It was ten years ago that I visited Dusseldorf for my first ever European Christmas market trip, which was to be the start of my Christmas market obsession. This year I decided that I was going to visit the Salzburg Christmas markets, which I’ve been wanting to visit for a while now. I also decided that I would make a second Christmas market trip so that I could re-visit the Dusseldorf Christmas market to remind myself just how wonderful my first Christmas market experience was.
Dusseldorf Christmas Market
Flight Time from London: The published flight time from London to Dusseldorf is one hour and 20 minutes, but the actual flight time is around 55 minutes.
Airline & Airport of Operation: I flew to Dusseldorf on British Airways from London Heathrow on one of their numerous daily services. BA’s fares to Dusseldorf are currently as low as £72 return in economy and £199 in their Club Europe business class cabin.
Transfer Time to City: Dusseldorf Airport is located five miles from the city centre and takes around 15 minutes by taxi at a cost of around €25.
Where to Stay on a Dusseldorf Christmas Market:
For this Christmas market trip I chose to stay in the Melia Dusseldorf. I chose this hotel for two reasons, the first being that the hotel was only a ten minute walk from Dusseldorf city centre, and secondly because I was able to book it as part of a British Airways flight and hotel deal, which worked out at around £115pp based on four people sharing two rooms.
The Melia Dusseldorf was a very modern looking hotel, inside and out. From the reception area to the guest rooms, the whole hotel was immaculately clean and tidy. Even though we only booked only standard rooms they were surprisingly spacious. My room also boasted a spacious bathroom and a small balcony. We booked the Melia Dusseldorf hotel on a room-only rate, so I didn’t get to sample the breakfast, I did however order a snack from room service during my stay. There was a good selection of food to choose from on the room service menu, all at reasonable prices and the quality of the food was quite good.
The Dusseldorf Christmas Markets
The Dusseldorf Christmas markets are probably some of the most extensive Christmas markets that I have visited in Europe to date. The markets this year were called Winter Wonderland and were spread out seven different locations within the city. Each location had its own theme and each was decorated in a unique way. The seven market areas and corresponding themes were:
- The Engelchen-Markt – Heinrich-Heine-Platz
- The Handwerker-Markt – Marktplatz
- The Altstadt-Markt – Flinger Straße
- The Sternchen-Markt – Wilhelm-Marx-Haus Courtyard
- The Märchen-Markt – Schadowplatz
- The Schadow-Markt – Schadowstraße
- The Kö-Bogen-Markt – Jan-Wellem-Platz & Joachim-Erwin-Platz
I spent the whole first day in Dusseldorf exploring each of the seven markets, sampling some food and gluhwein along the way. My favourite market was the Handwerker-Markt mainly because of its fantastic traditional Christmas market decoration, and its beautiful location in Marketplatz. This market was however the busiest of the seven markets, but the stalls had some fantastic items for sale as well as some delicious food. Just around the corner from Marketplatz was a big wheel which offered fantastic views across Dusseldorf at a cost of €7.50.
After a short rest at the hotel I headed back out in the evening to explore a handful of these markets again at night. The markets really come to life at night with a warm Christmassy atmosphere and some of the markets even had live music on stages. The ice rink and surrounding gluhwein bars located on Königsallee was packed full of people having a fantastic time.
Food in Dusseldorf
During my trip to the Dusseldorf Christmas market I didn’t go out any where specific for a meal. Instead we enjoyed a range of festive foods and snacks while browsing around the markets, such as the traditional German Bratwurst, venison goulash and Kartoffelpuffer, which is a German potato pancake.
Top Tip: Download the official Dusseldorf Christmas market guide so you don’t miss any of the fantastic market areas.
Currency: Germany’s currency is the Euro and at the time that I visited the exchange rate was around 1.15 EUR to GBP.
Weather: The weather during my trip was unfortunately quite overcast and wet on the first day, with a few sunny spells on the second day.
Recommended Duration: I visited Dusseldorf for two days and one night which I thought was just right amount of time to be able to explore the Christmas markets.
Conclusion: Dusseldorf really puts on a superb array of Christmas markets, and combined with the fact that it is less than an hours flight from London makes it great destination for anyone who wants to enjoy a traditional German Christmas market without travelling too far. I have visited Dusseldorf twice before in the past, once was also for the Christmas markets, and I wouldn’t hesitate to visit again.