Frankfurt boasts one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, but a careful look beyond the city limits reveals a range of enchanting alternatives. The markets in this part of Germany lure visitors with historical settings, traditional foods and drinks, and handmade gifts for a festive start of the Christmas holiday season. Most of the markets listed below are within an hour drive from Frankfurt.
Frankfurt Christmas Market (November 25–December 22, 2019)
The Frankfurt Christmas Market, or Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt in German, is one of the largest in Germany. Being a large financial centre, the city attracts countless travellers, so Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt is among the most visited in the country. Held at the Römerberg, St Paul's Square, Hauptwache, Mainkai (Main Quay), and Friedrich-Stoltze-Square, it features a giant Christmas tree and dozens of stalls with delicious foods and drinks. From late November to Christmas eve a lavishly decorated large area in central Frankfurt is the prime meeting and entertainment destination in Frankfurt. The market that dates back to 1393 is one of the oldest in Germany. In 1498 it witnessed a historic Royal Christmas Wedding.
Hanauer Weihnachtsmarkt (November 29–December 22, 2019)
The beautiful town centre of Hanau gets filled with flavors like mulled wine, cinnamon and vanilla during the traditional Christmas market season. The Brothers Grimm's Hanau provides a true fairy tale atmosphere during the holidays. The market features over 75 stalls with gifts, handicrafts and delicious foods. Kids would love a mini Ferris wheel, two vintage carousels, and the fairytale train. Every day, there is live music, choirs and other entertainment. One of the main highlights of the market is a large “Advent calendar” on the Neustädter Rathaus that can be observed at 6 pm. Hanau in only about a 30-minute drive from Frankfurt, so it could be a nice one-day trip to a smaller and cozier Christmas place.
Mainzer Weihnachtsmarkt (November 28–December 23, 2019)
Christmas Market in Mainz immerses visitors in a magical atmosphere of a fairy tale. Featuring over 100 beautifully decorated stalls and set against the backdrop of the 1000-year-old Martinsdom (Martin Cathedral), Mainzer Weihnachtsmarkt is a great spot for the holiday shopping. The artists' factory produces unique handmade items. There is also a large programme of concerts, performances, and workshops, postcard printing, and carousels. Richly decorated 11-metre-high Christmas pyramid and the nearby hand-carved Nativity scenes by the Gotthard chapel of the Cathedral create magic Christmas memories.
Michelstädter Weihnachtsmarkt (November 29–December 22, 2019)
Christmas market in historical Michelstadt features over 100 picturesque wooden stalls near the famous town hall building, which dates back to 1484. The highlight of the market is traditional nativity scenes with life-sized figures. There are a seven-metre Christmas pyramid and a musical box adding to the magical atmosphere. Kids would be delighted to visit the Toy Museum and see Father Christmas, while adults can attend the castle's wine tasting hall and enjoy Christmas concerts and the art fair.
Sternschnuppenmarkt Wiesbaden (November 26–December 23, 2019)
Every winter, Christmas market takes place in Wiesbaden, occupying the Schlossplatz between the Rathaus and Stadtschloss, as well as some space around the Marktkirche. Twinkling Star Christmas Market features the entertainment stage in front of the Rathaus and a fair with almost 130 stalls featuring lots of traditional Christmas gifts, decoration, and delicious treats for all ages.
Aschaffenburger Weihnachtsmarkt (November 27–December 22, 2019)
Aschaffenburg Christmas Market takes place near the beautiful Johannisburg Castle, looking especially magical when glowing with Christmas lights and hypnotising with the smells of cardamom and mulled wine, spreading all over the area. Get yourself a glass of Äpplewoi or apple wine and explore the stalls with various traditional German crafts. Aschaffenburg Christmas Market attracts visitors with local specialities and some unique decorations. There is a large nutcracker at Schloßplatz, life-size nativity scenes and two Christmas pyramids. Kids rides include a Christmas train and an old-fashioned Ferris wheel. Entertainment programme in Aschaffenburg offers theatre performances, pipe organ concerts, and other special events.
Darmstädter Weihnachtsmarkt (November 25–December 23, 2019)
Every winter, the Darmstadt Christmas Market welcomes visitors to Darmstadt's Residenzschloss. With bright decor, crafts, and the homey scent of roasted almonds and mulled wine, there is no better way to give your Christmas spirit a boost. Explore colourful stalls offering German food as well as international specialities. The highlight of the market is amazing ice sculptures, fire shows and the diverse cultural programme.