For the final leg of our German Christmas tour, we headed to Cologne, Germany for their highly coveted and well revered Christmas Markets!
Cologne definitely lived up to the expectations of what a German Market should be and they were so good (well three of them were) that we went to four! We spent an entire day walking around the city, drinking Gluhwein, eating delicious snacks and piling Garrett’s backpack with way too many mugs. Cologne’s Neumarkt is home to my favorite mug that we took with us this year!
Whereas Frankfurt was super strict about where you could drink and eat, Cologne was less so but did have little Christmas Angels floating around the markets to check COVID-19 vaccinations and tests.
…And here, we’ll go into a breakdown of the markets!
We started off the day at Nikolausdorf, which to me was fitting because my brother’s name is Nicholas. Here we had incredible wine, were absolutely intoxicated by the chestnuts that were literally roasting on an open fire and definitely got our steps in. It was the furthest from the Wine Market at the Cologne Cathedral (we’ll get to that one last) but the perfect start to the day. We went around to so many of the booths and took home our mugs to remember the place forever.
Up next was Heavenue. This one was…interesting…it was significantly smaller than the other markets and we think that was in part because it was in support of the LGBTQ+ community. The reason I didn’t prefer it was because it didn’t have as many booths and the wine mugs were transparent glass so we couldn’t bring them home with us. The reason that I did prefer it was because it totally changed the direction of decor and was bright and beautiful as opposed to wooden and stodgy.
Now for my favorite market – the Angels’ Market! The Angels’ Market is massive and in Neumarkt. It’s actually one of the original markets that restarted the hype around the Christmas Market boom in Cologne in the 1970s. They had the most stunning wine mugs, beautiful entertainment everywhere you turned and so much food. It’s been my dream to have pasta that’s spun in a massive cheese wheel and I was able to experience that for the first time ever at this market, and believe me, it lived up to the expectations!
Lastly, we went to the sacred Koelnerweihnachtsmark or the Cologne Cathedral Market. This market is the biggest of all of the city markets and right under the symbol of the city, Cologne Cathedral. The whole ambience makes you feel like you’re in another world, which in a way, you kind-of are. We had more wine (hindsight, we drank so much on this day) and then walked right across the street to the train station before heading home to Heidelberg.
It was the trip of my dreams and one that I won’t soon shut up about. I can’t wait to go back when we have babes and show them the magic of my home away from wherever home is. Ich habe mein Herz für immer in Deutschland gelassen.