One of the favourite things that we’ve done was when we visited Düsseldorf Christmas market. It’s not one of the top German Christmas markets if you read any of the ‘top’ lists around but as we’d never experienced any before, we had nothing to compare it to and as such had a fantastic time.
When we finished up our time in London we needed to get to New York and one of the ways we did it was to fly via Dusseldorf in Germany. Since we were there in December it seemed daft not to expand our time and take in the Xmas market so we spent 2 nights there.
Düsseldorf Christmas Market
When researching Christmas markets in Germany I kept hearing that the one in Düsseldorf wasn’t the best. Cologne, which is only about a 45 minute drive away kept coming up as a better choice. We did contemplate heading there instead, but less travel from the airport won out.
So what was the market like?
Well we had an awesome time and loved it! We were staying in the old town, right next to some of the restaurants and bars (we stayed in an Airbnb) and about a 10 minute stroll, or even less, from where the main part of the Christmas market was.
What I loved about the markets was how different they were to what we have back home. It felt like what was on offer was very 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!
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.
There were huge queues and crowds for the mulled wine (which is called Glühwein in German) but we didn’t have 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 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 – I can’t seem to find any pictures of it though!
There was 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. Overall, although not a huge market it was a great introduction for us and as I said, we had nothing to compare it to. Dusseldorf felt really safe too, with lots of shops still open in the evening and taking advantage of the footfall around the markets.
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!
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 do the same 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. You can see Dusseldorf hotels here.