â€œ Victoria Square & Upper New Street / Thur 15 Nov Â– Sun 23 Dec 2007 / 10am Â– 9pm daily â€ž
Every year around Christmas, Birmingham is host to one of the largest German markets in the country. For those of you who aren't aware of Christmas markets, please don't be put off. It's not just a chance to buy gifts and taste foods, it's also an excellent day out for the family to feel a little more festive.
The German market takes place from New Street, all the way down to Victoria Square, with the stalls based inside little huts. There are all sorts of gifts from candles to scarves, to tree decorations. As for food, you should definitely give the city centre restaurants a miss for the day. Instead, go for one of the huge Bratwurst sausage hotdogs. It'll be extremely filling and very tasty.
Although it's one of the largest German markets, in comparison to certain Christmas markets, it's not that large. For those of you that have been to the Christmas market in London, this is only a fraction of the size. But the atmosphere makes up for it. Christmas lights are up, festive songs are playing, what's not to love?
Be warned that this is all outdoor though so it's best to go when the weather is nice (or as nice as it can be in Winter). I went once when it was raining really heavily. The mood didn't dampen much but it was hard to look around when there was a waterfall pouring straight onto my head. So pick a day wisely, and you won't regret it.
I can't wait for Christmas to come round again so I can go back to the German market in Birmingham because I've been going for years and it's a wicked half day out with food, drink and Christmas pressies all in one place.
It was a bit naff last year because the Christmas lights weren't as good as they have been in other years because of the council not wanting to offend the ethnic minorities in Birmingham, but people I have talked to in them minorities have said to me that they'd never be offended by pretty lights of Christmas trees and Christian symbols so I don't know who the council are thinking about there!
I've heard that this year it's going to be non-Christian lights and because I'm not religious that doesn't bother me as long as they bring the lights back!
In the German market you go from stall to stall and there are places selling beer in massive German glasses, wine from Germany, proper German sausages and breads and all sorts of other stuff. The prices for things are quite a bit more than if you went into a pub or cafe for whatever you want but the atmosphere is brill at the market and all the times I've been there's never been no trouble because there are loads of security there.
I like the long German sausages that you can buy raw to take home or cooked and put into a bun with either spicy German relish or plain tomato sauce. There's a wicked stall as well that sells sweets and pretzels and stuff like that and I always get a few bags of them to give out as Christmas presents.
I love the stall that sells traditional wooden toys because everything is plastic now and the toys you get from the German market are bright and colourful and proper well made. Again the prices are more expensive than if you went to a toy shop but your paying for handmade good quality stuff that will last for ages I reckon.
It gets proper busy in the German market and I don't think it's very well organised sometimes because there's loads of room round some stalls and then by others you can't hardly move. I suppose it's because of the shape of the place where they hold it but I think they could sort it out a bit better especially the places where they've put seats for you eat and drink because sometimes you can't help elbowing the person your sat next to because the seats are so close together.
It's a wicked place to visit though and I love going as close to Christmas as possible because it seems a bit magical and makes Christmas more exciting.
The Frankfurt Christmas Market is a taste of Germany in the West Midlands. The market is very authentic and really adds a sense of festival spirit to Birmingham City Centre. My sister lives in Frankfurt, Germany, and i have been to the real Christmas Market and the Birmingham version is very close to the real thing. The market is mainly made up of wooden stalls that sells sweets, clothing and crafts. I found that a large number of stall holders are actually German and all very friendly and helpful. The most important part of any Christmas Market is the food and gluhwein. There are gigantic hotplates cooking different types of sausages (bratwurst) which taste amazing. Then you need to get your mug of gluhwein (mulled wine) to warm you up. The Birmingham market is not as big as a traditional Christmas Market but there are plenty of stalls to stroll past and a really nice friendly atmosphere. If you are in Birmingham City Centre towards the end of November and December, take a look at the market. You will be so impressed you will want to book a flight to see the real thing next year.
Every Christmas I go to Birminghams German Christmas market whether it be with family, friends or my boyfriend, christmas simply wouldnt be christmas for me without it.
Here they have loads of stalls all that sell a variety of things from food, drinks, clothes and handmade items such as candles, metal figurines and even some nice christmas tree decorations. I dont usually buy much here apart from food and drink but it's lovely to have a look around and you can sometimes find really unique gifts which you could give to people which are lovely.
As well as the market there is a bandstand in Victoria Sqaure where a band will play who are usually sponsored by Heart FM, its really nice when its bit chilly to get your glass of hot mulled wine and relax listening to some of the bands songs.
There are also a few fairground rides such as a spiral slide and carousel so even little kids can have a good time here.
Its good to go too and my boyfriend tells me its exactly like the markets they have in Germany as he used to live over there! If you dont have that Christmassy feeling by December then go here as by the time you leave you'll be singing all those christmas carols.
Today I want to tell you about the lovely time I had at the Frankfurt Christmas Market, which is now bringing some festive colour to Birmingham city centre. This market has become a very popular feature in the last few years. Frankfurt and Birmingham are twinned, so not only is this market an unusual and enjoyable shopping experience, it is also a way for people from the 2 cities to meet and share some of their Christmas traditions.
The market begins towards the top end of New Street. If you are familiar with the city, this is around where Habitat is located and is only a few minutes walk from New Street Station. There are 90 stalls, stretching up past the fountain which we locals know as the 'Floozy in the Jacuzzi', and into the square beside the recently restored Town Hall. The stalls are little wooden chalets, and all are decorated so nicely that from the moment you arrive you sense a very Christmassy atmosphere. There is such a wonderful selection of stalls that I cannot list every single thing that they sell, but there are many which have beautiful silver jewellery, traditional German Christmas decorations, carved wooden toys, pretty candles, ornaments, crystals, pottery mugs, knitted hats, herbs and spices, handmade soaps, and crafts of all kinds. Although the market is mainly German in style, there are also many items from other countries, for example Nepalese singing bowls, and African carvings. And then there is the food! The air is full of the smells of sausages, frying onions, candyfloss, chestnuts, hot crepes, cider and beer. Gluhwein is available (hot wine with spices) for those who like it, but having tried a sip I wasn't keen. It is too sweet for me, reminding me a bit of childhood medicines. My friend and I shared a portion of proffertjes (I think I have the spelling about right) - these are like tiny pancakes, served with a choice of toppings. We had the chocolate and vanilla sauce topping with icing sugar sprinkled over the top. There are also cherry toppings, apple, and so many more that I cannot remember! It is so nice to wander around the stalls while eating a nice hot snack to warm you up. You can also buy German breads, chocolates, gingerbread and stollen.
We visited the market on a weekday, but even so it was fairly busy, especially around lunchtime. But all the stallholders who we talked to still took the time to chat to us about where they had come from, and tell us more about the items on their stall. Of course I'm sure they are hoping to make a sale, but it's pleasant to have this friendly atmosphere in the market and such a different experience from shopping in the chain stores at the opposite end of New Street.
What did we buy? Although we were tempted by many things we were both pretty restrained on this occasion, coming away with only a few Christmas decorations. I know I will be visiting the market at least once more this year, so I made a mental note of which stalls I would like to have a second browse around. This is a great opportunity to find special presents which you would not get anywhere else, but even if you don't buy much it is an enjoyable event to visit. It costs you nothing just to walk around and soak up the seasonal air.
There are a couple of rides for children - one is a helter skelter and the other is a carousel. Some years there has been a Santa's Grotto but we didn't see one this time. There is also a bandstand and various events go on there - carol singing and brass bands playing, though I think these are more in the evenings and at weekends.
The market is on until December 23rd, from 10a.m. to 9p.m every day. If you are in reach of Birmingham this is your chance to see the biggest German-style market outside of Germany or Austria! One cautionary thing I must mention is that, like most cities, Birmingham has its fair share of pickpockets and at this busy time of year it is worth taking special care of your bags and wallets. There were a lot of police at the market when we visited, which hopefully will help deter criminals, but please take sensible precautions and don't let thieves spoil your Christmas.
If you want more details about the market, including parking and travel details the website is at
One day last December I was in Birmingham and met my sister for lunch and we decided to go to the Frankfurt market that is on in the middle of Birmingham every year.
The market is on in Victoria Square in Birmingham every year from the end of November to the end of December and if you are ever in the area I seriously suggest that you go as it is a wonderful place to be at Christmas time.
To get there is extremely easy, just come out of New Street Station in Birmingham via the Pallasades exit. Go down the ramp, turn left and walk a few hundred metres and then you are at the Frankfurt Market. It is in victoria Square and literally anybody new to Birmingham can find it as there are sign posts everywhere. If you are not sure just ask and someone will point you in the right direction.
As you first walk onto the first hut, or chalet, you begin to realise just how festive this market can be. Surrounded by Christmas lights and the many people who are always there, the atmospheres in the place are simply astounding. There are dozens and dozens of huts that sell a wide variety of products.
The main reason I go to this market is the food that they sell there. It is absolutely delicious! When we were there we decided to try something that was like small pancakes with Nutella on. They were absolutely gorgeous and I would eat so many of them. The smells when you are walking around the market are just to die for; you really could spend quite a lot of money just on food such as burgers, sausages and my favourite, honeyed cashew nuts!
Yes the food is pretty impressive and they sell quite a lot of it, however they also sell lots of chocolate which is another big seller. They have tonnes of sweets and hundreds of varieties of chocolates you can buy there. They are all delicious and I wouldn't recommend visiting the market on an empty stomach or else you really will be spending quite a lot of money.
The market sells lots of other products such as jewellery, toys and different craft products. It's all very unique so if you are someone who doesn't like mass produced stuff, then this is the place for you. Everything has a certain charm to it, and the prices aren't bad either. In fact the market is free just to walk around which I always think is a nice touch. It has a great atmosphere at Christmas time at night when its all lit up so just walking around you can have a good time.
There is usually some form of entertainment in the middle of the market most days, there has been the last few years I've been. It's usually a brass band playing most times which gives a jovial feel to the market. Also there is a carousel for kids to keep entertained if they get bored of looking around. There was also a man as Santa for a picture opportunity for the kids. I thought it was mechanical and got a bit scared when it said hello to me!
Overall I think the Frankfurt market is a great place to spend a couple of hours if you are ever in Birmingham at Christmas time. It has a wonderful atmosphere and you can't help but feel a little cheerful and Christmassy by the time you go home. With plenty of huts and different things you can buy such as delicious food and great presents, it truly is a wonderful market. The gifts are quite unique, i haven't bought anything from there in the past few years apart from food so try to look at all the huts for some interesting products.
The Frankfurt Christmas market is on annually usually from 15th November to 23rd December.
It is open daily from 10am to 9pm in Victoria Square, Birmingham."
Every year my office gets really excited and it is always around the start of November. The reason for this is because that we all know around mid-November the streets of Birmingham will be graced with the Frankfurt Christmas market. There are plenty of reasons for us to get excited as it such a brilliant market and everybody who goes there just loves it. Here I will tell you why it is definitely worth a visit if you are by the centre and why it is one of those places you return to every year. Well for me and my colleagues it's more like every day.
Ok so the location of the Frankfurt market is right in Birmingham city centre. It starts just a minute's walk away from New street train station and carries on right up to Victoria square with stalls everywhere. Now wherever you are in Birmingham centre you cannot miss it and it is always busy there with people enjoying what there is on offer which trust me is a lot.
It looks very colourful with lots of stalls and if you ask anybody in Birmingham where it is they will be able to show you. It is nice whatever the weather and I can quite happily spend a couple of hours wandering around there. You will also be able to hear the fun German music that is played throughout the day there and you can't help but be in a good mood while you are there.
Ok so first I will tell you about the types of things you will find there.
They have a small ride there for children to go on and this year they even have a Santa stall so you go and have your picture taken with Santa.
One of my favourite things about this market is the food as it truly is amazing. If I start with hot food, right at the top of the market is a nice food court where you can get some delicious things. One of my favourite places is the garlic bread stand where you can buy pieces of garlic bread with cheese on which is just yummy. Not too bad at Â£2 either. Then there is a stall where you can buy sausage and chips which is a favourite with the lads in my office.
Then another stall serves potatoes, burgers and mushrooms which trust me is Â£5.50 and worth every penny as it is that yummy. Then you can get hot dogs and watch them being cooked. These again are delicious and as you can imagine by now the smells just make you instantly hungry so you have to have something.
Then you can also buy potato waffles, crepes, chocolate waffles and lots of pastries. There is truly something for everybody and I could spend so much money trying everything. In fact I do!
Then cold food stalls include things like fruit covered in chocolate. German bread, chocolates, biscuits, sweets, cakes and all other delicacies. You can find a lot of them dotted around as you take a walk around so when I am down there, I am always eating which is good in my eyes.
Now you can buy cold drinks but where this market really gets you is the mulled wine. They sell so much warm wine and it is delicious. It is Â£2.50 a cup and then you have to pay a Â£2 deposit for the mug which you get back unless you want to take the mug home as a souvenir which I have done in the past as they are so sweet. The wine is so beautiful that once you have had one you immediately want another and it is such a nice drink to have around Christmas especially when it is freezing cold like now.
They also have a beer stall for you beer drinkers. The market is bustling around the food and drink stands as everything just smells and looks so delicious you really do have to try everything you can manage.
Ok in terms of other stalls they have quite a few so I will just quickly tell you about the treasures you can find. The jewellery stalls are gorgeous and there is about four of them. They sell beads if you want to make your own but there are lots on show that you can just buy. They look so different to things you get over here in the UK so gifts are a great idea to get from here.
Then you have a few toy stalls. A lot of these sell cuddly toys but also nice things like Xylophones, spinning tops and some really old classic toys that you don't often see anymore. There is a nice stall that sells wooden animals and one that sells wooden frogs that when you stroke their backs you make a frog sound which I can imagine children loving.
There are a few Christmas stalls so you can buy tree decorations, wooden trees and other things which are all lovely. Then there are stalls selling clothes such as suede ones and then a quite hippy looking store where everything looks so cosy. Another stall sells salt lamps and crystals which I have brought for gifts in the past as they are beautiful.
Then we have stalls selling pottery, watches, gifts such as tea lights, moving wall pictures, metal work and lots of other things that you may not have seen before. It really is lovely and every stall does not charge overly ridiculous prices which is good so you really should be able to get presents from here for everybody you need to buy for. I do most years.
The Frankfurt market is a must and it is set in such a lovely location anyway right by the massive fountains. I go two three times a week purely to try different things and to take a look as you always spot something new every time that you go. It has a nice atmosphere as it is always quite busy and everybody has a good time there. It is a nice thing to do with your family and get some presents done while you are at it. Plus being in the centre means you could explore other parts of Birmingham while you are there.
Thanks for reading.
With over 90 stalls, this is the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. ItÂ’s a great place to look for unusual gifts including toys, candles, glasswork, decorations, textiles and lacework. Warming food and drink is on sale including Bratwurst, roasted chestnuts and Glühwein. The bandstand in Victoria Square will host lunchtime and evening concerts and a fairground carousel will help keep the children entertained.