Christmas Market, Cologne

I hope you’re not fed up with Christmas yet! On December 21, Anita and I went to the Christmas Markets in Cologne (Köln to the locals). As in Trier, Strasbourg, Luxembourg, and Aachen, the city arranges for distinctly themed markets in several squares around the city.

The market furthest from the center (and closest to where we parked) was the Village of St. Nicholas on the aptly-named Rudolfplatz.

As usual, you can click on any of these photos to see the full-size version in all its glory.


Just a short distance away, the Angel’s Market offered Cologne’s version of the Gromperekichelcher. This potato pancake seemed to be covered in a tempura-like batter. The potatoes inside were looser and less savory than the Luxembourgish version. It was tasty enough, but nowhere near as good as our beloved Gromperekichelcher.


The Christmas Market at the Dom (cathedral) was the main event. We got a little lost on the way there, but on a warm and sunny day, that was no hardship.


Anita had never visited the Dom, so we wandered around the inside. The stained glass was beautifully lit by the low winter sun, and the mosaics in the ambulatory were especially impressive.


The market chalets facing the cathedral were painted with long murals depicting Nativity scenes. The attention to detail throughout Cologne’s markets was impressive.

Of the cities with Christmas Markets that we’ve visited, Strasbourg is the only one in the same league as Cologne. To compare them directly, Strasbourg’s advantages were breath-taking scenes and the magic that came from the entire city being decorated. Cologne’s strong points were the shops themselves and the exquisite details in every corner of the markets.


While the Dom’s market was a single square dominated by a huge tree and the Dom itself, the Old Market was strung in a long line weaving down streets and among small squares.


The theme of the Old Market was gnomes. The little guys were everywhere!


The tourist train was bedecked for Christmas. We did a lot of walking across the sprawling downtown, so I can see how the train would be welcome for those with limited mobility, or those who made a lot of purchases.


The Harbor Market sat on the Rhine. It was small and less thoroughly decorated than the other markets, but it offered its own specialties, including delicious popcorn (which is a true rarity around here).


The sun had set completely by the time we got back to the Old Market.


Why retrace our steps? Partly to enjoy the elaborate lights of the Old Market and the Dom Market. But mostly to make sure that Anita brought home her precious Christmas houses.


Shopping bags in hand, we returned to the Dom Market, knowing that the lights on the giant tree would be spectacular.


Sitting on a fountain just outside the bustling market, we had one last Christmas-market delicacy, some fancy Käsespätzle. Then we joined the crowds on the subway, returned to our car just as it started to rain, and drove home tired but content.

5 Comments to “Christmas Market, Cologne”

  1. Will said...
    27 December 2015

    Looking for a more multicultural take on German Christmas Markets? The Bugle is happy to accommodate you:

  2. Mom said...
    28 December 2015

    Fantastic!!!! And I love your Christmas houses too!

  3. Rachel said...
    29 December 2015

    I love the photos and the report. Christmas markets in Europe are such a cool and unique tradition.

  4. Keely said...
    8 January 2016

    Your photos are spectacular!! Thank you for taking us with you on your adventure.

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