Brits feeling festive have criticised the Birmingham's Christmas market after discovering that the cost of a beer and a hotdog could have paid for a flight to Germany. The celebrants visited Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market – but branded it "too expensive".
Those who visited said it cost a huge £20 to get a bite to eat and a stein of beer leaving tourists "pretty disappointed". Plus, some even said that without the sky high costs the ambiance just wasn’t there either.
Some of the extreme pricing includes a two-pint stein of German wheat beer Hofbrau which is listed at £12.50, while a 19-inch Bratwurst is priced at £8 and a bag of cashews is labelled a staggering £9. These three items alone cost a total of £29.50 – nearly double the price of a £16.99 Ryanair flight to Frankfurt in January.
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A market stall is also selling 10 medium-sized Nuremberg gingerbread biscuits for £24.90, whilst Chocolate-covered marshmallows are set at £1.50 each or £15 for a 20-piece box. While £1.50 is a reasonable price for a small snack a bag full of goodies will soon add up.
People wanting to enjoy a hot toddy – that’s a hot whiskey cocktail – can expect to fork out £6 for a warm glass of mulled wine or £9 for a winter cocktail called Schneeman Punsch. Other UK markets sell mulled wine for anything from £4.50 to £9.50.
Andy, from Northampton, wrote on TripAdvisor: "This market used to be great with plenty of stalls selling traditional German wares. Now the vast majority of stalls are food and drink based, all selling the same thing. There is no atmosphere and the live music was a tribute singer, no authentic German music anywhere.
"A traditional German market will have stall upon stall of handmade items but not here, there was maybe a dozen stalls selling bits and bobs and was massively overpriced. I wanted to buy a two inch crystal angel that cost £3-£4 on Amazon but cost £16 in the market!!!!
"We loved to go for the authentic German curry wurst but even that was disappointing this year. I saw lots of half eaten ones being thrown in the bin and at £6 a time that's a lot of wasted money.
"Drinks were as expected, two types of German beer, one normal Pilz and a wheat beer. The day we went the wheat beer was reduced from £6.50 a pint to £5 which is a good deal if you like it. You had the usual gluhweins and hot chocolate but the size of the cups didn't warrant a £6 price tag, two mouthfuls and its gone. You had to pay £5 deposit on each cup and glass (£7.50 if you used a 2 pint glass)."
Tracey also took to the review site to vent: "Should not be allowed to call itself Xmas market! Only things on sale were overpriced beer, wine, sausages. Staff rude, no Christmas spirit. So disappointing was expecting some Xmas gift shopping."
Jamie K added: "First let me start off with the lights were nice and it looked christmassy, however our buzz didn't last long. After paying £28 for two pints of larger, which was rancid might I add, we had a walk around.
"One stall would be selling giant hot dogs the next would be a bar, the next stall would have donuts and the next would be a bar, the next would be a giant hot dog again, then a bar, then chocolate covered marshmallows and then you guessed it a bar and then one would be selling nuts. This pattern went on with the same stalls listed for the entirety."
Of course, if you did choose to save your cash and fly to Germany you would still have to shell out for food and drink while there. Over on Twitter, revellers in Frankfurt put the cost of a Bratwurst hot dog at €6 (£5.18) which isn't half bad. The price of beer in the city is, on average, £3.48.
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: "The Frankfurt Christmas Market brings millions of visitors into the city each year, providing a huge economic boost for the city as these visitors will also visit Birmingham's shops, hotels, restaurants and other attractions. It remains an incredibly popular event and has been so for over 20 years."
Last week, one of our reporters visited another UK Christmas market – York. While there she found out that hot chocolate cost £7 a cup while mulled wine cost around £5, mulled cider £5.50 and warm Baileys £4.50. Those wanting a cookie will have to shell out £3.75 while a tasty looking crumpet costs £6 with each topping an extra 50p. Savoury fans can get some plain chips for £5 or opt for a burger and chips costing a whopping £12 or steak and chips for £14.
Meaning if you want a mulled wine, and a meal you're looking at spending around £19 too. There's also Winter Wonderland in London which can be free to enter if you head there at off-peak times. But, visitors who want to enjoy the stalls, rides and games will have to pay between £5 and £7.50 to get in at busier times.
The ice rink at the London venue costs between £11.50 and £16.50 for a session. While riding on the big ferris wheel will set you back £11 and a family of four will have to shell out £36 for the family pass.
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