Why I’m SO OVER the Birmingham German Market…

For about five minutes each year I get excited about the impending festivities of Birmingham’s famed Frankfurt Christmas market.  The little wooden huts.  The scent of mulled wine and sizzling sausages.  Cute carved woodwork and ornaments.  The singing moose.  And then I remember.  What the Frankfurt Christmas Market actually means is pushing, shoving and being elbowed in every crevice.  A three-deep queue to purchase overpriced, overwatered and overgassy beer.  The same old cute carved woodwork and ornaments as last year.  The singing moose.

Christmas Market 3

Christmas Market 2

Christmas Market 5

“Meet me under the moose” becomes the closing statement of every text trying to organise a meeting place.  By 8pm, every market-goer is trying to locate their fellow market-goer under that blasted moose.  You finally spot a friend, clutching a large tankard of that £4.50 beer, trying to save a precious table space (which usually ends up being next to a bin).  You are jostled and elbowed and poked on your way to the bar, and jostled and elbowed and poked on the way back from the bar.  You end up wearing more of your £4.50 beer than drinking it.  And woe betide if you try to carry more than one. Someone loses their glass token, and decides that rather than lose their £3 deposit they may as well keep the glass.  They will then spend the entire night trying to shove said glass into someone else’s pocket or handbag when they get tired of holding it.  A group of men will mistake the German Christmas Market for an actual German Christmas Market and start singing “oom pah pah” and waving their glasses around in the air.  Another group of men will mistake the side of one of the stalls for a Portaloo, and the smell of urine will meld with the scent of cinnamon, Nutella crepes and Baileys Hot Chocolates. 

What the market means to me is the good nights I’ve had there with friends, popping in for a quick drink after work on a Friday that lasts until closing time.  But more often than not, the night is spent huddled together, trying to keep warm, dry and pretend we’re having fun, before someone breaks and suggests we head off to the Wellington before we all freeze to death (it’s ALWAYS the Wellington…).  And every year, we say, “Nope, we won’t bother this year”.  And yet every year the lure of the overpriced beer and dodgy bratwurst draws us in…

Christmas Market 1

All photos from birminghammail.co.uk and bbc.co.uk


  1. Nordie
    November 13, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    It effectively makes the city centre a no go area for he time it’s here, at least for those wishing to keep their sanity. I have to do targeted forays if I need anything, where I have to plan my journey using the back streets as much as possible.

    I know people who have businesses on the route of the market and they’ve told me they lose a lot of money when it’s on….tourists don’t stop, and the locals avoid coming in. I made a point to go in in January each year to show some support!

  2. November 16, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    Ah the good ole German Christmas market. Leeds has one every year too & the last time I went I took my child with me. Why did I think this would be a good idea?!

    • November 16, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      To be fair it used to be great, but now it just makes half of Brum city centre out of bounds at the busiest time 😫

      • November 16, 2017 / 1:52 pm

        That’s rubbish. At least the Leeds one doesn’t effect the city at all.

  3. November 16, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    Enjoyed this. Glasgow has a Christmas Market too and I always think it’s a good idea until I get there….and it’s cold. And raining and full of stuff I neither want or need. Jeez I am starting to sound like Ol’ Scrooge! Jill

    • November 16, 2017 / 2:20 pm

      Ha ha, exactly! Why can’t they do these things in the summer 😆

  4. November 16, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    Sometimes you can’t fight tradition! Sounds like a tolerable event. 🙂

    • November 16, 2017 / 2:33 pm

      Sometimes you just have to raise a stein of beer and go with it…

  5. November 16, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    I’m off over that neck of the woods tonight for my sins – hope it hasn’t started yet 🙄

    • November 16, 2017 / 2:32 pm

      It opens tonight….literally the worst time ever to go into Brum. Good luck 🙂

      • November 16, 2017 / 2:40 pm

        Nooooo! Looks like the writing group at The Brasshouse may have to do without me! 😳

        • November 16, 2017 / 2:51 pm

          Oh you might be alright that side of town… all the construction work means the market won’t encroach anywhere the Brasshouse 😀

  6. josypheen
    November 16, 2017 / 11:40 pm

    You know you’ll end up there in the end…

    I’m not even a fan of beer and I still find myself in those kind of places. I do really like the sausages though. Mmm overpriced sausages!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:

Looking for Something?