A guide to Cologne’s Christmas Market

Cologne (or Köln in German) is a 2,000-year-old city that runs across the Rhine River in western Germany. It is a cultural heart of western Germany. Filled with gothic medieval architectural landmarks and known of its famous twin-towered Cologne Cathedral. Cologne also happens to be the 4th largest city in Germany, and once you travel here on a weekend in December you will then see. This city is bursting to the rim with travelers from all around the globe wanting to experience the famous German Christmas Markets!

Cologne: a guide to Christmas Markets | Chasing Krista | Cologne, Germany

Getting there from Brussels:
Our journey to Cologne started off a tad rocky. Flixbus offers bus journeys throughout the majority of Europe and for €9 we were able to get the bus at 6:00AM and arrive in Cologne three hours later. Normally I am a strong advocate for Flixbus because it is so easy but when your bus is two hours late and you are standing at a bus terminal at 6:00AM in the morning before the sun with the temperature below freezing it is hard to be a happy camper. Regardless, two hours later we were finally on our way to Cologne.
*there are also other options you can take to get to Cologne (train, car, etc) but being a budget traveler the bus was the cheapest option and allotted a three-hour nap*

Map of our Journey:

Cologne Cathedral 
A Roman Catholic cathedral (High Cathedral of Saint Peter) was built in the 13th century and its iconic twin towers are one of Germany’s most visited landmark (roughly attracting over 20,000 people daily). It is no wonder why this Gothic architecture is one the largest in northern Europe and one of Europe’s largest façade. It’s stunning beautiful will leave you standing there in awe.
img_5118img_5110Next on your Cologne to do list, explore the Christmas Markets! All the Christmas Markets, just strolling around the city and have a cup of mulled wine at each one. There are a total of seven Christmas Markets in Cologne, and the green Christmas train takes you all around them. Unfortunately, we did not know this at the time and the only way we discovered these markets was by wandering upon them.

Cologne’s Christmas Markets

Alter Markt: located in the heart of the Old Town of Altstadt and about 200 meters away from the Cologne Cathedral




Take a quick break and try some pastries or four of them.

Christmas Market number two: Heumarkt; Heimat Der Heinzel “Home of the Gnomes”











Christmas Market Number THREE:





And don’t forget about the Mustard Museum, conveniently located across the street from the Chocolate Museum (and the Mustard Museum is free and you get a sample taste an assortment of mustards!)




Keep walking around and exploring until you come to the train station towards the next abundance of glorious Christmas markets about 40 minutes south…Bonn, Germany, also the birthplace of Beethoven.

Below is a picture of a map, the STARS are the hotspots of Cologne, it is worthwhile to attempt to walk through the city by stopping at each of these points

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Until next time Cologne ✌🏽 !

christmas market

17 Replies to “Cologne”

  1. Amazing collection of pics you have here, and quite a few pics of strudels and other delicacies, almost enough to make one hungry. Love food museums that provide free samples, Yumm!
    Cannot wait to see pics of it on Christmas eve or Weihnachten as they call it there.


  2. Beautiful pictures. The cologne cathedral looks awesome. Love the whole Gothic look. And your food shots are insane. Well done!


  3. As somebody who’s traveled all over the world, normally around Christmas I’m somewhere different each year and I love experiencing different Christmas markets but I have to say the ones in Europe are my fave. I haven’t been to Cologne but I have friends from there and it seems like a wonderful market especially with the architecture in the backdrop. Your pictures really bring it to life, I can practically smell the food haha 😀


  4. Lovely pictures. You’ve truly captured the Christmas feel right. I’d love to explore Christmas markets in Cologne as they look so lovely and lively. 🙂


  5. I went to this market 3 years ago, so much fun and such a gorgeous cathedral!


  6. Hey! I loved the pictures and hope to get a chance to stop in this wonderful Christmas market. Beautiful post and thanks for sharing with us!


  7. Oh wow, this looks like just the thing to get you in the mood for Christmas! I love the look of all the food, and I’m guessing it’s a real treat for anybody with a sweet tooth!


    1. It certainly does get you in the mood for Christmas, I still can’t stop thinking about the waffles and all the sweet treats and singing Christmas carols haha!


  8. I loved Cologne’s Christmas market! I don’t think the one with the gnomes were there a couple years ago…might just have to go back. It’s such a festive place, but I learned quickly that when you go to the one under the church, find an entrance that isn’t the main entrance. I felt like I was in a herd of cattle! But just walking around the market and finding another way in just made me feel a bit better 🙂


    1. I am thinking I will have to go back next year and see the rest of them haha! oh we learned that quickly as well, I had noooo idea Cologne was such a popular destination, so many people!


  9. Lovely photos! I’m going to the Christmas market in Cologne for the second year in a row next week 🙂 so excited! Your photos are great by the way 🙂


    1. Thank you for your sweet words 🙂 have sooo much fun, I’m jealous! I wish I could go back and explore the rest of the markets, I had no idea Cologne had so many! Take loads of photos, I’d love to see them!


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