We leave our hotel this morning and commence our journey to Hannover stopping en-route at the beautiful cathedral city of Cologne. Cologne’s history traces back more than 2,000 years when it was founded as a Roman colony. Today it has developed into a beautiful cosmopolitan city.
Advent magic spreads throughout Cologne at this time of year, when the idyllic Christmas markets open their gates to visitors. More than 150 stalls offer traditional goods and handcrafted gifts. Wonderful spicy aromas of cinnamon stars, baked apples and roasted almonds will fill the air and local wreath binders, glassblowers and blacksmiths will demonstrate their art.
Start at the Christmas market in Cathedral Square where you will find a fascinating array of high-quality arts and crafts, many gift ideas and delicious food and drinks, and a huge Christmas tree.
Continue onto the Old Town where the rustic ’Home of the Elves’ market takes place at the Heumarkt and Alter Markt. Traditional stalls and huts, pretty lanes and hidden Heinzelmännchen (house gnomes who are said to have done the work of the people of Cologne at night), and craftspeople demonstrating their skills, give this market its particular charm.
At Neumarkt you will find the Market of Angels with its charming chalets, twinkling lights shining from the trees, and high quality products. Just a ten minute walk from Neumarkt is the Village of St Nicholas at Rudolfplatz. Here the theme is the St. Nicholas Village which makes this market particularly popular with younger visitors.
In a picturesque setting overlooking the Rhine, the Cologne Harbour market at the Chocolate Museum will bring a maritime flavour to Christmas. With around 80 stalls this market is one of the largest in Cologne. Take in the lively atmosphere, and why not sample fish specialities or fine food and drink from around the world.
Finally, there is the the dynamically artful and attractively different Christmas market at Stadtgarten in the heart of the Belgian quarter. The Stadtgarten Christmas market traditionally only takes place in the afternoon. Whilst visiting Cologne be sure to indulge yourself in some typical culinary delights such as the famous ’Christstollen’ yeast cakes, ’Lebkuchen’ soft gingerbread cookies and Marzipan almond confections. Also try the mandatory ’Gluhwein’ a hot spiced wine in mugs perfect to warm chilly hands.
We leave Cologne mid-afternoon and continue our journey through Germany to our hotel in the Hannover area where we stay for the next three nights.
- Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner