My experience of the Christmas markets at Germany's Cologne seems to improve with each year, something which can be put down to a combination of my increased appreciation of detail, along with the ever expanding and improving market sites. Part One of my shared experience illustrated the first outing upon arrival in the evening, as well as the following morning's walk to the Fairytale Market at Rudolfplatz. This is an example of when you really can judge a book by it's cover; the name of the market sounds magical and the experience of the market follows suit. This market opens on November 26th and ends on December 23rd, making a festive visit to Cologne incomplete without experiencing at some point!
he Fairytale Market at Rudolfplatz has been reworked and improved since my previous annual visit, seeing a change in site layout and upgrade in all aspects. Stall names are now displayed above each wooden pavilion and the market has received a general polish (perhaps from the wave of a fairy wand!?).
It is a common concern for many to worry about language barriers and the quality of service depending on your lingual abilities, however I can confirm that those concerns can be entirely forgotten! Cologne's Christmas markets attract tourists in great masses every year and the numbers are only growing as more people search for authentic markets in their rightful homeland, meaning if your ability to speak German is non-existent, you can easily get by. My German is beginner level at best, which means that although I can manage the pleasantries, ordering certain foods can be a challenge. Thankfully, when purchasing my first ever fish burger (Backfish), I was able to communicate an understanding with the English speaking men - and believe me when I say that if I can, you can! Having said that, you'll also catch many Germans enjoying some gluhwein with their friends after a long day of work, so you really do have the best of both worlds. On a side note, if you ever visit Cologne's Christmas markets, I really hope that you'll try one of the delicious (Backfish) fish burgers on offer - not only do they smell divine, but I would go as far as to say that it was the best food I've had in my life!
I also purchased another glass angel to add to my collection from this market (as shown on my Instagram), purchased in a wonderful presentation box lined with silk. In my opinion, this new angel joining the rest of the clan is the perfect depiction of the Markt Der Engel for me; beautiful and delicate. There were no glimmers of anything being done half-heartedly, the market presents a definite ambition of going above and beyond to impress visitors and the outcome is awe-inspiring!
I hope you've enjoyed the second instalment of my December visit to Germany's Cologne and all that the Christmas markets have to offer - part three will be coming soon! As you may have noticed, I truly have nothing negative to say about the experience and this may be because of my determination to always see the bright and beautiful in life, or it may be because Cologne at Christmas time truly is faultless and yes, magical!