Photo Diary – Cologne Christmas Markets

Photo Diary – Cologne Christmas Markets

A Real Life Christmas Fairy tale

European Christmas markets are the stuff of dreams for those of us who live in the bottom half of the world. Where it’s hot and sunny instead of cold and snowy. Where we have beers on the beach instead of hot chocolates by the fire. Where we wear jandals and sunnies instead of Christmas jumpers and beanies.

The magnificent Cologne Cathredral behind the Christmas Market
The magnificent Cologne Cathedral behind the most famous Christmas Market in Cologne.

I was lucky enough to visit the markets in Cologne Germany with my boyfriend David last year. We zoomed around town on the tram, hopping on and off at the 5 markets we made it to, drinking beer, mulled wine and hot chocolate. It. Was. Awesome. I was over-dosing on Christmas and I couldn’t be happier.

Cologne christmas markets alter market gnomes
Alter Markt meaning Old Market in the Old Town part of Cologne.

This was the beautiful Alter Market, which means Old Market as it was in the ‘Old Town’. This one is famous for all of the gnomes it has all over the show. They even had the gnomes going round on a ski-lift, it was so cool!

Cologne christmas markets alter market gnomes
The gnomes of the Alter Market in front of the beautiful old German buildings which I love.
Cologne christmas markets alter market
This was the best hot white chocolate I’ve ever had! And they come in such cute little mugs! We didn’t have time to go ice-skating unfortunately… well actually I just couldn’t be bothered having to put the skates on!

A Christmas Market for every day of the week!

There’s about 7 main markets in Cologne, we made it to the Cathedral Market, the Alter Market, the Angels Market and the Village of St Nicholas on Rudolphplatz and Christmas Avenue. It’s hard to choose a favourite, those first 4 were INCREDIBLE! If we’d tried to visit every market in the city in the 3 days we had there, we would’ve just been running all over town not taking it all in.

Also each market has their own mug they make each year. So when you buy a mulled wine or hot choc etc you pay a deposit as well because so many get taken for souvenirs. I had planned to take one from each of the major markets but stopped at 3 and thank god I did because carrying them around in my suitcase (especially when moving back to NZ from Ireland at the end of my visa) was a PAIN IN THE ARSE!

Cologne Christmas Markets peters brauhaus
Peters Brauhaus – soooo cozy!

Beer Beer Beer!

A beautiful old beerhouse we went to for lunch to warm up after exploring the markets. All the beerhouses in Cologne have their own delicious beer. They serve it in skinny 200ml glasses so it never goes warm like it would in a bigger glass. The waiter just continuously refills until you cover your glass with a coaster. Brilliant! David took two of these ones for his collection.

Beautiful old buildings in Cologne at the Christmas Markets
Look at these buildings! We just don’t get to see this type of architecture in little, young, New Zealand.
Christmas Markets in Cologne Germany
The view of Cologne from the top of the Cologne Tower.

We did manage to do a couple of other non-christmassy things in Cologne. We went up the Cologne Tower to get a view of the city and went in the cathedral you can see there in the pic. I know it’s not the Notre Dame but I just imagine every amazing cathedral has a Quasimodo!

Christmas Markets in Cologne Germany
The lights of the Angel Market, David and I at the top of Cologne Tower, the gnomes of Alter Market and the beautiful star lanterns for sale which I should’ve bloody bought!

So if you get the chance to go to Europe in December, for the love of God go to some Christmas Markets! You won’t regret it. There is so much to see and do and eat and drink. This was probably a once in a lifetime trip for me and I will never forget it.

Has anyone else been to some amazing Christmas Markets? What were they like? Let me know below. I love Christmas!

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