The Cologne Christmas markets give visitors the choice of 7 main markets, each with individual charm.
The main Christmas Market takes place against the backdrop of the Gothic Cathedral and 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, it's 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 and can be seen getting up to mischief in various different places around the square. This market features a beautiful 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. Not only does it look like Santa's Village, it also features a walkthrough house of Santa, a factory in which children can create presents and a Christmas bakery. With its reindeer and elves, this Christmas market is very appealing to kids.
There is also the Christmas Market of Angels at Neumarkt, offering many stalls with arts and crafts and tasty food and many attractions for kids, and the Cologne Harbour Christmas Market, situated right in front of Cologne's famous Chocolate Museum. With about 80 white marquee pagoda tents, culinary delicacies and pirate shows, a nautical atmosphere is created.
The Christmas Avenue is Cologne's first gay and lesbian Christmas market. It offers colourful stalls and is located in the centre of the "scene-quarter" Bermuda Triangle near the Rudolfplatz. The market features quality products, culinary delights and cabaret shows in a sparkling and atmospheric ambient. Everyone is welcome to celebrate Christmas together.
The Christmas market at Stadtgarten is located in the city garden and has a romantic and cozy atmosphere. Many of the products are handmade. This Christmas market combines different characteristics and is artful, attractively different, ingeniously stylish and yet bound to nature and tradition.