So like I am totally aware Christmas and the festive period is over but as I was on a blogging break I need to share this amazing experience with you now.
Myself and Jimbob traveled to Cologne for the Christmas Markets and for his birthday. I know what you’re thinking, we have Manchester and Leeds, but I had ‘Enjoy the Christmas Markets in Germany’ on my bucket list. Plus I’d been informed it was glorious and an amazing place.
We traveled with Ryanair – Manchester T3 and to get in the festive mood we shared turkey, bacon, cranberry & cheese Toasties. The flight takesa little less than 1.5 hours. So not long at all and with our early start we landed at 10:25 local time.
We traveled from the airport by train. We had heard that taxis were expensive in Cologne and taxi drivers were rude. So we took the 4 stops and got off at Cologne Central Station. It was a cheap cost of £4.80 for 2. It was only a short walk of around 3 minutes to our home for the weekend – Dom Apartments.
Just a note to add the weather when we arrived was crisp and fresh, surprisingly not bitter cold. It would be fair to say I never dress well for the cold, one of my best friends is the one who says ‘make sure you dress warm’ but I had packed well for me with lots of jumpers and scarves and two coats!
Back to our trip; we made our 3 minute walk out of the station to the key collection(reception) of Dom Apartments to check in but were unable to check in due to it only being 12pm. They had no issue with us leaving our bags and enjoying the city. So that’s exactly what we did.
From the apartments the Cathedral is just 5 minutes, basically at the other side of the train station, so you can tell we were super central to the city. We walked past the beautiful Cathedral and wandered down the ‘high street’ and enjoyed the sites and smells of Cologne and headed to The Hard Rock (obviously) and enjoyed a couple of cocktails and nachos until our room was ready.
We returned and collected the keys from reception and our apartment was a 2 minute walk, if that, to be honest. Through the bright hallway up to the third floor by lift and got our first look our weekend home.
It was bright light and perfectly formed for us two. I do have some negatives to point out..no toilet roll not even part of a roll. And the lack of tea bags..only 1. But apart from that it was the base we needed. We had a quick freshen up and headed back out.
The market was huge with beautiful shops with so many quirky items from the beautiful to the odd. The smells were the highlight for me. Jimbob trying to sniff out Churros was humorous. We enjoyed a white mulled wine which I thought you really did have enough with just a glass, and the red mulled wine we know but compared to Tesco or your local supermarket the wine was bitter and lacking in spice. But it still came in cute cups so I was happy all the same.
Bear in mind the market is extremely busy so being pushed around a bit is to be expected.
We left the market and went to Früh am Dom for a 0.2L glass of beer, I thought the beer was great but it was gone in a shot. We then walked along to Brauereiajsschank to enjoy the pub feel of Cologne, as the local team were playing the atmosphere was great and the quirkiness was enjoyable.
After such a long day we called it a night after getting groceries and pizza from the local supermarket (within the train station).
Sunday -Jimbobs birthday. He requested a long lie in and I requested grilled cheese and ham for breakfast; safe to say we both got what we wanted. After a lazy morning we took a walk through the city. We were surprised that all shops were shut and only cafes and eateries were open. We walked down the high street and found another Christmas market to try. (Massive smiling face) We arrived and it was a massive relief to find it quieter and more relaxed than the one next to the Cathedral. It was a delight to enjoy mulled win with amaretto. We had Mac and Cheese and churros. After 4 or 5 mugs in the rain we moseyed on to a bar for them to sing happy birthday to Jimbob.
The next morning with a long day ahead of us (up at 4am), we packed ourselves up and walked the 3 minute walk to the train station. For those interested the trains are 24 hours a day, slight reduction in frequency overnight but you’ll have no issue any time of the day.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my mini diary of Cologne