Make the best of the Christmas markets in Cologne, Germany

Holiday spirit sparkles in seven Christmas markets in Cologne, Germany. Give yourself ample time to explore them, and keep these tips in mind to make the best of your visit.

Cathedral and Christmas market in cologne germany

Cologne Christmas market banner

Set aside time to tour the inside of the Cologne Cathedral, a World Heritage site, when you visit the Christmas market next to it.

Grilling meat at Cologne Christmas market

Bratwurst at Christmas market in Cologne

Go hungry! Gorge yourself grilled sausages, German potato pancakes, giant pretzels, fried apple rings, waffles made to order and more.

Alter Market for Christmas

Drinking beer at Christmas market

Dress in warm layers. Be prepared for cold, sleet, rain and snow. Wear shoes that are both waterproof and comfortable for walking and standing.

Gluhwein at the Cologne Christmas market

Christmas market in the Stadtgarten, Cologne, Germany

Wander the markets during the day to see details and the night to enjoy the romantic glow of holiday lights.

Mini pancakes at Angel market

Christmas market stage at the catherdral

Check the stage by the Cologne Cathedral for the schedule of live entertainment.

Making fried potato pancakes

German potato pancakes

Bring cash. Vendors do not take credit cards.

Angel Christmas market

Skating at Christmas market in Cologne

Get active at the Alter Markt. There’s ice skating and curling.

Pretzels at the Cologne Christmas market

Angel Market in Cologne Germany

Justify lots of gluhwein (a hot spiced red wine) and hot chocolate to keep warm. Feeling brave? There’s cold Kolsch beer.

Entrance to Angel Market in Cologne

Hot chocolate at Cologne Christmas market

Collect mugs from each market. When you order a beverage, the price will include a modest deposit to cover its cost.

Gnome at Christmas market in Cologne

Angel Christmas market

Add a shot of amaretto to your gluhwein to round out its flavor. Buy buy it from a vendor or bring your own flask.

Gnome knitting sheep wool

Cologne Christmas market stall

Manger scene

About Kristine K. Stevens

Book Cover200Kristine is the author of "If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It Isn't Big Enough: A Solo Journey Around the World." This nonfiction book tells the story of how she sold her house, quit her job and traveled around the world.

Kirkus Book Review: "... Stevens makes a friendly, relatable narrator ... plenty of colorful stories to make this an enjoyable, inspiring read... An often sweet memoir about finding oneself in many different places."

Next travel book to spotlight Iceland

25817249396_f6c787ef9f_z Kristine broke free from a desk job once again, and this time ended up volunteering in the far corners of Iceland!

Details about the release of this book will be posted on Facebook.