HI Hostels Blog

Get in the festive spirit with Rhineland Christmas markets

The run-up to Christmas is a great time to visit Rhineland in south-west Germany. From mid-November stroll around the big city Christmas markets with their festive atmosphere and twinkling lights. Famous for its idyllic river landscapes, historic cities and some of the best wine-producing areas in the country, Rhineland transforms into a Christmas wonderland at this time of year. With several HI hostels located in Rhineland you can also be sure of a great place to stay!

Largest Floating Christmas Market in Europe, Cologne
25 November- 23 December

A major attraction is Europe’s largest floating Christmas market aboard “MS Wappen” in Cologne. Wander the several decks and find fabulous ideas for Christmas presents from around the globe including a vast selection of festive goods such as arts and crafts, Christmas tree decorations and handmade candles. Take a break up on deck and admire the stunning views of Cologne Cathedral and the city’s famous Old Town.

Essen International Christmas Market
21 November- 23 December

Enjoy an array of exotic products and worldly delights including Middle-Eastern falafel, Polish bigos and Dutch poffertjes.  Another attraction is the Santa House where Father Christmasses from all over the world describe their country’s Christmas customs and traditions.

Aachen Christmas Market
22 November- 23 December

Aachen‘s brightly-lit Christmas market is set around the cathedral and town hall. The lovingly decorated Christmas village on the market square has everything you could desire. One local speciality you must try is the Aachen Printen, a local gingerbread in many flavours, from almond and honey to herbs and dark chocolate.

Bonn Christmas Market
22 November- 23 December

Located about 20km south of Cologne the impressive buildings on Münsterplatz and its neighbouring streets light up and provide the festive backdrop for Bonn’s Christmas market where you’ll find everything from ingredients for special recipes to various art and craft items. While you shop, classical symphonies play in the background and what’s more there is an ice rink at Friedensplatz, which is a huge hit.

Dusseldorf Christmas Market
21 November- 23 December

Düsseldorf Christmas Market offers a fairytale world right in the city centre. On the Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz there is a huge outdoor ice rink offering fun for all. A walk along the world-famous Königsallee is particularly worthwhile with a thousand brilliant lights illuminating the giant chestnut trees lining the boulevard.

The HI hostels in the Rhineland offer great overnight rates that are easy on your Christmas shopping budget, from only €20.50 per person! This includes accommodation, buffet breakfast and local information to help plan your stay. Book your stay now!

What Christmas market do you recommend and why? Share your views with us using the comment form below.

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