Somehow I have managed to pass the twenty-something years of my life in the dark about the amazingness that is the German Christmas Market. When we first got here in November, every single person that I met told me “just wait till you see the Christmas Markets.” So naturally, I developed a childlike excitement towards the opening of these markets (there’s not much to look forward to in November anyway!).
Unlike with most things in life, I was not disappointed. Somehow, the Germans had managed to capture the warm fuzzy feeling of Christmas in these itty-bitty little huts. Walking along with a Gluwein in hand, enjoying the many culinary treats, and admiring the many creations from chocolate toolboxes (complete with lighbulbs that screw into sockets and spanners all made of chocolate) to hand carved wooden decorations, there could be nothing more Christmassy! Köln boasts eight different markets scattered around the city in the many different squares making it one of the best places to go for Christmas (come visit us next year!)
My favorite market for food was the Heumarkt and Alstadt market which was enormous and offered just about every variety of wurst (sausages) you could possibly think of! Stadtgarten had a very cosy feel, being one of the smallest. Great to admire and buy the homemade crafts. The prettiest by far was Neumarkt with lit stars draped above along the canopy of trees. We also ventured to Aachen and to Dusseldorf to test out the competition!
If you ever find yourself at a Christmas market, make sure you find the Flamm Lachs stand – it will not disappoint. Freshly flame grilled cedar planked salmon with a dollop of creme fraiche not-so-neatly packaged in a bröchen. Oh and don’t forget to find yourself a Lumumba – best grown-up hot chocolate ever! Perhaps try a chocolate covered banana, and of course a bratwurst. Maybe the reibekuchen and of course a Nutella filled crepe. Probably your best bet is to a have a taste of everything like we did – who said all German food is tasteless!?
I was so disappointed to see the markets go. If only Christmas was all-year round! Looking forward to next year!
– A –