Germany is known for its Christmas Markets, tradition and festivity. It's called “Weihnachtsmarkt” in German.
Christmas Markets are all over the country including small towns and villages. Last week, I had explored the Christmas Market of Cologne. Cologne hosts 7 most beautiful Christmas Market and ranked 3rd in most famous Christmas Markets in Germany and 6th best in the World. In 2018, It started from Nov 26th until Dec 3rd and hosting millions of guests from all over Germany and world.
Visiting the World's Famous Christmas Market in Cologne, Germany.
I bought a NRW State ticket from Deutsche Bahn for a day. It costs Euro 30.50 but that’s really worth it. If you are coming out of NRW State, I would suggest you to stay at least for two day. The city has lot to offer.
Cathedral X-Christmas Market:
Cologne has many small Christmas markets in different areas and the most famous is Cathedral X-Christmas Market. It's located between 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 makes a canopy over the market.
Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market
The background view of the Cathedral makes the market more stunning. The wooden chalets has variety of typical German food for the visitors like Bratwurst (Sausages).
Different variety 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.
World's 6th Best Christmas Market: Cologne Christmas Market.
There are also small stalls selling traditional wooden craved decoration pieces, Christmas décor lights, toys for kids, different flavored soaps, honey, flavored candles, Christmas socks and scarf, glass ball etc.
Miniature Shop at Cologne Christmas Market
There’s a big stage in the center of the market where different artist are performing the traditional songs of Christmas and people are enjoying the music with their food and drinks. It’s so nice to see people enjoying the music and festivity.
Angel Christmas Market:
After enjoying the first Christmas market, I moved towards another market that is in the Neumarkt. The market is called “Angel Christmas Market”. Neumarkt is just next to the fashion street and the oldest Christmas market.
The market is decorated with small lightening stars and looks like a dreamland. The small chalets decorated with lights selling traditional artistic decoration pieces like miniature houses representing architecture of different German cities, painted glass globes, wooden craft, Miniature toys.
German miniature house at Angel Christmas Market, Cologne.
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 scarf.
The most famous thing about this market is the” Angels” dress up in white with glitters. It enhances the attraction for the kids. The kids are too excited to take the pictures with them. If you are lucky enough, you can also find a Santa with Angels.
Angel Christmas Market, Cologne.
Heimat der Heinzel:
There are different Christmas markets from Neumarkt to Old Town according to different themes and I ensure you this is the most fascinating market which caters the need of all the age group. On the entrance of the market, the small dwarf king welcomes you from his throne and it is called “Heinzels Wintermarchen” means Gnomes’ Winter Fairytale.
Heimat der Heinzel Christmas Market in Cologne, Germany.
It also has an Ice skating Rink where kids and young people can enjoy and get real feel of the 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 did Ice Skating in open air and it was way too much compulsive experience.
Ice Skating in Cologne Christmas Market.
There are so many families, kids, friends and couples enjoying the ice skating. The ticket is for Euro 8 and Euro 4 is for the shoes and Euro 10 is the security for the shoes which 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 the long pathway and then a semi circle. The path from semi circle towards the main starting point is quite rough. If you are a beginner – Be careful. There's also a small bridge from where you can have a look on the whole market and also on the Ice skating rink. This market has only food stalls so you can enjoy your favorite food and drinks.
Old Town Christmas Market:
From Heimat der Heinzel I went to Old Town Christmas Market which is infront of Cologne Town Hall. They have typical medieval style stalls presenting the real German culture. The band was also performing in the middle of the market and getting appreciation from the people.
Old Town Christmas Market in Cologne, Germany.
The next market is so amazing with wonderful entrance and hanging chandeliers. The trees near the market have changing lights which make me feel that I am in a wonderland. The market looks pretty with the different lights.
The Christmas themed sky wheel in the market took me back to my childhood memories. I always used to watch this in the Christmas movies and now I was experiencing it in Cologne.
Nikolausdorf Christmas Market:
The famous Nikolausdorf is located at Rudolfplatz and one of the most visited market 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 most important is the festival stage where you can enjoy the different shows and entertain yourself with the medieval touch.
Cologne Nativity Scene:
During the Christmas time from Nov 26th to Jan 6th, the Cologne presents its medieval native scenes at 110 different places. It displayed on old town streets, shop windows and Churches.
The special Christmas themed train starts from the Cologne Cathedral and take 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 a best way to explore the Christmas markets if you don’t have enough time and you want to experience more markets.
Cathedral X-MAS Market in Cologne, Germany.
The round trip is for one hour and its after every 15 minutes and the price for the round trip is Euro 10 and single trip is for Euro 3.
Due to the shortage of time, I was not able to see the Christmas Market at Stadtgarten and Harbor Christmas Market. I would highly suggest you to see all the markets and lost in the Christmas festivity in Cologne.