10 Amazing Things to Do in Cologne Germany in December

Are you planning a trip to Cologne, Germany in December? If so, you’re in for a treat! With so many festive activities and events happening throughout the month, you’ll never run out of things to do. Whether you’re interested in traditional Christmas markets, holiday concerts, or seasonal treats, there’s something for everyone.

So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to bundle up, grab a cup of Glühwein, and explore all the amazing things to do in Cologne, Germany in December. From strolling through the Old Town to ice skating at Heumarkt, this is the ultimate guide to experiencing the magic of the holiday season in Cologne.

Visit the Cologne Christmas Markets

Looking for a festive way to get into the holiday spirit in Cologne, Germany? Look no further than the Cologne Christmas Markets! With several markets scattered throughout the city, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to enjoy the holiday season. Each market has its own unique charm, offering everything from handmade crafts to delicious seasonal treats.

Be sure to try the Glühwein, a traditional German mulled wine served hot and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It’s the perfect way to warm up on a chilly December evening. And don’t forget to check out the stalls selling Christmas decorations and gifts, including handmade ornaments and wooden toys. Whether you’re looking for a special souvenir or just want to soak up the festive atmosphere, the Cologne Christmas Markets are not to be missed!

Take a Stroll Through the Old Town

Exploring Cologne’s Old Town is a must-do when visiting this historic city in December. With its winding cobbled streets and charming architecture, it’s the perfect place to soak up the festive atmosphere and get into the Christmas spirit.

Don’t miss the opportunity to check out the quaint shops, cozy cafes, and traditional taverns along the way. Whether you’re looking for a unique souvenir or just want to warm up with a cup of hot cocoa, the Old Town has something for everyone. So take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the sights and sounds of Cologne in December!

Explore the Cologne Cathedral

The Cologne Cathedral, or Kölner Dom in German, is an impressive Gothic cathedral that dominates the skyline of Cologne. It is the largest cathedral in Germany and one of the largest in Europe. The cathedral took over 600 years to build and was completed in 1880. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts over 6 million visitors each year.

Exploring the cathedral is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Cologne. The interior is just as impressive as the exterior, with intricate stained glass windows, ornate carvings, and beautiful artwork. Visitors can climb the cathedral’s tower for a panoramic view of the city. It is a bit of a climb, with 533 steps to the top, but the view is worth it.

Don’t miss the Shrine of the Three Kings, which is said to contain the bones of the Three Wise Men. It is located in the eastern part of the cathedral and is one of the most important relics in Christianity.

If you have time, attend a service at the cathedral. The acoustics are fantastic and the atmosphere is truly awe-inspiring. Just be sure to dress appropriately and be respectful of the religious nature of the service.

Overall, exploring the Cologne Cathedral is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Cologne. The cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and an important part of German history and culture.

Indulge in German Cuisine and Glühwein

One of the best ways to experience the local culture in Cologne during December is by indulging in the delicious German cuisine and Glühwein, a warm spiced wine. The Christmas markets offer a wide variety of traditional food such as bratwurst, schnitzel, roasted nuts, and gingerbread cookies. And what better way to warm up than by sipping on a hot cup of Glühwein? It’s the perfect beverage to enjoy while strolling through the markets and taking in the festive atmosphere.

But German cuisine isn’t just limited to the Christmas markets. There are plenty of restaurants throughout the city where you can enjoy hearty German dishes like sauerbraten, pork knuckle, and spaetzle. And don’t forget to try some of the local Kölsch beer!

Overall, indulging in German cuisine and Glühwein is a must-do activity when visiting Cologne in December. You’ll get to taste some amazing flavors and experience the festive spirit of the city.

Experience the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra

If you’re a fan of classical music, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to experience the world-renowned Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra. Founded in 1827, the orchestra has a rich history and is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. The orchestra performs in the stunning Kölner Philharmonie concert hall, which boasts incredible acoustics and a modern design.

During the holiday season, the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra puts on a variety of festive performances, including classical Christmas concerts and New Year’s Eve galas. These concerts are incredibly popular, so it’s recommended that you book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

Even if you’re not a classical music aficionado, the sheer beauty of the concert hall and the orchestra’s performances will leave you spellbound. The Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra is truly a cultural gem and a must-see for anyone visiting Cologne in December.

Attend a Christmas Concert

If you’re looking for an enchanting musical experience in Cologne during the festive season, attending a Christmas concert is a must. The city is home to numerous concerts and performances, featuring local choirs, orchestras, and soloists, that showcase the beauty of traditional Christmas carols and classical music pieces. From the magnificent Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra to the popular Christmas concerts at the Cologne Cathedral, there are plenty of options to choose from. So why not treat yourself to a wonderful evening of music and holiday spirit?

Enjoy Ice Skating at Heumarkt

Ice skating is a fun winter activity that both adults and children can enjoy, and there’s no better place to do it than at Heumarkt in Cologne. Located in the heart of the city, Heumarkt is home to one of the largest ice skating rinks in Germany, and it’s open from November until January. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, you’ll have a great time skating around the rink and taking in the festive atmosphere.

The rink is surrounded by Christmas lights and decorations, which create a magical atmosphere that will put you in the holiday spirit. There are also plenty of food and drink stands where you can warm up with a hot chocolate or a mulled wine, known as Glühwein in German.

If you’re visiting Cologne with your family, ice skating at Heumarkt is a must-do activity. Kids will love gliding around the rink and watching the lights twinkle above them. There are also special events and activities for children, including a children’s party on New Year’s Eve.

Even if you’re not an ice skating enthusiast, a visit to Heumarkt is still worthwhile. You can take a leisurely stroll around the rink and soak up the festive atmosphere, or simply sit back and people-watch while enjoying a warm drink. Whatever you choose to do, a visit to Heumarkt is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Cologne.

Visit the Chocolate Museum

Are you a chocolate lover? Then the Chocolate Museum in Cologne is definitely worth a visit! This museum offers a fascinating look into the history of chocolate and how it’s made, with interactive exhibits and demonstrations. You can also sample some delicious chocolate treats and learn about the cultural significance of chocolate throughout history. The museum is located near the Rheinauhafen and is easily accessible by public transportation. It’s a great activity for all ages, whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or on your own.

Take a Day Trip to Bonn

If you’re spending some time in Cologne during December, taking a day trip to the nearby city of Bonn is definitely worth considering. Located just 30 kilometers south of Cologne, Bonn is home to some beautiful sights, including the historic Beethoven House, where the famous composer was born. You can also visit the stunning Bonn Minster, a Romanesque church that dates back to the 11th century. Additionally, Bonn has a variety of museums and galleries, such as the Kunstmuseum Bonn, which houses modern and contemporary art, and the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, which has an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts and art from the Rhineland region.

If you’re interested in nature, you can also take a stroll through the beautiful Rheinaue park, which features several ponds, gardens, and a Japanese garden. In December, Bonn also has its own Christmas market, which has a more relaxed and cozy atmosphere than the larger markets in Cologne.

To get to Bonn from Cologne, you can take a train or drive, both of which take about 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Cologne, a day trip to Bonn is a great option.

Experience the Cologne Carnival

Cologne Carnival, also known as the “fifth season,” is a time of revelry and celebration in Cologne, Germany. The carnival officially begins on November 11th at 11:11 a.m. and lasts until Ash Wednesday the following year. During this time, the city comes alive with colorful parades, lively music, and enthusiastic crowds. The highlight of the carnival is the Rose Monday Parade, which features colorful floats, marching bands, and costumed participants throwing candy and flowers to the crowd. If you happen to be in Cologne during the carnival season, make sure to join in on the festivities and experience this unique and exciting event.

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