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One of the best things that we did when visiting Germany was to see Düsseldorf Christmas market. It’s not included in the top German Christmas markets if you read any of the ‘top’ lists around but as we’d never experienced any before in Germany, we had nothing to compare it to and as such had a fantastic time. If you’re in Düsseldorf for any amount of time over the Christmas and holiday season I’d definitely recommend that you check it out.
Düsseldorf Christmas Market
When researching Christmas markets in Germany I kept hearing that the one in Düsseldorf wasn’t the best or worse that it wasn’t even mentioned! Cologne, which is a city that’s only about a 45 minute drive away kept coming up as a better choice and regularly made the top 10 lists. We did contemplate heading there instead, as it’s fairly straight forward to get to, but less travel from the airport won out and as we had limited time it made sense to enjoy what we had around us.
So what was the market like?
Well we had an awesome time and loved it!
The market was a very traditional German Christmas market with all sorts of stalls selling all sorts of goods.
What I loved about the markets was how different they were to what we have back home in the UK. We have lots of ‘european style’ markets and even thought they’ll include german style stalls it’s not a patch on this. It really felt like what was on offer here was very traditionally German and somewhere where you could find some really unique gifts. Unfortunately we couldn’t buy much as we were limited in space in our backpacks and had no physical home for any trinkets – so we had to be happy with buying food instead!
And there was plenty of food! We adored the giant pretzels that were available in many different flavours and ate them both nights we went out! My favourite was the pretzel with Nutella and James and Alex liked the one that had marzipan in it. They were about 3-4 euros each and really nice and filling.
There were huge queues and crowds for the mulled wine (which is called Glühwein in German) but we unfortunately didn’t try any. I’ve since found out that each market in Germany has their own mug design each year and people collect them. I’m quite glad I didn’t know that before hand as I’m pretty sure I’d have had a job on my hands getting James not to bring one home! Apparently when you get your first drink you pay a deposit for the mug and if you don’t want to give it back you just keep it. Pretty neat idea I thought! 🙂
While wandering around the market there were also lots of street performers and also some of the stalls were set up so you could see the craftsmen at work. We stood for ages watching one man make a toy – the craftsmanship was stunning!
There is also a huge ferris wheel/observation wheel in Dusseldorf as well which was all lit up and looking festive and a few market stalls dotted around too. If James and Marcus weren’t scared of heights we’d have definitely loved to see the view from above. Overall, although not a huge market it was a great introduction for us.
What’s quite important is that Dusseldorf felt really safe too. There were lots of shops still open in the evening, taking advantage of the footfall around the markets and a generally happy and safe atmosphere.
It was rather nice the next day too – I’d definitely be up for exploring a bit more of Dusseldorf, perhaps in slightly warmer weather though! The good thing is that Dusseldorf is quite often a connecting airport so turning that connection in to a short stay is quite easy – we did that before heading on to the USA.
Where is the Christmas market in Dusseldorf?
The market is situated in the Altstadt which is part of the old historic centre of Dusseldorf. Marktplatz is where you’ll find the large Christmas tree and the main throng of people although a good wander round and you’ll likely find lots more..
What else is there to do in Dusseldorf?
Although we didn’t have a lot of time to explore what else the city had to offer we did take time to enjoy walking along the Rhine and taking in the skyline which was really beautiful in the winter light.
Other things to do are:
Visit the Rhine Tower
Take a boat tour on the Rhine
Museum Kunstpalast – an art museum
And if you’re really wanting some more Christmas spirit you could always take the train to Cologne and see what that market is like – it’s easily doable as a day trip.
Where to stay in Dusseldorf
We stayed in a really nice Airbnb apartment which was situated right in the old town. It was a rather noisy area though, so if you’re looking to stay in the centre then do bear that in mind!
This is the apartment we stayed in which was huge – we’d actually planned to stay in a smaller one, but since this one was free the host upgraded us to his bigger apartment. If you fancy giving Airbnb a try, sign up through my link and you’ll get a discount (currently about £20 I think) off your first booking. Click here for your discount.
If you’re looking for a hotel to stay at in Dusseldorf then I recommend using a search engine like HotelsCombined. They comb through all the booking agents and compare them so you can see the lowest price.
A highly recommended hotel that is right in the heart of the Old Town or Altstadt is the Hyatt House. It has every comfort you’d likely be looking for yet is right next to where you’ll want to be for the Christmas markets.
If you want to check out more options you can see more Dusseldorf hotels here.