by Janis / 0 comments - Orginally published:19th December 2016

What you'll discover in Düsseldorf's Christmas Markets

Elegant delight in Germany

The festive fun begins as soon as you arrive in Düsseldorf, as several bustling Christmas markets are dotted around the charming city.

Düsseldorf in west Germany is located along the banks of the Rhine and is the capital of the North Rhine-Westphalia region. Düsseldorf is a perfect location to visit and experience a traditional German Christmas market.

Düsseldorf is only around 250 miles (400km) from Calais and takes roughly 4 hours to drive. So, it’s ideal to discover as a German Christmas market road trip. You can also squeeze in a visit to the historic city of Cologne.

Driving is our preferred mode of transport while visiting Germany’s Christmas markets. It doesn’t matter how many gifts we return with; or how much gingerbread (Lebkuchen, as the Germans say) we stock up on; there’s room for it all.

The pin image for 'Twinkling Düsseldorf at Christmas'
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Seven festive markets are sprinkled around Düsseldorf, which are within easy walking distance of each other; this is greatly helped by much of the city being pedestrianised. Additionally, in Burgplatz on the bank of the Rhine, you’ll spot the enormous Ferris wheel’ Wheel of Vision’.

Are you ready to enjoy your first mug of glühwein and discover how Düsseldorf celebrate this enchanting time of the year….you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Crowds in front of the traditional Engelchenmarkt christmas market in düsseldorf at dusk.
The Engelchenmarkt in Düsseldorf

Where is Düsseldorf

How to get to Düsseldorf

- By Air
The nearest airport is Düsseldorf International Airport, about 15 minutes (5mls/9km) from the centre of Düsseldorf by taxi. There are also public transport connections which take around 20 minutes. Take a browse through for departures from your local airport.

- By Car
If you’re venturing from the UK, jump on Le Shuttle and tour Germany under your own steam.

Alternatively, if you're arriving into an airport it’s so easy to explore on a road trip. Rental Cars searches multiple well-known car hire brands and discovers the best deals that suit you.

Weihnachtsmarkt at the old Rathaus

Discover the Artisan Market
The first of the Christmas markets we visit, and one of Düsseldorf’s largest, is the ‘Handwerker-Markt’, the ‘Artisan Market’. This twinkling market is nestled in front of the historic Rathaus (city hall) in Marktplatz, which is in the heart of Altstadt.
Traditional red christmas huts in themMarktplaz market in front of düsseldorf's historic brick rathus.
In front of the Rathaus of Düsseldorf
The Artisan Market has a great bustling family vibe, with charming cabins overflowing with an amazing selection of local crafts. These lovely handmade gifts make perfect presents for your friends and family, and you can watch local craftsmen and women demonstrate how they are made.
Looking up at a christmas tree decorated with golden baubles, ribbons and twinkling lights in front of the rathaus in düsseldorf at night
The tree in front of the Rathaus in Düsseldorf

What I particularly love about Christmas markets in Germany is the selection of incredible food stalls, and Düsseldorf is no exception. Not only can you get bratwurst in abundance, but there are also festive huts offering salmon, soup, chestnuts, and all things sweet.

We wouldn’t want it any other way.

A brightly lit vintage German carousel, offering rides to small children, in Düsseldorf's Christmas markets
The vintage carousel
Also, within Düsseldorf’s ‘Handwerker-Markt’, there is a beautiful vintage carousel. This enchanting merry-go-round is over 100 years old. It has been lovingly restored so children can continue to enjoy it.

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Altstadt Markt

Strolling along Flinger Strasse

To keep the Christmassy theme flowing through Düsseldorf, from Marktplatz, you are naturally drawn along the glittering street of Flinger Strasse.

As you stroll through the colourful and bustling Altstadt Markt, it is a true feast for the senses. The lovely festive cabins are modelled on Düsseldorf’s old burgher houses.

The Old Town Market meanders all the way along to Heinrich-Heine-Platz until you reach Engelchen, the Little Angel market.

However, before you catch a glimpse of the cupids, you will undoubtedly notice the centrepiece along Flinger Strasse, the rotating traditional pyramid tower.

Underneath the pyramid tower, take a little rest and indulge in a mug of heartwarming gluhwein.

Crowds gather around the drink stall at the base of the three-storey illuminated christmas pyramid on Flinger Strasse in düsseldorf at night
The pyramid on Flinger Strasse

Where to stay in Düsseldorf

Our accommodation for the two nights in Düsseldorf was in an apartment named Square Rooms. It was central to the Old Town, very clean and had everything you would expect.

Pino, who greeted us, was really friendly and helpful and informed us that all the drinks and food in the mini bar were free.
Alternatively, pop your dates in the search box and discover further options for all budgets.


The enchanting Angel Market

After your festive refreshment at Altstadt Markt, continue to Heinrich-Heine-Platz, where you will be greeted with a vision of thousands of twinkling gold lights and adorable angels peering down from above.

Yes, you’ve arrived at Engelchenmarkt.

The angel christmas market at night in front of the persil tower block in centre of düsseldorf, germany
Engelchenmarkt or Angel Market
A model cherub atop the drinks menu in the bandstand bar in the angel market in in düsseldorf during their german christmas markets season
Angels in the bandstand

The ‘Angel Market’ is truly enchanting, and the angelic theme puts a smile on your face. There are plenty of Christmas cabins to keep you occupied in this charming square with gifts and decorations galore.

The centrepiece of Engelchenmarkt is undoubtedly the stunning Art Nouveau bandstand, nestled in the middle of the yuletide huts.

Market stalls either side of the steps up ornate bandstand decorated with curtains of golden fairy lights.
The bandstand at the Engelchenmarkt in Düsseldorf
Many months of the year, the bandstand lies empty. With the arrival of Christmas, the central pavilion is transformed into a parasol of glimmering lights, which encases a haven of hot chocolate and gluhwein. It’s astounding how much work goes into creating the themed Christmas markets.
Hundreds of pairs of little rubber ducks on a christmas market stall in dusseldorf, each pair featuring the duck in different costumes
The rubber duck stall
The angel market surpassed all expectations and even delivered on the unusual gifts stall. I’d never previously thought of giving a rubber duck as a gift for Christmas.
A golden hot potato filled with meat mixture and a deep brown sauce, served with a side serving of coleslaw on düsseldorf's christmas markets
Hot filled potatoes

And to keep the energy levels up, we chose a hot-filled potato dumpling for a snack. A savoury filling is encased within the dumpling and then placed in boiling water until they float to the top. I hadn’t seen these dumplings before.

We had the addition of cheese with ours.

Visitor Information

If you’re tempted to visit Düsseldorf at Christmas, this informative website will guide you around Munch’s magnificent Christmas markets.

A hop into Stadtbruckchen

Düsseldorf’s ‘Fairytale Market’
In no time at all, you are effortlessly drawn into the 4th market in Stadtbruckchen. The theme in this captivating twinkling courtyard is the ‘Little Star Market’ (Sternchenmarkt).
White-topped christmas market huts, with snowflake light decorations, dotted around the stadtbrückchen square in düsseldorf, germany
The Little Star Market in Düsseldorf
Adorning the Christmas cabins and hanging high above are glistening silver stars and crystals shining down on snow-covered huts.
A miniature carousel on the edge of the german christmas market in stadtbrückchen square, düsseldorf, germany
The carousel at the Stadtbruckchen in Düsseldorf

And as a treat for little festive revellers, there is a delightful carousel for the children to enjoy.

It was also at this Little Star Market in Düsseldorf that we had our first taster of a marshmallow encased in chocolate, known as ‘Kisses’.

I’ll certainly be on the lookout for these again; they were heavenly.

Magical ‘Märchen Markt’

Düsseldorf’s ‘Fairytale Market’

To uncover Düsseldorf’s ‘Fairytale Market’, it’s just a short stroll across Königsallee.

You’re now sauntering into Düsseldorf’s stylish shopping district; here, you will stumble upon the 5th market named Märchen Markt in Schadowplatz.

The red stag head decoration at the Roter Hirsch Glühwein christmas market stall in düsseldorf, germany
Roter Hirsch - Glühwein and more

Although you are in a modern part of the town, the lovely wooden wintry cabins transport your imagination to an enchanting faraway place.

Here you’ll find a fantastic candle stall; we have a few of the glass globe candle holders at home. They look lovely flickering away next to our many Käthe Wohlfahrt decorations and toy soldiers.

A double-width christmas market cabin specialising in candles in düsseldorf, germany
The Christmas market candle stall in Düsseldorf
Fairytale Market is a bustling market day and night. There is a fine selection of crafts to be tempted with, and also the traditional German cuisine; one of my favourites is the currywurst. Washed down with a steaming mug of glühwein.
Two frosted glasses of Gluhwein, next to a candle lantern, on an outside table in the Schadowplatz market in Düsseldorf
Glühwein at the Schadowplatz


Home of Düsseldorf’s ice rink
Not to be overshadowed by ‘Schadowplatz’ and ‘Schadowstrasse’, the 6th market we discover in Düsseldorf is at Kö-Bogen and is home to Düsseldorf’s ice rink. Here you will find people of all ages trying to master their pirouettes.
A young girl, a lone customer at a christmas market stall, picking her favourite gingerbread tree hanger in düsseldorf, germany
Picking your gingerbread
The little cabins that line Kö-Bogen are a delight, tempting you with salmon, raclette, crepes and gingerbread, just to name but a few. All set against the backdrop of some amazing modern architecture.
A food stall in düsseldorf's Christmas markets selling pizza-like flamm kuchen
Flamm Kuchen
A christmas market trader preparing grilled raclette cheese for a customer at düsseldorf christmas markets
Grilled raclette
The Kö-Bogen markt has now moved to Kö-Bogen II on Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, which I believe is now bigger and better. In addition to this, Düsseldorf’s ice rink has a new home and is currently located at Corneliusplatz. The new ice rink looks incredible and so much more extensive.
A large wooden cabin at one of the Düsseldorf Christmas Markets selling salmon-filled rolls from sides of salmon cooked over wood on-site.
The Flammlachs Stall

I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books.  I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Germany road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.


All your shopping needs

Just a short hop from Kö-Bogen, you’ll arrive at Düsseldorf’s 7th market on Schadowstrasse.

All along this bustling street in one of Dusseldorf’s central shopping districts are decorative wooden cabins full of festive crafts and gifts.

A lady perusing hundreds of different gingerbread cutters on a Christmas Market stall in düsseldorf, germany
Cookie cutters on the Christmas markets
The yuletide huts line Schadowstrasse, tempting Christmas shoppers out of the larger stores to purchase that Christmas present which is a little bit different from the norm.
A street scene of people walking past christmas market stalls that line one side of Schadowstrasse in düsseldorf, germany
Stalls along Schadowstrasse

There are cosy hats, gloves, and stylish accessories to suit all budgets. Here in schadow-markt, you’ll even find cookie cutters in all shapes and sizes.

And as with all German Christmas markets, you’ll be attracted to the tempting aroma of roasting bratwurst; it has to be done.

An open grill full of sausages cooking above a charcoal fire set in a steel container below on a Christmas Market stall in düsseldorf, germany
Cooking sausages

Why not?

Start creating your own Christmas Market adventure and discover the culinary delights for yourself. Take a browse through for departures from your local airport.

Discover more of Germany on a road trip like us; why not check out Rental Cars as they search multiple well-known car hire brands for the best deals.

Christmas Village at Burgplatz

Hop on the ‘Wheel of Vision’
If all these festive markets weren’t tickling your Christmas taste buds, then head to Burgplatz on the banks of the Rhine, where the glistening ‘Wheel of Vision’ can be found.
A lit five-storey historic tower than now acts as a museum, with the large Ferris-wheel, named Wheel of Vision, in the background.
The Schifffahrt Museum and Wheel of Vision

This eye-catching Ferris wheel is a temporary structure that stands 55 metres high and has 42 rotating heated gondolas.

The views along the Rhine and over the Altstadt (Old Town) are incredible. Journey around a few revolutions and see all the church spires piercing up through the city skyline.

A large white modern ferris wheel illuminated in a blue/purple at night in one of düsseldorf's german christmas markets
The Wheel of Vision in Düsseldorf
A stall on the edge of the village at Burgplatz , one of düsseldorf german christmas markets
The Village at Burgplatz

At the base of the ‘Wheel of Vision’ is the Christmas Village; this is a lovely market and perhaps less busy than the others.

I don’t really know why it’s quieter, as the effort that has been made in creating the village huts is fantastic; it almost feels Dickensian around the little village.

Discover Düsseldorf’s fascinating history

700 years in one monument

If you are at Burgplatz during the day or have just had a promenade along the Rhine, there are few other things that will catch your eye here.

Firstly, the Alter Schlossturm, the old palace tower, now a shipping museum ‘Schifffahrt Museum’, you won’t miss the building as it looks like a lighthouse.

The old brick lighthouse that now houses the Schifffahrt Museum in düsseldorf, germany
Schifffahrt Museum

Then there is the statute to the Radschlager (cart-wheeler), an emblem of Düsseldorf.

The custom of cartwheeling dates back to 1288 when children spun to celebrate the success at the battle of Worringen.

A bronze statue above a fountain of two children, one cartwheeling, in a symbol for düsseldorf in germany
The cartwheeling children fountain
A brass door knocker, on an old wooden door in Düsseldorf, of a figure with outstretched arms as if to perform a cartwheel.
The cartwheeling door knocker, things to see in düsseldorf, ger
This emblem can be seen at many points around Düsseldorf, even as door knockers.
A lifesize wooden icon of a child performing a cartwheel in central düsseldorf during their german christmas markets season
The symbol of Düsseldorf
The river Düssel runs through a brick wall-lined channel in the heart of düsseldorf, german
The river Düssel
But one of the most eye-catching monuments in Burgplatz is Stadterhebungsmonument next to where the little river of Düssel is last seen before it flows into the Rhine.
The detailed bronze sculpture shows scenes from the Battle of Worringen in the heart of düsseldorf, germany
The Town history monument
This amazing Stadterhebungsmonument depicts the story of Düsseldorf’s 700 years of history from when it was granted city status granted in 1288.
A close-up of dusseldorf's city founding monument, focusing on the bronze skull of a figure fighting in a medieval battle.
The detail in the Town history monument
The intricate detail is wonderful; you could stare at it for ages and still find tiny little aspects of the city’s past.

Tempted by an Altbier

Just 5 breweries to choose from

Altbier is a hoppy ale and is quite unique to Düsseldorf; it is only brewed by 5 different microbreweries around the Altstadt.

You must give it a taster; a couple of the brauhaus that we can recommend and that serve Altbier directly from the barrel is Brauerei zum Schlüssel, which serves Schlüssel Alt.

Inside the Brauerei zum Schlüssel, in düsseldorf, decorated for christmas, with its wooden beer barrel taking centre stage behind a horseshoe-shaped bar.
Inside Brauerei zum Schlüssel
Two small glasses of Schlüssel Alt Beer on beer mats bearing two pencil marks in a bar in düsseldorf, germany
Schlüssel Alt Beer
In the Im Goldenen Kessel, they serve the Schumacher Alt beer.
One small, one large glass of Schumacher Alt beer in a bar in Düsseldorf at Christmas
Schumacher Alt beer
Two wooden barrels, with their iron rings, one with a brass tap on a counter in a traditional bar in düsseldorf, germany at christmas.
Inside Im Goldenen Kessel in Düsseldorf
The other 3 brewers are Füchschen, Uerige, and Brauerei Kürzer.

Visit the Lindt chocolate shop

Go on, indulge yourself

Düsseldorf is quite well known as a fashion city and has some very select stores. So be careful that these tempting boutiques don’t keep you away from the Christmas markets.

Also, there is a wonderful Lindt chocolate shop in Düsseldorf and the hot chocolate is amazing. You can indulge in a steaming mug of dark, milk or white hot chocolate.

A white china cup full of foaming hot chocolate with a Lindt chocolate on the side.
Lindt hot chocolate
Don’t forget to take home one of Düsseldorf’s many souvenir Christmas market mugs. There are always lots to choose from and make a great Christmas decoration and a memory for years to come.
Two mugs of steaming glühwein with a snowmen design on the Düsseldorf Christmas Markets.
Glühwein in Snowmen mugs
Just a few points to note;

If you wish to fly, it only takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes from London.

You really need to book early as these markets are very popular.

Although all these markets are fantastic to visit during the day, they really come alive in the evenings, don’t miss it.

Be warned these markets become extremely busy at the weekends, particularly in the evenings. Children may feel a bit swamped with the crowds.

Dress warm and comfortable; this is essential because it was cold in December.

Germany’s Christmas markets are for all ages, don’t be put off that it is all for children; it really isn’t. We are all big kids at heart…..

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