Why Christmas Markets in Cologne, Germany are simply magical

This year I’ve visited quite a few different Christmas markets. Lovely Christmas markets – by all means – but maybe a bit too much in a short matter of much that I was starting to feel like I’d overdosed on Christmas and worried about coming down with the worst hangover ever. I didn’t want to be the Grinch, but sometimes too much feels like too much. On top of everything, I had caught a cold which made the idea of traveling to visit yet another Christmas market seem rather exhausting.

That was until I went to Cologne in Germany this week.

Spellbound by the charm and the authenticity of the markets located in this wonderful city, I had regained my Christmas spirit and tossed away my inner Grinch.

Each of these six markets has its unique style. Although the one in front of Cathedral Kölner Dom is the most well known of the city’s Christmas markets, there is absolutely no reason for you not to check out the others as well. You’ll be missing out on a simply magical experience!


The marine themed market by the harbor looks amazing as darkness falls and lights illuminate the bridge connecting the two parts of the market separated by the river Rhine.


The market by the Cathedral has a layer of little Christmas lights installed above all the stalls – enchanting little lights that make you feel like you’re gazing at a beautiful starry night sky.


The Old Town market (Heimat der Heinzel) has a spectacular ice rink and lovely decorations, just enough to get you into the Holiday spirit and head to the bar for a glühwein or an eierpunsch – last one being my favorite hot beverage in Germany (hot eggnog).


Then there’s the market that – in my opinion – is the most romantic one. With illuminated hearts decorating the trees, a cute little Ferris wheel turning in a strangely high speed for an attraction like this and plenty of cute little shops, how can you not fall in love with the market – or AT the market (the atmosphere is there, so why not?).


The other two markets were lovely as well. I ate well (perhaps a bit too much at times), I drank well, I was in good company with my partner and his family, we laughed, we bought cute little gifts, we sang, we smiled.

Thank you Cologne – Thank you Germany. Thank you for getting me into the Holiday Spirit. I’ll see you again, next year!

Until then, let these photos inspire you.

Photos from the market by the harbor


Photos from Neumarkt (the market of the angels)


Photos from the Old Town market (Heimat der Heinzel)


…and the romantic one right next to that market


Photos from the Nikolausdorf market


And let’s not forget the market by the Kölner Dom





24 comments on “Why Christmas Markets in Cologne, Germany are simply magical

  1. Kathy - Walkabout Wanderer

    I love a good Christmas market. The only one I have been to in Germany was one in Hamburg. It was realy lovely. Your photos look great of this one too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow! How a place gets transformed in Christmas…you can barely recognise it without all those twinkling lights, vibrant colors and shiny ornaments. Cologne is so pretty as it is, but with the festivities, it is a shining star.

  3. What great photos!! You’re right–totally magical! I really need to check out Germany during the holidays one of these years and I’ve heard the ones in Cologne are so beautiful!

  4. Oh wow! I’d love to go to a Christmas market in Germany. Gluhwein, giant gingerbreads, cute figurines, what’s not to love? So sad to hear what happened to the one in Berlin recently 🙁

    • Yes, what happened in Berlin breaks my heart. I was at the Christmas market in Cologne when I heard about it….I cry for the victims, their friends and families – and every traumatized witness of this horrible event 😢

  5. lydia@lifeuntraveled

    I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about Christmas markets in Europe and each time I’m amazed at how wonderful they all seem! It must be impossible not to be in the Christmas spirit when going to these markets – very magical!

  6. I can totally see the magic of this christmas market. I love the lights the most, they seem like stars twinkling in the sky

  7. This brought back some good memories. Although I haven’t been to the one in Koln, I did live in Germany for 4 years and visited quite a few of the markets. They have really gained popularity across the world and it’s a beautiful way to enjoy German food and drinks and of course local products.

  8. I haven’t been to a Christmas market in Europe yet but would absolutely love to go! They sound like so much fun.

  9. The photos look fascinating. You sound like you had a great time. = ) I want some pretzels now. I am inspired now to visit the Christmas markets in Cologne.

  10. Lovely Christmas markets are a great way to warm-up before the Holidays! I have never seen an ice skating area with skate lanes on a market but it must work perfectly. Your food photos are mouth watering!

  11. This looks perfect! I’ll be in Cologne for New Year’s and I heard that one or 2 of the markets will still be open. You don’t happen to know which one by any chance?

  12. Looks amazing! I was supposed to go a few weeks ago but ended up not going! Hopefully ill make it there in 2017!

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