Monday, 29 October 2007

Cologne - The Christmas Markets

Ciao a tutti,
We hope you all had a wonderful weekend. The weather here in Rome got up to 30°c around the HotelsClick offices, this is late October? Several members of our team went to the village of Bomarzo in northern Lazio to visit the medieval "Park of Monsters" on Saturday. A spooky park just outside the town with lots of hideous statues and carvings! As we are coming up to Halloween we'd like to ask HotelClickers if they can recommend any scary ghost walks, parks or tours anywhere in the world? Anyway, back to business.

Continuing our series on the European Christmas markets todays blog entry focuses on Cologne in western Germany.

Cologne - the QT Cologne Christmas Markets run from Nov 26 to Dec 23. The Cologne Christmas Markets are a series of huge markets in different locations all over the city. The most famous being the traditional market outside the Cathedral with 160 wooden pavillions you can eaily spend the entire day here. Cologne’s oldest Christmas market is held on the Neumarkt, the city centre market in the shopping district. The best market for the kids is the Alter Market in front of Cologne's town hall. The market on Rudolfplatz is also great for children with its fairytale theme and toy stalls. Our favourite Christmas market of all in Cologne is the floating market upon the ship "MS Wappen von Mainz". Here you can enjoy a glass of mulled wine whilst savouring the views of Cologne from the banks of the Rhine.

Who flies to Cologne?

  • EasyJet fly daily from Gatwick, Liverpool and East Midlands.
  • Germanwings fly daily from Stansted, Dublin and Edinburgh.
  • Click Here to view all incoming flights into Cologne/Bonn Airport.
What hotel deals can you offer me?

If we're honest, the hotel really is the highlight of organising trips. We all want to get that extra free star of quality for a lower price than expected so, let's try and acheive that.

We highly recommend the Crown Plaza, 2 Nights in a 4 star hotel for a price that is really excellent. The hotel has its own pool and is very luxurious - a great bargain.

Click to see all Cologne Hotels

What else can I see and do in Cologne?

Cologne enjoys a wonderful position inbetween Dusseldorf and Bonn. Bonn especially deserves a visit if you are coming to Cologne for more than a few days. As the old capital of the former West Germany there are many superb museums and shops in the city.

The City of Cologne sits on the historic banks of the Rhine. It is Germany's 4th largest city. While it is true that much of Cologne was devestated in WWII by allied bombing raids the magnificent cathedral still stands although hit 14 seperate times. Cologne is a triumph of modern city planning and is a popular destination among students and fans of modernist architecture. Cologne is a wonderful walking city and a true University town with many inexpensive shopping options and nightlife with a growing reputation. The city has 30 art galleries and over 100 museums. Cologne is a popular business destination and has world class fairgrounds that hold scores of international trade fairs each year. Cologne was originally a roman town and developed its Rhineland cityscape over the medieval and modern periods.
Cologne Cathedral is a World Heritage site and Cologne's most famous landmark. Having survived years of bombing raids by the allies its a miracle the structure stands at all with many believing divine intervention saved the Cathedral. These reasons combine to make the Cathedral very special to the people of Cologne. In the gothic tradition, work began on the Cathedral in 1248 and took 600 years to complete. For 4 years it was the world's tallest building. Open from 6am to 7.30pm daily, the Cathedral is best visited in winter when it is lit up at night and can be seen from miles around. The main attraction within the Cathedral is the 13th century guilded sarcophagus, the "Shrine of the Three Kings".

Cologne's 12 Roman Churches are another draw on the Christian pilgrim tours of Cologne. Many were badly damaged in the allied bombings but reconstruction of the churches was completed in the 1990's and now all 12 are open to visits from the public.
El-De Haus was home to the Gestapo during WWII and houses many Gestapo related documents for WWII history buffs. During the war the house was a byword for torture and execution in the city. Ironically it is one of the few buildings to have survived the bombing raids in Cologne and is now a permanent museum documenting its involvement in the Nazi regime. The cellars, used to hold and torture the Jews of Cologne, are now a shrine in their memory. Photo Right ---->
Museum Ludwig is Cologne's best art museum and holds a wealth of noteworthy modern art. Heavily focusing on pop art and surrealism the building houses one of the largest collections of Picasso's anywhere in the world.
Where can I eat in Cologne?
Cologne has some really great, cutting edge, modern restaurants as well as some traditional German eateries
Here are some recommendations (£ - Inexpensive - under £10 for a main course - ££ - Reasonable £10-£15 for a main course - £££ - Pricey £15-£24 for a main course- ££££ - Expensive £25-£35 for a main course - £££££ - Daylight Robbery - £35+ for a main course)

  • DIETERMULLER - in the Lerbach hotel, huge wine list - ££££
  • CAFE DUDDEL - university favourite, cheap and good - £
  • BRAUHAUS SION - Kolsch beer and sausages, traditional - ££
  • GRAUGANS- in the Hyatt hotel, European and Asian high quality - £££££
  • LE MOISSONNIER - best french restaurant in town, well priced - £££
That's a rap for Cologne. A modern and stylish city perfect for WWII buffs and modernist art & architecture fans, if you have any questions about Cologne Hotels then you can email us at If you have any tips to share about Cologne, hotels, attractions or the Christmas markets then please leave them below.

Is there a Christmas market you would like us to cover? Ciao for now HotelClickers!

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