“ Millennium Square / Leeds / West Yorkshire / England „
I have been numerous times before to the German Market in Leeds, but this year for the first time I was extremly dissapointed. The stalls are still there, with there marvelous foods and their little trinkets. Which are superb. However when entering the Bierkeller, I was astounded at the prices. They have done away with the popular stein glasses and replaced them with pints, but are charging more this year for a pint than they did last year for a Stein. £4 a pint is a bit excessive. Mulled Wine is £5 per small cup.They are also emptying the beirkeller during the day at 4pm, and then you have to queue again if you want to go back in. It took me 2 hours to queue to get in.I can see people stopping going if the prices are kept at these levels.
Don't waste your time. It takes longer to walk from the city centre than it does to walk around it. It did not live up to any reviews I read prior to going. Hardly anybody was there, market traders were left twiddling their thumbs and wondering why they turned up. I was really disappointed because this was the main reason I travelled to Leeds.My advice: go to Birmingham christmas market. It's much bigger and much better.
Christkindelmarkt German Christmas Market (Leeds)
This is a small open air market that comes to Leeds every year in Millennium Square. It lasts for a few weeks, from mid November onwards to just a few days before Christmas.
I have visited this twice now, once in the evening and most recently during the day. I can say that I preferred the atmosphere when I visited during the evening.
There are stalls selling various things mainly food, gifts / trinkets and alcohol. Everything seemed overpriced to me though, so I would say it was worth having a look round and to treat it as a bit of time pass, rather than doing your Christmas shopping here.
There's something here to interest all the family from the elderly to the young ones. A variety of food was on offer. They had German sausage and hotdogs along with Malt Wine and rum. I was reliably informed that the sausages and other German delicacies looked delicious. However, as these items are not something I like to eat, I can't really comment on them.
I did end up buying some grapes that had been impaled onto a stick and then dipped in white chocolate. They didn't taste as good as I thought they would. It's not something I've found for sale anywhere else so at least it was something different.
I liked wandering around the various stalls and looking at the different gifts on sale. There was one stall selling hollowed out wooden frogs and if you rubbed a small stick over their back, they would make a croaking sound like a real frog. It's not something I would ever want to buy but it was interesting seeing how it works.
There were also various types of candles including ones that supposedly had fossils in their bases and scented ones etc. It is nice just to walk around and pick these up to have a smell / look. They also had candles that had been moulded into the shape of reindeer using beeswax.
Additionally, there were various sculptures you could insert incense into. For example there was a Rastafarian smoking a joint, an American Indian and a house with a chimney where the smoke from the incense would come out of.
This time, I didn't visit the beer tent which I think is called Frankfurter Scheune, but from what I can remember when I visited last time in the evening, there is a band that plays in there and the food is ok. I think we had to pre-book. Though I don't think there was a great selection for vegetarians on their menu. Maybe this year it is different and if so you can let me know in the comments section below.
There's one or two small funfair type rides for the kids like a dodgem and merry go round, and there's lots of sweets, along with candy floss and pop corn for sale, so they will be happy enough.
== Summary and recommendation ==
I give this 5 stars. Just about everything they sell is overpriced but it provides for an entertaining little diversion. If you are in the area, it is worth wandering threw for a few minutes, and having a look. It is about 5 minutes walk from Leeds train station and public transport in general around that area is very good being located in the centre of Leeds.
Having lived near Leeds for 11 years now, I have been to the German Market many times and I go back at least once every year. Situated in Millennium Square in front of the impressive Civic Hall, the atmosphere is always brilliant. Fairy lights and festive decoration adorn every possible space, including the civic hall which in the past has displayed lights, giant wreaths and large christmas trees. Festive music plays out from the Beer Hall and can be heard wherever you are in the market. The market itself is fairly small, so you get a nice cosy atmosphere which I think can go missing at bigger markets.
The market supposedly has over 40 of the wooden chalet stalls, but the actual number usually seems smaller than this. Stalls sell mainly luxury items and food. Some examples of the goods available over the years are glass ornaments, candles, gemstones/lamps, felt clothing accessories and hats/scarves, clockwork tin toys, wooden animal instruments, garden decorations, beeswax products, jewellery, wooden toys, german sweets, sausage, decorated chocolate, gingerbread houses, fruit skewers in chocolate, giant chocolate truffles and traditional german food and drink. The stalls change slightly every year so it is interesting to visit year after year. I described the goods as luxury as, although they are nice, they are not a necessity and tend to be quite expensive when compared to purchasing them from other sellers, for example internet sites.
If you are not interested by the stalls, the market is still worth visiting for the beer hall. It is designed to look like a traditional german beer hall, as much as a portable structure can, and the overall look is quite effective. It is an adults only area, so there are no small children or teenagers around to disturb the atmosphere. Outside, the doors are approached through a wooden porch like structure, above which there are a clock tower and full size models of a horse and a people for decorative purposes. Inside the beer hall is tastefully decorated in a festive fashion. There is always a very large and very beautiful christmas tree in the centre of the hall, surrounded by wooden benches on which to sit and enjoy your beverage. Authentic german bier is available, as well as other alcoholic drinks. Entertainment is provided in the form of regular live music events, including performances from a german show band. Definitely a great place to visit for an evening out.
For the kids or the young at heart, there is a christmas carousel and various other rides and attractions, which include things such as grab machines and the like.
In terms of accessing the market, there is unfortunately no free parking nearby, however you can pay to park nearby if you wish to drive in. The market is easily accessible by public transport, having buses stopping nearby from most local places and being only a 10-20 minute walk from leeds train station. There is no entrance fee to the market.
I only really have one issue with the market, that being the fact that a lot of the stall holders are not actually german, which I think has a slight negative effect on the authenticity and atmosphere. Some stall holders are english or from countries such as Romania, which is a shame as the rest of the market is so good.
The market is usually open from around mid-November to mid-December time. It is an outside market, so I wouldn't advise going on a rainy day. If you are going to visit, I would recommend visiting in the evening to make the most of the atmosphere and the lights. I would thoroughly recommend visiting, as even though it can be quite an expensive trip out, the experience is worth it.
As a student in 3rd year I have experienced my last German market in Leeds. The stalls at this market aren't anything special, I have never bought any of the knick-knacks but the sausages speak for themselves. Even thought the sausages (spicy is the best) stick out of the tiny piece of crusty white French stick, they are still amazing. Any more bread and you wouldn't be able to finish it along with the 2 sausages, best teamed with the curry ketchup and a blob of mustard. The overall Christmas feel from the market is lovely, and you have to respect the poor German people who work very long hours in the freezing cold then have to make the long journey back home in time for Christmas day-danke to you all! I wouldn't make a special trip to this market, I think the Manchester one is better, but if you are in the area, go asap, because you will be wanting to go again and again. in my first year I made the mistake of putting it off going until nearly the end, boy was I disappointed when I fell in love with the hot dogs that were only there for a limited time.
Every Christmas the markets roll in to the millenium square area of Leeds. I have only ever experienced the Manchester markets and, to be honest, these are exactly the same just on a smaller scale, which is not a bad thing.
The narrow alleys between the stalls were packed with evening crowds, most of them holding steaming hotdogs or mugs of hot drinks and the occasional donut. If i were to sum up these markets quite simply it would say they are 'tempting'. They sell a lot of cool toys and knicknacks, but at quite expensive prices, which also goes for some of the sweet stores. There was a gingerbread house about the size of a bird house on sale for £70! Who the hell is gonna buy that? So yeah, we were kinda wandering around going, "Ooooooo, that's cool." then seeing the price and going, "Meh." I really did want to sample all the food i came across though.
There is a massive beer stall in the middle, and when we walked past there was a queue stretching back for at least 50 people, waiting for space to open up so they could cram in. It was bloody freezing so all credit to them and i hope it was worth it! Having been in the Manchester version it probably was because the beer is awesome and the night air keeps it cold.
There are also a couple of carnival type rides for the kids to try. Bumper cars and a merri-go-round, which went around so slow i could have forward rolled my way around quicker.
All in all it's worth a visit, to soak up the christmas spirit, even if you don't end up buying anything.
Christmas is approaching so you might consider going to a german christmas market. In Germany christmas starts at the beginning of december (the start of advent) and massive christmas markets appear selling gifts and food. These are called Christkindelmarkts.
Leeds have taken on this tradition, as have many other cities, and have a small market in Millenium Square from mid november to mid december. It has been running for at least 10 years and is enjoyable to visit.
It consists of about 30 wooden stalls that sell gifts and crafts, from ornaments and candles to bags and scarves. They are high quality item and you will be hard pushed to find much that is 'cheap and cheerful'. There are also food stands selling beer and hot Gluwein (like mulled wine) and hot german food such as sausage and potatoes. Also you can get lovely sweets like ginger bread heart and fruit kebabs covered in chocolate.
There are also a few little rides for the kids and everything is lit up with fairy lights so it looks very festive. It is situated in the centre of leeds so you can then go and look around Leeds and see the Christmas lights.
There is no charge and the market is open daily from 10:30am-9pm (closes at 8pm on a sunday). Although it is not as big as ones in Manchester it still as a lovely festive atmosphere and really lifts the christmas spirit!
It was last year when i first visited the German Market in Leeds, and prior to that, i didnt even know it existed!
It is set up in Millenium Square in Leeds City Centre from mid November until just before Christmas (in 2009 it is November 13th until December 20th). As it is in Leeds City Centre, its incredibly easy to get to by walking, but there are plenty of car parks nearby.
The whole square is filled with wooden huts and stalls, a big beer tent and a few fairground rides. Along with all the usual Christmas lights and decorations. On a cold evening when it is dark and busy, the place looks fantastic and really does get you in the Christmas mood just wandering about.
There are a variety of things for sale through the market. Toys, gifts, ornaments, Christmas items etc fill up half the stalls. Everyone always ends up stopping at the stall with the hats to try them on!
Most of the other stalls are full of food! This is the big reason i love the market so much. Stalls selling salami, sausages and other meats are dotted around, along with those selling cakes, pretzels, biscuits, pancakes and a mass of other sweet items. I bought a few things from a stall selling sweet items last year, and they were fantastic. Lots of orange and Cinnamon! The smells wafting through the market are incredible and everything really is very tasty. Im counting down the days until i can go back and buy some food!
There is the odd fairground ride in amongst all of this, adding the noises of laughter to the market. Gets everyone in a happy mood!
The central part to all of this is the massive beer tent set up in the middle of it all. It is set up like an authentic German beer hall and has a stage at the front end. In the evenings and during the day at the weekends they have shows and traditional German bands on, and it is a massive amount of fun. Last year they disappeared off stage when i was there, came back on and did the whole Blues Brothers thing, walking down the hall over everyones tables. While they may be a traditional band, they like to have fun!
There is a large selection of authentic German beers on offer, and you can get them in the massive glasses/tankards for a small deposit - or you can buy a glass yourself. There is alot of beer in each of these!
We were drinking plenty of spirits in here last year too, with plenty of Jagermeister shots on offer!
They have a couple of food sections in here too, so if you can find somewhere to sit, you can have a meal too!
The atmosphere in here is fantastic, and along with everything else going on outside, you really do get that Christmassy feel.
I really cant wait for it to open up again this year... i just fear for my wallet!
This is one of those places you visit that instantly makes it feel like christmas. Leeds Christkindelmarkt is a traditional German Christmas market that visits Leeds for just over a month at the run up to christmas. It is located at Millenium Square which is a very central part of Leeds and very easily accessable. Parking is available at various establishments close by so really there is no excuse not to visit!
Every year small wooden stall are erected and festive greenery and colourful lights are put up to create a rather magical and festive atmosphere. Apart from all the stalls there is also a few fair ground rides and not to forget to mention Bier tent which I will certainly discuss later!
The market usually consists of over 30 wooden challet stalls all offering various different authentic items. You buy small gifts for yourself and others that include small handmade items, toys, jewellery to items of clothing and colourful and if I may say so myself, very interesting hats! It's quite funny to walk round and see how many people are trying these things on and looking at themselfs I had to admit, I did it too!
The food that this market has to offer is actually one of the reasons I go back here every year. Amongst all the stalls you will find small deli's which sell a large variety of salami's and sausages amongst other irresistable items. Another favorite are the stalls that sell lots of different treats from handmade biscuits and handmade chocolate, you may initially just go by a for a little look round but you won't be able to resist how tasty everything looks.
They also have a large range of warm takeaway food for you to eat there and then, including homemade pretzels, pancakes, a large selection of German sausage and so much more I can't remember!
Now to the Beir tent. The most popular event that takes place here has to be the 'Herr Jens Bavarian Oomph Band' these guys provide hours of live entertainment and provide you with a great night or evening. These are traditionally dressed and perform live. You can tell they really enjoy what they do as the energy they put in really reflects in their overall performance. They dance they sing and they love the audience getting involved I strongly advice that you visit one night just so you understand exactly what I mean. In addition to the live entertainment you are also provided with a specialist food menu and real German Bier. The Beir glasses that you can get here are actually massive, I'm not sure how much Bier is in it but it wll definatly be over 3 pints!
This market is usually open from around 10.30am till approximately 9pm. Some stalls even stay open till about 11pm! Of course the Bier tent stays open until whenever they want to close it.
I would strongly advice anyone to visit this market if they are in the Leeds area, it's a brilliant atmosphere and what more it is free so your really losing nothing!
Last year was the first year i had ever attended this event, as it was my first year studying at Leeds University. We were about to head off on a night out and needed somewhere to have a few beers before hand.
Usually, this would take you to a pub such as walkabout or the local, "the hyde park". However, not on this night. We decided to head down to the leeds german christmas market, and we were not to be disappointed.
Below, i will review the different areas that we enjoyed during the evening.
Obviously, at anything where the words German and Market are concerned you expect some good beer to be on show, and we were not disappointed. I sampled some of the "home brewed lager" and it tasted great. Also at 7 percent you were provided with a real kick which you do not usually get from this type of drink.
My friends tried some of the bitter and cider that was also on offer; they like me thoroughly enjoyed it, and we all spent a good amount of money getting nicely oiled before our night out.
At any xmas market, you expect to get some kind of food stalls; and at this one, there were plenty. I personally opted for some german schnitzel, and it tasted great. Having been to germany i knew roughly what to expect; and it took my back to walking down the Koln high street!
There was a great variety on offer though, from different cheeses to warm meals. It really did have everything.
In my view, this is what made the night. There was a great German singer on, and it was very traditional. He was excellent though and really knew how to keep the crowd and even had us singing along by the end of the night!
There were also multiple games stalls outside, and although these looked like great fun, i never did sample them, so i cannot fully review these fairly.
So, if your looking for a fun night out in the yorkshire area at xmas, definately give this a go.
The German market comes to Leeds for about a month before xmas. Its free to look around, and there are plenty of things to buy for xmas.
A lot of the stalls are run by Germans, although there are lots of people from Leeds who have been employed by a German company to run the stalls.
There are stalls selling old fashioned wooden toys, glow in the dark things, homemade candels, strange hats, bits and bobs, arts and crafts, clocks, jewellery and anything else that is a bit useless but your granny or child would like.
The best part of the market is the food and the beer hall. There are stalls selling burgers, german sausages, chocolate decorations, waffles, garlic bread, garlic mushrooms, fried potatoes, and mulled wine. I tried the combination of garlic mushrooms and fried potatoes. They were very tasty, well cooked and I didnt have to queue up to eat, everyone was at the hotdog stand. However being vegetarian obviously was an advantage.
In the beer hall its decorated like a traditional German grotto/beer hall. In a real one I imagine you can go up on the balcony, but there were some strange scary elf models instead.
They have shows on the weekends in the evenings, I saw once a German band who played a lot of upbeat English songs as well as their own folk songs. They really knew how to get the crowd going, by jumping up on tables and dancing with everyone.
The only critisism of the beer hall is that theres a bar right in the middle, so the people at the back of the hall cant see the band at all, it would be better to have the bar further back so more people can see the show.
I saw a lot of people drinking massive jugs of beer, these can be bought for £9 which includes the beer, you can give the jug back and get £3 back.
They also serve mulled wine, they put it in a mug and try to charge you £6 but you can ask to have it in a cup and this is only £3.
In the hall they also serve full traditional meals like ghoulash and more sausage. The meals looked really tasty, but cost around £6 so better to buy the food outside and bring it in.
The hall had a great party atmosphere but under 18s arent allowed in after 6 on the weekends because everyone is very drunk from the huge tankards of beer, and the show gets a bit ruder. They have bouncers on the door enforcing this.
You have to get there early to get a seat, people seem to have been in there all day!
If your coming to Leeds this year, definately coincide it with the market being there, as it is a really nice way to start feeling christmassy.
I'm not exactly Scrooge, but I don't like Christmas all that much either. Most occasions where forced (or perhaps I should say "required") merriment is expected usually don't go down too well with me. I do however quite enjoy the run up to the big day, and end up somehow deflated when it arrives.
This year part of the run-up involved a visit to the Leeds Christinkindelmarkt - that's German Christmas market to you and I! Somehow despite living in Leeds my whole life, and the market having been here since 2002, I had never been. A couple of weeks ago I found myself eating lunch with a friend in a bar behind the market (located in Millennium Square), so we decided to have a quick wander round. Unfortunately neither of us had much time, or cash, so we decided to come back at night time to catch the German show band.
Well, one thing and another cropped up and we didn't make it to the oompah band. Yeah, we're pretty disappointed about that - Oktoberfest is on my to-do list and that's practically the same! But we DID get to go back to the market albeit in the day and have a proper look around.
The market consists of, according to the Leeds City Council website, over 30 stalls. To be honest, I didn't think it looked that big, we got around it pretty quickly. My mum has been every year and wasn't at all impressed this year compared to previous years.
Firstly there are stalls selling gifts including jewellery, beeswax candles shaped like reindeer etc, speciality foods, Christmas ornaments...to name a few. Our personal favourite was a stall selling woolly hats, bags, purses and accessories. We spent a long time picking out the perfect hat and had fun trying on ridiculous ones we wish we were brave enough to wear. In the end the one I chose was £10, which is certainly dearer than buying one of a guy with a cart on the street, but a hell of a lot better made and cheaper than you would find at most online stores.
There are plenty of places to eat at the market too. There are several stalls selling sweets, crepes, etc and one offering bizarre snowball-type things which consist of marshmallow with a waffle base. I opted for an After Eight flavour one and sort of wish I hadn't - sickly isn't the word. We also enjoyed German sausage in baguette for lunch - very tasty and not too pricey at around £2.50. I quite enjoyed the fact that the garlic bread stall was shaped like a glove of garlic. The main tent offers a wider selection of traditional German foods, and you can also buy sausages and cakes at a couple of stalls to take home.
We ate in a small "grotto" I guess is what they were going for. It was cosy and warm, with long tables and a roaring fire..but also a little strange. Fake windows stuck to the walls? I guess they must have windows in Germany then. How authentic!
The stallholders we encountered were friendly and helpful, although I wonder how authentically German some of them were. While we were eating, an elderly couple nearby asked a worker who was clearing up (very efficiently may I add - the place was spotless) what the German writing on their mug was. He seemed totally baffled, but it transpired it only meant "Merry Christmas". Surely not the most complex of translations for a native to explain?
Besides the stalls and dining options, the fair offers a few children's rides - a carousel, bumper cars, etc. To be honest, while they were all on the same side of the market, it did cheapen the feel a little bit and totally wasn't in the feel of the rest of the market, which consists of wooden "chalet-style" stalls.
At night-time, the main tent besides having food and a selection of German beers is host to the Herr Jens Bavarian Oompah Band Thursday to Sunday afternoon/evening. It does tend to get busy and there is security on the door to keep numbers down - and under-aged market-goers out after a certain time.
The market is on until December 21, so there's still time to catch it before it packs up for the year. Opening hours are 10.30am - 9pm Mon-Sat and 10.30am to 8pm on Sundays. Some stalls and the main tent stay open until 11pm except on Sundays.
Millennium Square is in central Leeds, well sign-posted and about 15 mins walk from both the bus and train stations. There is also nearby parking at The Light, and a cash point by the back of the dodgems!
For more info visit Leeds City Council's website. (I couldn't link because it said the link was too long...Google Leeds Christkindelmarkt!)
There is nothing like a traditional German Christmas Market in this world. Certainly not in Leeds.
Situated on the Millenium Square with plenty of parking facilities nearby you just can't miss it when you live around South or West Yorkshire.
The traditional German carvings and the (mostly from Far East imported) nut crackers are giving the stands a very special atmosphere.
Obviously all the German goodies are coming with it: the smell of the traditional Nuremberg sausages (delicious.. got to try them) and the Gluehwein (a traditonal German X-mas drink wine mixed with spices beyond them cinnemon) and German Christmas biscuits called Vanillekipferl or Kokosmakronen. Not to be missed out!
Of course there will be the German famous Christmas songs - that aren't any different from the English ones - except for the language.
A very friendly and merry atmosphere that no one should miss out!
Go and see the Leeds German Christmas Market..
Christkindlmarkt brings the spirit of Christmas with toys, specialty foods, and Christmas decoration along with the traditional Glühwein and German Bratwurst.