As the home of the traditional festive market, a trip to Germany at Christmas is a bucket list must. Here are the top five best Christmas markets in Cologne.
Traditional German Christmas markets boast over 500 years of tradition, with the first recorded market taking place in Dresden in 1434.
Since then, this fun and festive activity has spread around the world, with seasonal markets popping up in cities across the globe. However, there is still nowhere better to soak up the seasonal atmosphere than Germany.
With Christmas markets taking place all across the country, you will have no trouble finding a traditional fair no matter where you’re visiting.
From Berlin to Hamburg, Frankfurt to Cologne, Christmas cheer takes hold across the country from December. Today, however, we’re rounding up the best Christmas markets in Cologne. Read on to discover more.
The World Bucket List’s top tips for visiting the Christmas markets in Cologne:
- The Cologne Christmas markets can be very busy on the weekend. Try and plan your visit for a weekday where possible.
- As the fourth biggest city in Germany, Cologne has several different Christmas markets, all of which have their own theme. Try out a few different ones!
- Most of Cologne’s Christmas Markets are held outdoors, so be sure to wrap up!
- Try out some German delicacies during your visit, like gluhwein (mulled wine), roast chestnuts, and Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes).
- While most vendors accept card payments, it’s always good to have some cash at hand in case certain stalls don’t.
5. Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt am Dom) – the biggest Christmas market in the city
Weihnachtsmarkt am Dom is the biggest Christmas market in the city. So, we had to include it on our list of the best Christmas markets in Cologne.
Over 150 traditional wooden stalls filled with goods of all kinds and decked in Christmas decorations line the streets in front of the historic 12th-century cathedral.
The main attraction is the huge and glittering 82 ft (25 m) Nordmann fir tree that towers above the stalls below. With colourful decorations, festive cheer, and delicious smells in abundance, this is the perfect way to get into the festive spirit.
Perhaps one of the most traditional Christmas markets in the city, this is sure to be a memorable festive experience for all ages.
Address: Roncallipl. 1, 50667 Köln, Germany
4. Heavenue Cologne – the gay Christmas market
Known as Cologne’s ‘gay Christmas market’, Heavenue is a Christmas market like no other you’ve seen before.
For a pink and glittering twist on the festive experience, this is a must-visit. There are a few stalls selling food and crafts. However, the main attraction of this market is the dancing, music, and performances.
Heavenue can be found in the KölnBonn near Rudolfplatz from 19 November to 23 December.
Address: Mauritiuswall 102, 50676 Köln, Germany
3. Nicholas’ Village Christmas Market (Nikolausdorf) – one of the best Christmas markets in Cologne
Rudolph Platz comes to life as the Nicholas’ Village Christmas Market throughout the month of December.
Taking place from 22 November to 23 December, you have over a month to indulge in the fun and festive atmosphere at this traditional Christmas market.
Decorated like an old-fashioned German village, you will feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you browse the quaint stalls.
With an abundance of twinkling lights shining over your head, you’ll be enticed by all the local fare on offer. Choose from freshly made hot food to warm you up on a cold winter’s night, or pick up locally-made crafts that will make the perfect unique Christmas gifts.
Address: Rudolfpl., 50674 Köln, Germany
2. The House Elves’ Winter Fairytale Christmas Market (Heinzels Wintermärchen) – for a festive experience you won’t forget
Heinzels Wintermärchen is an enchanting winter wonderland that will make you think you’ve stepped right inside the pages of a traditional Christmas fairytale.
With a beautiful canopy of fairy lights overhead, lots of wooden chalets with vendors selling food, crafts, and more, and a central skating rink, this will be a night you won’t forget.
This large market is fantastically decorated to make the most of the festive season. Its merry theme begins with the elaborate gates that welcome visitors inside. The market is split up into themed alleys that spill out through the city streets.
Address: 50667 Cologne, Germany
1. The Angels’ Christmas Market (Markt der Engel) – a heavenly experience
Topping our list of best Christmas markets in Cologne is the brilliant Markt der Engel or Angels’ Christmas Market.
Glittering star-lined paths guide visitors between the quaint stalls, selling local crafts, food, and more. As the oldest Christmas market in the city, Markt der Engel is steeped in history and tradition.
The romantic atmosphere is brought to life by talented performers dressed as angels. Meanwhile, funfair rides scattered throughout the market provide hours of fun for little ones.
Address: 50667 Cologne, Germany
Your questions answered about the best Christmas markets in Cologne
If you’ve still got questions, read on! In this section, we answer some of our readers’ most frequently asked questions about the topic, as well as some that appear often in online searches.
Does Cologne have a good Christmas market?
Cologne has a number of excellent Christmas markets! The five we mentioned above are our favourites, but the most famous is the Cologne Cathedral Christmas Market.
What German city has the best Christmas market?
Thanks to the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, Nuremberg perhaps boasts the best Christmas market.
Do you need cash or card for Cologne Christmas market?
Most vendors accept card, but it is recommended to bring cash just in case.
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