Eating, Drinking and Being Merry at Cologne’s Happiest Christmas Market

One of the highlights of my Germany trip was a visit to Cologne’s oldest Christmas market, Markt Der Engel. And though we visited five different Christmas markets during our stay in Cologne, I have to say this one was my favorite by far.

Everything about the ambiance was simply magical, from the stars twinkling in the trees to the bundled up children riding the carousel. Friends talked and laughed loudly over steaming mugs of Glühweinand it seemed like everyone had just gotten off of work. And most importantly, there were plenty of yummy thinks to eat and drink.

Christmas Market Cologne

Christmas Market Cologne

German Christmas Market

Christmas Market Cologne

The first order of business was to try Currywurst, which is essentially pork sausage drenched in curry ketchup. When I told Christian I had never tried it before, I think he almost fell over. And considering an estimated 800 million servings are sold in Germany each year (according to my good friend Wikipedia), I can see why.

The sausage could be ordered with mild, hot and really hot curry sauce. I went for hot. How hot could it be in Germany? I thought to myself. My country borders Mexico.

Currywurst

Well, I really ate my words on this one. It was so hot that I ended up consuming an alarming quantity of snow (much to my companions’ delight) to cool my scorched tongue.

Once I stopped hopping in pain, we took a few laps around the market. Something I noticed about the market was that it was truly a family affair, with lots of kiddies enjoying the festivities as well.

German Christmas Market

Christmas Market Cologne

Christmas Market Cologne

Christmas Market Cologne

I was overwhelmed by the market’s ample food choices, and unfortunately didn’t get to try everything. I think you would need the entire month of December to taste all the waffles, candies, sausages, and other goodies we saw.

German Christmas Market

German Christmas Market

German Christmas Market

While the boys drank (or rather, chugged) some of Cologne’s finest Kölsch, Marina and I stuck to piping hot Glühwein as we were rapidly losing sensation in our outer extremities.

Christmas Market Cologne

German Christmas Market

Everyone was talking loudly, drinking Glühwein out of mugs and hanging out with friends. The best word I can describe it with is, “merry.”

Christmas Market Cologne

IMG_1714

German Christmas Market

Our final food selection of the evening was also probably the best; Kartoffelpuffer, or fried potato cakes, served with molasses and apple sauce. Having grown up in a largely Jewish town, I screamed out, “LATKES!” and beelined for the stand.

Christmas Market Cologne

And if you can’t find it in your heart to enjoy something so crunchy and golden, you are probably the Grinch.

Have you ever been to a German Christmas market? Do you like the looks of this one?

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21 and has been traveling the world ever since. She's usually in pursuit of yoga, languages and perfectly ripe cheese and her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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18 Comments

  1. Really beautiful!

    Reply
    • Thank you! The market was very photogenic :)

  2. This looks so lovely! Too bad I missed the Engel market…
    I loved your Currywurst story! Must have been a blast to watch you eat snow :)

    Reply
    • Haha, I really underestimated the meaning of “scharf” on this one – never again!

  3. Is it sad that I want to go back to Europe just for the food? Answer: No. Currywurst was one of my favorite things in Germany! I love that it’s a blend of two cultures!

    Aryn
    Driftwood and Daydreams
    Aryn recently posted..Songs to Inspire TravelMy Profile

    Reply
    • Europe does have quite a wide variety of tasty food! I’ll definitely try currywurst again, just less spicy this time.

    • Those are the perfect adjectives to describe the market! And if you’re brave go for super hot :)

  4. Oh, I loved reading this, I went to this market last year and it was great to reminisce. And I agree, those kartoffelpuffers are AMAZING. Though you got some snow there, how lucky!
    Caitlyn recently posted..The Christmas cribs of KrakowMy Profile

    Reply
    • Oh wow you went to this exact market? I thought it was AMAZING. And yes, the snow added a lot :)

  5. Those sausages really look like they got some zing! When I had currywurst, I think it left a hole in my tongue…. but I had no snow to help.. I had beer :) Hurts so good eh?

    Reply
    • Haha, exactly. I wish I would’ve had beer too, it’s always so good in Deutschland!

  6. I don’t even celebrate Christmas, but I love a good Christmas market! That pork looks great as well as those latkes. Haven’t had good latkes since I was home for Hanukah a year ago!
    Koren @ City Gal recently posted..Merry Christmas from Fifth Avenue!My Profile

    Reply
    • I love latkes! I’ve normally had them with applesauce but these were with molasses as well… it was actually really good.

  7. I love German Christmas markets! I lived in Berlin for 3 months during school and left just before Christmas. I remember going all over Berlin to the different markets, and even rented a car with a few friends for a weekend to drive around Germany, Austria (and Liechtenstein) to see some other famous markets. They are so much fun and now I have about 5 or so glühwein mugs as souvenirs.
    Chris McCarty recently posted..12 Ornament Memories of ChristmasMy Profile

    Reply
    • Oh wow, lucky you, I’ve been trying to get to Berlin for so long! That road-trip sounds amazing too.

    • Happy New Year to you as well, Okky!

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