Picture this: Historic squares adorned with twinkling lights, glistening fir trees and illuminated huts, surrounded by mists of baked apples and mulled wine. Welcome to Cologne, one of the best places to experience the true spectacle of a German Christmas market. Here are six of the city’s best Weihnachtsmarkts’…

Kolns Xmas Market

The Best of Cologne’s Christmas Markets: Weihnachtsmarkt 

Set amid the stunning backdrop of Cologne’s imposing gothic cathedral, the Weihnachtsmarkt am Kölner Dom’ is perhaps the most famous Christmas markets in the city.

Come late November until 23rd December, Roncalliplatz is filled with hundreds of decorated stalls selling traditional woodcarvings, ceramics and festive glassware. However, the real draw is the plethora of gourmet regional specialities to gorge on.

Weihnachtsmarkt Cologne

The Best of Cologne’s Christmas Markets: Alter Markt

Folklores come to life at Cologne’s magical Alter Markt, where the Old Town is transformed into a festive fairy-tale thanks to the local legendary house-elves called the Heinzelmännchen.

The Heinzelmännchen can be seen scurrying about Alter Markt to create individually themed alleyways all around Cologne’s Old Town, as well as crafting traditional toys and wood carvings, and hosting puppet theatres.

The main event at this market is the Christmas post office, where the house-elves help visitors create their wish-lists to send off to Father Christmas. 

And if those weren’t reason enough to visit the Alter Markt, skaters will enjoy the outdoor ice rink which circles the perimeter of the market.

Heinzelmännchen

The Best of Cologne’s Christmas Markets: Angel’s Christmas Market

A stone’s throw away is Neumarkt where Angels rather than elves run the show at Cologne’s oldest Christmas market.

A popular market with locals looking to revel in Christmas cheer afterwork, the Angel’s Christmas Market is characterised the by wandering angels throwing glitter in the streets, and the inventive festive tipples on offer at the huts.

Grab yourself a cup of Gabriel’s’ or Cloud Nine — twists on classics like eggnog, hot chocolate or mulled wine – as you watch Father Christmas and the angels parade around on horseback.

Best Christmas Markets In Cologne

The Best of Cologne’s Christmas Markets: Harbour Christmas Market

If you’re a fan of themed Christmas markets then make sure to visit Cologne’s Chocolate Museum by the harbour of the city during advent.

One of the world’s quirkiest Christmas markets, here you’ll swap Santa for sailors, elves for pirates, and Christmas carols for sea shanties at this maritime-inspired market. 

Hearty seafarers’ can indulge in a wide variety of fish dishes served at the many ship-shaped wooden huts and can gulp down mulled wine straight from the hull of an impressive 15m wooden boat. 

Xmas Cologne

The Best of Cologne’s Christmas Markets: Stadtgarten Christmas market 

Stadtgarten is a more tranquil market, often described of bringing a quaint village vibe to the bustling city at this busy time of year.

A small market, the focus of the Christmas market at Stadtgarden are the wares on offer, which change weekly to keep things interesting. Shoppers can stock up on typical nativity and festive themed goods but can also bag themselves hand-crafted trinkets and artisanal gifts. 

And those with a sweet tooth are sure in for a treat! Fill up on tarte flambée, crêpes or waffles, all washed down with steaming hot chocolate.

Children will also enjoy the puppet shows, theatre, fire-eaters and storytellers!

Christmas Fair Cologne

The Best of Cologne’s Christmas Markets: Village of St. Nicholas 

Each year, from late November until the 23rd of December, St. Nicholas set’s up his very own village within Cologne, aimed at bringing Christmas spirit to all those who visit Rudolfplatz.

There’s the expected half-timbered huts selling traditional crafts and nibbles such as roasted chestnuts, candyfloss, mulled wine and brandy punch, and then a spectacular giant advent calendar, St Nicolas’ house and children’s art classes to visit.

Christmas Cologne

It’s not just Christmas that Cologne gets right – the city’s world-famous Karneval is one event not to miss. Read on the discover Cologne Carnival.

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