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Festivals & Events in Cologne

Christmas Markets in Cologne

A White Christmas in Cologne

My notions of winter in Europe have been shaped by Hollywood movies. I expected to watch snowflakes romantically descend upon short winter days, and the cosy glow of Christmas trees in makeshift homes (think boutique hotels) to keep me warm. What surprised me on my December trip to Germany was the camaraderie and sheer revelry at the country’s famous Christmas markets, compelling enough to brave the single digit temperatures and rejoice over a white winter!

If the thought of Europe evokes images of quaint old churches in juxtaposition with hi-tech buildings, and old towns with cobbled streets and artistic cafes, a winter trip to Cologne only romanticizes those images further. Come December, chirpy little Christmas Markets pop up among the city’s most charming neighborhoods, and become the go-to place for the city’s locals. Colorful booths line the streets, selling traditional German and Christmas gifts, like the famous Räuchermännchen, a wooden toy that is an incense smoker in disguise. Food stalls serve up hash browns, frankfurters, crepes, and local delicacies. People gather around drinking glühwein, the famous mulled wine of Europe warmed with spices, chatting, warming up over some neighborhood gossip. Christmas music plays everywhere, and the night rings with the clinking of cups and prost. Such revelry!

At the Christmas Market on the Alter Markt in Cologne, local craftsmen and women demonstrate their talents with wood crafts, crystal painting and glass glazing; it is fascinating to observe the precision and pride that goes behind each little piece of work, and meet men and women who have come to these markets since they were little boys and girls. But the icing on the cake in a festive Cologne is its main market, which glitters in the dramatic backdrop of the city’s oldest and most charming cathedral; truly a European Christmas!

Cologne

Kölle Alaaf - November 11! The beginning of #Cologne Carnival is almost here. So there is still time to think about the perfect costume. What was your latest Halloween or Carnival character? #youth #festivalsevents
http://www.karneval.de/karnevalen.aspx

Cologne

#FreeYourMind at this weekend’s Summer Jam Festival in #Cologne from July 5-7,2013. #youth #festivalsevents
http://en.summerjam.de/

Cologne

For LGBT’s and friends: Mark your calendar for Cologne Pride and Christopher Street day, June 22 – July 7, 2013. #youth #cologne #festivalsevents
http://www.germany.travel/en/events/events/festivals-funfairs/christopher-street-day-and-colognepride-cologne.html

Photo © TomPe 2010

Cologne Carnival

Cologne

This HotSpot is:
“A unique experience! Nowhere else in the world does carnival quite like Cologne.”

Cologne Carnival

Cologne

This HotSpot is:
“The biggest party in Germany! Fantastic atmosphere and friendly people.”

  • profile picture
    neeraj The Cologne Carnival is a carnival that takes place every year in Cologne, Germany. Traditionally, the "fifth season" is declared open at 11 minutes past 11
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    daouda niang die cologne carnaval gefallt mir
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