Frankfurt Christmas Markets

frankfurt-christmas-market

In December last year, Alice and I visited Frankfurt for a weekend – primarily to visit the famous German Christmas Markets. While Frankfurt isn’t by any stretch the most famous, it is still a wonderful experience that sprawls around the city centre (and never seems to end) – complete with German sausages, art, and beer. Christmas Markets have been a tradition in Frankfurt for more than 600 years [1], and the German Christmas Market concept is replicated in many cities across the UK – something that has greatly bolstered its popularity.

We chose Frankfurt because of its proximity to the largest airport in Germany, and because the location (Römerberg Square) is an easy walk from pretty much any hotel in the area. It also helped that British Airways had a deal on flights and a hotel for a weekend in December!

One of the first things we noticed about the market was the smell – something that is hard to describe, but is a mixture of baked apples, mulled wine and grilled sausages – a sort of inviting smoky smell that sets the tone for the whole experience.

The Christmas Market itself is presented as a maze of wooden stalls, brightly lit and selling everything from food to metal art (I wish I had gotten a picture) and lots more in between. There’s no real direction, so you can stumble around completely at random and enjoy the delicacies and oddities. The food was reasonably priced, and indeed made up most of what we ate during the day on our weekend.

If you want to find out more about the German Christmas Markets, this website has a complete list and a huge amount of information.

Plans for 2014

2013 wasn’t really a big travel year for me – the combination of finishing University and starting my own business didn’t leave a whole lot of time. I travelled to Italy and Germany – at the start and end of the year.

Thankfully, I’ve a little more planned for 2014:

Spain – Alice and I will be visiting Barcelona and Madrid in January, and taking the Estrella overnight train to connect the two. Spoiler: if you aren’t Spanish, the Renfe booking website is a nightmare.

Netherlands - Sometime in March, I will be spending a weekend in Amsterdam – somewhere I visited in 2012 and have since looked forward to doing again. This time around I’ll be flying in (rather than getting a £1 Megabus) with the wonderful budget carrier that is easyJet.

USA - In late 2014, I plan to visit the US – starting on the West coast and working my way East until I reach New York, from where I will be flying home. The plan is to spend between three weeks and a month out there, during which I would like to visit LA / San Francisco / Tennessee (three guesses why), the Smithsonian Space Museum, and other wonderful places I haven’t settled on yet.

I’d also like to visit Italy again, Morocco, Russia, Poland and Turkey, though I haven’t settled on any fixed plans for those.

Here’s to 2014 being a busy year!

Escaping to Frankfurt

A few weekends ago, Alice and I travelled to Frankfurt for a few days away – the first we’ve had since Venice at the start of 2013. We booked a simple holiday package through British Airways that gave us two nights in a hotel just outside Frankfurt (the NH Niederrad) and time to explore and relax.

Apart from BA managing to leave our baggage in London (though they did fly it out pretty quickly) the trip was relaxing and had the desired effect – to get some time away from computers. The NH does have wifi and in-room wired internet, but it isn’t particularly quick or reliable. For the purposes of this trip though, it was ideal.

Frankfurt is a fantastic place to explore, and while it’s Christmas market isn’t one of the ones everyone talks about, it is still pretty impressive – it sort of sprawls around the centre of Frankfurt (we found it entirely by accident) and just seems to keep going.

Hopefully after Christmas I’ll have more time to post about Frankfurt, the Christmas Markets, and our hotel.

Frankfurt

After nearly a year of being stuck in the UK, I have finally booked my first flight out of the country of 2013! In December, I will be visiting Frankfurt and enjoying the Christmas Markets, and a chance to escape for a couple of days. It isn’t much, but its a start.