Sunday, 31 January 2016

Things to Do in Frankfurt in the Winter | Christmas Markets and Food

If you're ever wondering what there is to do in Frankfurt during the winter time, look no further than a German Christmas Market. Our choice of Christmas market was the Weihnachtsmarkt in Romerburg, this huge market that boasts a tall Christmas tree, beautiful German architecture that surrounds the market area make it one of the biggest and prettiest markets in Germany. Christmas markets in Germany generally open in the middle of November until the 22nd or 23rd of December. The Romerburg Christmas Market, to my surprise was open from 10am as I always assumed that it would open around dinner time and end around 9 or 10 for some reason. But no, they were open all day! If you want to avoid the crowds and the occasional queue, I would recommend going as early as possible. But what's a Christmas market without the crowds? We found ourselves coming back frequently to the Romerburg markets, to experience it at different times, however all these photos were taken during the day.

The markets at night, especially after working hours had the best atmosphere. It was crowded with tourists taking photos with their selfie sticks and cameras, and locals enjoying the best of what the markets offer on a cold winter's night, mulled wine. The atmosphere really was incredible; people everywhere, huddled around tables in high spirits laughing, eating and drinking; slightly tipsy and warm from alcohol; and no violence or barbarity that usually comes with drink.

Although the markets offer both food and drink, and items for sale, the food and drink really was the star of the market. The food we came across was high in calories and carbohydrates. From typical German pretzels and bratwursts, to cheese fondue, the Romerburg Markets had a huge variety of food. One dish in particular that stood out was Kartoffelpuffer with apple sauce, which was a shallow fried potato pancake. It was so simple and delicious, especially with the apple sauce. The potatoes in Germany were amazing, not as watery as the potatoes you get here in Australia, but more dense and creamier. Speaking of potatoes, to those reading this, you have to try out Belgian fries, or Dutch fries, it's basically a huge paper cone filled to the brim with chunky chips and your choice of sauce. Sauces range from curry mayo to plain tomato sauce. It's THE thing to eat when visiting a market in Germany, or anywhere else in Europe for that matter. We chose curry mayo, it was so addictive and at a certain point sickening. The three of us shared a large, but everyone we saw had their own of the same size! It's amazing really, how people can eat that much fried potato. Soups in Europe are on a whole other level, I don't know what it is, maybe it's the wide variety of choices or maybe the fact that it's hard to come by soups in Perth. Tomato soup with a side of delicious bread in Europe has to be one of my favourite meals, so simple, tasty and satisfying. If you're ever heading too Frankfurt they're known for their Apfelwein (apple wine, cider), and it was delicious, especially the mulled Apfelwein we had at the markets, mulled wine has to be the best winter drink in the world. 

Kartoffelpuffer
Belgian fries with curry mayo.
Pumpkin, tomato and lentil soup.
I will never forget the time we spent at the Weihnachtsmarkt, eating carb loaded German food and getting warm with mulled wine under the sparkly lights of the Christmas tree. When I think back on it, it sounds like it was a dream and I find myself thinking, 'This really happened, it's not a fantasy or dream, it actually happened!'.