Heard of Forchheim? Probably not, if you haven’t lived in Franconia, and even then lots of people overlook this lovely little town.
This is one of my favourite Christmas markets, it’s small, but perfectly formed, great for an hour or two before settling in to one of the towns warm and inviting breweries for dinner. The Christmas Market is mostly located near the Rathaus (town hall) which is a 5 minute walk from the town square, follow the lights, the people and sometimes a horse and cart.
The town hall itself hosts a craft fair inside, free to peruse, which always has lovely handmade local products for sale, check out the beautiful baskets. The town castle also houses some animals in the moat during Christmas, not quite a petting zoo but some very friendly goats, sheep and donkeys that always seem happy to be petted.
During Advent the facade of the town hall is transformed into a life sized advent calendar, it’s pretty special, we’ve been the past few years. Last year we watched some friends perform with their band just before the advent door gets opened. Lot of local groups play, music starts at 5.30pm.
Every day at 6.30pm prompt a window of the advent calendar opens and part of the Christmas story is read out by a Christmas angel. She also nips out and give sweet treats to the smaller members of the crowd after she’s told her story.
Forchheim is one of my favourite small towns, full stop, check out the wonderful timbered houses while you’re there, some of them lean so much you’ll think you’ve had too much Glühwein.
Best places to eat
And both within a few minutes walk of the market include
Brauerei-Gaststätte Eichhorn Bambergerstr 9
Their beer is outstanding and their food is some of the best traditional Franconian I have ever eaten. They are super friendly and accommodating, very good value for money, booking recommended.
Fränkische Bierstube Hauptstr 52
Home to a flippin’ amazing Käsespätzle and a hazelnut schnapps that tastes like Nutella. The atmosphere is lovely and very German, good value for money, booking recommended.
How to get there
Train – Forchheim train station is a 10-15 minutes walk from the market, buses and taxis can be found directly outside the station if you don’t fancy a walk.
Car – There is an underground carpark at the Market square or check this parking guide provided by the Council.
Forchheim Weihnachtsmarkt 28/11-22/12 Noon-8pm *Christmas Eve 9am-Noon and the advent door opens at Noon.