Düsseldorf Christmas markets are some of the most beautiful in the world. There are seven markets spread throughout the city centre, each with its own distinct theme. They open for business from November 21st until December 23rd.
Imagine wandering amidst the festive timber huts where stall holders serve mugs of steaming mulled wine and bags of toasted almonds. The stalls overflow with tempting shiny Christmas baubles, wooden carvings and candles. Suddenly the cold, dark winter is magical and alive with warmth and fun. What better way to re-kindle the spirit of Christmas for 2013?
Düsseldorf Christmas Market
Düsseldorf's seven Christmas markets are the perfect place to buy original hand-crafted Christmas gifts and to enjoy the festive atmosphere. There are over 200 vendors throughout the city selling toys, decorations and seasonal treats like chestnuts, gingerbread and delicious 'Dampfnudeln' (sweet steamed buns).
Read on to find out more about each of the markets.
Start your exploration of Düsseldorf Christmas markets at Christmas HQ A.K.A. the Marktplatz of the Altstadt (Old Town). The huts here are inspired by the Renaissance architecture of the Rathaus (City Hall). You'll find artisan candle-makers, wood-turners and glassblowers selling their perfectly turned out wares.
Kids and the young at heart will love a ride on the carousel which despite being almost 100 years old has been restored to perfect working order.
Despite being in the heart of the Altstadt with huts styled to look like burgher houses, Flinger Strasse's Christmas market adds a modern twist to the traditional format. In amongst the usual festive treats you'll find boutique local brands and young fashion trends.
The mulled wine pyramid set up opposite the Carsch-Haus department store is a great place to visit for a winter warmer or as a landmark to meet friends.
If you like Advent to be ethereal, magical and angelic then the Heinrich-Heine-Platz will be your favourite market. The stunning sandstone façade of high-class department store Carsch-Haus sets the colour scheme for this 'Engelchenmarkt' (Angel Market).
The huts here are inspired by the square's Art Nouveau music pavilion and are adorned with stunning floral images and angels created from wrought iron.
Next wander into the inner courtyard of Wilhelm-Marx-Haus and move from an angelic glow to the cold white light of a thousand crystals and twinkling stars. The 'Sternchenmarkt' (Little Star Market) is filled with snow covered huts selling food, warm wine and everything from jewellery to home furnishings.
New for 2013 the Schadowplatz has unveiled a new theme – 'the snow hut village'. Pristine white wooden huts shimmer with snow crystals and create a real Scandinavian feel. The market is set out in front of the newly-opened Ko-Bogen retail and office centre - a six-storey development that blends modern design with natural green spaces. The market also connects with modern design aesthetics and the goods on sale range from modern textiles to carvings and traditional foods like 'Reibekuchen' (potato fritters) and 'Poffertjes' (pancake puffs).
The final Christmas market goes back to tradition with huts like tiny Swiss Chalets, an aesthetic contrast to the sleek modern façade of the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus and the Dreischeibenhaus. However, the main attraction is the 450 meter-squared ice rink. Hire a pair of skates and zip around on the ice before enjoying the Schlussel-Huttenzauber where you can enjoy a meal in a typical Alpine atmosphere. There is also a Kids' activity tent where a daily puppet show will entertain them at 15.30 and 16.30.
After spending time at Düsseldorf Christmas markets you'll want to warm up at a stylish downtown hotel. The Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Düsseldorf is close to the old town where all the markets are located and offers guests a warm reception with a cosy fireplace in the lobby bar and lounge.
What is your favourite part of visiting a Christmas market?