Christmas in Europe, with its celebrations, décor and food, is a big draw. May be you can head to Frankfurt in Germany this year to enjoy one of the oldest and most beautiful Christmas markets of Germany. Here’s a snap preview of what you can expect at the Christmas market this year.

Traditional Fervour: The first stop must be at the Römer, Frankfurt’s town hall, to admire Germany’s largest Christmas tree. The elegant tree, illuminated with thousands of fairy lights, is a memorable sight. On weekends, international Christmas carols are performed on the Römerberg stage. A life-size nativity scene, an essential component of every Christmas market, completes the stage set-up. And every Wednesday and Saturday, at 6pm, the tower horns sound from the balcony of St Nicholas Church.

Shopping and Market Tours: There’s plenty to browse through at this traditional Christmas market. Local Frankfurt artists put up an annual sale at the Römerhallen (Roman Halls) arts and crafts market and the St Paul’s Church. Check out the traditional Christmas ornaments, folk art from the Ore Mountains, handmade candles, ‘Dippe’ pottery and homemade earthenware products. A 300-year-old timber-frame ‘honey house’ is erected on St Paul’s Square every year for the duration of the market. You will find a wide variety of products made of natural honey and beeswax. You can also sample the products at the first floor.

Looking for souvenirs or typical Frankfurt Christmas fare? Try the sales booth set up by the Frankfurt Tourist+Congress Board (TCF) beneath the Christmas tree on the Römerberg. The 2017 version of the Christmas mug, apple wine mustard, Frankfurt Crown Cake liqueur will be on sale here among other things. Send a little bit of Frankfurt’s good cheer with your holiday mail by putting the special Christmas market stamp on the mail.

Guy Evans / flickr
Christmas Market in Frankfurt
Christmas Market in Frankfurt

If you find the Christmas market a tad overwhelming, take a guided Christmas market tour called ‘Stories, Sweets and Savouries’. The tour includes a visit to the rooftop gallery of St Nicholas Church, from where you can catch a panoramic view of the Christmas market below, with the Frankfurt skyline in the background. The Frankfurt Tourist+Congress Board (TCF) offers these guided tours on all four Advent weekends, bookable for groups in different languages.

On December 17, there will be a special Christmas Market tour for the visually impaired. An additional Christmas market tour, will be held on Sunday, the 17th of December.

Local Food: In between shopping and sightseeing, do not forget to sample the regional Christmas specialities at the taverns. Some of the must haves include “Bethmännchen” or an almond and marzipan biscuit, hot apple wine, and “Quetschemännchen” or small figurines made of dried plums. You may also come across modern interpretations of old classics, such as “Green Sauce” crêpes served with brisket of beef or “Handkäs” fondue.

Pink Christmas: Held on on Friedrich-Stoltze Square, it is an extension of the Christmas market and a popular meeting place of the city’s LGBT community and their friends. The decorations and the food and drinks are quite a draw. Don’t miss the hot cocktails, homemade soup and freshly made gingerbread.

Where: Frankfurt Christmas market stretches from the Hauptwache across St Paul’s Square and the Römerberg all the way down to the banks of the River Main.

When: Frankfurt Christmas market will be held from Nov 27 to Dec 22, 2017; Monday-Saturday – 10am to 9pm and Sunday – 11am to 9pm.

Excursion: Situated about 10km west of downtown Frankfurt, Höchst city district is home to the Gothic Höchst Castle. A Christmas market will also be held in front of this castle on Dec 2 and 3,2017. Local clubs, businesses and associations will offer diverse products at 50 ornately decorated booths. A number of regional artists will also be selling handcrafted items.