No one seems to do Christmas markets better than Germany, and Cologne is no exception. If you're looking to visit multiple different markets in a short amount of time, Cologne is your best bet. Here's my guide to visiting 6 different Christmas markets in Cologne - and the best part is this can be done in less than 24h if you're hoping to cover this over a weekend.
The Cologne Bonn airport is located conveniently close to the city centre - you can get to the Dom Cathedral in the Altstadt (Old Town) in 15 minutes. Cologne is also located in proximity to several European cities, making it a great road trip destination. Amsterdam is under 3 hours away, or either Brussels and Frankfurt in just over 2.
For the sake of visiting Christmas markets, I would suggest staying close to the Dom. We stayed at the Hotel Mondial am Dom - MGallery, which was modern, cozy and just a stone throw's away from the market at the Dom.
1. Weihnachtsmarkt am Dom
If there's one market you don't want to miss, I would say it's this one. Centred around a massive Christmas tree, this bustling Christmas market has tons of different stalls and live music everyday. Oh, and the best part - those Dom views.
2. Heinzel's Wintermärchen
Alter Markt, Heumarkt
Right around the corner from the Dom Christmas market, this one felt a little more relaxed and less crowded - which helped make it probably my favourite of the ones I visited. Keep walking as this market goes on for a while. While you're there, grab a glass of gluhwein and watch the skaters on the rink at Heumarkt.
If you're hoping to have a sit-down meal or grab a drink inside to warm up, I suggest popping in Peters Brauhaus. Expect bustling German brewery vibes, beers that just keep on coming and hearty traditional eats.
3. Markt der Engel
For a different twist on your traditional Christmas market, stop by Markt der Engel. This market is completely angel-themed and gives off with fairytale vibes.
This market was probably my second favourite - expect views out onto the historic Hahnentorburg, a super cozy look and delicious hot chocolate or gluhwein served in cute little boot mugs.
5. Stadtgarten Christmas Market
Set inside the Belgian Quarter in Cologne's oldest park, the Stadtgarten is surrounded by trees and is dotted with artisan stalls. Browse the Christmas markets at the entrance, sample the white mulled wine and snack on spaetzle, a traditional German dumpling.
6. Harbour Christmas Market
Am Schokoladenmuseum 1a
Head to the harbour to check out this themed Christmas market. The stands are made to look like sails and you can grab drinks from a pirate ship. If you're in need of a break from gluhwein sipping, you can go for a ride at the market's ferris wheel or stop into the Chocolate Museum, literally a couple steps from the market.
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