Germany: Bensberg

Schloss Bensberg, or simply Bensberg Palace, is a must-see in itself, but it’s even better if you catch it on that one special night when they put up a Christmas Market of their own. I happened to be in Cologne on this special night, so what’s a 30 minute drive to see one of Germany’s famous markets?

Originally commissioned for Anna Maria Luisa de’ Midici during the 1700s, the palace now doubles as both a tourist destination and a Baroque-style 5-star luxury hotel. Inside the palace is a 3 Michelin star restaurant called Gourmet Restaurant Vendôme, as well as a ton of other interesting things, but access to the public areas were exclusive to hotel guests during the night of the Christmas Market. Seriously contemplating on staying here the next time I’m in Germany!

The Bensberg Christmas Market is especially grand because of the huge Christmas tree they prop up in the middle of the courtyard. Only a few more feet, and it could definitely go as high as the palace.

We had mulled wine, of course, and the most amazing time buying small things like truffled butter and cheese. I particularly loved the variety of stalls here compared to the other markets I went to.