Christmas in Germany is nothing short of magical, especially to someone whose Decembers have always been hot and sunny. I never quite understood the whole “festive Christmas spirit” until I visited a real Christmas market for the first time, wrapped up in a huge calf-length winter jacket, thermal hat and gloves, and a cup of Glühwein in hand. I actually got excited, whereas back home our plastic Christmas tree, carols about snowmen, and steaming hot Christmas meals simply made no sense in the 30° C beach weather. I still adore summer Christmases back home, with chilled rosé wine, family, and a lekker fish braai by the pool, but European Christmases are extra-special to me due to their novelty.
If you happen to be in Frankfurt on a Saturday, be sure to check out the Kleinmarkthalle and the Erzeugermarkt Konstablerwache (Farmer’s Market), which are both near Hauptwache in the city centre. These food markets are a delight to the senses, and well worth a visit. Kleinmarkthalle is an indoor market full of “delikatessen” and “feinkost” (luxury cooking ingredients and food), with many vendors and a stunning arrangement of meats, cheeses, spices, world cuisine (Indian, Chinese, Turkish, Italian, etc), flowers, fruit, and vegetables.
One of the best ways to become acquainted with the city of Frankfurt is by taking a sightseeing boat trip up and down the Main river. This way, you can see the famous Frankfurt skyline with its modern glass-clad skyscrapers and old churches as you learn about historic and important parts of the city from the tour commentary.