Weihnachtsmarkt Kölner Altstadt
Germany is a great place to visit during the Christmas season because they take season very seriously. The city is decorated to the 9’s and there are markets in every town. I arranged the next stop on our trip so we would make it just in time for the incredible markets in Cologne, with the main one just underneath the towns’ Dom. I’d seen pictures online and knew I couldn’t miss it.
As we walked up to the market, the view of the market was blocked so we didn’t get to see it until we turned the corner and, “wow,” there it was. (See the first picture of the set to get a feeling for the view!) So many people were packed into the maze-like grouping of stalls, there were countless christmas trees, each stall was covered in twinkling lights, and had all kinds of trinkets, housewares, and food were for sale. The smell was intoxicating; we were surrounded by the smell of burning fires, spices, and mulled wine, or glühwein. There was food to satisfy anyone: potato pancakes, bratwurst, falafel, soups and plated meals, all kinds of desserts… It was amazing! Supplement this with the spiced wine and you’re going to leave feeling very satisfied. As we walked through the market, an American band was singing Christmas carols under a twinkling canopy, to put the cherry on top of this already incredible environment.
This market was just the first in a huge circuit that had hundreds of stalls, countless pots of simmering glühwein, a ferris wheel, and even an iceskating rink. Thousands of revelers made their way through this never ending path, eating, chatting, and just enjoying time with their friends and families. I had been to larger markets in Berlin, two years earlier, but the whole environment of this market was just perfection. The cathedral was perfectly lit and provided the most beautiful backdrop possible for this, or really any kind, of event. If you’re in this part of world next Christmas, I highly recommend visiting this market! It’ll leave a lasting impression on you, I promise! (Also, play some Sinatra while you scroll!)