Cologne-Christmas18

Christmastime in Frankfurt and Cologne

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The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Frankfurt and Cologne (or Köln in German) are two wonderful cities to experience the magic of the German Christmas markets. During the month of December, Europe is beaming with all things Christmas related, but there is truly something special about the Christkindlmarkts in Germany. Between the beautiful wooden stands, glühwein (German mulled wine), decorative gingerbread cookies, stunning Christmas displays and more, there is a reason why Germany is renowned for their Christmas markets.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Every year, I enjoy doing a Christmas trip during the month of December. I started this tradition in December 2017 when I went to Lapland, Finland with Crawford Concierge by SitInMySeats. In 2018, I visited Munich and Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria; Salzburg and Hallstatt, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria. During December 2019, I started my Christmas trip in Kraków, Poland and then made my way to Prague and Česky Krumlov, Czechia; Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria along with Frankfurt and Cologne in Germany.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

After spending a few special days experiencing the Christmas magic in Bavaria, I made my way Northwest to the city of Frankfurt and then to the Rhineland city of Cologne to enjoy their beautiful Christmas markets. My time spent in Frankfurt and Cologne was the last leg of my 2019 Christmas market trip and I am excited to share with you my wonderful experience.

*During my time in Cologne, 25hours Hotel The Circle hosted me.


Getting to and Around Frankfurt and Cologne:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Before visiting Frankfurt and Cologne, I spent a few days in the Bavarian towns of Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Prior to that, I was in Prague and Česky Krumlov in Czechia (Czech Republic) and before that, two days in Kraków, Poland. I found great flight deals through Skyscanner from NYC to Europe and used Omio to book all of my trains and buses to all of the different cities I visited. What I love about Omio is that they plan the most convenient and cost-friendly route for your travels around Europe.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Since I spent two nights in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which was admittedly out of the way (but so worth it), I ended up taking three trains to Frankfurt within 2 hours. From Rothenburg’s train station to Frankfurt hauptbahnhof (main station), I had to switch trains in the towns of Steinach and Würzburg. From Frankfurt, I just took one train straight to Cologne, which took a little over 2 hours.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Because I wasn’t staying in Frankfurt and had my luggage on me, I used Nannybag, which offers a secure luggage storage during your time in a specific city or town. What you do is download the Nannybag app, type in the city that you will be visiting and when you plan to arrive and leave. At a small cost per luggage, Nannybag will list the stores, restaurants or hotels where you could drop your bag off at the city you are visiting. Nannybag is also insured against theft, loss and breakage. In Frankfurt, I ended up dropping my luggage off at a hotel near the airport. The hotel staff locked up my luggage in a private room and they also provided me with a receipt that I needed to show when I came to pick the bag up. Overall, it is super convenient and a great way to store your bags when you are traveling from one city to the next in Europe. (I also did this when I visited Nuremberg.)

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

What is nice about Frankfurt and Cologne are that they offer Uber! Within the country of Germany, you could only find Uber services in larger cities. If you are visiting smaller ones, you will need to use the city’s taxi services or other forms of public transportation.

Staying at 25hours Hotel The Circle in Cologne:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

During my two nights in Cologne, I stayed at the futuristic 25hours Hotel The Circle located in the Friesenviertel District of the city and a short walk to the Old Town where the Kölner Dom (cathedral), Christmas markets and Fish Market is located.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

I absolutely loved staying at 25hours Hotel The Circle in Cologne. There were panoramic views of the city and it is characterized by the spirit of the 1960s and future utopias. The moment I stepped foot into 25hours Hotel, I felt like I was transported into the future. There was a cool gift shop, welcoming café and fun co-working spaces for stress-free working and relaxing. I absolutely loved the fun red room! I also thought the couches and pods were super cool too. The 25hours Things Shop has fun illustrated books and magazines to necessities, cosmetics and more! Attached to the gift shop is a record store, which is epic. Since receiving my very first record player this year, I enjoy collecting some classics now.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

In addition to how cool the property was, I truly enjoyed staying in 25hours’s Medium Inner Circle Room. The room was spacious, clean and had awesome decorations that gave off a retro-futuristic vibe. There were also views of the courtyard that had lit up Christmas trees in front! The queen size bed in the room was one of the most comfortable I’ve slept in, there was an open bathroom with an amazing rain shower head and wonderful toiletries from Stop the Water While Using products.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

The Medium Inner Circle Room also included heating and air conditioning, UE Boom Bluetooth speakers, a smart TV, fun decorations and so much more. You could also rent a bike and ride around the city, hangout at the Monkey Bar and sip your favorite beverage, grab a snack a Neni Deli or have breakfast or dinner at Neni restaurant.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

The breakfast I had at Neni was the best I’ve had throughout my entire Christmas market trip. I loved how there were amazing views of the city of Cologne and during the warmer months, you could even eat outside. They had an amazing bread platter of croissants and rolls; a cold breakfast spread of cured meats and cheeses, smoked salmon, fruits and vegetables; a hot section of potato pancakes and applesauce, sausages, eggs, bacon and more. You could also enjoy coffee, tea, lattes and juice. In addition to how great the food was, I also love the atmosphere of Neni.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

25hours Hotel The Circle also has meetings and event space and they host fun and exciting activities year round! I also loved how I was greeted with a goodie bag full of fun and necessary items.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Now, before I go into everything I did in Cologne, read all about my time spent wandering through the Frankfurt Christmas markets.

Frankfurt:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Behind the capital of Berlin, Frankfurt is one of the largest cities in Germany. It is a high-powered finance and business hub and home to one of the world’s largest stock exchanges. Frankfurt is also home to the headquarters of the European Central Bank and hosts the world’s most important trade fairs.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

I will admit that when I first arrived in Frankfurt, I wasn’t really feeling it. I think it was because I arrived on a rainy day and all I saw at first were modern and industrialized buildings. It came off as very corporate to me, compared to the other fairytale German cities I previously visited. It wasn’t until I made my way to the quaint and medieval Altstadt (old town), where my first impressions changed. The Old Town of Frankfurt is where the city’s Christmas markets are located. It is also where you could find half-timbered buildings, village-like neighborhoods, cute cafés, lovely German restaurants, churches and historical buildings, parks, gardens and boutique shopping.

Frankfurt’s Christmas Markets:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

One thing to note is that the German Christmas markets usually end the day before Christmas Eve as compared to the Eastern European markets that end in early January. The Frankfurt Christmas markets specifically are absolutely stunning and it is known as one of the largest in all of Germany, behind Nuremberg.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

The enchanting wooden stands, decorations, carousel and pop-up stores are situated in the fairytale surroundings on the Römerberg and St. Paul’s Square. There is also a huge Christmas tree that stands out amongst it all.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Since I was in Frankfurt around lunchtime, I savored a lighter meal with some delicious goodies. Like I’ve mentioned in my other Germany Christmas market blog posts, the food definitely does not disappoint! Here is a list of everything you could savor at Frankfurt’s Christkindlemarkt.:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne
  • Decorative Gingerbread Hearts and Cookies
  • Bratwurst (and other German wursts)
  • Pretzels
  • Homemade Chocolates
  • Potato Pancakes and Applesauce
  • Flammlachs (flame grilled salmon)
  • Flammkuchen (the German version of pizza of crispy dough, cheese, sour cream, onions and bacon)
  • Crêpes
  • Raclette
  • Roasted Almonds
  • Champignons (mushrooms) with garlic cream
  • Spätzle (German pasta with cheese or gravy)
  • Waffles (with Nutella or fruit)
  • Strudel
The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Next, you cannot visit a German Christmas market and not get glühwein. This warm beverage is seriously my favorite part of attending a Christmas market because it is tasty and heartwarming. The traditional glühwein is usually made with red wine, but there are spin offs made with white wine, fruity flavors and more. Other popular drinks at German Christmas markets are Eierpunsch, which is similar to eggnog. It is made with egg yolks, white wine, spices (cinnamon and cloves), vanilla and citrus juice. I’m personally not an eggnog fan, so I unfortunately didn’t get to sip this beverage during my time at the German Christmas markets. Another Christmas market beverage I enjoy drinking is Heibe Schokolade, which is a spiked hot chocolate with either rum or Amaretto. Lastly, you could also enjoy glühbier at the markets! Pretty much it is the same thing as glühwein where it is heated and filled with spices, but instead it is made with beer instead of wine. (You could also get grog, which is straight up mulled liquor, but I’m not big on drinking straight up alcohol.)

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

During my time at the Frankfurt Christmas markets, I made my way through the stands in both Römerberg and St. Paul’s Square. I savored an authentic German pretzel along with a waffle with Nutella. It was delicious! Of course, I also had glühwein along with hot chocolate and Amaretto. I also enjoyed walking around the wooden stands and admiring all of the crafts and decorations, jewelry, clothing and more.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

In addition to the Christmas markets, I also recommend checking out St. Paul’s Cathedral. There is also a museum you could walk through too. This beautiful Protestant church is located in Paulsplatz and it is a 5-minute walk from Römerberg.

Cologne:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Cologne is a stunning city located on the Rhine River in Western Germany. It is led by its beautiful cathedral that dominates the city’s skyline as well as its colorful houses, wonderful food and shopping scene along with its magical Christmas markets. In addition, Cologne is also known for its art, chocolate, sports and Roman history. The people of Cologne are also known for their liberalism (like Amsterdam), biergartens along with the Carnival that happens in February.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Known as Germany’s 4th largest city, Cologne boasts a Roman wall and medieval churches. Most of the city was destroyed in World War II, but it was quickly rebuilt into the thriving city that it is today.

Cologne’s Christmas Markets:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

When it comes to Cologne’s Christmas markets, I would have to say that they were definitely the best I’ve experienced in Germany. There are numerous Christmas market stands located throughout the entire city and they are all so magical and heartwarming. Below is a list of all the magical Christmas markets you could visit in Cologne:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Cathedral X-Mas Market: The largest Christmas market in Cologne is definitely the one at the Dom. It is here where you will get that magical “wow” factor with all of the decorative stands, stringed lights and majestic cathedral as the backdrop. The Cathedral X-Mas Market is also where you could find the main stage where live music performances take place. It truly is amazing!

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Old Market Christmas: My second favorite Christmas market is the Old Market Christmas, which is considered the most attractive Christmas market in Cologne. That is because all of the stands feature old world German architecture and design. It is here where you could find handicrafts, glass ornaments and delicious Christmas market staples. Located at the Old Market Christmas is also a lovely ice-skating rink! I really wanted to go ice skating in Cologne, but there were definitely more children than adults on the rink.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Heavenue Cologne – The Gay Christmas Market: Located at Rudolfplatz is the colorful Christmas market of Cologne where all are welcomed and everything is decorated romantically with snow-white garlands. This fun market also has a stage where well known German artists and celebrities will perform.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Angel’s Christmas Market: This beautiful and dreamy market is Cologne’s oldest Christkindlemarkt. It is situated in the heart of the city’s shopping district and it features charming chalets and high-quality products.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Harbour Christmas Market: This lovely newer Christmas market has a picturesque setting along the Rhine River. The Cologne Harbour market is located right outside of the chocolate museum and it features decorated pagoda tents with wooden floors and pointed roofs that resemble a ship. There are also airstreams that are surrounded in Christmas lights as well as other traditional wooden market stands. You could find a lot of goodies here!

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Christmas Market in the Stadtgarten: Located in the heart of the hip Belgian Quarter of Cologne, the Stadtgarten Christmas market has the typical small-town village vibe. This wonderful market has more than 80 exhibitors that sell glühwein, tarte flambée, stews and more. It also has puppet shows, fire-eaters, story tellers and jazz performers.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Village of St. Nicholas: Located in Rudolphplatz, the Village of St. Nicholas features timber wood stands that offer all German Christmas market goodies, plus a lot of crafts and trinkets that you will admire for days.

What to do in Cologne:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

There is so much to do in Cologne, but since I was only there for a short time, I mainly spent it at the Christmas markets in the city. Below is everything else I did in between my times at the Cologne markets:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Kölner Dom (or Cologne Cathedral): The very first Cologne landmark that I made my way to was the astonishing Kölner Dom, or otherwise known as the Cologne Cathedral. It was one of the only landmarks that survived the bombings of World War II (it wasn’t even touched) in Cologne and seeing it in person is quite impressive! This beautiful 13th Century Gothic cathedral dominates the entire Cologne city skyline and you could catch stunning views of it from different parts of the city.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

The Dom is Germany’s largest cathedral and it was probably one of the most beautiful ones I’ve visited in Europe. If you are in Cologne, I highly recommend making your way into the cathedral (it’s free) and admiring the stained-glass windows, pillars and arches, flying buttresses, Shrines of the Three Kings, Gero Crucifix and more. I also recommend climbing up the 95-meter (or 212- foot) tower and admiring the views of the city and Christmas markets.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Fischmarkt (Fish Market): Another place to visit in Cologne is the Fish Market along the Rhine River. This area is known for its cute and colorful buildings, walking paths and fine-dining restaurants. It is also an area where you could catch stunning views (such as the sunset) along the Rhine.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Schokoladen Museum (Chocolate Museum): If you are a chocolate lover, then you will be in your glory when you visit Cologne. There is a chocolate museum by Lindt that will take you into the world of German chocolate. In addition to the museum, there is also a café where you could order different chocolate treats.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Eat Your Way through Cologne: Cologne is known for its fine-dining scene and there are so many amazing restaurants and cafés to check out. During my time in Cologne, I ate German food at the Christmas markets, but when I meandered to a few restaurants, I ended up eating Italian.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

During my first night in Cologne, I ate at Angelo Trattoria Enoteca, which was a cute and cozy Italian restaurant located right by 25Hours Hotel. I savored a delicious truffle pasta dish with red white. It definitely did not disappoint.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

I was also super excited to have met up with an Instagram friend during my time in Cologne. During my second night, my friend Ilona of Simply Symone and her friend Matea drove up to Cologne to meet me for dinner and to experience the Cologne Christmas markets. Since Ilona (who is originally from New Zealand) has been living in Germany for some time, she knew of a great pizza place to check out called 485Grad. If you’re looking for good pizza in Cologne, you definitely won’t be disappointed here! There are a few 485Grad locations throughout and they even have storefronts in Düsseldorf, which is another larger German city located 45 minutes north of Cologne. (Düsseldorf is also where I flew back home to Newark Airport.)


The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my time at the German Christmas markets in Frankfurt and Cologne as well as my experience staying at 25hours Hotel The Circle. If you have any questions about my time in Germany during Advent season, please email me at [email protected]

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Basic Facts of Germany:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Berlin

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18 Comments

  1. Courtney on December 22, 2019 at 11:54 am

    What a lovely informative post

    • Taylor Deer on December 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you so much Courtney! 🙂

  2. Emma on December 22, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Loved this blog, so informative. The Christmas markets in Frankfurt look amazing!

    • Taylor Deer on December 22, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you Emma and it was a wonderful time! 🙂

  3. Maria on December 28, 2019 at 6:15 am

    The food looks amazing – it gives me cravings haha. And I love the architecture of the old town in Cologne. It has never really been on my list but you really make me want to visit. Especially the chocolate museum! 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Yes, I ate way too much on that trip, but zero regrets! Also yes, I highly recommend Cologne! It’s such a wonderful city and the Christmas markets are amazing! 🙂

  4. April on December 28, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    If you ever need a reason to visit Europe in winter look no further than Germany and the Christmas markets! I’m not one for the holidays, but even I can’t escape the festive atmosphere. So much fun with so much to see and eat!

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      Oh yes, I couldn’t agree more! Austria is wonderful too.

  5. Mayuri on December 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I can’t wait to visit them next year. German Christmas markets are soooo pretty!

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      Yes, I couldn’t recommend it more! It’s so magical!

  6. Helen on December 28, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Great post that’s inspired me to go to Cologne! I particularly appreciated your app suggestions, so useful!

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      Thank you so much Helen! It’s a beautiful city!

  7. Kim Deer on December 28, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Your description of the beautiful Christmas markets, stunning cathedral and delicious food options, I felt like I was part of the fairytale ~ photos brought everything to life~ thanks for sharing ~ very informative blog ~ love you, mom xoxo ♥️♥️♥️

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you mom! Love you too! The German Christmas markets are amazing!

  8. World of Lina on December 29, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    I can remember the Christmas markets in Frankfurt from two years ago! Such beautiful photos Taylor 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on December 29, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you Alina! I fell in love with Romerberg!:)

  9. Loredana on January 11, 2020 at 5:42 am

    Germany is famous for its Christmas markets 🙂 Frankfurt is one of my husband’s favorite cities in Germany! – it looks like we have to visit at Christmas time!

    • Taylor Deer on January 11, 2020 at 9:33 am

      I love the German Christmas markets and Frankfurt is beautiful! I definitely recommend going during Christmastime. 🙂

Leave a Comment





Cologne-Christmas18

Christmastime in Frankfurt and Cologne

Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Frankfurt and Cologne (or Köln in German) are two wonderful cities to experience the magic of the German Christmas markets. During the month of December, Europe is beaming with all things Christmas related, but there is truly something special about the Christkindlmarkts in Germany. Between the beautiful wooden stands, glühwein (German mulled wine), decorative gingerbread cookies, stunning Christmas displays and more, there is a reason why Germany is renowned for their Christmas markets.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Every year, I enjoy doing a Christmas trip during the month of December. I started this tradition in December 2017 when I went to Lapland, Finland with Crawford Concierge by SitInMySeats. In 2018, I visited Munich and Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria; Salzburg and Hallstatt, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Bratislava, Slovakia and Vienna, Austria. During December 2019, I started my Christmas trip in Kraków, Poland and then made my way to Prague and Česky Krumlov, Czechia; Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Bavaria along with Frankfurt and Cologne in Germany.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

After spending a few special days experiencing the Christmas magic in Bavaria, I made my way Northwest to the city of Frankfurt and then to the Rhineland city of Cologne to enjoy their beautiful Christmas markets. My time spent in Frankfurt and Cologne was the last leg of my 2019 Christmas market trip and I am excited to share with you my wonderful experience.

*During my time in Cologne, 25hours Hotel The Circle hosted me.


Getting to and Around Frankfurt and Cologne:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Before visiting Frankfurt and Cologne, I spent a few days in the Bavarian towns of Nuremberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Prior to that, I was in Prague and Česky Krumlov in Czechia (Czech Republic) and before that, two days in Kraków, Poland. I found great flight deals through Skyscanner from NYC to Europe and used Omio to book all of my trains and buses to all of the different cities I visited. What I love about Omio is that they plan the most convenient and cost-friendly route for your travels around Europe.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Since I spent two nights in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which was admittedly out of the way (but so worth it), I ended up taking three trains to Frankfurt within 2 hours. From Rothenburg’s train station to Frankfurt hauptbahnhof (main station), I had to switch trains in the towns of Steinach and Würzburg. From Frankfurt, I just took one train straight to Cologne, which took a little over 2 hours.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Because I wasn’t staying in Frankfurt and had my luggage on me, I used Nannybag, which offers a secure luggage storage during your time in a specific city or town. What you do is download the Nannybag app, type in the city that you will be visiting and when you plan to arrive and leave. At a small cost per luggage, Nannybag will list the stores, restaurants or hotels where you could drop your bag off at the city you are visiting. Nannybag is also insured against theft, loss and breakage. In Frankfurt, I ended up dropping my luggage off at a hotel near the airport. The hotel staff locked up my luggage in a private room and they also provided me with a receipt that I needed to show when I came to pick the bag up. Overall, it is super convenient and a great way to store your bags when you are traveling from one city to the next in Europe. (I also did this when I visited Nuremberg.)

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

What is nice about Frankfurt and Cologne are that they offer Uber! Within the country of Germany, you could only find Uber services in larger cities. If you are visiting smaller ones, you will need to use the city’s taxi services or other forms of public transportation.

Staying at 25hours Hotel The Circle in Cologne:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

During my two nights in Cologne, I stayed at the futuristic 25hours Hotel The Circle located in the Friesenviertel District of the city and a short walk to the Old Town where the Kölner Dom (cathedral), Christmas markets and Fish Market is located.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

I absolutely loved staying at 25hours Hotel The Circle in Cologne. There were panoramic views of the city and it is characterized by the spirit of the 1960s and future utopias. The moment I stepped foot into 25hours Hotel, I felt like I was transported into the future. There was a cool gift shop, welcoming café and fun co-working spaces for stress-free working and relaxing. I absolutely loved the fun red room! I also thought the couches and pods were super cool too. The 25hours Things Shop has fun illustrated books and magazines to necessities, cosmetics and more! Attached to the gift shop is a record store, which is epic. Since receiving my very first record player this year, I enjoy collecting some classics now.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

In addition to how cool the property was, I truly enjoyed staying in 25hours’s Medium Inner Circle Room. The room was spacious, clean and had awesome decorations that gave off a retro-futuristic vibe. There were also views of the courtyard that had lit up Christmas trees in front! The queen size bed in the room was one of the most comfortable I’ve slept in, there was an open bathroom with an amazing rain shower head and wonderful toiletries from Stop the Water While Using products.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

The Medium Inner Circle Room also included heating and air conditioning, UE Boom Bluetooth speakers, a smart TV, fun decorations and so much more. You could also rent a bike and ride around the city, hangout at the Monkey Bar and sip your favorite beverage, grab a snack a Neni Deli or have breakfast or dinner at Neni restaurant.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

The breakfast I had at Neni was the best I’ve had throughout my entire Christmas market trip. I loved how there were amazing views of the city of Cologne and during the warmer months, you could even eat outside. They had an amazing bread platter of croissants and rolls; a cold breakfast spread of cured meats and cheeses, smoked salmon, fruits and vegetables; a hot section of potato pancakes and applesauce, sausages, eggs, bacon and more. You could also enjoy coffee, tea, lattes and juice. In addition to how great the food was, I also love the atmosphere of Neni.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

25hours Hotel The Circle also has meetings and event space and they host fun and exciting activities year round! I also loved how I was greeted with a goodie bag full of fun and necessary items.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Now, before I go into everything I did in Cologne, read all about my time spent wandering through the Frankfurt Christmas markets.

Frankfurt:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Behind the capital of Berlin, Frankfurt is one of the largest cities in Germany. It is a high-powered finance and business hub and home to one of the world’s largest stock exchanges. Frankfurt is also home to the headquarters of the European Central Bank and hosts the world’s most important trade fairs.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

I will admit that when I first arrived in Frankfurt, I wasn’t really feeling it. I think it was because I arrived on a rainy day and all I saw at first were modern and industrialized buildings. It came off as very corporate to me, compared to the other fairytale German cities I previously visited. It wasn’t until I made my way to the quaint and medieval Altstadt (old town), where my first impressions changed. The Old Town of Frankfurt is where the city’s Christmas markets are located. It is also where you could find half-timbered buildings, village-like neighborhoods, cute cafés, lovely German restaurants, churches and historical buildings, parks, gardens and boutique shopping.

Frankfurt’s Christmas Markets:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

One thing to note is that the German Christmas markets usually end the day before Christmas Eve as compared to the Eastern European markets that end in early January. The Frankfurt Christmas markets specifically are absolutely stunning and it is known as one of the largest in all of Germany, behind Nuremberg.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

The enchanting wooden stands, decorations, carousel and pop-up stores are situated in the fairytale surroundings on the Römerberg and St. Paul’s Square. There is also a huge Christmas tree that stands out amongst it all.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Since I was in Frankfurt around lunchtime, I savored a lighter meal with some delicious goodies. Like I’ve mentioned in my other Germany Christmas market blog posts, the food definitely does not disappoint! Here is a list of everything you could savor at Frankfurt’s Christkindlemarkt.:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne
  • Decorative Gingerbread Hearts and Cookies
  • Bratwurst (and other German wursts)
  • Pretzels
  • Homemade Chocolates
  • Potato Pancakes and Applesauce
  • Flammlachs (flame grilled salmon)
  • Flammkuchen (the German version of pizza of crispy dough, cheese, sour cream, onions and bacon)
  • Crêpes
  • Raclette
  • Roasted Almonds
  • Champignons (mushrooms) with garlic cream
  • Spätzle (German pasta with cheese or gravy)
  • Waffles (with Nutella or fruit)
  • Strudel
The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Next, you cannot visit a German Christmas market and not get glühwein. This warm beverage is seriously my favorite part of attending a Christmas market because it is tasty and heartwarming. The traditional glühwein is usually made with red wine, but there are spin offs made with white wine, fruity flavors and more. Other popular drinks at German Christmas markets are Eierpunsch, which is similar to eggnog. It is made with egg yolks, white wine, spices (cinnamon and cloves), vanilla and citrus juice. I’m personally not an eggnog fan, so I unfortunately didn’t get to sip this beverage during my time at the German Christmas markets. Another Christmas market beverage I enjoy drinking is Heibe Schokolade, which is a spiked hot chocolate with either rum or Amaretto. Lastly, you could also enjoy glühbier at the markets! Pretty much it is the same thing as glühwein where it is heated and filled with spices, but instead it is made with beer instead of wine. (You could also get grog, which is straight up mulled liquor, but I’m not big on drinking straight up alcohol.)

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

During my time at the Frankfurt Christmas markets, I made my way through the stands in both Römerberg and St. Paul’s Square. I savored an authentic German pretzel along with a waffle with Nutella. It was delicious! Of course, I also had glühwein along with hot chocolate and Amaretto. I also enjoyed walking around the wooden stands and admiring all of the crafts and decorations, jewelry, clothing and more.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

In addition to the Christmas markets, I also recommend checking out St. Paul’s Cathedral. There is also a museum you could walk through too. This beautiful Protestant church is located in Paulsplatz and it is a 5-minute walk from Römerberg.

Cologne:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Cologne is a stunning city located on the Rhine River in Western Germany. It is led by its beautiful cathedral that dominates the city’s skyline as well as its colorful houses, wonderful food and shopping scene along with its magical Christmas markets. In addition, Cologne is also known for its art, chocolate, sports and Roman history. The people of Cologne are also known for their liberalism (like Amsterdam), biergartens along with the Carnival that happens in February.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Known as Germany’s 4th largest city, Cologne boasts a Roman wall and medieval churches. Most of the city was destroyed in World War II, but it was quickly rebuilt into the thriving city that it is today.

Cologne’s Christmas Markets:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

When it comes to Cologne’s Christmas markets, I would have to say that they were definitely the best I’ve experienced in Germany. There are numerous Christmas market stands located throughout the entire city and they are all so magical and heartwarming. Below is a list of all the magical Christmas markets you could visit in Cologne:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Cathedral X-Mas Market: The largest Christmas market in Cologne is definitely the one at the Dom. It is here where you will get that magical “wow” factor with all of the decorative stands, stringed lights and majestic cathedral as the backdrop. The Cathedral X-Mas Market is also where you could find the main stage where live music performances take place. It truly is amazing!

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Old Market Christmas: My second favorite Christmas market is the Old Market Christmas, which is considered the most attractive Christmas market in Cologne. That is because all of the stands feature old world German architecture and design. It is here where you could find handicrafts, glass ornaments and delicious Christmas market staples. Located at the Old Market Christmas is also a lovely ice-skating rink! I really wanted to go ice skating in Cologne, but there were definitely more children than adults on the rink.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Heavenue Cologne – The Gay Christmas Market: Located at Rudolfplatz is the colorful Christmas market of Cologne where all are welcomed and everything is decorated romantically with snow-white garlands. This fun market also has a stage where well known German artists and celebrities will perform.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Angel’s Christmas Market: This beautiful and dreamy market is Cologne’s oldest Christkindlemarkt. It is situated in the heart of the city’s shopping district and it features charming chalets and high-quality products.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Harbour Christmas Market: This lovely newer Christmas market has a picturesque setting along the Rhine River. The Cologne Harbour market is located right outside of the chocolate museum and it features decorated pagoda tents with wooden floors and pointed roofs that resemble a ship. There are also airstreams that are surrounded in Christmas lights as well as other traditional wooden market stands. You could find a lot of goodies here!

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Christmas Market in the Stadtgarten: Located in the heart of the hip Belgian Quarter of Cologne, the Stadtgarten Christmas market has the typical small-town village vibe. This wonderful market has more than 80 exhibitors that sell glühwein, tarte flambée, stews and more. It also has puppet shows, fire-eaters, story tellers and jazz performers.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Village of St. Nicholas: Located in Rudolphplatz, the Village of St. Nicholas features timber wood stands that offer all German Christmas market goodies, plus a lot of crafts and trinkets that you will admire for days.

What to do in Cologne:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

There is so much to do in Cologne, but since I was only there for a short time, I mainly spent it at the Christmas markets in the city. Below is everything else I did in between my times at the Cologne markets:

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Kölner Dom (or Cologne Cathedral): The very first Cologne landmark that I made my way to was the astonishing Kölner Dom, or otherwise known as the Cologne Cathedral. It was one of the only landmarks that survived the bombings of World War II (it wasn’t even touched) in Cologne and seeing it in person is quite impressive! This beautiful 13th Century Gothic cathedral dominates the entire Cologne city skyline and you could catch stunning views of it from different parts of the city.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

The Dom is Germany’s largest cathedral and it was probably one of the most beautiful ones I’ve visited in Europe. If you are in Cologne, I highly recommend making your way into the cathedral (it’s free) and admiring the stained-glass windows, pillars and arches, flying buttresses, Shrines of the Three Kings, Gero Crucifix and more. I also recommend climbing up the 95-meter (or 212- foot) tower and admiring the views of the city and Christmas markets.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Fischmarkt (Fish Market): Another place to visit in Cologne is the Fish Market along the Rhine River. This area is known for its cute and colorful buildings, walking paths and fine-dining restaurants. It is also an area where you could catch stunning views (such as the sunset) along the Rhine.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Schokoladen Museum (Chocolate Museum): If you are a chocolate lover, then you will be in your glory when you visit Cologne. There is a chocolate museum by Lindt that will take you into the world of German chocolate. In addition to the museum, there is also a café where you could order different chocolate treats.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Eat Your Way through Cologne: Cologne is known for its fine-dining scene and there are so many amazing restaurants and cafés to check out. During my time in Cologne, I ate German food at the Christmas markets, but when I meandered to a few restaurants, I ended up eating Italian.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

During my first night in Cologne, I ate at Angelo Trattoria Enoteca, which was a cute and cozy Italian restaurant located right by 25Hours Hotel. I savored a delicious truffle pasta dish with red white. It definitely did not disappoint.

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

I was also super excited to have met up with an Instagram friend during my time in Cologne. During my second night, my friend Ilona of Simply Symone and her friend Matea drove up to Cologne to meet me for dinner and to experience the Cologne Christmas markets. Since Ilona (who is originally from New Zealand) has been living in Germany for some time, she knew of a great pizza place to check out called 485Grad. If you’re looking for good pizza in Cologne, you definitely won’t be disappointed here! There are a few 485Grad locations throughout and they even have storefronts in Düsseldorf, which is another larger German city located 45 minutes north of Cologne. (Düsseldorf is also where I flew back home to Newark Airport.)


The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my time at the German Christmas markets in Frankfurt and Cologne as well as my experience staying at 25hours Hotel The Circle. If you have any questions about my time in Germany during Advent season, please email me at [email protected]

The German Christmas Markets of Frankfurt and Cologne

Basic Facts of Germany:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Berlin

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18 Comments

  1. Courtney on December 22, 2019 at 11:54 am

    What a lovely informative post

    • Taylor Deer on December 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you so much Courtney! 🙂

  2. Emma on December 22, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Loved this blog, so informative. The Christmas markets in Frankfurt look amazing!

    • Taylor Deer on December 22, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you Emma and it was a wonderful time! 🙂

  3. Maria on December 28, 2019 at 6:15 am

    The food looks amazing – it gives me cravings haha. And I love the architecture of the old town in Cologne. It has never really been on my list but you really make me want to visit. Especially the chocolate museum! 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      Yes, I ate way too much on that trip, but zero regrets! Also yes, I highly recommend Cologne! It’s such a wonderful city and the Christmas markets are amazing! 🙂

  4. April on December 28, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    If you ever need a reason to visit Europe in winter look no further than Germany and the Christmas markets! I’m not one for the holidays, but even I can’t escape the festive atmosphere. So much fun with so much to see and eat!

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      Oh yes, I couldn’t agree more! Austria is wonderful too.

  5. Mayuri on December 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I can’t wait to visit them next year. German Christmas markets are soooo pretty!

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      Yes, I couldn’t recommend it more! It’s so magical!

  6. Helen on December 28, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Great post that’s inspired me to go to Cologne! I particularly appreciated your app suggestions, so useful!

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      Thank you so much Helen! It’s a beautiful city!

  7. Kim Deer on December 28, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Your description of the beautiful Christmas markets, stunning cathedral and delicious food options, I felt like I was part of the fairytale ~ photos brought everything to life~ thanks for sharing ~ very informative blog ~ love you, mom xoxo ♥️♥️♥️

    • Taylor Deer on December 28, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you mom! Love you too! The German Christmas markets are amazing!

  8. World of Lina on December 29, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    I can remember the Christmas markets in Frankfurt from two years ago! Such beautiful photos Taylor 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on December 29, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you Alina! I fell in love with Romerberg!:)

  9. Loredana on January 11, 2020 at 5:42 am

    Germany is famous for its Christmas markets 🙂 Frankfurt is one of my husband’s favorite cities in Germany! – it looks like we have to visit at Christmas time!

    • Taylor Deer on January 11, 2020 at 9:33 am

      I love the German Christmas markets and Frankfurt is beautiful! I definitely recommend going during Christmastime. 🙂

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