Christmas in Cologne
With seven festive markets for you to enjoy, Cologne is a very Christmassy city. The market in front of the imposing Cologne Cathedral is a favourite, mainly for its iconic setting. To discover something a little more unusual, head to the Maritime Market where you may even spot some performing pirates!
When it’s nippy outside, wander round the markets with a warm glass of spiced-apple punch or creamy eggnog. Look out for the traditional potato pancakes and signature smoked salmon too. Souvenir-wise, Rudolfplatz is the place for handmade decorations, traditional mugs and candles, while Stadtgarten has a more contemporary selection of gifts.
A spiritual journey
Cologne Cathedral is a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, and is packed with treasures. For a more recent update, gaze at Gerhard Richter’s stunning stained glass window, made in 2007. The city’s also home to the Twelve Romanesque Churches – elegant buildings created as early as the 4th century.