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  • Fairy lights and Christmas markets bring winter magic to the city

    Fairy lights and Christmas markets bring winter magic to the city

  • Cologne Christmas Market

    Cologne Christmas Market

  • A variety of stalls selling interesting and unusual gifts

    A variety of stalls selling interesting and unusual gifts

  • Cologne Dom & Deutzer Bridge

    Cologne Dom & Deutzer Bridge

  • Cologne Cathedral

    Cologne Cathedral

Christmas Markets » German Christmas Markets » Cologne Christmas Market




Fred.\ Holidays have a great selection of Christmas Markets to spectacular cities throughout Germany and the rest of Europe!

Cologne Christmas Market

The Cologne Christmas markets give visitors the choice of 7 main markets each with individual charm to choose from.

The Christmas Market at the Cologne Cathedral takes place against the backdrop of the Gothic Cathedral, you will find a fascinating array of high-quality arts & crafts with many gift ideas, delicious food and drinks as well as more than one hundred stage events under the resplendent starlight tent. This particular market attracts millions of visitors each year and features over 150 stalls. Located in the shadow of one of the biggest Christmas trees in the world with live music complimenting the sound of the cathedral bells this Christmas market is sure to melt even Scrooge's heart.

Located within the ancient walls of the Old Town is the "Heimat der Heinzel" or "home of the elves" market which according to Cologne fable was originally where many elves lived. The market takes on the enchanting story based upon these little master craftspeople with the stalls selling a wonderful range of hand crafted gifts, puppets and toys. The elves keep a watchful eye over the market as statues are placed on every stall. This market features a beautiful hand crafted carousel, ice-skating rink and is a perfect place to take the kids.

Another worthwhile visit if you like something slightly more unique is the Santa's Village Christmas market at Rudolfplatz. This market is situated near the Neumarkt, at Rudolfplatz. Not only does it look like Santa's Village it also features a walkthrough house of Santa and a factory in which children can create presents and a Christmas bakery. With its reindeers and elves this Christmas market is very appealing to kids.

As well as the beautiful market at Cologne Cathedral, there is also the Christmas Market of Angels at Neumarkt, offering many stalls with arts and crafts and tasty food and thy have many attractions for kids e.g. angels which ride through the crowd, and the Cologne Harbour Christmas Market right in front of Cologne's famous Chocolate Museum. With about 80 white marquee pagoda tents, culinary delicacies and pirate shows creating an elegant nautical atmosphere.

The Christmas Avenue is Colognes first gay and lesbian Christmas market. The market offering colourful stalls is located in the centre of the "scene-quarter" Bermuda Triangle near the Rudolfplatz. The market offers quality products, culinary delights and especially cabaret and shows in a sparkling and atmospheric ambient. Everyone is welcome to celebrate the wonderful Christmas time together.

The Christmas market at Stadtgarten is located in the city garden and it has a romantic and cozy atmosphere. Many of the products are hand made. This Christmas market combines different characteristics: Dynamical artful, attractively different, ingeniously stylish and yet bound to nature and tradition.

Fred says

There are many short breaks available with Cologne city breaks a popular holiday choice for thousands of visitors each year. 




Nearby markets worth visiting

  • Aachen: 40 minutes.
  • Düsseldorf: 25 minutes.
  • Bonn: 20 minutes.
  • Koblenz: 1 hour.
  • Linz (am Rhein): 1 hour.

Useful information

  • Flight time from London: 1hr 15mins
  • Koln - Bonn Airport: 15km from the city centre, transfer time about 40min by train.
  • Nearest Railway station: Koln
  • Currency: Euro



Fred.\ can tailor-make almost any itinerary to suit your needs and to ensure that you have the perfect holiday. Whether you prefer to fly, travel by train or other means Fred.\ has options available for you. Fred.\ can also organise airport parking, transfers and hotel only packages for you.

Want to visit more than one Christmas market or city centre? Fred.\ can tailor-make your itinerary to suit your needs and find the hotel, which is perfect for you.

Images © Weihnachtsmarkt Kölner Altstadt

Our Cologne Hotel Recommendations

Maritim Hotel Cologne 4*

Why we like it: The glass-covered hotel hall with exclusive boutiques and elegant restaurants. Location: On the bank of the river Rhine and in walking distance of the historic old town. Features: Restaurant, bar, lift, fitness area, indoor pool, sauna, parking. Accommodation: 454 spacious and air-conditioned rooms with en suite facilities, satellite TV, telephone, minibar, safe, Wi-Fi. (Wheelchair accessiblerooms are available).
Request a Tailor-made quote >

Tryp by Wyndham Köln City Centre 4*

Why we like it: Great location in a quiet part of Cologne. Location: This first class hotel with spacious rooms is ideally located in Central Cologne and just a short walk from the main Cathedral, and many of the cities museums and restaurants. Features: Lift, bar, terrace, fitness area, sauna, parking. Accommodation: : 85 rooms with en suite facilities, satellite TV, telephone, minibar, safe, Wi-Fi.
Request a Tailor-made quote >

Hotel Cristall 3*

Why we like it: A boutique hotel with a homely feel. Location: Within walking distance of Cologne Cathedral, central station, river front, major museum and the pedestrianised shopping centre. Features: Hotel bar, free Wi-Fi in lobby. Accommodation: 97 rooms all with en suite facilities, minibar, hairdryer, satellite TV, telephone.
Request a Tailor-made quote >

23 November 2015 - 23 December 2015

Book now, call 01473242678


Approx. 1.1million


Germany/North Rhine-Westphalia

Time Difference

+1 hr

Dial Code

+49 (Germany)


Euro €

Getting around

Good network of trams, buses, U-Bahn and S-Bahn trains which operate through the whole city at reasonable rates.

Cologne-Bonn Airport

15min train journey to Cologne's main central station.

Flight Time from London

1hr 30min

Rail time from London

4hrs 30 mins

All the big department stores and designer shops can be found on Hohe Strasse and Schildergasse. A variety of stylish boutiques are located on Ehrenstrasse and Breite Strasse, while Mittelstrasse and Pfeilstrasse are popular for their exclusive designer outlets. Cologne is also emerging as the capital of contemporary art in Germany, and lately the city seems to be brimming with galleries.

House of Fragrances 4711

One of the world's most famous perfumes has its home in Cologne - 4711 Original Eau de Cologne. Visit the original store and museum at Glockengasse or take part in on of their fragrance workshops.

Main shopping areas:


The most popular shopping street of the city with many fashion and shoe shops.

Neumarkt Passage

For more exclusive shops head to Neumarkt Passage at Neumarkt Square.


Apostelnstrasse is a small, yet elegant shopping street in the heart of Cologne.

Department Store:

Peek & Cloppenburg

One of Germany's leading clothing retailer situated in a very uniquely designed building.

Früh am Dom

This Cologne favourite by the Dom is a great choice to get a taste of traditional German dining. Enjoy a local brew and dine on hearty Rhineland meals of meats and vegetables. Locals say every visitor to the city must eat at least one meal here to get a flavour of the city.

Weinhaus Brungs

This restaurant is located in Cologne's city centre with a beautiful wooden interior and a leafy open-air terrace serving excellent Rhine and Moselle wines as well as tasty regional cuisine.

Café Extrablatt

A very popular restaurant with locals and tourists alike in the heart of Cologne. The Sunday brunch will fill you up until supper.

Cologne Cathedral

The Cathedral is not only the centre and heart of Cologne it is also the number one attraction in Germany with more then six million visitors per year. The gothic Cathedral with its 157m high towers was after it was finally finished in 1880 the highest building in the world. By now it is still the third highest Cathedral in the world and it has enough space for 4,000 visitors. Every day you can visit five services and every weekend several thousands people come together to celebrate worship together. You can climb the 533 steps to the top of the spire for a closer look of the handcrafted stone work on the exterior, as well as a panoramic view of the city. On your way up to the top you will pass the bell tower with the "Dicke Pitter" the heaviest freerunning bell in the world.

Cologne Old Town

The many colourful houses and narrow cobbled streets of Cologne's charming Old Town as well as the countless restaurants, bars and shops make this part of the city one of the most popular places to spend some time.

Cologne cable car

If the weather is kind you should also try the cologne cable car which runs from Cologne Zoo, across the river Rhine, to the Rheinpark. During the ride you have a beautiful view over the river towards the Cathedral.

The Rheinauhafen district

The newly designed "Rheinauhafen" is not only for lovers of architecture a great excursion destination. The three 60m high crane-houses form the impressive heart of this district. The Rheinauhafen also features a mix of modern residential and office buildings interspersed with many cafés, restaurants, and galleries.

Rhine Promenade

Stroll along the Rhine and have a Kölsch (local beer) in one of the typical breweries along the way.

Cologne Philharmonie

This impressive building reveals Cologne's avid love for music. Located in the city centre, it is well worth a visit to take in the atmosphere and beauty of this magnificent concert hall.

Museum Ludwig

This stunning museum is the home of one of the world's largest collections of the works of Pablo Picasso. The museum is also home to a great collection of modern art from Dalí to Warhol. The American Pop Art collection rivals the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The 12 Romanesque Churches

Besides Cologne Cathedral you can also visit the twelve Romanesque Churches which were built around 900 AC. The churches Groß St. Martin, St. Maria in Lyskirchen, Maria im Kapitol and St. Andreas are within easy reach from the city centre.

Love locks

Along the Hohenzollernbrücke (Hohenzollern bridge) you will find more than 40.000 colourful padlocks, which were brought there by happy couples, families and friends. The locks, which are marked with their names, are attached to the bridge and the key is thrown into the river to proof eternal love.

The Chocolate Museum

The most popular museum in Cologne is the Chocolate Museum which shows its visitors the history and production of chocolate. You can watch how they produce their own chocolate. Satisfy your sweet tooth discovering 3000 years of chocolate history. The finale is a 10ft high chocolate fountain.


This is the Old Town which features picturesque houses, narrow cobbled streets and the famous Fish Market.


The museum was built over the famous Dionysos-mosaic and it gives a lively picture of the life of the Romans and Teutons in this area.

Art Galleries:

Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & F.C.

This museum houses a broad range of art from medieval times until the early twenties incl. paintings of Rembrandt and Rubens. Furthermore, it shows a big collection of impressionistic and neo-impressionistic paintings.

Galerie der Spiegel

The gallery that launched Cologne as a centre for art.

Galerie Michael Werner

An excellent gallery for both modern and experimental art which sells contemporary European, particularly German, painters. 


As one of Germany's main cultural centres, Cologne has a variety of fine arts and nightlife options. With more than 70 clubs, most of them open into the early hours, countless bars, restaurant and breweries, there is something for everyone. No other German city has as many pubs per head.

The main nightlife areas are the Old Town, the Friesen Quarter around Friesenplatz, the fashionable Belgian Quarter, Südstadt district around Alteburger Strasse and the multicultural up-and-coming district of Ehrenfeld.

Klimperkasten: An intimate jazz and piano bar with live music every night.

Papa Joe's Jazzloka: The most popular day for this jazz club is Sunday with live music starting at 4pm.

Päffgen Bräuhaus: A 110-year-old bar, which serves the famous regional beer along with hearty regional cuisine.