Christmas around the world is celebrated in so many different and fascinating ways, how each country, region and city can have their own traditions unique to their culture.
This year I am experiencing Christmas in a whole new way! I have gone to bazars before Christmas of homemade items from vendors but visiting Christmas markets is a first and Europe knows how to do the best! In planning this venture I had a really hard time choosing where I wanted to visit for Christmas markets, there are more than a dozen “top and major” markets around Europe and how do you choose just one city with options like that?
The answer: You Don’t!
We chose to come to Frankfurt for a few day for their major Christmas market blow out and I have to say that thus far I have been VERY impressed. I found out just before arriving in Germany that each market in each city and each different market within that city has their own mug for special brews to keep you warm from the inside out, each designed for that specific market!
Every aspect and detail of the market has been designed down to the tiniest detail to ensure that when you visit, even if you don’t buy anything, you have an experience that made a lifetime memory. The smells of food wafting into the air from the numerous food vendors, mulled wine of different flavors, chocolatiers working their magic and nuts being caramelized. If it was possible for the air to get fat…it would be like the second ghost from The Tales of Christmas Past – fat and happy!
Vendors put their items for sale on display and you would be shocked at what their “booths” are! These aren’t what I was used to seeing, some fold out tables with nice table cloths and a pretty backdrop, no. These are FULL mini cabins that are fully decorated in the style of their homes, families and what they are selling. Nothing about these markets are a “little thing”.
This is just one market but it stretches from St. Paul’s Church and weaves through town all the way down to the river! There was at least 150 vendors that we passed and every day that we came back to the market I found a new corner with more vendors! We only spent two half days visiting the market and trust me, the last night on Saturday was beautiful but not worth the hoards of crowds that we encountered. You couldn’t barely do anything, including walking forget trying to enjoy HOT mulled wine while you are being pushed through thousands of people.
The first night we went was on a Thursday and it was perfect, enough people but not too many that I couldn’t enjoy myself. So if you are not a big fan of crowds you will want to plan your trips to visit the markets during the week and not on the weekend. Especially if you are traveling with small children, we went with my backpacker and not a stroller but those who we saw with a stroller, you could see they were regretting their decision, even with a backpacker I felt very in the way and bulky to those around me and many people were trying to squish Harmony on my back trying to get through…madness.
That is my words of wisdom for the Frankfurt market – more posts to come for more markets!
Traveling Photographer Out!