Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Germany - Dusseldorf Christmas Market - Non-Food Aspects

While my main reason to go to the Christmas Market in Dusseldorf on the 1st of December was to eat as much yummy street food as possible, the city center of Dusseldorf offers amazing experience.

We arrived at the city center at around 11 AM, when the Christmas Market opens on Saturday. As I explained in the previous post, there are 6 different Christmas markets around the city center, and we explored 5 out of 6 of them. Each market has its own style. The first market at Marktplatz, for example, features red huts and little houses close to the City Hall in Dusseldorf Old Town (Altstadt). There was also a big Christmas tree. I don't know how tall it was, but it was my first time seeing a real Christmas tree. Back at home we have a synthetic Christmas tree made of plastic because pine trees normally grow in cool areas and the minimum temperature there is like 32 degrees C.

1st Christmas Market: Marktplatz

The City Hall in Dusseldorf Old Town

There were a lot of things going on, from something fun for children like the merry-go-round, craft shops for christmas decorations, ceramics, birdhouses, and woodcarving, to street foods like grilled bratwurst, mulled wine, nuts, crepes and nuts.

The city center was very lively with both locals and tourists. Most people speak English, but sometimes some stall handlers do not really speak English, so it might be quite difficult if you have questions about the products. But when it comes to purchasing goods, looking at the price signboards should do the job.

In some markets you can hear Christmas songs being played in the background. The atmosphere around the city center was filled with festivities. It made me feel that Christmas was just around the corner!

There were also places where you could rest for a drink, a meal, or a chitchat. Unfortunately, they were outdoors and if you are weak to cold temperatures (when we went there it was -4 degrees C), you'll have to find an indoor cafe.

If you want to warm yourself up a little bit, you can find Starbucks close by, or if you want something else, go over to the 5th market at Schadowplatz and there is a cafe called WOYTON.

The coffee was not too bad (although it's a little sour - not the type of coffee beans that I like), but I think they serve good bagels. And you could also see the entire 5th market from the second floor of the cafe.

The 5th Market, Schadowplatz from WOYTON

There are really a lot of things to explore in the market. You might think that the markets sell the same thing (indeed they do; you'll see multiple crepe shops, bratwurst shops, and of course bars that serve mulled wines), but each market has something different that you cannot find in other markets.

More bird houses

Christmas tree decoration! Kind of fancy, don't you think?

They call this the Christmas Tower :)

One of the interesting stalls I visited was the honey shop. You can try many different kinds of honey and honey products like honey wine, candies and cosmetics.

Eucalyptus honey... mmm... not for me haha!

Nordic Summer honey, Kesahunaja, was my favorite. It's very creamy and mild, not too sweet yet flavorful!

Oh, and there was also an ice-skating rink close to the 6th market!

For kids only: you can grab on to these "dwarves" (?) if you can't skate so you won't fall! :)

The ice skating rink is open from the 22th of November 2012 until 6th of January 2013, and you can rent the ice skates for 3 euros. We didn't ice skate there because we were limited by time and we haven't explored everything by 3 PM (and the bus back to the Netherlands would leave at 5 PM).

Sad enough, we had to leave around 5 PM. It was getting dark and the scenery was getting illuminated with beautiful lights, but we had to miss it. I'd love to go back to the Christmas market during night time if possible. I bet it will be very beautiful (despite the cold weather!).


Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, but please comment responsibly :)