Christmas Markets are entrenched in Germany’s culture, with over 2500 now taking place every year throughout the country every year.
Whilst new ones are springing up all over, the best remain in the Rhineland region in the towns of Cologne, Koblenz and Rudesheim which are guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy.
Cologne is the undisputed capital of Christmas Markets in Rhineland, which attracts over 2million festive revellers every year.
During the advent period Cologne hosts not one, not two, not even three… but an astonishing seven Christmas Markets, each with its own distinct character and theme.
Start your visit in the main market outside the city’s imposing two spired Cologne Cathedral, with over 160 stalls selling all the usual Yuletide wares arranged around Rhineland’s tallest Christmas tree.
Step into the fairytale world of Brothers Grimm fairy-tale market at the aptly named Rudolfplatz, have magical fun beneath a sea of stars at the Angels Market and be enchanted by the pretty ‘House of Gnomes’ at the Alter Markt, where you can see little characters peeping over the wooden chalets.
For something a little different, make sure you stop off at the Harbour Christmas market, a nautical themed market complete with pirates which takes place on a boat near the Chocolate Museum.
Embrace the romantic air of the market as Stadtgarten and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the market on Christmas Avenue.
Cologne gives you everything you could ever wish for from a Christmas Markets coach holiday - hundreds of stalls selling everything from wooden toys, decorations and high-end treats, plus loads of entertainment around every corner, including ice rinks, fun fairs, street performers and walkthrough Santa workshop.
Take your time strolling between the markets or jump on the festive express train which travels between the markets.
Although smaller in scale, Koblenz's Christmas market is equally magical with another 130 wooden stalls to explore. A highlight to Koblenz is the life-size advent calendar on the roof of the baroque town hall while a romantic carriage ride through the town is a great way to soak up the festivities.
There’s a real multi-cultural theme at Rüdesheim too, with its 120 stalls featuring products from 12 countries from across the world. The town is also how to Europe's biggest Nativity scene.