I feel a little as if this is turning into a Christmas market themed blog, but I shall try and resist the temptation to document every occasion I have to drink gluhwein. Truth is, there are a lot of opportunities to drink the stuff, so it is lucky that there are so many different variations on the flavour!
Here is a great tip for you if you are after something a little special from you Christmas market experience. Bad Homburg market is officially called the ‘Romantischer Weihnachtsmarkt’ (no translation needed, right?!). Its claim to fame is that it is located inside the courtyards of the castle at the centre of the town and overflows a little into the old city.
The main part of the market is in the central castle courtyard and circles the famous white tower that can be seen from a distance. The effect is definitely more impressive after dark, but don’t leave it too late as everything starts shutting at about 9pm.
The idea is pretty much the same as every other market: there are mulitple gluhwein and fruit punch stands; there are roasted chestnut sellers; crepe stands with tubs of nutella at the ready; candle sellers and candle holder sellers; and many stands selling a variety of jewellery and ornaments that could be picked up in pretty much any city across Europe at anytime of the year.
But there are a few reasons to be interested in Bad Homburg. Firstly, as on any other day, they offer guided tours of the castle, but during the Christmas market it has the twist of being done by candlelight. Genius! Not only have they found a reason to get more visitors to the castle, but they have saved money by leaving the lights switched off!
Next, they have a few stands selling local produce from the castle grounds and surrounding area. This includes a really good selection of jams and preserves as well as all sorts of herbs. There are also gluhwein flavoured boiled sweets…?! Need to get myself a supply of those…
For the kids there is also a train that goes round the white tower. Health and safety clearly not top of the agenda for them, as you really have to hang on to quite a small and not particularly slow steam train. But all good fun at Christmas!
And last, but not least, is the fresh waffle stand. You’ll need to head into the main courtyard and follow signs to the gift shop/cafe. By the time you get close you will be able to smell your way there. Perfect way to finish off the evening!
If you aren’t sure how to get there, then take the S5 from Frankfurt to Bad Homburg, and then either take a bus to ‘Finanzamt’, or just walk for 15 minutes through the centre of town along Louisenstrasse. There is also underground parking directly in front of the castle.