Cologne is a beautiful city in Germany with a huge cathedral by the Rhine River. Not only is it one of Germany’s largest cities, Cologne is a fantastic blending of old and new Europe in southern Germany with museums and modern buildings alongside each other.
There are seven markets to enjoy in Cologne from late November until December 23rd. Some markets start on November 23rd and others start a few days later. Get ready for some crowds since Cologne’s markets attract over two million visitors and Cologne itself has around a million inhabitants. Markets typically open at 11 A.M. and stay open until 9 P.M. My suggestion is to book your stays and hotel lodging now before things fill up if they haven’t already.
Probably the most impressive market will be near the cathedral itself. A huge Christmas tree rivaling that of Rockefeller Center in New York City awaits the even larger cathedral. The marketplace glows with unending strings of lights as red tents dot the landscape. Voted as the most beautiful in Europe, the Cologne Cathedral’s Christmas Market will be like none other.
The floating Christmas market is unique as it tours the majestic cities on the Rhine River and returns to Cologne. Take a brunch, afternoon, or evening candlelight cruise from Cologne to Dusseldorf and enjoy great food and mulled wine.
Cologne’s Alter Markt houses some of the best activities for children including a puppet theatre, Santa Claus, and toys, toys, and more toys. Located in the heart of the Altstadt, young and young at heart will love this market.
The oldest market in the city is the Neumarkt that has a nostalgic look back at the market’s beginnings thirty years ago and has many traditional artisans selling their wares.
A newer market exists next to Cologne’s largest park, the Stadtgarten. This is another place great for children’s activities and is great for local food.
Germany uses the Euro in currency and modern Cologne has fantastic public transportation for getting around the city. One Euro is worth about a dollar fifty at the present time and will probably be same around Christmas time. Local food to try at this time of year includes mulled wine, marzipan, and gingerbread treats.
If you try one Christmas market when you are in Europe, Cologne is the place to be for traditional Christmas markets. Getting to Cologne shouldn’t be a problem with flights from Spain and London arriving daily. If you’re already in another country in Europe getting to Cologne by train is fairly simple with Europe’s vast network of trains.