The dazzling lights shimmering in the fog of smoke coming from the Sizzling sausages Aka Bratwurst, sumptuous fried potato cakes called kartoffelpuffer warm cups of Glühwein to make your cheeks glow and gingerbread hearts and houses hanging from
little stall huts: there is no better way to bring out the Christmas spirit than with the magic of a traditional German Christmas Market.
Its a dream of many to stroll the through an authentic German Christmas! Many even make the trip just to go around Germany to many of the main Christmas markets in Koln, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Munich & Frankfurt. But actually some of the best and most authentic Christmas markets happen in the smaller cities and countryside villages.
BEST SMALLER CHARMING CHRISMAS MARKETS NEAR FRANKFURT
Some of the best city Christmas markets are the wine cities of Wiesbaden, Mainz and Heidelberg about 45-1hr from Frankfurt. These Christmas markets start earlier and usually are open most days of the week during advent.
But for even less of crowd and more authentic experience of slurping local winemaker glühwein with the locals I'd suggest heading to:
Rüdesheim ( Rheingau)
Bernkastel ( Mosel)
Bad Durkeheim (Pfalz)
Trier ( ok not so close to frankfurt but an awesome city to visit during Christmas)
WHAT TO EAT
It’s all about carbs, carbs, more carbs and some protein at the Christams markets
Bratwurst from the swenkel grill, wildbratwurst ( made from mix of vension or wildbbaor)
Kartoffelpuffer with apfelmus. Basillcly a deepfried rostli like potato cake that be as big as two hands.
Stollen is a must try German Christmas cake type bread. It’s a dense and loaded with dried fruit, nuts and spices, and it is covered in powdered sugar. I even sore a stollen made with Riesling the other day at the Rudeshiem Christmas market.
Langos - fried CARBS.. YUM ...Lango .. I think its hungarian but they seem to be a common sight at German Chritsmas markets is deep-fried dough and served hot. You can get several topping but the classic savoury combo is topped with garlic, sour cream and cheese or if you have a sweet tooth covered in powder sugar and cinnamon
German Noodles: Schupfnudeln & Käsespätzle
As is the case with most great German foods, schupfnudeln is another dish made of potato. The best way I can describe schupfnudeln is finger-shaped potato gnocchi.
Käsespätzle is Germany’s answer to mac & cheese. These little noodle droplets are combined with a rich, cheesy sauce and topped with fried shallots. This time of year you an even have them with mushroom sauce.
WHAT TO DRINK
Winzer Glühwein - When your out in the wineregions you should hope that your Glühwine didnt come out of a packet. In saying that like all things wine related it come from a good base of a decent local red or white wine and then made with the adition of real spices and fruit.
Feuerzangenbowle -If you want to try gluhwein on steroids and really warm up and turn the christmas spirit up to full volume then go for the more spirit fueled feuerzangenbowle. Basically, they take regular gluhwein, top it with a sugar cube soaked in rum, and set the sugar on fire.
If this makes you thirsty…..
Join me as we adventure to some to some of the best kept secret Christmas Markets beyond the bigger city of Frankfurt. We will be visiting traditional and romantic Christmas Markets in the Heidelberg, Mosel or Rhein Valley area based on weekday and preference. Enjoy wintery wines while the sun sets and the Christmas lights and cheery crowds spread delight.
During the adevnt season I always try to combine my wine tours with a visit to the more hidden gem local christmas markets. Get intouch with your Christmas wish list and I'll ferment a plan.