Above/featured: Dom und Baum (Cathedral and tree).
Colder weather in late-November marks the beginning of Christmas season with food, drink, lights, and frivolity. The festive markets in the Carnival City of Cologne are equally reflective of cheerful people and good times one expects to find on the river Rhein. Four of the city’s Christmas markets are located at the Cathedral, Old Market in the Old Town, at the New Market, and at Rudolph Square. What makes these four special are their descriptions: “Markt der Herzen” (market of hearts), “Heimat der Heinzel” (home of the elves), “Markt der Engel” (market of angels), and “Nikolausdorf” (St. Nicholas village) respectively. Under the glow of Christmas lights, I saw glimpses of big smiles, warm hearts and bellies, happy children, ladies dressed as angels, and the ubiquitous presence of a jolly rotund bearded man dressed in red.
These markets are in the city centre and easily accessible with KVB public transport. During my visits1, there is no admission charge to enter these markets. On multiple visits over the years, we’ve covered all three on foot in a single evening, requiring frequent stops for food among an unspecified number of Glühwein (mulled wine).