The Birmingham Christmas Market scene is by far one of the most famous in England. Its crown jewel? The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, also known as the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of central Europe.
Little wonder why Birmingham is considered one of the top Christmas destinations in the UK!
Luckily for locals and visitors alike however, the Birmingham Xmas market scene is slowly but surely expanding, with new options bringing plenty of choice… and that’s in addition to the many great sights and places to visit in Birmingham already.
We last visited Birmingham’s Christmas markets in November 2021, and loved the authentic Christkindlmarkt atmosphere.
If you’re currently planning your own trip, or simply curious about what Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is like, then we’re here to help.
Read on for an overview of Birmingham’s Christmas Markets, with official dates, hotel recommendations, photos & more.
Christmas Market Packing Essentials:
Birmingham Christmas Market Dates
According to the official Visit Birmingham website, this year’s dates for Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market are Nov 2 – Dec 23, 2023.
And according to vendor applications here, Christmas in Cathedral Square will take place from Nov 15 – Dec 17, 2023.
You can find out more in our full list of Christmas market opening dates in the UK.
Official Birmingham Christmas Market Website
For the most up-to-date information and announcements, be sure to visit the official Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market website.
Birmingham Christmas Market 2023 Hotels
Looking for a place to stay nearby while you visit Christmas markets? Here are some recommendations:
- Budget: Click here to check prices and availability
- Mid-Range: Click here to check prices and availability
- Luxury: Click here to check prices and availability
We personally stayed at the ibis Styles Birmingham City Centre, and loved the affordable rate, free breakfast, and convenient location only 5 min on foot from the Birmingham Christmas Market facilities in Victoria Square. If you’re looking for a simple but comfortable stay, this is one option we’d definitely recommend.
Birmingham Christmas Market Locations
Wondering where to find Christmas markets in Birmingham? Here are the main markets & locations to look out for.
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market at Victoria Square
The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market welcomes over 5 million visitors a year, and bills itself as the most authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany and Austria.
With over 180 stalls selling the most tempting of Christmas market foods like roasted nuts, sausages, and brezel, along with classic German Christmas market gifts like ornaments and toys, this market has plenty offer visitors both in terms of tasty treats and excellent shopping.
The main location of this Christmas Market can be found in Victoria Square, Birmingham’s main square where you’ll find Town Hall and the Council House.
Here, you can expect a wide array of mainly food stalls, along with lots of space to perch and enjoy some treats and drinks.
There’s also a towering Christmas tree, and a performance stage where you can enjoy some live entertainment every night.
Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market Along New Street
The other main location for the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is New Street. From Victoria Square to the Bullring, you’ll find many wooden chalets selling treats and gifts alongside classic High Street shops like H&M and the Apple Store.
In contrast to Victoria Square which deals mainly with food/drinks, New Street is where you’ll find many more shopping/gift stalls, from cute rubber duckies and handmade soaps to beautiful Christmas ornaments and sweets.
Some highlights here include the ornamental entrance gate of the market (which you’ll find walking onto New Street from the Bullring), a classic German Christmas pyramid with a large covered drinking area, and a cool food hut with a Glockenspiel that plays music.
Christmas in Cathedral Square
Location: Birmingham Cathedral Square
New to the Birmingham Christmas market scene this year is a special Christmas market in Cathedral Square which has a focus on local artisans from the Birmingham area.
Not only does this market showcase locally made goods to buy, it also has an excellent array of local food and drink vendors too to create the perfect festive experience with the gorgeous backdrop of Birmingham Cathedral.
The Big Wheel
Location: Centenary Square
For another fun festive thing to do in Birmingham, consider hopping on the Big Wheel, which can be found next to the iconic Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square, a less than 10 minute walk from Victoria Square.
While not really a proper Birmingham “Christmas market” location, this giant ferris wheel is the ideal place to get a unique view over Birmingham’s Christmas market and landmarks, while adding a bit of thrill to your advent festivities.
Ice Skating Birmingham
Location: Centenary Square
Last but not least, just beside the Big Wheel, you’ll find another fun Christmas activity in Birmingham – ice skating!
Ice Skating Birmingham has repeatedly been recognized as one of the top outdoor skating rinks in the UK, and its covered roof means it’s an option rain or shine (which is pretty important in England!)
Again, while this isn’t a proper Christmas market location, it’s a brilliant activity to add onto your day exploring Birmingham’s Christmas markets.
Best of all, there’s even an on-site bar to give you some liquid courage to skate.
What to Eat and Drink at Birmingham Christmas Market
One of the main activities of Birmingham’s Christmas markets is (of course) eating and drinking. Here are some must-haves based on our vist:
Glühwein (AKA mulled wine) is a must-have at any German Christmas market, and the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market is no exception!
This hot wine mulled with warming spices will taste like a cup of the holidays, and best of all, it’s served in some outrageously adorable mugs (which you can take home if you choose to forgo the £3 deposit).
You can find these cute boot mugs at the Frankfurter Scheune, the big stall near the Christmas tree in Victoria Square:
And if you’re looking for some variety, we noticed that the stalls at the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market had many varieties of Glühwein for visitors to try, including cherry (Kirschwein), apple (Apfelwein), raspberry (Himbeerwein), blueberry (Heidelbeerwein) and even a non-alcoholic version (Autofahrer Punsch, AKA Driver’s Punch).
While drinking cold beer outdoors in winter isn’t really a typical thing to do at most authentic German Christmas markets, one quick glance at Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market and you’ll see that cold German beer is indeed one of the most popular indulgences.
Available in half pints, pints, and even DOUBLE pints, a frosty glass of Hofbräu goes perfectly with many of the market’s greasier eats… plus they have adorable customized glasses for these too (which again, you can keep as a souvenir if you forgo the £3 deposit).
Not into a regular Hofbräu? There’s also wheat beer, shandies and non-alcoholic varieties to enjoy.
Knoblauchbrot (Garlic Bread)
Of all the stalls we sampled at the Birmingham Christmas Market, one of the best value for money treats we enjoyed was this massive garlic bread (Knoblauchbrot) in Victoria Square.
For only £5, you can get a giant slab of garlic bread with a variety of toppings (like the salami and cheese one pictured below).
This shamelessly gluttonous treat goes great with the aforementioned Hofbräu beer… and will keep you fuelled and full for many more hours of sightseeing!
One of the most ubiquitous foods at the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham is Bratwurst – grilled sausage, available at a variety of stalls scattered across the city’s Christmas market locations.
Served in a bun with your choice of sauces and toppings, you can’t go wrong with this classic German Christmas market food.
And if you’re looking for a real novelty snack (that’s nonetheless delicious), check out the 1/2 meter bratwurst stand at Victoria Square. Yes, it really is a half meter sausage!
While churros aren’t German, they’re the perfect Christmas market snack to enjoy at the Birmingham Christmas Market if you’re looking for something sweet.
Crunchy, crispy, and cinnamony… what more could you ask for?
We got these beauties at a stall in Victoria Square:
A quintessential German fair snack is roasted nuts, especially almonds!
Our favourite kind are the regular Gebrannte Mandeln, which are crunchy almonds coated in a caramelized sugar, but we noticed that the nut stands at Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market had many interesting varieties including Cappuccino, Bailey’s and even chili for those looking for a spicy kick.
We bought some traditional ones at a stall along New Street, and they were delicious!
Chopped sausage with a curry ketchup is one of the most delicious street foods in Germany (especially in Berlin), and the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market has multiple stalls selling it.
We got ours at Victoria Square, near the Christmas tree, and it came with a bread roll to soak up all that tasty sauce. Mmm mm!
So while Christmas market food isn’t typically the healthiest, one of the lighter and more delicious treats we tried at the Birmingham Christmas Market was champignons (roasted mushrooms) in a creamy garlic sauce.
We got ours from a stall in Victoria Square, and it was the perfect final snack after tons of carbs and sugar.
Frikadellen are delicious flat meatballs that are popular in many European countries, particularly Germany and Denmark.
And while delicious on their own, we visited a stall at Victoria Square selling these sandwiched in a bread roll with caramelized onions as a “German burger” and we were not disappointed!
With a giant dollop of garlic sauce on top, this ‘burger’ definitely wasn’t the daintiest food we enjoyed at the Birmingham Christmas Market, but it was certainly among the most delicious.
We recommend getting extra napkins for this one!
For a slightly different drink to enjoy at the Birmingham Christmas Market, check out the Viking Met stall near the entrance gate on New Street.
We didn’t get a chance to try this, but we love a good honey wine (AKA mead)! They even make it in white/red varieties, with an option to add a shot if you’re looking for something stronger.
Other Street Foods
While we’ve mainly been covering traditional German Christmas market foods, the Birmingham Christmas market scene has a lot of other options to offer beyond sausages and carbs!
Particularly at the Christmas in Cathedral Square event, you’ll find lots of local vendors selling a diverse variety of items, from Roast Dinner wraps and cocktails to chocolate covered fruit and Indian street food.
Mumbai Grill looked especially popular when we stopped by:
What to Buy at Birmingham’s Christmas Markets
While we truly believe that food/drink are the star of the show at Birmingham’s Christmas market events, shopping is of course another important element of the festivities.
Here are some unique souvenirs/goodies we’d recommend buying while you explore.
German Gingerbread Cookies
For a quintessentially German souvenir, consider buying a big German gingerbread heart cookie that has a special message written on it.
In Germany, buying these for loved ones is very popular at all sorts of festivals, from Oktoberfest to Christmas markets.
At the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, we saw many that had cute sayings like “I love you” and “Greetings from Birmingham”.
NOTE: These cookies are meant to be decorative, rather than eaten! You can of course try eating one, but they won’t taste very good.
Sweets & Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
For another cute gift idea, consider stocking up on sweets for loved ones! We saw many candy stalls scattered around the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, including one that sold cones full of Haribo.
For a more unique treat, consider buying some chocolate covered marshmallows (Schaumkusse), which are a very popular treat at authentic German Christmas markets.
Gifts from Local Artisans
If your goal is to do some proper Christmas shopping while supporting local, then we recommend heading over to Birmingham’s Christmas at Cathedral Square event, where you’ll find lots of local artisans selling unique gifts, from funny prints and candles to wooden toys.
This is definitely the Birmingham Christmas market to visit if gift shopping is your main priority.
Last but not least, Birmingham’s Christmas market stalls are the perfect place to stock up on beautiful new ornaments for your tree (or for gifting to others).
While walking around, we saw a few different stalls selling glass baubles, painted ornaments, and many other unique finds. Definitely take some time to admire the selection if your tree needs some sprucing up!
Additional Photos of the Birmingham Christmas Market Scene
Looking for more Birmingham Christmas market eye candy? Here are some more snaps to show you how beautiful this market truly is!
Help Us Improve This Birmingham Christmas Market Guide!
We’re constantly striving to make articles on this site more informative for our readers, so let us know in the comments if you’ve been to Birmingham Christmas Market and if there are any tips or must-knows you’d like to share.