This is a guest blog by Jérôme from www.bottlestops.com, who offers wine tours in the Hessia wine region and has some great Christmas market tips for us. Enjoy reading his blog and have fun at your next Christmas market visit. Nadja x
If you missed Oktoberfest, why not visit one of the many German Christmas markets? You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to Christmas markets as all major cities will have one. Most markets open around the last weekend in November and close on 22ndor 23rdof December – so, that’s ample time to get ready and plan your trip.
If you are travelling to Germany just for the Christmas market experience, you’ll probably be searching for the ‘best’ one. Unfortunately, we all have different opinions on what makes the perfect Christmas market and there are so many great ones out there – think of Dresden, Nuremberg, Munich, Cologne, to name but a few.
So, we’ll stick to what we know and recommend our favourites around Frankfurt. The advantage here is that they are all within a short distance from each other (around 30 minutes by train) – perfect if you’d like to have a browse around all of them.
Frankfurt’s Weihnachtsmarkt is one of the oldest and largest in Germany. From its original location at the Römer (town hall), it has now been extended to the famous Hauptwache Plaza and the Pink Christmas market in Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz.
Why not try some Heisse Ebbelwei, Frankfurt’s special mulled wine, which uses traditional apple cider?
Opens on 26th November and closes on 22nd December – from 10am to 9pm daily.
This market is famous for its attractive lighting and the spectacular opening ceremony.
The Weingut Ohlig and Weingut Kessler wineries from the nearby Rheingau region not only offer a great selection of mulled wine but also some of their fine wines as well.
Opens on 27th November and closes on 23rdDecember – from 10.30am to 9pm (9.30pm at weekends).
Weihnachtsmarkt in Mainz
This Christmas market in Mainz is particularly beautiful with its magnificent thousand-year-old cathedral providing the perfect backdrop. Mainz is well-known for its wines from the Rheinhessen region. You’ll find a remarkable amount of mulled wine stalls – and almost all of them offering ‘Winzer-Glühwein’, which uses wine from the local winemakers. While you’re in the area, why not visit the festively decorated old town?
Opens on 29th November and closes on 23rdDecember – from 11am to 8.30pm (until 9pmon Saturday’s and Sunday’s).
Some more tips:
- Evenings are the best time to catch the beautiful atmosphere of a Christmas market. Although it’s best to avoid evenings at the weekend as they tend to be much more crowded
- Looking for some more interesting versions of sausages? Go ‘wild’ and try some made with game (‘Wild-Bratwurst’)
- Be cautious with mulled wine – more about that in our mulled wine guide
- Christmas markets are great for kids as there’s plenty to do and see – just make sure they’ve got your mobile number in case they get lost
- Parking is always an issue – use public transport or try and make sure that your accommodation is within walking distance
Finally, why not consider a tour of the wineries in Rheinhessen and Rheingau? Many have lovely Christmas events going on, which are on a smaller scale than the Christmas markets but much more intimate and very authentic. We recommend a Christmas event-tour. These include multiple stops at the different wineries.
Jerome Hainz of BottleStops specialises in boutique wine tours and wine tasting in the Rheinhessen and Rheingau regions
More Christmas markets in my event sectionb