I love the European Christmas markets. It’s something that doesn’t really exist in the United States, but it really does help get one into the holiday spirit! I am so lucky to have experienced different markets in France, Belgium, and England, but I had yet to see the wondrous and raved-about markets in Germany. So, when a day trip to Cologne in December was offered with Cice Voyages for 35€ round-trip, I jumped right on board. Best of all, I got to spend the day with my old German roommate from Toulon- Sandra! She lives a few hours from Cologne and came to spend the day with me; it was so great to see her again and to have a fellow German show me around!
Situated about 3.5 hours west of Lille, Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest city (after Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich). Located on both sides of the Rhine River, Cologne is also home to the famous Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Cathedral holds the shrine for the Three Wise Men in addition to being laid on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary on August 15, 1248. It is one of Germany’s most-visited sites, and a very important place of pilgrimage in Europe.
Cologne’s iconic love lock bridge crosses and overlooks the Rhine river, offering spectacular views of the city.
I highly enjoyed the Christmas markets in Cologne; each one had its own theme, feel, and charm! Some sold different foods or specialties, as well as trinkets, decorations, jewelry, homemade crafts, and more. There was no shortage of mulled wine, beer, currywurst, and Christmas music!
But, what surprised me the most about Cologne were the colors!
Have you ever been to Cologne, or another German Christmas market?