An absolute must in the run-up to Christmas is the Aachener Printe gingerbread, which is eaten all year round in Aachen, but which is sent all over the world during the Advent period. In a show bakery in the centre of the Christmas market, visitors can watch the Aachen national delicacy being made. Covered with dark or milk chocolate, hard or soft, with almonds or sugar coating, there’s a Printe for every taste. If you like savoury dishes, the Aachen Christmas liver sausage is not to be missed. It has been produced since the 19th century and depending on the butcher’s recipe, is refined with nuts, lingonberries and classic winter spices. The Aachen Cathedral liqueur and specialities from the Eifel region round off the culinary delights on offer at the Aachen Christmas market, which runs from 23 November to 23 December all around Aachen Cathedral and the historic city hall, and which is regularly ranked among the top ten Europe’s Best Christmas Markets.
Chocolatiers market starts off the season
The sweet Advent period in NRW will officially begin on the Rhine. On 31 October 2018, the Chocolate Museum in Cologne will turn 25, and will celebrate with events such as the Chocolatiers Market. 50 chocolate specialists from Germany and abroad will present exquisite hand-crafted chocolates and ingenious chocolate creations in front of the museum on the Rhine from 14 to 18 November 2018. The market will be framed by a varied programme of events, with sampling and presentations about all aspects of chocolate from all over the world.
On 26 November 2018, the various Cologne Christmas markets will then be opened, with different themes. All around Cologne Cathedral, visitors can sample Cathedral Spekulatius biscuits, Kölsche Rievkooche (potato pancakes), mustard from the Monschau mill in the Eifel region, and of course, Kölsch beer, as well as the Aachener Printen gingerbread. On the Alter Markt square, you can go on a journey to the homeland of the famous Heinzel figures, see traditional handcrafted goods and watch them being made. In a sweets factoriy, sweets are cut from a hot sugar mass, while there’s also fresh nougat to try, taken from lumps weighing around seven kilos.
Schloss Türnich palace offers sweets taken from nature
Sweet natural delights, which are also almost 100 percent organic, are on offer at the Christmas market in Schloss Türnich palace in Kerpen, which will be held for the first time over three weekends in December. On the palace island against the background of the stately home, and in the stables of the historic courtyard grounds, preserves from home-grown produce, home-made drinks and arts and crafts will be on sale.
Schloss Loersfeld palace in Kerpen, which with its ten-hectare English landscape park and gourmet restaurant is worth a visit at any time of the year, will offer an additional reason for lovers of good food to make the trip from 21 to 23 December 2018. The goose liver terrine, which is made especially for the occasion, attracts visitors to the palace Christmas market from far and wide. The special delicacy comes directly from the Michelin starred palace kitchen, with Germany’s youngest starred chef, Julia Komp, in the kitchen.
The copper town of Stolberg, once one of the leading sites worldwide for the production of brass, will not only celebrate its 900th anniversary this year, but also the Advent period. Over the five weekends in the run-up to Christmas, the copper town Christmas days (“Kupferstädter Weihnachtstage”) will offer special crafts and culinary delicacies in the various castle courtyards in the old town. In the Museum Torburg, which is situated in an impressively well-preserved castle complex, you can smell freshly roasted coffee. In a coffee shop furnished in the historical style, freshly brewed castle coffee is served, which has been roasted in the museum’s own gas-driven furnace that dates back to 1920.
Freshly roasted coffee as well as brewed and distilled beverages are typical for the “made in Krefeld” Christmas festivities. A hot gin version, which contains both locally made gin and apple juice, will be one of the specialities offered from 22 November to 23 December at the “Crefeld Christmas Market” in front of the Dionysius church.
Hand crafts for the eye and palate
Printen gingerbread and traditional baked goods from the museum oven make visitors’ mouths water in the LVR Open Air Museum Kommern. During “Advent für alle Sinne” (“Advent for all your senses”) on 1 and 2 December 2018, the old Advent household activities will be brought back to life, including baking, singing and storytelling.
The Christmas market at Schloss Dyck palace in Jüchen on the Lower Rhine offers a culinary island. On the orangery half-island, visitors will be offered delicious soups cooked from grandma’s recipes, alongside seasonal offers. Christmas biscuits, “Stollen” Christmas cake and “Hochzeitsbrot” fruit cake, “Tiroler” biscuits and Italian specialities, nougat from Provence and English and far-Eastern tea are available alongside the regional specialities on offer.
The Christmas market in Soest offers handicrafts for the eye and palate. From 26 November to 22 December 2018, the historic half-timbered buildings in the old town will provide a pretty framework for the market. During sampling guided tours, there are various titbits on offer to try out at the snack, drinks and sweet stalls, and you will also find out interesting facts about Soest during the Christmas period.
In Münster old town, the air will be filled with Christmas scents from five different Christmas markets from 26 November to 23 December 2018. In the Christmas village all around the “Kiepenkerl” monument, there is something for anyone who loves Westphalian specialities. You can try kale or Mettwurst sausage with Westphalian schnapps.
In contrast to the other Christmas markets, the Nikolausmarkt in Bedburg Alt-Kaster does not run along the streets and squares of the historic old town, but is held in the homes and courtyards of the local residents. On 2 December 2018, home-baked cakes and biscuits and home-made produce of all kinds will be available for sale.