Around four million visitors from all around the world come to Colongne for the Christmas market in front of the famous cathedral each year. Beautifully located right in front of the city's landmark, the Christmas market spans over the cathedral square over to Roncalliplatz square.
The central point of Cologne's Christmas market is, of course, the gigantic Christmas tree. Reaching a height of 25 m (82 ft), the Nordmann fir is one of the tallest Christmas trees in the whole German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. During Christmas time, the tree is decorated with more than 1,000 red and golden baubles as well as countless stars, transcending a special magical atmosphere in the splendidly decorated city. At the bottom of the tree, there is a beautiful starry tent equipped with more than 70,000 LED lights. A stage is placed underneath the electronically lit starry sky with more than 100 events taking place. Each year, beautiful concerts can be seen here.
Around the tree, there are more than 150 pavilions offering hand-made artwork, Christmas decoration, wooden toys and culinary delights. The Christmas market of the Rhine metropolis offers splendid conditions for strolling around and shopping Christmas presents. Try some delicious baked apples, star shaped cinnamon biscuits, mulled wine and just enjoy the wonderful Christmas atmosphere. The gastronomical offer at Cologne's cathedral is varied in all its facets. The Christmas market stand operators endeavour to offer regional and organic food.
All lovers of Christmas markets will be excited to hear that Cologne is not only home to the Cologne Cathedral Christmas market, but also to a number of other Christmas markets. And they are all worth a visit! Among the most popular, for example, is the Christmas market on Alter Markt square.
Cologne Crib Path
Since 1997, the Cologne city crib has been a part of the annual Christmas bustle in front of Cologne Cathedral on Roncalliplatz square. The crib market is filled with figurines that were made by a Cologne-based artist. The crib is part of the Cologne Crib Path, which is set up at various stations in the city. For those who are interested, there is a chance to take a look at the traditional Christmas crib from various historical angles throughout different epochs. You may explore contemporary cribs made by artists and rather folksy crib interpretations deriving from various cultural backgrounds. All cribs are placed at publicly accessible locations, such as shop windows, cultural and clerical institutions, Cologne's central train station and the various Christmas markets.
How to get there
By public transport
Cologne Cathedral as well as Roncalliplatz square are only a few metres away from the central station, where you may catch trains and S-Bahn trains departing from Cologne to any direction. Additionally, there are trams passing the cathedral.
Coming here by car, you may use the federal highways B9, B55, and B51 taking you straight to the city centre. To get a car park, please follow the parking guidance system of the city.