GA listing Unusual Christmas markets in the region

Bonn · Not all Christmas markets are the same in Bonn. Besides the well-known (and crowded) places, there are smaller alternatives. Here is an overview of special Advent markets in the region.

GA listing: Unusual Christmas markets in the region
Foto: dpa/Hannes P. Albert

Mulled wine, roasted almonds and handmade gifts: Christmas market time is in full swing. But not everyone wants to crowd the large city squares at the moment. So it's good that there are alternatives in the region. Here is a look at some Christmas markets that are a bit different from the rest.

Castle Christmas in Satzvey

Celebrating Advent at a moated castle - that's what you experience in Satzvey. The "Burgweihnacht" (“Castle Christmas”) takes place every Saturday and Sunday. At the ancestral seat of the Counts Beissel von Gymnich in the Eifel, all kinds of goods are offered by craftsmen and merchants, including wooden toys, Christmas tree decorations, mangers and homemade soaps. Culinary specialties from the region round out the offerings. On Saturdays from 1 to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 7 p.m., there are nativity plays. Children can drop off their wish lists in person to the Weihnachstmann (Santa Claus), who can be seen together with his elves.

Dates: December 4/5, 11/12, 18/19. Opening hours Saturdays from 12 to 8 pm, Sundays from 12 to 7 pm. Admission twelve euros (advance booking ten euros), reduced eight euros (advance booking seven euros). Children under four years are free. You can get there on the A61, exit at Wißkirchen.

Further information at:

Cologne’s Gay Christmas market

Cologne's probably most flashy and friendly Christmas market opens its doors again this year. The "Gay Christmas Market Heavenue" is open until December 23: DJs and singers and other well-known artists from the scene perform between 7 and 8 pm. Previous performers include the Mr. Gay Germany finalists, Nina Queer and Marcella Rockefeller. On the grounds of the Sparkasse Köln-Bonn on Schaafenstraße, there will be colorful market stalls in pop art style, decorated with glittering clouds and snow-white garlands. Organizers promise a sophisticated lighting design of LEDs, fairy lights and special effects, as well as a lushly decorated, spinning Christmas tree in front of the stage.

Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Tram lines 1, 7, 12 and 15 go to the Rudolfplatz stop. Cars can be parked in the Rudolfplatz and Sparkasse/Schaafenstraße parking lots.

Further info at:

Mulled wine in the Stadtgarten

The Stadtgarten in Cologne's popular Belgian Quarter is transformed into a romantic village at Christmas time. Fairy lights and treetops decorate the park at Venloer Straße 40 for the trendy, and friends and families with children. The 80 exhibitors change weekly, and include art displays, handicrafts and jewelry. The SternKundt Theater presents the popular Punch and Judy show for children aged three and up from Tuesdays to Fridays. Admission is free. Culinary delights include crêpes, Alsatian tarte flambée, cinnamon buns and more. The Stadtgarten team will also be serving mulled wine made from their own recipe.

Open from November 18 to December 23, Monday through Friday from 4 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 9:30 p.m. The event is open to the recovered and vaccinated only (2G rule). See website for exceptions. Tram lines 3, 4 and 5 will run to the Hans-Böckler-Platz/Bf. West stop. Drivers can park their cars in the Ringkarree, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring and Maastrichter Strasse parking garages.

Further information at:

Christmas at Dyck Castle

The extensive grounds of Schloss Dyck look back on an eventful history: first documented in the 11th century, it was expanded in the 17th century into a Baroque residence with a brewery, riding stables and outer castles. The picturesque moated castle near Jüchen in the Rhine district of Neuss extends over four islands and is surrounded by an English garden. With this impressive backdrop, the "Schlossweihnacht" (“Castle Christmas”) will take place again this year. From November 26 to December 12, around 140 exhibitors with Christmas decorations, jewelry and gift ideas await visitors. A special highlight: For the first time, the stalls will be lined up along a candlelit circular route. Here, Christmas specialties such as mulled wine, cookies and stollen, as well as special treats from Tyrol and Italy await visitors. For children there is a mini carousel and a steam-engine train.

Opening hours are Fridays from 2 to 8 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The 2G corona rules apply, visitors are controlled at the entrance.

Visitors must reserve tickets in advance at:

Benrath Castle

The moated Benrath Palace in Düsseldorf has seen a lot: German emperors and kings resided there, and starting in the 1950’s, state receptions were held regularly at the estate. If you want to join the list of famous personalities and enjoy the Advent season at the same time, the Christmas market on the palace grounds is highly recommended. From November 19 to December 19, a variety of handicrafts as well as hot drinks and culinary delicacies are offered in atmospherically illuminated wooden huts. On guided tours, visitors can also trace the eventful history of the "recreational and hunting palace" based on a French model and explore the interiors of the impressive residence.

Opening hours are Fridays 2 to 9 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free and the 2G corona rule applies. Public transportation is recommended for travel to Benrather Schloßallee 100-106.

For more information, visit:

Lüntenbeck Castle

In the idyllic courtyard between the old walls of Lüntenbeck Castle in Wuppertal, the traditional Christmas market will be held again this year with the theme "Cinnamon, Splendor and Vivaldi". Amid melodious baroque music, more than 100 booths will offer selected works of art on the second and third Advent weekends - from Friday to Sunday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. According to the organizers, a special culinary offer and a variety of happenings will ensure a nice time in the run-up to Christmas. During a tour, interested visitors can also explore the 1200-year-old history of the estate on information boards.

Admission costs seven euros and is free for children up to 14 years. Those arriving by car can use the event parking lot at Industriestrasse 76 - from there a footpath leads to the castle.

All information on the current Corona rules for visiting the castle can be found here:

This is a listing of unusual Christmas markets, which does not claim to be complete or follow objective criteria. It is also not a ranking. The order is arbitrary. Is an unusual Christmas market missing from the listing? Send us an e-mail to

(Orig. text: Simun Sustic, Marc Thielen; Translation: ck)
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