Metro: “There are literally tonnes of Christmas markets in Cologne – so many, in fact, that no one seems to know exactly how many there are when I ask. While officials in the tourist office told me there are five major markets, the reality is there’s probably over 20 spread throughout this German city, otherwise famous for its towering Gothic cathedral, but let’s face it, I’m here to gawp at their triumphant efforts in Christmas market curation.


I met Birgit Grothues from the Cathedral Christmas Market, who told me there are some 70,000 lights on the magnificent central tree and 1,000 decorations. ‘It’s quite a challenge,’ Birgit told me, relieved that the tree looks resplendent for another year.

We drank an early afternoon mulled wine as we strolled past apple strudel sellers, traders of the local Kolsch beer which is unique to Cologne and all manner of handmade crafts, including brightly coloured wooden children’s toys which I’m told herald from former Eastern Germany. Later, I returned for live musical performances under the tree by moonlight. There were streams of fairy lights above my head, and beyond that, the towering cathedral was sensationally lit. […]. Quelle