Largest ever Christmas market opens for business

By on 16/11/2011 in News

Festive frankfurters, gluhwein and stollen will all be on the menu in Birmingham this week as the largest ever edition of the city's world-famous Frankfurt Christmas Market opens for business this Thursday (17th Nov).

Stretching more than one kilometre from the Bullring all the way to the ICC in Centenary Square, the market and adjoining Christmas Craft Fair will feature a record 193 stalls, including for the first time a number of special two-storey stalls.

The largest authentic German market in the world, outside Germany and Austria, the market attracted more than three million visitors last year from all over the UK and Europe, and is estimated to have generated £90m into the local economy.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr Mike Whitby, said: “I'm delighted to welcome back the Frankfurt Market to Birmingham for its eleventh year.  I am confident this year’s 37 day event will continue the Market’s tradition of growing from strength-to-strength and providing an excellent platform for visitors and residents alike to enjoy all that the city has to offer.

“It's important to stress the fact that the benefits of this annual event stretch far beyond the market itself. Visitors come here and spend money in our shops, restaurants and hotels, adding to the overall economy of the city centre at a critical time of year for retailers and business.”Frankfurt Christmas Market

Featuring stalls selling a wide range of authentic craft goods, toys, decorations, candles and clothing, visitors to the market will also be able to enjoy a host of traditional German food, drinks and sweets.

Live music, singing and entertainment will also be performed from a special bandstand in Victoria Square on Thursdays, Fridays and weekends.

For younger visitors the market includes a stunning Christmas Carousel in Victoria Square, children's rides, a downloadable activity pack and special schools' days.

Adjoining the Frankfurt Market, in Chamberlain and Centenary Squares, a special Christmas Craft Fair will play host to craft and food stalls run by local businesses, providing culinary treats as diverse as curry, sushi, cider, and pie and mash.

Councillor Volker Stein from Frankfurt City Council added – “Birmingham and Frankfurt have been partner cities for 45 years - with the Frankfurt Christmas Market demonstrating how both cities can work together.  The atmosphere at the opening of the Market was incredible, and shows how welcoming Birmingham is for visitors from overseas.”

Originally launched in 2001 with just 24 stalls, the market has consistently grown every year since. Now in its 11th year it has become one of the most popular Christmas attractions in the UK.

The Birmingham Frankfurt Market and the Craft Fair are open from 17 November until 23 December from 10am - 9pm daily.

Frankfurt Christmas MarketFor up to date information about the market follow @chrismoose2011 - the world's only tweeting moose – on Twitter

Images of the Frankfurt Christmas Market can be downloaded here:


For more information please contact:

Simon Houltby 0121 303 3503

or Geoff Coleman 303 3501

** His Excellency Mr Georg Boomgaarden, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany will join the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Anita Ward and the Bishop of Birmingham David Urquhart, for the official opening of Birmingham's world famous Frankfurt Christmas Market and Craft Fair at 5.30pm on Thursday 17 November. 

Afterwards, at approximately 5.40pm the celebrations will start with a twenty minute performance from German pop singer Ireen Sheer. 

Christmas Birmingham events 2011/12

Meet Father Christmas in his Grotto

An enchanting and festive experience awaits you!  All children visiting Father Christmas in his Museum grotto will receive a special gift and have the opportunity to have their picture taken.

Date/times: 26 & 27 November, 3,4,10,11,17 - 21 & 23 December; Sat 11am - 4pm, Sun and weekdays 12.30 - 4.30pm

Venue: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Cost: £2.50 per child. Free for accompanying adults.

More info: 0121 303 1966.

Nativity Trail

The Museum and Art Gallery is putting the true spirit of Christmas at the centre of its activities with the return of the Nativity Trail through the galleries.

The free trail highlights great masterpieces in the city's collections that depict the Holy Family as seen through the eyes of some of the greatest artists over the last 500 years.

Date/times: 29 November 2011 - 6 January 2012

Venue: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Cost: Free

More info: 0121 303 1966.

Christmas Delights

See the former home of Matthew Boulton decorated with festive greenery and discover Christmas traditions of the past.  Includes mulled berry punch and a mince pie served in the housekeeper's Room.

Date/times:  1 & 15 December, 11am - 12.30pm

Venue:  Soho House, Handsworth

Cost:  £6

More info:  0121 554 9122

Aston Hall by Candlelight

Lit by around 300 shimmering candles, visitors will be able to see the Jacobean mansion at its most breathtaking.  This year, the Hall will celebrate a Victorian Christmas, with musicians, actors and performers recreating a 19th century household as it entertains a very important royal visitor and revels in the season's festivities.

Date/times: 2 - 11 December

Venue:  Aston hall, Trinity Road, Aston

Cost:  £12 adults, £10 children (6 - 16 years) and concessions - proof of status may be requested, £44 family (2 adults, up to 3 children).  Tickets must be booked in advance.

More info:  0121 303 1966

 Father Christmas at the Nature Centre

Combine a trip to see Father Christmas with a visit to see a wide range of exotic animals.  Ticket includes a visit to Father Christmas, present, badge, colouring sheet and a chance to feed some of the animals.

Date/times: 3,4,10,11,17,18 December, 10.30am - 2.30pm, half hourly session times

Venue:  Birmingham Nature Centre, Edgbaston

Cost:  £5 per child, normal admission charges apply.  Tickets and time slots must be booked in advance.

More info:  0121 471 7775

 Christmas Plant Sales

Top quality surplus poinsettias, cyclamen and hyacinths at bargain prices.

 Date/times:  10/11 & 17/18 December, 9am - 4pm

Venue:  Cofton Nursery, Lickey Road, Rednal, B45 8RY

Cost:  Free entry

More info:  0121 453 1044

 These events are organised by Birmingham City Council over the Christmas season.  For more information on Christmas events, go to


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