cold and crowded in cologne

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we took a super quick weekend trip to cologne, germany a couple of weeks before christmas.

to be frank, this trip was the first travel experience i semi-regretted taking. (i hope it will also be the last...?) it was soooo cold and soooo crowded in cologne that weekend, both of our boys had coughs and runny noses, and i was feeling exhausted from an already full december as well as the anticipation of lots of more miles of travel ahead in the weeks following.

but it was a crazy little adventure we shared as a family. and the cologne christmas markets we had heard a lot about were indeed magical. we turned in early on our one night in germany - we went to our hotel and took long hot showers and cuddled up in the bed and watched a christmas movie. it was a memorable trip in several ways ... and i guess i just can't get myself to really regret it ;)

here's a few iphone snaps from our freezing thirty six hours in germany...

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the main christmas market in cologne is set up right in the shadow of cologne cathedral which is arresting ... such a magnificent building!
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there are three other big markets around the city, which were basically impossible to navigate a stroller through. seriously sooo crowded. there were so many darling little festive details that i wanted to relish and capture but my full attention was required in keeping track of my family amidst the mobs of people!
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i don't know if i've just become more a wimp about cold weather, but i was chiiiiillled to the bone in cologne. luckily gabriel had a toasty warm situation, wrapped up in daddy's coat! IMG 9050
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moses and i rode the ferris wheel in one of the markets, and it was cool to see things from above. these pictures give you a bit of a sense of the crowds! IMG 9077
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we went to sunday meetings at a branch of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints in cologne and afterwards went inside cologne cathedral. this building was built in 1248 - woah!
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okay, no regrets! cologne was cold and crowded, but also charming and cool.


  1. So the trick to going to the Christmas markets in Germany is to go during the weekday.I learned this the hard way last year taking my little ones to the Frankfurt market on a weekend. My husband and I snuck away during the weekday and to the Nuremburg it market and had half the crowd. Sorry it was a hard weekend.

    1. haha yeah we definitely learned that! when we did our big german christmas markets road trip a couple of years ago it was over a week so we didn't notice the crowds so much! but people in cologne told us that in just the past couple of years it has gotten crazy crowded!

  2. My aunt and uncle live near Karlsruhe, Germany. They go to the Christmas markets in the smaller towns as they're a lot less crowded with tourists and more festive with live donkey's, music, and community. Baden Baden's Christmas market is personally one of my favorites.

    1. we went to baden baden two years ago and loved it! and yes the live animals in the nativities are so fun. we wanted to experience cologne this time around because we had heard so much about it being awesome. i guess a looooot of other people had had the same idea, haha.

  3. The next one should be Stuttgart. And yes, on a weekday and our possible without a stroller.

    1. we went to stuttgart two years ago! i loved the medieval market in nearby esslingen but wish we had more time in stuttgart itself.


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