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Christmas market breaks in western Germany

Make the most of a visit to the shopping haven of Düsseldorf by taking day trips to see the beautiful cathedral cities of Cologne and Aachen. All three cities have fabulous Christmas markets and are easily reached by train, especially if you're coming from neighbouring countries Belgium and the Netherlands. Check out our suggested itinerary below and read all about the highlights of this exciting region.

Getting to the German Christmas markets is easy. The country's trains are fast, efficient, and take you to the heart of all major cities. Within this itinerary we provide further details on travelling to each market.

Want a convenient pass for German trains? The Interrail German Rail Pass entitles you to 3, 4, 5, 7,10 or 15 days of rail travel in Germany within 1 month!


Cities visited in this trip:


1. Düsseldorf

2. Day trip to Cologne

3. Day trip to Aachen

1. Stay in Düsseldorf, Germany

Base yourself in Düsseldorf, with its splendid old town (Altstadt) that consists of over 200 bars and restaurants. At Christmastime Düsseldorf's Altstadt is transformed by no fewer than 8 Christmas markets, with the largest at the Marktplatz and Heinrich-Heine Platz.

As well as the beautiful handicrafts of the market stalls, you can go on a shopping spree at Düsseldorf's glamorous Königsallee. At dusk, head to the banks of the Rhine and watch as the Christmas lights bounce across the water.

Düsseldorf Christmas Market dates:
18 November - 30 December 2021

Take the underground (U-Bahn) from Düsseldorf main railway station (Hbf) to Heinrich-Heine Allee. Take the 'Altstadt' exit and you'll be in the heart of the 'Little Angel' Christmas market.
Düsseldorf's Rhine promenade in winter

From Düsseldorf to Cologne

Travel time:




  • Düsseldorf, Germany

    Düsseldorf Hbf

  • 0h 25m
  • Cologne, Germany

    Köln Hbf


2. Day trip to Cologne, Germany

Take a day trip to Cologne to see the lively city's spectacular Gothic cathedral (Kölner Dom). Its south tower can be climbed for amazing views of the city.

If you can't satisfy your sweet tooth with the wide range of sweets available at Cologne's 4 large Christmas markets, you can visit the Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum Köln) and become Willy Wonka for a day.

Cologne Christmas Market dates:
25 November - 22 December 2021

Exit Cologne's main train station and you'll immediately spot the imposing Cologne Cathedral and the Christmas markets surrounding it.
Christmas market at Cologne Cathedral

From Düsseldorf to Aachen

Travel time:




  • Düsseldorf, Germany

    Düsseldorf Hbf

  • 1h 28m
  • Aachen, Germany

    Aachen Hbf


3. Day trip to Aachen, Germany

Take a relaxing day trip to Aachen. Enjoy the soothing thermal baths and spa facilities of the Carolus-Thermen. Then make sure your sightseeing includes Aachen's beautiful cathedral (Aachener Dom), the oldest in northern Europe.

At the city's charming Christmas market you can try the local gingerbread, Aachen Printen, alongside your mulled wine.

Aachen Christmas Market dates:
19 November - 23 December 2021

It's a 15 minute walk from Aachen's main railway station to the main Christmas market at the market square.
Aachen skyline at sunset

Explore Germany with Interrail

  • Choose from 3, 4, 5, 7,10 or 15 days of rail travel within 1 month.

  • As soon as you're in Germany, hop on and off as many trains as you like using just one rail pass.

  • You'll arrive at city centre locations just a few steps from the nearest Christmas market. Leave everyone else to battle it out for car parking spaces!