Cologne: Alter Markt

I couldn’t have picked a better time to go to Germany.

I used to believe that no other country can ever beat the Philippines when it comes to Christmas celebrations (I mean, who else starts as early as September?!), but Germany can definitely give us a run for our money. German Christmas Markets are where it’s at, and I’m so glad the first Christmas Market that I went to was such a beautiful one. The one that I managed to catch in Osaka doesn’t count, but it was close enough!

In the heart of Old Town Cologne is the Alter Markt. I didn’t know until after I researched that each area of the Christmas Market here is themed around a Heinzelmännchen gnome. That explains the decor! Old legends say that every evening, these gnomes would appear in different houses in Cologne and finish all the work the citizens left. A tailor’s wife got curious, and set up a trap to catch the gnomes. Of course, the gnomes got angry, and disappeared forever. Humans, lol.

Usually Christmas Markets start late November to just before Christmas, but each one is different so it’s always better check the schedule online! If you plan on going to Germany, you have to go in December. The Christmas Markets are worth getting cold for! It can get gloomy or rainy (as in these photos) but there’s nothing like a good cup of Glühwein (German-style mulled wine) to keep you warm.

I’m also generally not a beer person but the Kölsch (Cologne’s local beer) at Brauerei zur Malzmühle was great! I only had two small glasses, but I had dinner with people who were able to drink more than 15 glasses each, lol. It’s true – beer is pretty much water/life in Germany!

I took way too many photos again so they’re arranged in a 2-column gallery for faster loading and easier viewing.

 

(The reason why I went to Germany with my parents last December was to attend a friend’s second wedding reception. They already got married in the Philippines, but they had another party for the groom’s extended family who hailed from Cologne and Munich.)