Anyone seeking a little holiday spirit should find their way to a classic German market – which is exactly why we traveled to Frankfurt in December. The Frankfurt Christmas Market is one of the best Christmas markets in Germany and the merriment is celebrated throughout the city. Origins of the Frankfurt market date to the year 1393 – making it one of the oldest German Christmas festivals. The Frankfurt, Germany Christmas Market is a magical event certain to inspire memorable Christmas moments.
Frankfurt Christmas Market
Traditional wooden huts cluster together in picturesque squares. The heavenly scent of hot spiced wine and sizzling sausages hangs heavy in the air. Frankfurt Christmas lights line cobblestone lanes. It’s quintessentially Christmas – and the fairytale scene is everything we love about the holidays in Europe.
In fact, the Christmas fair in Frankfurt is such a classic affair that it has been duplicated in other cities. The “Frankfurt Christmas Market Birmingham” in England is one of the largest German Christmas markets – outside of Germany and Austria. Information about other famous German and European Christmas markets can be found at the end of this post.
Essential Frankfurt Christmas Experiences
We were absolutely stoked to be visiting Frankfurt at Christmas time. We spent three days at the Frankfurt Xmas Market – and we have ranked our top experiences. Save, Bookmark or Pin this post so you can easily access it during your Frankfurt Christmas Market trip!
Looking for other things to do in Frankfurt? Use our self-guided walk for your Frankfurt sightseeing!
#1 Sip Warm Gluhwein
It wouldn’t be a German Christmas market without gluhwein…and there is no shortage of gluhwein at the Christmas market in Frankfurt am Main. The spiced, mulled wine is served piping hot in special market mugs. The cup of cheer adds merriment to the occasion – and helps in the battle against the cold temperatures, too.
In addition to gluhwein, some vendors sell local craft beer and hot apple wine – a Frankfurt specialty! Feuerzangenbowle is as much fun to drink as it is to witness its preparation. The potent concoction, which translates to ‘fire tongs punch’, is made by setting fire to a large rum-soaked sugarloaf that hovers over the steaming pot of gluhwein.
Top Tip: A cup of basic gluhwein costs about €3.50 and most places only accept cash. A €3 deposit is required for the mug, which needs to be returned to the same vendor…or keep it as a souvenir!
#2 Spend Time in the Many Christmas Markets Around Frankfurt
Unlike some city holiday events that are confined to one area, the Christmas markets in Frankfurt, Germany dot the city. Christmas huts are set up in spacious squares, tucked into quaint courtyards and laid out along city streets. We simply stumbled onto many markets while sightseeing in Frankfurt – and found about others (like a rooftop market) by word of mouth. While we truly enjoyed each one of the markets, we selected a few as our favorites.
Romerberg Christmas Market
The Frankfurt main square, Romerberg, is the focal point of the holiday festivities – and shouldn’t be missed! The square is jam-packed with vendors selling gluhwein, German fare and traditional holiday gifts. The city Christmas Tree and an old-fashioned carousel are also found on the main square.
Christmas Market in Paulsplatz
St. Paul’s Square in Frankfurt is the largest square in the city center and features even more market stalls than Romerberg. With several food options and shopping opportunities, strolling through Paulsplatz is a must!
PBG Parkhaus Konstablerwache Rooftop Xmas Market
Not easy to find, but well-worth the effort to locate it, the parking lot rooftop Christmas night market in Frankfurt is a hidden gem! Heavily focused on unique food and drink offerings, the real reason to go is for the city skyline views.
The “Pink Christmas Market” at Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz is rather small…and is decorated in all things pink. The contemporary market features hand-crafted wares, non-traditional food options and the best (and perhaps most potent) feuerzangenbowle.
#3 Savor Classic German Christmas Fare
Visiting the Frankfurt winter market wouldn’t be complete without sampling traditional German cuisine. Indulging in at least one grilled sausage is a must – but sausages are not the only Christmas fare to consume at the market.
If you are going to eat a sausage at the Frankfurt Christmas Market – and we highly recommend that you do! – make sure to order a Frankfurter Rindswurst sausage. The beef sausage is best served on a bun and topped with mustard.
Reibekuchen – or potato pancakes – are one of our all-time favorite German Christmas market treats. Traditionally served with applesauce, we prefer our reibekuchen served with sour cream.
Frankfurter Handkas Fondue
Handkas – or Hand Cheese – is a Frankfurt culinary classic. Using handkas in fondue, however, is a modern twist…and it’s delicious. Even better, Frankfurter Handkas Fondue is served in festive reindeer dishes.
Germany’s version of pizza, Flammkuchen, has a thin, crispy crust and is traditionally topped with gooey melted cheese, onions and bacon. Flammkuchen pairs perfectly with hot mulled wine.
#4 Snap a Selfie by the Christmas Tree in Romerberg
The 100-foot-tall Christmas Tree that stands in front of Romer (City Hall) is an iconic symbol of Christmas in Frankfurt, Germany. Decorated with hundreds of lights and holiday bows, the tree dominates the square. Getting a photo taken with the towering tree is essential…but can be a bit tricky.
Because the tree is so large, it’s easy to get an up-close selfie with the tree as the background. However, if you want your photo taken with the entire tree, there are a few spots around the market that provide the perfect shot. The best places we found were: 1) Behind the Fountain of Justice in the center of the square; 2) below Ostzeile behind the Carousel Ticket Office; and 3) In the lane leading south toward the river near Old St. Nicholas Church.
#5 Shop for Frankfurt Christmas Gifts and Souvenirs
In addition to the numerous food and gluhwein stalls, many vendors at the market sell gift items and souvenirs. In fact, the market’s history is rooted in Frankfurt Christmas shopping. The vendors at the market sell an array of goods – from homemade ornaments to wooden toys to local delicacies. When Christmas shopping in Frankfurt, we recommend shopping for products that are locally produced or regional specialties. For more top tips of what to buy at German Christmas markets, use this link.
Frankfurt Christmas Market Details
We have the answers to the most commonly asked questions about the Christmas market in Frankfurt. Below you will find everything you need to know!
When Do Christmas Markets Start in Germany?
Dates of German Christmas markets vary by market. Generally, markets open the last week of November and run until a few days before Christmas.
Find the 2019 Frankfurt Christmas Market dates on the Frankfurt Tourism website.
What are the Frankfurt Christmas Market Opening Times?
Frankfurt Christmas Market Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00am until 9:00pm and on Sundays from 11:00am until 9:00pm.
Where is the Frankfurt Christmas Market Location?
As we already mentioned, there are numerous market locations throughout the city. Visitors will find markets in Romerberg, Paulsplatz, Mainkai, Hauptwache and Friedrich-Stoltze-Square. Frankfurt Christmas night markets are found in Thurn-und-Taxis-Platz, PBG Parkhuase Konstablerwache Rooftop and Paradiesplatz in Old Sachsenhausen.
Frankfurt Christmas Market Map
Are there Public Toilets at the Market?
There are public portable toilets set up near each market. The cost to use the toilets is €0.50.
What is the Weather in Frankfurt, Germany in December?
Average temperatures for Frankfurt in December are around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the current weather forecast for your trip on Weather.com.
Are there Hotels Near Frankfurt Christmas Market?
When we were looking for where to stay in Frankfurt for the Christmas market, we realized the city is not that big and there are plenty of choices when it comes to accommodations. There are hotels in and around the Frankfurt Old Town, however, we chose to stay near the Hauptbahnhof main train station at the Hotel Excelsior. The budget accommodations suited our needs, as the rooms are spacious and clean. The hotel offers the added bonus of free minibar items (including beer, juice and soda). From the hotel, it is easy to catch a tram or walk into the city center.
Whether you are looking for a budget hostel or luxury stay, start your search for places to stay in Frankfurt, Germany on Booking.com – like we do!
Other German Christmas Markets Near Frankfurt
Looking for the best Xmas markets in Germany? The Frankfurt am Main Christmas Market is the only German market we have visited, but these holiday markets are highly touted by fellow travelers. Find other Frankfurt Christmas Market reviews on TripAdvisor.
- Nuremberg Christmas Market – Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt Website
- Cologne Christmas Market – Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market Website
- Hamburg Christmas Market – Christmas Markets in Hamburg Website
- Aachen Christmas Market – Website
- Berlin Christmas Market – Website Use our 3-Day Berlin Itinerary to experience the sights of the city.
- Dresden Christmas Market – Dresden Striezelmarkt Website Use our 3-Day Dresden Itinerary to plan your trip.
- Munich Christmas Market – Website Use our Munich Self-Guided Walking Tour to explore the city.
Find a complete list and map of German Christmas Markets on the Germany Tourism Website.
What You Will Need For Your Trip
- You will need more than gluhwein to stay warm! Make sure to bring a scarf, hat and gloves on your Frankfurt trip!
- Frankfurt is a walkable city…but only if you have the right shoes! Don’t forget to pack a pair of lightweight and comfortable walking shoes for your trip. I (Sarah) have traveled with these shoes by Columbia and Skechers. Kris prefers wearing these shoes by Merrell.
- We’re certain you’ll be snapping tons of photos during your trip. Rather than relying on your mobile phone to capture the sights, upgrade to an actual camera for higher quality photos. We travel with a Canon Rebel (which takes amazing photos, but can be a bit clunky) and a Canon PowerShot ELPH (which takes beautiful pictures, is slim and lightweight – and the new models are wifi enabled so you can share your trip pics to social media in real time!).
- It’s easy to get turned around in any foreign city…and especially Frankfurt! Make sure to have a good city map and/or guidebook before arriving.
- We think travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected with World Nomads.
We want to know: Have you been to the Frankfurt Christmas Market? What would you add to our list of essential experiences? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments below!
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