Advent marks the start of the Christmas season, when every corner of Cologne is festively decorated. Locals and visitors like yourself are invited to come to the Christmas Circus, the China Lights at the Zoo, Advent concerts and one of the many Christmas markets scattered throughout the city. In contrast to many other German cities, Cologne opened its first Christmas market rather late, in 1820. But today Cologne has a sparkling array of Christmas markets, including the splendid and popular Christmas market around the Cathedral, the Market of Hearts, and many different theme-oriented Christmas markets presided over by the local Heinzelmännchen as well as angels, fairy-tale figures or mariners. With such a broad range of choices, waiting for Santa Claus is sure to be easy…
Christmas in Cologne
Christmas Markets in Cologne
Many Christmas markets invite you to stroll along and enjoy yourself
This year the Christmas markets in Cologne opened their gates around November 20, 2023 and are welcoming visitors with delicacies such as mulled wine and waffles. You can explore the many markets in the course of a mulled-wine tour through the cathedral city or, alternatively, find your favourite market here.
Tips for your visit to the cathedral city this winter
As you make your way through the city this winter, you’ll discover not only the Christmas markets but also Cologne’s finely crafted Nativity scenes, the Christmas Ferris wheel at the Chocolate Museum and wonderful Christmas events. If you don’t wish to tour this blaze of lights on foot, the Christmas Market Express operated by Wolters Bimmelbahnen is just the right thing for you. It will take you restfully from one Christmas market to the next all over the city.
Let us enchant you
Christmastime in Cologne is magical. The city is illuminated with festive Christmas lighting that bathes the streets in a warm glow. The highlights include the markets selling mulled wine. When the weather is cold, this is where people can warm themselves up with a mug of hot mulled wine and enjoy the festive atmosphere. The market stands offer a wide spectrum of handcrafted gifts, festive delicacies and traditional Christmas decorations. The Christmas markets offer activities for young and old. Children can have fun on carousels and ice-skating rinks while the grown-ups shop to their hearts’ content and enjoy the delights of the season. In Cologne visitors experience the Christmas season in all its glory. The city becomes a magical place for enjoying the holidays.
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Accommodation options for every taste
The official tourist ticket
Would you like to discover Cologne inexpensively and easily? Then we recommend the KölnCard. The tourist ticket offers you free travel on all public transport and great discounts on art, culture and gastronomy.