Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Market 2013 @ Cologne, Germany

It's that busy time of the year again where Christmas markets are open all around Europe. There is a magical feeling about the smells and sights as you scuttle around the markets at snail pace, just soaking it all in. The beautiful handicrafts, smells of sweets, bratwurst and mulled wine are an experience in Europe you can only get this time of the year. This year round we are in the Nordrhein-Westfalen area and the very first Christmas market we visited was in the beautiful city of Cologne. There are some staples you would expect to see in most Christmas markets but there is always something new to discover as each market has their own individual flavour. There are various Christmas markets littered around the city of Cologne and we decided to visit the ones beside the Cologne Dom and the Weihnachstmarkt Alter Markt in the old town (Heumarkt).

Both Christmas markets were extremely packed but we enjoyed the Weihnachtsmarkt Alter Markt a bit more as it had its own character and own story, in addition to a ice-skating rink right in the center! In Cologne, there is a folk tale of small little gnomes called Heinzelmännchen, who apparently appeared at night and did all the work for the citizens. These gnomes are closely-related to the city and thus the connection to the market which is also labelled the Home of the Heinzel.

The Christmas market by the Dom

The Dom provides a stunning backdrop to the Christmas market

Santa minding the gates...


Wurst! Of course...

Cologne, the perfume is derived from the name of this city. 4711 claims to be the original Eau de Cologne made by Italian expatriate Johann Maria Farina. 



More than enough sheeps to count yourself to sleep!




Big tree in the middle of the Dom Christmas market










The Weihnachtsmarkt Alter Markt in Heumarkt







Waffles with various kinds of toppings





Smoked salmon


One the most popular stores, selling Reibkuchen. (fried potato pancakes) We had a try of this and it was great! Most people had theirs with apple mousse but we had ours with garlic sauce. (3.50 Euro for 3, 0.50 Euro for your sauce of choice)



Guess which one is the real animal...



Handmade crafts



Traditional pancakes on a woodfire oven





Various sculptures

The Christmas markets in Cologne have their own unique character and it is definitely worth a visit to one (of two!) when you are in town during this time of the year.

Opening times:-
Dom Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt am Kölner Dom)
25 November to 23 December 2013
Thursdays and Fridays 1100 to 2200 hrs
Saturdays 1000 to 2200 hrs
Sundays to Wednesdays 1100 to 2100 hrs

Weihnachtsmarkt Alter Markt
25 November to 23 December 2013
daily from 1100 to 2200 hrs

Location: Cologne, Germany. 

7 comments:

  1. Wow! That certainly does not look like a market. I love those farmers' markets overseas though - different and very interesting!

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  2. Hehe I love Christmas markets! I love that they all have something in common but they also have a unique character too :)

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  3. Hi Yen,

    It must be fun celebrating Christmas with lots of wintery and Christmas-y atmosphere. Everything in this market looks great!

    Zoe

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  4. here's wishing The Unc an excellent european christmas ... may he stay warm and merry! :D

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  5. Compliments of the Season to You and Your Family. @ipadbear

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  6. Cologne Christmas markets restore the faith in Christmas that England killed years ago.

    ReplyDelete

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