Schokoladentafeln im Kölner Schokoladenmuseum, © Tourismus NRW / Ralph Sondermann

Delightful Christmas markets

Enjoy some delicacies that taste like Christmas

Mulled wine and toasted almonds are some of the standard treats on offer at any Christmas market. In North Rhine-Westphalia, there are also several special delicacies for sale.

An absolute must in the run-up to Christmas is the Aachener Printe gingerbread, which is eaten all year round in Aachen, but which is sent all over the world during the Advent period. In a show bakery in the centre of the Christmas market, visitors can watch the Aachen national delicacy being made. Covered with dark or milk chocolate, hard or soft, with almonds or sugar coating, there’s a Printe for every taste. If you like savoury dishes, the Aachen Christmas liver sausage is not to be missed. It has been produced since the 19th century and depending on the butcher’s recipe, is refined with nuts, lingonberries and classic winter spices. The Aachen Cathedral liqueur and specialities from the Eifel region round off the culinary delights on offer at the Aachen Christmas market, which runs from 22 November to 23 December all around Aachen Cathedral and the historic city hall, and which is regularly ranked among the top ten Europe’s Best Christmas Markets.



On 25 November 2019, the various Cologne Christmas markets will then be opened, with different themes. All around Cologne Cathedral, visitors can sample Cathedral Spekulatius biscuits, Kölsche Rievkooche (potato pancakes), mustard from the Monschau mill in the Eifel region, and of course, Kölsch beer, as well as the Aachener Printen gingerbread. On the Alter Markt square, you can go on a journey to the homeland of the famous Heinzel figures, see traditional handcrafted goods and watch them being made. In a sweets factoriy, sweets are cut from a hot sugar mass, while there’s also fresh nougat to try, taken from lumps weighing around seven kilos.


Schloss Türnich palace offers sweets taken from nature

Sweet natural delights, which are also almost 100 percent organic, are on offer at the Christmas market in Schloss Türnich palace in Kerpen, which will be held for the first time over three weekends in December. On the palace island against the background of the stately home, and in the stables of the historic courtyard grounds, preserves from home-grown produce, home-made drinks and arts and crafts will be on sale.


Schloss Loersfeld palace in Kerpen, which with its ten-hectare English landscape park and gourmet restaurant is worth a visit at any time of the year, will offer an additional reason for lovers of good food to make the trip from 20 to 22 December 2019. The goose liver terrine, which is made especially for the occasion, attracts visitors to the palace Christmas market from far and wide. 


Hand crafts for the eye and palate

Printen gingerbread and traditional baked goods from the museum oven make visitors’ mouths water in the LVR Open Air Museum Kommern. During “Advent für alle Sinne” (“Advent for all your senses”) on 30 November and 1 December 2019, the old Advent household activities will be brought back to life, including baking, singing and storytelling.


The Christmas market at Schloss Dyck palace in Jüchen on the Lower Rhine offers a culinary island. On the orangery half-island, visitors will be offered delicious soups cooked from grandma’s recipes, alongside seasonal offers. Christmas biscuits, “Stollen” Christmas cake and “Hochzeitsbrot” fruit cake, “Tiroler” biscuits and Italian specialities, nougat from Provence and English and far-Eastern tea are available alongside the regional specialities on offer.


In Münster old town, the air will be filled with Christmas scents from five different Christmas markets from 25 November to 22 December 2019. In the Christmas village all around the “Kiepenkerl” monument, there is something for anyone who loves Westphalian specialities. You can try kale or Mettwurst sausage with Westphalian schnapps.


In contrast to the other Christmas markets, the Nikolausmarkt in Bedburg Alt-Kaster does not run along the streets and squares of the historic old town, but is held in the homes and courtyards of the local residents. On 1 December 2019, home-baked cakes and biscuits and home-made produce of all kinds will be available for sale.


Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Süßes vom Engel auf dem Soester Weihnachtsmarkt, © Gero Sliwa
Weihnachtmarkt Schloss Loersfeld in Kerpen, © Rhein-Erft Tourismus
Bio-Nougat auf dem Markt der Heinzel in Köln, © Heinzels Wintermärchen Köln
Weihnachtsmarkt am Kiepenkerl-Denkmal in Münster, © www.airklick.de