are sure to find something special at the arts and crafts exhibitions held at the Römerhallen (Roman Halls) and St Paul’s Church, where local artists put their latest creations on sale. This market is the ideal place for finding unique gifts for friends and loved ones back home; featured items include paintings, sculptures, photo art and works made of glass, wire and other materials. Most of the exclusive pieces proffered here are available at very reasonable prices.

Lovers of the beautiful sounds of Christmas, meanwhile, are urged to meet in Frankfurt’s old town on Wednesdays or Saturdays at 6:00 pm, for it is at then that the tower horns sound from the balcony of St Nicolas Church, filling the Römerberg with classic Christmas melodies. On weekends, choirs sing international Christmas carols on the stage next to the market’s massive Christmas tree, the tallest in all of Germany. Right beside it, visitors will find a life-size nativity scene, an indispensible feature of every German Christmas market.

Those needing to escape the cold will find the many cosy taverns around the Römerberg to be the perfect places for warming up with a cup or two of mulled wine. The Raclette House is just one such place.

One of the more recent additions to Frankfurt’s traditional Christmas market is the Pink Christmas Market at Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz, a favourite not only amongst the city’s LGBT community. The stalls of this unique market sell hot cocktails, homemade soups, gingerbread and much more.

As in the years before, the Frankfurt Tourist+Congress Board will once again be offering a special guided tour of the Frankfurt Christmas Market. Entitled “Stories, Sweets and Savouries”, this tour includes, amongst other things, a visit of the rooftop gallery of St Nicholas Church, from where participants have magnificent views of the Christmas market and the Frankfurt skyline. Tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm.

This year’s Frankfurt Christmas Market will run from 25th November to 22nd December. Opening times are Mondays to Saturdays from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sundays from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.

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Christmas Market Weekend in Frankfurt

Get to know Frankfurt and its time-honoured Christmas market by way of one of our popular weekend arrangements. These special deals include one night’s stay at a hotel of the desired category with breakfast buffet, a coupon booklet for the Christmas market (incl. vouchers for one Christmas market mug, one bratwurst, one cup of mulled wine and one “Bethmännchen” marzipan biscuit), the Frankfurt Card, providing free and unlimited use of the city’s public transport system, and a handy information package. The arrangement is available for booking for the duration of the Christmas market. Prices start at EUR 61.00 per person in a double room. An additional night may be booked if so desired.

Many other Christmas market highlights may be experienced in the surrounding Rhine-Main region

Open on the first three Advent weekends, the historical Christmas market at Castle Ronneburg is one of the most scenic of its kind. Here, artists and artisans perform in and around the mediaeval castle during the course of the festival, presenting theatre, music, dance and much, much more. Ancient handcraft skills are also on display. A nativity scene played out every day rounds off the market’s colourful programme of events. On the culinary front, visitors will find rustic local fare, homebrewed dark ale and mulled wine on offer in the castle’s wine cellars.

The Christmas market of Bad Homburg is equally beautiful, its sales stalls being set up before the regal backdrop of the landgrave’s castle. The market is open on all four Advent weekends and features over 60 booths selling handcraft, Christmas decorations, fine foods and hot beverages. One of the market’s most popular attractions is the life-sized and hand-carved nativity scene. The children’s favourite, however, is the little steam train that runs around the city’s premier landmark, the white tower, situated in the castle courtyard.

Yet another regional Christmas market worth seeing is the one in Michelstadt. Here, more than 100 wooden stalls line the streets and alleyways around the historical time-frame town hall, creating a yuletide setting unique to the old world. Highlights include the seven-metre-tall Christmas pyramid and the life-sized wooden “smoking men”.