404 Düsseldorf’s Christmas Markets for families

Düsseldorf’s Christmas Markets for families

With Köln and Düsseldorf being only a short train ride from each other, there’s a lot of friendly(?) competition between the two. Which is a better place to experience Karneval? Which is a better place to work? To live?

While Köln has a lot going for it: a huge cathedral on the Rhein, direct train to Paris via Thalys, and a beautiful city center, there’s at least one area that Düsseldorf wins – hands down. It’s the better place for families with young kids to see the Christmas markets.

Why Düsseldorf’s Christmas Markets Reign Supreme (over Köln’s) for families

1| Less crowds

Köln’s main markets start right next to the train station. In Düsseldorf, you have to go three stops on the subway to get to them. There are also a lot of markets. If you find that one’s crowded, move on and circle back later. Chances are the crowds have subsided.

2| Family activities

In our short time in Düsseldorf I saw a ferris wheel, several rides, and an ice skating rink. Seriously: family fun at Christmas right in the heart of Düsseldorf.

3| Space to wander

Yes, the crowds are smaller, but there’s also generally more space. The markets seem to have wider “halls”. Not to mention, they’re all located near the Rhein River promenade and the Hofgarten. Have an antsy toddler? There’s plenty of space for them to run around.


disclaimer: My most recent trip to Düsseldorf was with Farrah from the Three Under. Although I have gone to the markets before with my clan, this particular trip was without kids. My thoughts above are based on a combination of our girls’ trip and other trips I’ve made in the past. Alternatively, I’ve only been to Köln’s Christmas Market once. I was with the whole family, it was harder to see all the markets to give a proper judgement on some of the topics above. I very well could have missed the super family friendly area with lots of rides and few people. My tip: they’re less than an hour from each other so do both!

Either way, Köln still wins my heart for the Christmas Market with the best food. And not just between it and Düsseldorf, but for all the markets I’ve been to in Germany. 

After exploring a million markets in Düsseldorf, Farrah and I headed to an afternoon tea



This post is part of the Instagram Travel Thursday linky hosted by Skimbaco LifestyleDestination UnknownChild ModeHines Sight BlogLive.Do.Grow.House of AnaïsLuxury Travel Mom. Click on any of those links to access all Instagram travel posts.

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  1. Perfect! You know I’m biased as a Christmas market where I am not trudging through with a double stroller is bound to be the best one ever! Thank you for showing me the area- I think you should become a professional market guide in the future!

  2. Great, well now I am DOUBLE JEL! I just read Farrah’s post. I am delighted that you two were about to go sans kiddies. Perhaps next year I can come and meet you both (stalker much…!)

    Stretan Bozic i Nova godina {Merry Christmas and Happy New year} from Croatia.

  3. Oh wow, the choice!!! We had one proper Christmas market here, and that was only for a weekend 🙂 Now I know in Oslo there is more choice, but I have to admit, I’d like to experience a real German market once!

  4. Though I haven’t been to any of the other Christmas markets in Germany, I do like the one in Dusseldorf. It is less crowded and I have to agree about it’s family friendliness (even though we are child-free). I would like to visit Köln at some point, however, to experience what another city has to offer 🙂

  5. So lovely, then again I think Christmas markets originate from Germany so no wonder they do it so well!

  6. Markets are the best! Is so easy to lose the hours in a good ones 🙂 Happy Christmas!

  7. I never get tired of the Christmas market pictures. They grab me every time. These are gorgeous!

    And I would LOVE a no-kids trip to the market + tea! 🙂

  8. I think it would be wonderful to see the Christmas markets. It all looks beautiful.

  9. YAY! Thanks for linking up, I’ll looking into the badge issue thingy (again) for the New Year. Ciao
    PS: I Pinned this to the #SundayTraveler board.

  10. So excited to have found your blog! We just moved to Germany 4 weeks ago and have experienced 2 Christmas markets this year 🙂

  11. This is actually on my bucket list, perhaps for next year! I would do both, too.


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