German Christmas markets in Cologne

Like many German cities, Cologne (or Köln to use its German name) sparkles brightest at Christmas time, when its festive markets become the star attraction.

This year are seven different markets dotted around the city, so there’s something for everyone, young and old.

WP_20131129_001cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

WP_20131129_023cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

WP_20131129_003cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

In each market you’ll find a happy throng of visitors and locals wandering among stalls selling wooden toys, tree decorations and woollen clothing; eating gingerbread and bratwursts and sipping from steaming mugs of glühwein (mulled wine) as they shop.

WP_20131130_003cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

WP_20131130_001cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

Each market has its own unique glühwein mug, so you’ve the perfect excuse to try a drop of the good stuff at all seven and start a collection!

WP_20131130_007cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

WP_20131129_010cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

WP_20131130_003cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

There are lots of other Christmassy treats to savour, too. Listen to carol singers in the market outside historic Cologne Cathedral; admire fairytale figurines at Rudolfplatz; go ice-skating in the Altstadt (Old Town); or have a tinsel-tastic time at the gay and lesbian Christmas Avenue.

WP_20131130_017cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

WP_20131129_042cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

Chocoholic? Then head to the Chocolate Museum beside the pretty harbour market, where 80 white marquees with roofslike ship sails and a replica of a pirate ship create a fun nautical atmosphere on the banks of the River Rhine.

WP_20131130_040cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

WP_20131129_006cologne-market German Christmas markets in Cologne

Over a weekend I visited six of the seven markets and returned home feeling especially Christmassy. So much so that I’m already planning where to go to experience the Christmas markets next year…. any suggestions?!

Written by Duncan Mills

Duncan Mills is a journalist and editor with a passion for travel and photography, good food and the great outdoors. He’s visited more than sixty countries on six continents and was the deputy editor of Traveller magazine prior to joining the AB internal communications agency in 2013. He lives amid the scenic woodlands and rolling green hills of England’s South Downs National Park.


Leave a Reply
  1. I remember eating a jumbo chocolate/cookies/coconut/amazing combo ball in Munich. . Forgot what it was called. . Soo yummy

  2. It’s not on the same scale but I’ve really enjoyed the growth of German markets in the UK. There’s one in the run up to Christmas located on the grounds of Exeter Cathedral and it’s an ideal way to recover from energy sapping seasonal shopping.

  3. Hi Duncan, you ‘ve photographed the event n put it so well. Sure, I am delighted to have atleast, witnessed such a thrill n enthusiasm at Christmassy time globally. And then, not the least, thnx to the social media to get this across to me…!!! God bless…

  4. It looks amazing Paul! A friend of mine mentioned to me years ago how lovely the Christmas markets are in Germany! Sadly, I did not get to see them when I was living in Berlin but it is really lovely to see such beautiful photographs! Thank you! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To The Nine Standards from Kirkby Stephen

A walk from Smardale – a viaduct, a gill and natural beauty