Cologne Germany Christmas Ferris Wheel
It's 2019!  A brand new year, a fresh start and perfect excuse to book a ton of travel for the year ahead!  My advice?  Start with the end of the year.  It tends to be at the back of our minds until Autumn, by which time the costs have doubled.  Eek!  Needless to say, my first and foremost suggestion will always be Cologne Christmas markets in Germany.  If you're a longterm reader of A Glass Of Ice, you'll know I've returned to these Christmas markets every year for the past decade with family and it's an annual tradition I really hope will never come to an end.  So, with my undying love for the festive location in mind, let's get stuck into my 'Chic Girls' Guide' to spending Christmas in Cologne, Germany!

Psst! This is the second location in my Chic Girl Guide travel series, following on from King's Cross London.

C O L O G N E   A T   C H R I S T M A S

Christmas markets aside, Cologne is one of the most magical destinations over the festive season.  The spirit of the markets tends to spread out throughout the shops and cafés in the city.  Though of course, I'm pretty sure every visitor's heart will forever belong to the cathedral.  If you've never been inside, I'd definitely recommend saving some time in your schedule to do exactly that, particularly as it's free and will serve you with a heavy dose of architectural inspiration.  Considering how cold it is throughout December in Germany (often with subzero temperatures), my suggestion would be to stock up on those cakes and pastries.  Mmm.  I mean, I'm totally biased because I have a sweet tooth, but you need to bite into a Weckmann while you're there; made of Stuten, sweet dough, in the form of a man with a pipe.  Yum!  Perfect for stashing in your hotel room and snacking on in between treks between Christmas markets...
Cologne Cathedral Blogger Tourist Photo
Chocolate Strawberries on a Stick

Street Style Leather Leggings and Biker Boots
Having stayed in four different hotels within Cologne's city centre, my family's unanimous decision after maaany visits sees the Hilton Cologne Hotel come out on top.  It's modern, clean and perfectly organised.  As with most Hilton hotels, you can be sure of what to expect and so are guaranteed to always find yourself coming back to a warm and tidy hotel room.  Though my first love is still their super plush and warm duvet covers; perfect for cosying up in after hours of walking up and down stalls in the freezing cold!

Hilton Cologne Hotel
Marzellenstraße 13-17
50668 Köln
Cologne Cathedral Travel Blog Photography
hotel Luggage Trolley Fashion Travel Blogger
Hilton Cologne Hotel Christmas Tree Reception
Elvi Megan Faux Fur Blue Midaxi Coat

C A T H E D R A L   C H R I S T M A S   M A R K E T

* Weihnachtsmarkt am Kölner Dom *

Arguably the most popular of the Christmas markets in Cologne, the Cathedral Market has the incredible cathedral (kölner dom) as a backdrop and one that can be seen illuminated by night from the thousands of lights from the market 157m below.  The range of food is particularly impressive from this market, with pretty much every traditional savoury and sweet treat you can imagine being available from the various stalls.  Though be warned, due to its location you'll need to be prepared to wrap up veeery warm as the winds can be pretty strong when you find yourself in open spaces.
Cologne Christmas Markets Luxury Travel Blog Review
Paper Christmas Markets Star Decorations
UK Luxury Travel Blog Germany Cologne Christmas Markets
If you plan on including the Cathedral Christmas Markets in your itinerary when visiting Cologne this winter, be sure to visit at night if you're short on time.  Although beautiful by day, it becomes magical by night.  A centre stage sees live music illuminated by thousands of lights and the atmosphere becomes so special - particularly with a warm drink in hand!
Elvi Megan Faux Fur Midaxi Blue Coat
Weihnachtsmarkt Kölner Dom Centre Stage
Cologne Christmas Cathedral Market Food Stall
Luxury Hotel Excelsior Ernst By Night

' H O M E   O F   T H E   G N O M E S '   O L D   T O W N   M A R K E T

* Heimat der Heinzel - Heinzels Wintermärchen *

Okay, so this is my favourite market.  It's magical, colourful and completely enchanting.  Groups of people tend to be bigger here as it serves as the perfect meeting place thanks to the extra space, meaning it's louder and generally more cheerful!  The market is split into two sections, the names of which I'll admit I'm still a little confused by after all of these years - which is which!?  Regardless, both are equally beautiful, with both offering something entirely unique.  If you're coming from the direction of the cathedral, the first you'll come across features a colourful ferris wheel, more food stalls than your body can consume and plenty of gnomes to spot up high!
Cologne Germany Christmas Ferris Wheel
Cologne Germany Christmas Ferris Wheel
German Christmas Market Ferris Wheel
German Christmas Market Potato and Apple Sauce
Heinzels Wintermarchen tends to attract big crowds, and with good reason!  The selection of stalls is fantastic, with possibly the greatest range of unique handmade gifts Cologne's Christmas markets have to offer.  If you like to bring back gifts for family and friends, this would be the place to do it, for sure.
Germany Cologne Christmas Heinzels Wintermarchen
Cologne Christmas Markets Luxury Travel Blog Review
Cologne Christmas Market Heimat der Heinzel
Cologne Christmas Heimat der Heinzel Ferris Wheel
Black Pearl Biker Embellished Ankle Boots

' H O M E   O F   T H E   G N O M E S '   O L D   T O W N   M A R K E T

P A R T   T W O   -   S E C O N D   S E C T I O N

* Heimat der Heinzel - Heinzels Wintermärchen *

As I mentioned earlier, the first section of the market sees you surrounded by colour and gnomes.  The second part however, offers a different vibe and one featuring... an ice rink!  The winter's arctic theme is super photogenic and is once again a hugely popular place for groups to meet - both tourists and locals alike.  If there's a particular German drink you're hoping to track down, this would be the place to find it.
Cologne Christmas Market Heinzels Wintermarchen
Travel Blog Cologne Christmas Market Guide
Ice Rink Heimat der Heinzel Cologne Christmas Market
Germany Cologne Christmas Markets UK Luxury Travel Blog Guide
Have I ever actually been ice skating at this market?  No.  But there's a fabulous bridge crossing the ice rink that allows you to watch others skate up and down in the freezing cold - more entertaining that it sounds, I promise!  Once you've finished exploring the market, it's time to hop on the (easily identifiable) green train that will take you around the most beautiful parts of the city centre; it stops at the entrance of most markets and offers a little respite from being on your feet all day.  Perfect!
Cologne Christmas Market Stall Gifts
German Christmas Markets Luxury Fashion Blogger
Heimat der Heinzel Ice Rink Cologne Christmas Markets
Green Tourist Train Cologne Germany Christmas Markets

M A R K E T   O F   A N G E L S

* Markt der Engel *

In a word: magical.  Similar to the Cathedral Market, this is definitely a location to be explored by night.  As daylight fades, hundreds of stars become visibly illuminated in the overhanging trees and create a fantastical atmosphere above the stalls.  If it's festive you want, it's festive you'll get.  The Market of Angels features sooo many lights, glitter and cosy corners to enjoy a warm drink with your loved ones.  Needless to say, my favourite location here is Gabriel's bar, no bias, of course...
Cologne Germany Markt der Engel
Cologne Engel Bar Markt der Engels Stall
Germany Cologne Markt der Engels Christmas Carousel
This tends to be the last Christmas market we visit as a family before heading home the next morning, making it a pretty bittersweet.  It serves as the ultimate sendoff, and yet it also encourages you to panic-purchase three more nights in the festive city!  If visiting the Christmas markets in Cologne isn't your priority, but you happen to be passing through, then my suggestion would be to visit Markt der Engels.  You're guaranteed to be impressed by the lights, and it stays open until late, allowing you to soak up as much of the atmosphere as possible before leaving.
Germany Cologne Market of Angels Stars in Trees
Vintage Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat
Ich Liebe Dich Heart Cookie Christmas Market

B E F O R E   Y O U   L E A V E . . .
... make sure you do plenty of shopping.  Within metres from Cologne Cathedral, you'll find luxury shops such as Chopard, Louis Vuitton and Bulgari, as well as hundreds of high street shops, cafés, pharmacies and department stores leading you towards your next Christmas market!  My 2018 visit saw me go wild for animal print and faux leather in Calzedonia, as well as excited to find these budget boots down a small side street.  Embellished? Biker?  Yes please! 
Germany Cologne Chopard Shop
Travel Blog Cologne Christmas Markets Guide
I'm already super excited for next year's visit to Cologne's Christmas Markets.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this travel guide - does anything in particular catch your eye?  Have you planned any travel yet for this year?  Let me know in the comments below!

Liked this post?  You might also enjoy >> King's Cross London | The Chic Girl's Guide

With love,

Gabrielle x