Updated: Apr 14
Germany is known for its Christmas Markets, tradition, and festivity. It's called “Weihnachtsmarkt” in German.
Christmas Markets are all over the country, including in small towns and villages. In 2018, we explored the Christmas Market of Cologne.
Cologne hosts the 7 most beautiful Christmas markets and is ranked 3rd among the most famous Christmas Markets in Germany and 6th best in the World.
In 2018, It started from Nov 26th until Dec 3rd and hosted millions of guests from all over Germany and the world.
How to reach Cologne:
We bought an NRW State ticket from Deutsche Bahn for a day. It costs € 30.50, but that’s worth it. If you are coming out of NRW State, we suggest staying at least two days, as the city has a lot to offer. The price might be different now. Check DB App for more information.
Christmas Markets in Cologne:
Cathedral X-Christmas Market:
Cologne has many small Christmas markets in different areas; the most famous is Cathedral X-Christmas Market. It's between the Roman-Germanic Museum and the World famous Gothic Cathedral of Cologne.
The market has small wooden house-frame stalls decorated with LED Lights. The LED sparkling lights also make a canopy over the market.
The background view of the Cathedral makes the market more stunning. The wooden chalets have a variety of typical German food for visitors, like Bratwurst (Sausages).
Different varieties of Pommes (Fries), Chocolate Skewers, Meat Skewers, Bratkartoffeln, Churros, Stollen (Fruit Bread with nuts), Schupfnudeln, Knoblauchbrot (Garlic Bread), Schokokuss, Kinder punch in traditional Christmas mugs.
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There are also small stalls selling traditional wooden decoration pieces, Christmas décor lights, toys for kids, different flavored soaps, honey, flavored candles, Christmas socks and scarf, glass balls, etc.
There’s a big stage in the center of the market where artists perform traditional Christmas songs, and people enjoy the music with their food and drinks. It’s so lovely to see people enjoying the music and festivity.
Angel Christmas Market:
After enjoying the first Christmas market, we moved towards another market in the Neumarkt. The market is called the “Angel Christmas Market.” Neumarkt is just next to the fashion street and the oldest Christmas market.
The market is decorated with small lightning stars and looks like a dreamland. The small chalets are decorated with lights selling traditional artistic decoration pieces like miniature houses representing the architecture of different German cities, painted glass globes, wooden crafts, and Miniature toys.
The traditional street food like Pommes, Crepes, Waffles, potatoes with sour sauce, cotton candy, Mandeln and there are also tables where you enjoy your food. I was also surprised to see that there is also an Indian chalet selling traditional Indian scarves.
The most famous thing about this market is the” Angels” dress up in white with glitter. It enhances the attraction for the kids. The kids are too excited to take the pictures with them. You can find a Santa with Angels if you are lucky enough.
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Heimat der Heinzel:
There are different Christmas markets from Neumarkt to Old Town according to different themes, and we assure you this is a fascinating market that caters to the needs of all age groups.
At the market's entrance, the tiny dwarf king welcomes you from his throne, called “Heinzels Wintermarchen”, which means Gnomes’ Winter Fairytale.
It also has an Ice skating Rink where kids and young people can enjoy and get the natural feel of Christmas. Ice skating is a must to do in Christmas Market.
I have advanced level skills in Ice skating as I started learning Ice Skating in Sunway Pyramid, Malaysia, during my MBA days and mastered it in Dubai Mall's Ice Skating Rink. This was the first time I had done Ice Skating in the open air, and it was a way too compulsive experience.
Ice Skating in Cologne Christmas Market:
So many families, kids, friends, and couples enjoy ice skating. The ticket is for € 8, and € 4 is for the shoes, and € 10 is the security for the shoes you get back when you return the shoes. There are also small lockers to put your belonging near the rink.
The rink has a small circle and then takes to a long pathway and a semi-circle. The path from the semi-circle toward the main starting point is quite rough.
If you are a beginner – Be careful. There's also a small bridge from where you can look at the whole market and the Ice skating rink. This market has only food stalls to enjoy your favorite food and drinks.
Old Town Christmas Market:
From Heimat der Heinzel, we went to the Old Town Christmas Market, which is infront of Cologne Town Hall. They have typical medieval-style stalls presenting authentic German culture. The band was also performing in the middle of the market and getting appreciation from the people.
The next market is so unique, with wonderful entrances and hanging chandeliers. The trees near the market have changing lights, making me feel we are in a wonderland.
The market looks pretty with the different lights. The Christmas-themed sky wheel in the market took us back to our childhood memories.
We always used to watch this in the Christmas movies, and now we are experiencing it in Cologne.
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Nikolausdorf Christmas Market:
The famous Nikolausdorf is located at Rudolfplatz and is one of the most visited markets in Cologne. It's the biggest attraction for the kids as they can walk and take pictures with St. Nicholas.
The Nicholas house is another attraction for the kids and their parents. The festival stage is most important, where you can enjoy the different shows and entertain yourself with the medieval touch.
Cologne Nativity Scene:
During Christmas, from Nov 26th to Jan 6th, Cologne presents its medieval native scenes at 110 different places. It is displayed on old town streets, shop windows, and Churches.
Christmas Train in Cologne:
The unique Christmas-themed train starts from the Cologne Cathedral and takes a round to the 4 main Christmas markets (Cathedral X-MAS market, Old Town, Harbor Market, and Angel’s Market) in Cologne.
The train is the best way to explore the Christmas markets if you don’t have enough time and want to experience more markets.
The round trip is for one hour, and after every 15 minutes, the price for the round trip is € 10, and the single trip is € 3.
Due to the shortage of time, we could not see the Christmas Market at Stadtgarten and Harbor Christmas Market. We highly suggest you see all the markets lost in the Christmas festivity in Cologne.