Don’t feel like travelling to Dubai for Christmas or to mainland Europe for a Christmas market? Why not try a visit to the Birmingham Christmas Market, the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria. Fill up on your gluhwein, bratwurst and hot chocolate without leaving the UK!
Date Visited: 20th – 22nd December 2019
Location: Victoria Square, New Street, Birmingham B3 3AA
Getting There: We travelled from London, which is an easy 90-minutes train ride from Euston to Birmingham New Street.
Cost: Depending on when you book, prices can vary for trains and accommodation. We utilised some existing hotel points and stayed at the Hyatt Regency, close to the markets. Train tickets were c.£50 return for three of us.
In collaboration with the German city of Frankfurt, the Birmingham Christmas Market brings the festive cheer to the UK. There’s a plethora of authentic Christmas stalls, albeit quite a few duplicates along the stretch of High Street, consisting of food and last minute Christmas gift ideas. The weather wasn’t too cold or wet, which was a positive and allowed us to enjoy the entertainment and atmosphere of the market. We arrived a bit late on Friday evening so decided to stay in the hotel and rest up for the Saturday.
After a little lie in, we made our way to breakfast at a very relaxed Boston Tea Party. A tasty stack of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup, with a decent coffee was a great way to start the day. Cara selected some items from the kids ‘make your own’ breakfast, whilst Mum went for the chorizo hash. Once the food was demolished, it was a short walk back to the main strip and Christmas markets. That meant more food! There’s a food and drink stall every few metres. German hot dogs, rostis, toasties, roasted chestnuts, or waffles, take your pick.
We found a spot near the live music where the classics were pumped out and picked up a couple of hot dogs, fish and chips and drinks. The atmosphere was lively but friendly, lots of families enjoying the event. With a full belly, we headed over to the skating rink and ferris wheel. Cara hit the ice for the first time with the help of her Mum. She had a blast for about 40 minutes and was fairly confident by the end of the session. Great to see her having so much fun. The afternoon was complete with a ride on the ferris wheel.
After being out for a few hours, we headed back to the hotel to recharge poolside. A visit to Birmingham meant a visit to a nice curry house was in order, and after a search online we decided on Asha’s. It’s not a cuisine we eat a lot of, but Cara devoured her chicken korma kid’s meal while we feasted on their famous briyani and a couple of other dishes. Very tasty.
Before leaving on Sunday, we headed back to the Christmas market where Cara jumped on the merry-go-round. Possibly the fastest one we’ve seen! We also picked up a morning gluhwein, hot chocolate and another hot dog for the road. With our bellies warm, we slowly walked to the train station, collecting a few pretzels for the train ride back to London. Cara had a fantastic time, with highlights including the ice skating, pool and merry-go-round. It was a lovely weekend break and perhaps we’ll be back again soon to check out the other attractions Birmingham has to offer.
More info: https://www.thebfcm.co.uk/
- Sometimes it’s quicker walking, depending on the weather. There’s a serious amount of roadworks currently underway in Birmingham in preparation for the Commonwealth Games. It took us longer to taxi it around than it would have to walk.
- Birmingham Christmas Markets get super busy from lunchtime to the early evening. If you prefer something more quiet and less crowded, visit it as soon as it opens in the morning.
- Take some cash – not all stalls accept card payments, so cash will come in handy.
Burn Time: 5 out of 5 – as we had never been to Birmingham before, everything was new to us. We spent most of the day out and about, and enjoyed the comforts of the hotel.
Value: 3 out of 5 – depending on where and when you book, costs can vary. Food and drinks at the Christmas markets were reasonably priced, but will add up over the weekend.
Overall: 4 out of 5 – great experience and authentic to the mainland European Christmas markets we have visited to date, without the need to fly!
Have you been to the Birmingham Christmas Market? Any other suggestions of what to do in Birmingham if we go back? Leave your suggestions below.