Cologne Christmas market 2022

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It’s that time of year again! The smell of mulled wine, cinnamon and gingerbread fills the air. There are twinkling lights everywhere and everyone is wearing festive red and green clothes. Cologne offers several amazing Christmas markets, ice skating, meet St Nicholas, kids program.. Read on for practical tips on visiting the Cologne Christmas market with kids

When: 25.11-23.12.2022
Heumarkt: until 08.01.2023

Here is a short video, so you can get an idea of what it’s like


Christmas markets in Cologne

There are several Christmas markets in Cologne and they are all nice to visit with kids. The ones that you should not miss are the following (also indicated with “must!” next to their title):
*Christmas market at the Cologne Cathedral, as it is the most famous one
*Heinzels Winter Fairytale (Alter Markt and Heumarkt – ice skating), especially if your kids are old enough to ice skate or to enjoy a carousel, and
*Village of St. Nicholas, where kids can meet and greet St. Nicholas and where there are daily activities for kids, like crafting, creating a wish list for St Nicholas and more

Tip
A Family’s Guide To Christmas Markets: Tips on planning your visit with kids
The following tips will help you know what to expect and to plan ahead your Christmas market experience with kids

Christmas market at the Cologne Cathedral (must!)

The most famous Christmas market in Cologne and definitely the one you should not miss (with children or without) is the Weihnachtsmarkt am Kölner Dom (Christmas market at the cathedral of Cologne)

When: 17.11-23.12.2022
Opening times:
Sunday-Wednesday 11.00-21.00
Thursday-Friday 11.00-22.00
Saturday 10.00-22.00
Where: Roncalliplatz, right next to Dom (Cathedral)

Tip!
Every Tuesday to Thursday there is a kids program between 16.00-18.00 in the ‘Sternwarte’ (booth 41). Kids can watch puppet theater, put together their wish list to Santa Claus or watch a play

The beautiful Christmas tree has a tent of twinkling lights

There are tons of concerts happening at this Christmas market. You can find the program here

Tip!
Do not miss the Christmas pyramid right next to one of the entrances to Roncalli Square. You can find the exact location here

Here is the plan of the Christmas market at the Cologne Cathedral

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Heinzels Winter Fairytale (ice skating) (must!)

This Christmas market at the Altstadt (Old Town) is comprised of two squares that are right next to each other and are linked with a beautifully illuminated street: Alter Markt (Old Market with a small antique Ferris wheel) and Heumarkt (where the ice skating rink is, also a carousel and curling). These two Christmas markets in Cologne are great to visit with kids, as they have some attractions (carousel, small Ferris wheel) and of course ice skating!

It is about 200m from Cologne Cathedral, so you can get there by walking from the main Christmas market at Cologne Cathedral or you can take the Christmas Market Express. See more details on the Christmas Market Express under how to get from one Christmas market to the other

Dates:
Alter Markt 21.11-23.12.2022
Heumarkt 21.11.2022-08.01.2023 (closed on 24-25.12.2022)
Opening hours: daily 11.00-22.00 and from 26.12 11.00-21.00

Alter Markt

There is a small antique Ferris wheel. Fun fact: my German-speaking son, who is 6 years old, asked me why do we call this a Riesenrad, since it is not riesig 🙂 (in English: why do we call this a giant wheel, since it’s not gigantic)!

Heumarkt

Tip!
This Christmas market is open until 08.01.2023!!

Enjoy ice skating! There is also curling right next to the ice rink

Tip!
Every Monday there is ice skating school for kids with ice police officer Jack! He is very funny and kids love it (this is a tip from a local!)

Tip!
*Skating costs EUR 7.50 per adult and EUR 4.50 per kid
*Have a one-euro coin for the lockers, where you are going to leave the shoes
*Also you leave EUR 10 in cash as deposit for the skates

Furthermore here younger kids can have fun at the carousel, while the older siblings are ice skating

Moreover, kids can write a wish list to Santa Claus and send the letter. They will then receive a letter from Santa in reply!

This Christmas market in Cologne is one of my favorites. It is like you are in a fairy tale

Moreover there are several concerts at this Christmas market as well

There is also someone in a soldier costume going around the Christmas market and giving away carousel rides to the kids. Our 3 year old daughter is still asking if soldiers give us presents 🙂

Here is the map of the Heinzels Winter Fairytale Christmas market

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Neumarkt (New Market)

Neumarkt is another Christmas market in Cologne. It is also called Engel Markt for reasons I will explain in a moment. While it is not one of the must Christmas markets, every day at 17.30 there is an angel on a horse going around the market

It is about 1.2km from Heumarkt, so you can get there
A. by walking from the main Christmas market (about 15 minutes) or
B. hop on a tram for one stop (enter the tram at stop Heumarkt, next stop is Neumarkt stop, all trams that go to that direction stop at Neumarkt) or
C. you can take the Christmas Market Express. See more details on the Christmas Market Express under how to get from one Christmas market to the other

Every day at 17.30 there is an angel on a horse going around the market and giving out chocolates to kids!

You can also find two more carousels for kids there.

Tip
All Christmas markets in Cologne are kids friendly and this is not different. While Neumarkt is not one of the basic ones, it is still fun to visit – especially if you time your visit to see the angel on a horse

Village of St. Nicholas (must!)

The Village of St. Nicholas (Nikolausdorf in German) is the most kids friendly Christmas market of all in Cologne. Do not miss this, if you are visiting the Cologne Christmas market with kids!

It is about 750m from Neumarkt, so you can get there
A. by walking from Neumarkt (750m, about 7 minutes walk) or
B. hop on a tram for one stop (enter the tram at stop Neumarkt, next stop is Rudolfplatz stop, all trams that go to that direction stop at Rudolfplatz) or
C. the Christmas Market Express does NOT stop at Nikolausdorf. However, you can take the Christmas Market Express, stop at Neumarkt and then either walk or take the tram for one stop. See more details on the Christmas Market Express under how to get from one Christmas market to the other

At Nikolaushaus (the house of St Nicholas) you can find a program for kids with different activities every day, like baking, putting together a wish list for Santa Claus and more

Also Nikolaus appears there every hour and sings carols with the kids!

There is a funny muppet too, Niko, interacting with the kids and cracking jokes

Nikolaus then goes around the Christmas market to greet everyone

Tip
Don’t miss the medieval gate Hahnentor!

Chocolate Museum Christmas Market

The Chocolate Museum is one of the top attractions in Cologne. It is only fitting that the Hafen Weihnachtsmarkt (Port Christmas market in German) is next to it. It is one of our favorite Christmas markets in Cologne, as the kids love Ferris wheels

There is a very small play area for kids. It is good enough to keep toddlers and preschoolers entertained

There is a Ferris wheel there too

This is the perfect place to have a drink at the boat-bar…

Or to enjoy some Glühbier at a light-house styled bar (glowing beer instead of Glühwein, which is mulled wine in German)

If you are at Rudolfplatz at the St. Nicholas Christmas market and you want to go to the Christmas market at the Chocolate Museum with kids, then you can
A. walk to Neumarkt (or take a tram for one stop to get to Neumarkt) and take the Christmas Market Express that leaves you outside the Chocolate Museum (see more details on the Christmas Market Express under how to get from one Christmas market to the other) or
B. take a tram from Rudolfplatz to Heumark for 2 stops, then either walk for about 8 minutes or take one of the buses 106, 132, 133 at stop Heumarkt, next stop is Chocolate museum stop

If you are at Heumarkt, it is about 650m from Heumarkt, so you can get there
A. by walking from Heumarkt (650m, about 9 minutes walk) or
B. hop on a bus for one stop (enter one of the buses 106, 132, 133 at stop Heumarkt, next stop is Chocolate museum stop) or
C. take the Christmas Market Express. See more details on the Christmas Market Express under how to get from one Christmas market to the other

Go back to content

How to get from one Christmas market in Cologne to the other with kids

You can get from one Christmas market in Cologne to the other with kids either by A. walking and/or using public tranport or B. by using the Christmas Market Express

It is very easy to walk from the Christmas market at the Cathedral to Heumarkt and then you can either 1. head to Neumarkt and St. Nicholas village or 2. you can head to the Chocolate museum Christmas market

  1. Heumarkt – Neumarkt – St. Nicholas village

A. You can walk/take a tram to get you from Heumarkt to Neumarkt or
B. you can take the Christmas Market Express to get from Heumarkt to Neumarkt and then walk/take the tram for one stop to St. Nicholas village (the Christmas Market Express does not stop at St. Nicholas Village)

If you want to skip Neumarkt, then you can take the tram from Heumarkt for 2 stops

2. Heumarkt – Chocolate Museum

If you are at Heumarkt, it is about 650m from Heumarkt, so you can get there
A. by walking from Heumarkt (650m, about 9 minutes walk) or
B. hop on a bus for one stop (enter one of the buses 106, 132, 133 at stop Heumarkt, next stop is Chocolate museum stop) or
C. take the Christmas Market Express. See more details on the Christmas Market Express right below

Christmas Market Express

The little train drives cyclically around 4 Christmas markets: Cathedral Christmas market, Alter Markt, Chocolate Museum, Neumarkt. You can essentially hop on and off as you like. There is also an audioguide in English and in German and holiday music!

Tip!
This is by far the most entertaining option when you are visiting the Christmas market in Cologne with kids

Practical stuff about the Christmas Market Express
*When: every 15 minutes daily between 21.11 and 23.12
*Last ride is on Sunday-Thursday at the Cathedral at 18.30, Alter Markt 18.45, Chocolate Museum 19.00, Neumarkt 19.15 (Friday and Saturday are one hour later)
*Cost
Hop on, hop off: adults EUR 12, kids 2+ years old EUR 6
One-way: adults EUR 4, kids 2+ years old EUR 2
*Dogs are allowed, small ones for free, bigger dogs EUR 6
*If your wheelchair is not foldable, then you need to request it in advance here

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Practical stuff

*Open: 17.11-23.12.2022 (Heumarkt is on until 08.01.2023!)
*Cost: the entrance to all Christmas markets in Cologne is free. You pay for the extra activities, like ice skating and carousels
*Stroller friendly, wheelchair friendly
*Dogs are allowed
*Parking: we usually park at the parking right under the Cathedral. That way we do not waste time to get from the car to the Christmas market or to get back to the car. You literally get out of the garage and you are at the Christmas market
CONTIPARK Tiefgarage Am Dom
Kurt-Hackenberg-Platz 2, 50667 Köln, Germany
https://goo.gl/maps/qQvFqRpsxLCWwmcb9

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Nearby

Dusseldorf Christmas market is only 25 minutes away by train or 55 minutes by car, so we usually see both these Christmas markets on two consecutive days

Aachen Christmas Market 2022

Aachen Christmas market is one of our favorite ones! It is so close to Brussels that you can visit for a day. You will find lots of practical details to plan ahead and activities to do with kids in our Aachen Christmas market guide!

Aachen Christmas market is about an hour away by car or 45 minutes by train from Cologne

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Cologne has definitely one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. Check out this post to get inspiration on more Christmas markets in Europe!

A Family’s Guide To Christmas Markets: Tips on planning your visit with kids
The following tips will help you know what to expect and to plan ahead your Christmas market experience with kids

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All places mentioned above are also gathered on the map!
Indoor and outdoor activities, kids friendly cafés/ restaurants, hotels and more all under separate layers

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