Sun. Oct 24th, 2021

The holiday season is fast approaching, whether we like it or not.

And what does Christmas say better than a wintery walk around a market filled with light and delicious food?

They are synonymous with the season, and since many of us have stuck to staycations this year, it might be time for a city break to a place with the best markets.

READ MORE: The beautiful city that is one of the best in Europe less than 2 hours from London

Cologne Germany Christmas market, aerial photo of drone (breeding book / Getty Images)

Less than an hour and a half flight from London, the beautiful city of Cologne was ranked by The times to have some of Europe’s best Christmas markets.

With its 2,000-year-old city, it is the fourth largest city in Germany and home to a number of wonders.

A country famous for Christmas markets, Cologne is no exception. It’s so amazing there that the season makes it feel like a real winter wonderland.

Cologne’s famous markets run from November 22 to December 23, and there are several of them scattered around the city.

Against the impressive backdrop of the city’s iconic cathedral lies one of the largest of the markets.

The amazing Christmas market at the cathedral attracts millions of visitors to the over 100 stalls.

Christmas Market in Cologne Germany (MediaProduction / Getty Images)

Another popular market is ‘Market der Engel’, Angel Market.

In the center of Cologne, more than 800 illuminated stars illuminate the streets, and it is simply magical.

Ideal for the kids, Santa’s village tells the story of the real Saint Nick. There are craft activities, markets dedicated to mythical goblins and lots of entertainment – just like the other places in the amazing city.

You can buy gifts and souvenirs at the market (Westend61 / Getty Images)

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And of course, no festive ride is complete with any ice skating (or Bambi-on-ice skating). At the Heinzels Wintermärchen, the largest of the markets, a spectacular ice rink stretches far and provides great fun for everyone.

A trip to Cologne’s many markets is the perfect treat to start your festive season, with so many to explore.

Cologne is simply amazing (Pedro Szekely (Creative Commons))

There is so much to see across them and you will be able to find unique gifts and decorations to bring home to your own tree.

The markets are not only incredible, but the city itself is also fabulous.

Cologne Cathedral is an absolute must-visit for its enormous architecture, and the old town consists of charming, picturesque streets.

Flushed through the story, you will not miss things to see and do – it’s not just about Christmas!

Although you can indulge in delicious mulled wine and bratwurst, it is still worth checking out at least one of the fantastic restaurants in the German city.

Head to Bei Oma Kleinmann, a traditional German restaurant with 4.7 stars on Google.

The long-standing eatery, ‘grandmother’, serves classic meals, which of course include the legendary schnitzel.

Reviews say it is ‘authentic’, makes ‘delicious’ food, and it was even said that it ‘is the BEST place I have ever tasted’.

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How to get there

The flight from Heathrow to Cologne takes only one hour and 25 minutes.

You can also fly from other London airports to the city, so it’s worth checking out what’s best for you.

Why not go to Cologne this winter and enjoy some of the best Christmas markets Europe has to offer?

Do you have a story you think we should cover? In that case, send an email to jessica.battison@reachplc.com

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